Last Will and Testament
George Washington Custis Lee
George Washington Custis Lee
Miley, Lexington, Virginia, c.1870–1875
Courtesy Arlington House, National Park Service
I, G. W. C. Lee, of Ravensworth, in the County of Fairfax, State of Virginia, being of sound and disposing mind, do hereby make, publish and declare this to be my last will and testament, hereby revoking all other wills by me at any time made:
FIRST: I give and bequeath to The Washington and Lee University, to be held by the Trustees thereof, the original portrait in oil of General George Washington by Charles Wilson Peale, painted in 1772; the original portrait in oil of General LaFayette by the same artist, painted for General Washington in 1779; all my books and office furniture that I left in Lexington upon my departure therefrom in the summer of 1897, and all my interest in a certain claim against the United States Government on account of wood gooten from Ravensworth by representatives of the Government during the Civil War. By an agreement in writing, this claim was placed in the hands of Mr. Charles Kerr, an attorney, for collection. I am advised that it has been allowed by the United States Court of Claims and will be paid as soon as the money is appropriated by Congress. I also give and bequeath to The Washington and Lee University, to be held by the Trustees thereof, the sum of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), which sum is to be invested and the interest used in the preservation and improvement of the Lee Memorial Chapel. Should this bequest to the Chapel be held in violation of any rule of law, I give and bequeath the said sum of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) to said trustees absolutely.
SECOND: All by pictures and portraits, of every kind and description, except the two given to The Washington and Lee University, are to be divided, as nearly as may be, into three equal lots, considering number and value, both intrinsic and from the standpoint of sentiment; and I give and bequeath to my sister, Mary Custis Lee, one of said lots, to my brother, Robert Edward Lee, one of said lots, and to my two nephews, Robert Edward Lee, Jr., and George Bolling Lee, the remaining lot, to be equally divided between them.
I have heretofore given to my said sister, Mary Custis Lee, the "Mount Vernon Relics" and as further evidence of her title to them I now give and bequeath the same to her absolutely.
THIRD: I give and bequeath to my sister-in-law, Mary Tabb Lee, widow of my deceased brother, William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, widow of my deceased brother, William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, the sum of Five Thousand Dolalrs ($5,000.00) and all the furniture of which I may die possessed, except the office furniture given The Washington and Lee University.
FOURTH: I give and bequeath to my nephew, Robert Edward Lee, Jr., the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) in cash, and a like sum to my nephew, George Bolling Lee.
FIFTH: I give and devise to my said nephews, Robert Edward Lee, Jr., and George Bolling Lee, in fee simple, all of the land in Fairfax County, Virginia, howsoever acquired, of which I may die seized, each of said nephews to have a one-half interest therein. I think said land will consist of between twenty-four and twenty-five acres.
SIXTH: All the rest and residue of my estate, real, personal and mixed, wheresoever located, I give, devise and bequeath to my brother, Robert Edward Lee, absolutely and in fee simple.
SEVENTH: I hereby nominate and appoint my nephew, Robert Edward Lee, Jr., executor of this my last will and testament, and having perfect confidence in his judgment and integrity, I direct that the said executor shall not be required to give security upon his executorial bond.
WITNESS my hand this 1st day of February, 1912.
G. W. C. Lee
Signed, published and declared by G. W. C. Lee as and for his last will and testament, in the presence of us, who in his presence, and in the presence of each other, all being present together at the same time, ahve, at his request, hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.
F. S. McCandlish
John P. Johnston.
Document Typed Signed, Lee Papers, Washington and Lee University. The will is drafted on stationary that reads "MOORE, BARBOUR, KEITH & McCANDLISH ATTORNEYS AND COUNSELLORS AT LAW FAIRFAX, VA.” and is docketed "Last Will and Testament of G. W. C. Lee In the clerk's office of Fairfax Co. Ct. Va Feb. 26. 1903. Proved, probated & ordered to be recorded Teste F. W. Richardson clerk Recorded in Will Book No. 5 page 132 &."