Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Thomas Posey: An Illegitimate Son of George Washington?

Thomas Posey

Thomas Posey: An Illegitimate Son of George Washington?

         Thomas Posey lived a life of public service.  Posey rose through the ranks of the military during the Revolution.  After the Revolution, Posey rose to the rank of brigadier general and participated in Indian fighting in the northwest.  Posey served as a territorial governor for Indiana and then as an agent for Indian Affairs until his death in 1818.
According to family lore, Thomas Posey was the illegitimate child of George Washington.  Friends of the family who knew Posey claimed the physical similarities between the two were striking.  For almost two generations historians have argued the connection between Posey and Washington.  The case appears flimsy.  The Posey family were neighbors of Washington, living six miles away from Mount Vernon, but the two families were engaged more in business than social endeavors. 

Thomas Posey was born July 9, 1750.   Posey described his parentage as being “respectable.”  Posey acknowledged his financial status as being “without fortune, but of tolerable English education.”  He set forth into the frontier to find fame and fortune, which he did in Indiana.  So why is it that some people believe that Thomas Posey could have been an illegitimate child of George Washington?

In 1871, the first published story of a possible direct heir to George Washington was printed in Indiana. The article detailed the family's oral tradition. The article indicated Posey’s mother was a widow and had an illicit affair with Washington in 1754.  Subsequent publications continued to use the same date as the first article, neglecting to cite the fact that Thomas Posey was actually born in 1750, four years before the alleged affair.

Mystery writer Andrew Mills has come up with a new twist on this old story, one that involves murder and mayhem at Mount Vernon.

Mystery Writer: Andrew Mills

A quick historical look at murder most foul in the Virginia of colonial times and the early Republic. Behind the facade of graceful mansions and quaint cobblestone streets evil lurks.