Colonial Settlement Washington Family Augustine Washington

Augustine Washington

Augustine Washington (1694-1743)—was the father of George Washington. As a very young man he became interested in iron making and worked briefly with the operators of Bristol Iron Works in King George County. In 1720 a group of English investors established the Principio Iron Company and sent representatives to Maryland to seek deposits of iron ore. The company built several iron furnaces in Maryland, then decided to expand to the other side of the Chesapeake Bay. Augustine, who was well aware of Principio’s desire to expand, purchased some iron deposits in central Stafford County on Accokeek Run and very near the present Ramoth Baptist Church. Principio signed a 1,000 year lease with Washington and made him a partner in the company. Principio’s workers erected an iron furnace on Accokeek Run, the remains of which survive today. Known as Accokeek Iron Furnace, this facility made pig iron from around 1725 to around 1752. Augustine, who had been a resident of Westmoreland County, moved closer to the works after the death of the manager in 1734. He moved first to Mt. Vernon, but when that burned, he moved down to what is known today as Ferry Farm. Augustine was noted for his intelligence and his amazing strength and was actively engaged with the day-to-day activities at the furnace. By no little coincidence, Washington married Mary Ball, who just happened to have inherited some rich iron deposits very near the Accokeek Furnace. When Augustine died, he left his Principio shares to his son Lawrence Washington.