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Frank Lee, born abt 1758
Home Up William Lee, born abt 1756 Frank Lee, born abt 1758 Lucy Lee, born abt 1744

Mary Lee Brady, Ph.D.

Francis Frank Lee, Butler
Burwell Lee
Caroline Lee, born abt 1773
Mike Lee
Phil Lee
Patty Lee
Grace Lee, born abt 1799









The only thing we know for certain about Frank Lee is that he was William Lee's brother, purchased at the same time by George Washington and worked in the Mansion House listed by Washington as married to Lucy.  His duties likely included being both a butler and waiter as occasions might demand, and for certain he was a close friend to his brother William. He too was a patriot, having an opportunity to flee Mount Vernon enslavement when the British forces raided the place but like the Hemings at Mount Vernon he remained loyal.  Why?  Many of Washington's slaves escaped and some even joined the British Ethiopian Regiment established to enlist escaped slaves. 

We doubt that Frank enjoyed being enslaved but rather, like the Hemings offspring at Monticello, he and his brother William were family matters.  Both Washington and Jefferson and others of their class and background understood this factor of loyalty.  And, most Hemings and Lee descendents understand it when they take time to think what they would have done, if for example: a Sally and Robert Hemings living in Paris after the revolution or a Frank Lee at Mount Vernon during the revolution?  Surely they understood freedom for themselves was not freedom for the people they loved:  mothers and others.

We think it is critically important to understand that people of African heritage like William and Frank Lee or those normal beings at other locations did not want to be another human being's slave.  The ante-bellum propaganda that raged throughout the 19th and 20th century that slaves were happy being such was no less denigrating than the earlier centuries wherein even popes, bishops and priests in the name of Christ: doubted that Africans hauled into slavery had souls.  Oney Judge had the freedom to escape Mount Vernon slavery because she had neither chick, child or family members as reasons to remain as the personal maid to Martha Washington. 

                                                                                    Slavery and the Negro

                                                                                            Oney Judge

Like William, Frank was owned by George Washington but his wife was dowry property of Martha Washington and thus by law not eligible for freedom under George Washington's will?   

We have tried to analyze available records in defining which Lee offspring at Mount Vernon were fathered by which of the two brothers; and, as might be expected William and Frank fathered children but apparently most, if not all Frank's offspring were destined to remain slaves as dowry property of Martha Washington.  The absolutely most horrible aspect of chattel slavery was its peculiar insistence that offspring of enslaved mothers were the property of the mother's owner.  Enslaved Black fathers had none of the rights or considerations granted to White men in matters of paternity and disposition or claims regarding offspring.

First NameLast NameAgesRelationLocationOwner
AggyLeeEst. 35 years at time of GW 1799 will, & gave birth to 1st child Sinah by William est. 1786-1787, last child Joanna est. 1804.  Husband, William Lee sometime during or after 1786MansionMartha Washington Dower slave and freed after death of Martha in 1803; but not until 1824 per Fairfax Co. records
WilliamLeeEst. birth in 1756, 43 years at time of GW 1799 will. The will of 1786 list him as a shoemaker and lame.Wife, Aggy Lee per GW 1799 will. The 1st will of 1786 list him as not having a wife at Mount Vernon.MansionGeorge Washington offered freedom to William upon death in 1799, but William apparently declined so as to remain at Mt. Vernon.
Joe  ? Wife, SallMansionGeorge Washington
MikeLee Son of Lucy LeeMansionGeorge Washington
SinahLee Daughter of Aggy Lee, est. age 13-14 years at time of GW 1799 willMansionMartha Washington    Dower Slave

as offspring of mother Aggy.

Sold in 1802 to Charles Thomas, Sinah's free husband:

apparently sold her to James Kenner:

who sold her to firm of Libby & Came who set her free on 10/8/1814

MimaWagoner Husband, Godfrey WagonerMansionMartha Washington Dower Slave
FrankLeeEst. birth abt. 1752 making him abt. 8 years younger than his wife, and step-father of Lucy's children Burwell and Caroline. The assumptions are that he fathered children by Lucy from abt. age 15 yrs until his death. Apparently died in 1821.Husband to LucyMansionGeorge Washington
Lucy Lee Wife of Frank Lee, believed  Bushrod Washington intended to sell her and/or daughter Grace  who was 12 years age used as a new breeder.

She and other Lee's lived in D.C. or MD where she and daughter Grace were  recaptured for slave breeding industry of Virginia. 

MansionMartha Washington Dower Slave
GraceCarter Husband Juba Carter was an apparent stud leased out by Tobias Lear to impregnate Black female slaves to generate more slaves for use or sell, not unlike the practices of horse breeders. By the time of Civil War, the trade in slaves was largest industry in Virginia. MansionTobias Lear

George Washington's compiled a listing of his slaves in 1786 in which he listed Will as not having a wife at one of his plantations; and listed Frank as having a wife named Lucy. 

These relationships were determined by cross-reference to the 1810 Virginia census by family name; and making reference to the historical notes that following death of Washington and pursuant fears by Martha Washington that Washington's slaves might poison her to hasten their freedom, her nephew Bushrod Washington sent them away.  We suspect that Bushrod was one of the founders or Virginia sponsors of the American Colonization Society or even planners that helped establish "Bushrod Island" in Liberia that received its first colonists (ex-slaves and freemen) in year 1822. 

Research is still required to determine if any Lee descendents were among the emigrants to Liberia, and if so, were they there as Baptists or Episcopalians as we believe William and Frank were likely identified with?  The challenge and issue is significant in understanding the aspects of geography and timelines in understanding the evolvement of African-American families.

Monrovia (Liberia), city in western Liberia, capital of the country, on the Atlantic Ocean, at the mouth of the Saint Paul River. Situated on Bushrod Island and Cape Mesurado, it is the nation's chief port and commercial center. It has extensive docks and is served by nearby Roberts International Airport. Iron ore and rubber are major exports; substantial quantities of imports are transshipped to neighboring countries. Manufactures include processed food, refined petroleum, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and building materials.

The University of Liberia (founded in 1862), Cuttington University College (1889), and a college of technology (1978) are here.  Monrovia was founded in 1822 by the American Colonization Society as a refuge for freed slaves from North America; it was named in honor of United States president James Monroe. Large numbers of former slaves were resettled here in the 19th century. Monrovia became the scene of widespread looting and violence in the civil war following Liberian leader Samuel K. Doe's assassination in 1990; fighting among factions continued in the mid-1990s, sending many residents from the city. Population (1984) 421,058. "Monrovia (Liberia)," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99.

It is also a fact the Custis Estate had plantations in and around Richmond where the emancipated Lee men and women could have found employment.  Indicators are that Lucy and at least seven (7) of her children, grandchildren or offspring of her brother-in-law William were living free as adult heads of household in and between Fredericksburg and Richmond, Virginia.

Below research acquired via George Washington and


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