Our Namesake: Fielding Lewis
Colonel Fielding Lewis of Kenmore
July 1725 - December 1781
Fielding Lewis was born in July 1725. His second wife, whom he married in May 1750, was Betty Washington, the only sister of George Washington. Together they had eleven children, of which five lived to maturity. Nine of their eleven children were sons. They raised their children at their home, "Kenmore", in Fredericksburg, Virginia. This home still exists today, and is open to the public for tours.
Fielding Lewis risked his life and livelihood as a merchant and trader when he joined the fight for American Independence. Elected to the House of Burgesses, he helped lead the boycotts against British imported goods. He led in the production of arms in Fredericksburg at the munitions factory, which he established with Charles Dick. He built, purchased, and manned ships to protect the Rappahannock River. Lewis also furnished various supplies to the army. His wealth and health were compromised because of the incessant demands on his time and his personal finances. With the depreciation of currency in 1779, money problems followed, and the Assembly paid him with lead, salt, and tobacco instead of currency. Lewis borrowed in order to continue his service to the state. Suffering from consumption, he died a poor man in December 1781, just weeks after the British surrender in Yorktown. He is buried in the St. George Parish Churchyard.
The great-great-granddaughter of Fielding Lewis, Mrs. Ellen L. Crosby, was the Organizing Regent for the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution chapter named for her ancestor. The first meeting was held at her home, "Forrest Hill", in Marietta, Georgia, on April 12, 1904.