In the Presbyterian Cemetery, you can find the resting place of Louis Cazenove (November 29, 1807 – March 7, 1852) and his wife, Harriot E. Tuberville Stuart (1823 – December 23, 1896). Harriot was an esteemed figure as she was the great-granddaughter of Richard Henry Lee, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Louis Cazenove was a wealthy man and worked as a business partner at Cazenove & Co., a prominent flour exporting company in Alexandria during the 1850s. In 1850, as a wedding present for his wife, Louis purchased what is now known as the Lee-Fendall House in Alexandria. This historic property showcases Greek Revival and Italianate architectural embellishments that can still be admired today.
A Magnificent Wedding Present
The Cazenoves made significant renovations to the Lee-Fendall House to create a more spacious and comfortable living space for their family. One of the notable changes they made was replacing the old sloping roof and upper floor with a new roof that sloped on all sides. This modification allowed them to expand the third floor of the main part of the house, providing them with more private living space.
Additionally, a sunroom was added to the back of the house, likely offering a pleasant and bright space for relaxation or gatherings. Part of the kitchen was transformed into a formal dining room, making it more suitable for entertaining guests and hosting elegant dinners.
To ensure the family’s comfort during colder months, the Cazenoves installed a hot air furnace and a central heating system, which was a significant luxury in that era.
For efficient communication with the household staff, enameled bells were placed throughout the house. These bells served as a means to call the servants quickly, streamlining household operations.
Mr. Cazenove took great pride in his new home and aimed for it to be the finest residence in Alexandria. To commemorate their marriage and showcase their family history, their wedding pictures were displayed in the living room, adding a personal touch to their grand and improved living space.
The Cazenove Family
Cazenove’s family history is as impressive as Harriot’s. His father, Anthony Charles Cazenove, came from a distinguished lineage of Huguenots, a group of French Protestants. Due to religious persecution in France during the 1600s, the Huguenots were compelled to leave their homeland and found refuge in Geneva, Switzerland. However, their trials didn’t end there. During the tumultuous period of the French Revolution, male members of the Cazenove family were arrested. Thankfully, they were later released, but the circumstances prompted Anthony and his older brother to seek new opportunities in the United States.
They briefly operated a glass factory in Pennsylvania before Anthony decided to settle in Alexandria, while his brother returned to Geneva. In Alexandria, Anthony Cazenove found success as a businessman and established himself in the community. His achievements were noteworthy enough that he had the honor of accompanying Marquis de Lafayette to visit George Washington’s tomb on October 17, 1824, a moment of historical significance.
Notably, in 1840, Anthony’s father owned a house located at 414 N. Washington Street, recognized as a splendid example of the Greek Revival architectural style in Alexandria. It is possible that the beauty and elegance of this house served as inspiration for Louis Cazenove when he later embarked on the renovations of the Lee-Fendall House in 1850.
For further information about Anthony Cazenove and his family’s remarkable journey, you can find additional details at the provided source [link].
Cazenove’s Duel with William Fowle
In the 1820s, when Louis Cazenove was in his twenties, a significant incident occurred in Alexandria involving a fire at Ladd’s Mill, which was also known as the Globe Mill and Lawrence’s Mill. During this event, Cazenove wrote a letter to his brother, expressing dissatisfaction that William H. Fowle and his father did not assist their neighbors in fighting the fire.
Upon learning of Cazenove’s remarks, the Fowles became upset and confronted him about the matter. William H. Fowle tried to persuade Cazenove to retract his statement, and although Cazenove partially did so, it was not enough to fully satisfy Fowle. To protect their reputations and settle the dispute, Fowle challenged Cazenove to a duel.
The two men, along with their chosen witnesses and pistols, arranged a date and location for the duel, which was set for December 26, the day after Christmas, across the river in Maryland. While William H. Fowle was skilled with guns, Louis Cazenove had only handled a loaded pistol for the first time the night before the duel. On the agreed-upon day, they faced each other and discharged their weapons.
Accounts from onlookers varied, and there was uncertainty about who fired first. Fortunately, despite the potentially deadly situation, William H. Fowle missed his target, but Cazenove’s shot struck Fowle’s face, causing permanent damage. Remarkably, Fowle survived the duel, and over time, the two men managed to resolve their differences and move forward with their lives.
William H. Fowle eventually found business success, married, and had several children. He lived until 1869, passing away and being laid to rest in Christ Church Cemetery, marking the end of this notable chapter in the history of Alexandria.
The Death of Louis Cazenove
After a brief and prosperous marriage, Louis Cazenove passed away in 1852, merely two years after his wedding with Harriot. He was laid to rest in the Presbyterian Cemetery, with his final resting place marked by a box tomb located at 43:104.
Following Louis’s untimely death, Harriot made the difficult decision to leave the Lee-Fendall House, never to reside there again. However, she chose to keep the property within the family, allowing other relatives to rent and occupy the house as their residence.
The house remained in the possession of the Lee family for several decades, passing down through generations until 1903. At that time, circumstances led to the transfer of ownership to new individuals, marking the end of the direct familial association with the historic property.
to the memory of
LOUIS A. CAZENOVE
born Nov. 29th, 1807
departed this life March 7th, 1852.
Grosvenor Branch Hospital
At the onset of the American Civil War, when Alexandria became occupied, Harriot Cazenove, along with her young son Louis Cazenove, Jr., made the decision to leave the city. They sought refuge at her family home in Chantilly, located in western Fairfax County, Virginia. Harriot was not alone in her departure; her sister, Cornelia Lee Tuberville Stuart, her mother, Mrs. Robert E. Lee, and one of Mrs. Lee’s daughters also accompanied her to Chantilly. Their primary concern was that Union soldiers, who had taken control of Alexandria on May 24, 1861, might seize their belongings.
Due to the ongoing war, Harriot refrained from returning to Alexandria for an extended period. Meanwhile, the Lee-Fendall property, which she owned, fell into Union hands and was repurposed as the Grosvenor Branch Hospital to tend to injured soldiers from 1863 to 1865. The house also served as lodging for Major Edwin Bentley, who was responsible for overseeing the military hospitals in Alexandria.
In August 1864, a significant event took place at the hospital. Major Edwin Bentley successfully performed the first and only documented blood transfusion during the Civil War. The recipient of this groundbreaking medical procedure was Massachusetts Private George Cross, who had been wounded during the Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864, and had undergone a leg amputation. To help restore Cross’s blood loss, Bently injected him with a small amount of blood, and the transfusion was a success. Thanks to this innovative medical intervention, George Cross recovered and was eventually sent home with an artificial leg.
Doctor Robert Fleming Fleming
In 1870, Harriot made the decision to sell the Lee-Fendall House, and it was purchased by Dr. Robert Fleming Fleming (1816-1871) from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Fleming bought the house as a special gift for his wife, Mary Elizabeth Lee Fleming (1827-1902). Mary’s father was Richard Bland Lee (1797-1875), who was laid to rest in Ivy Hill Cemetery in Alexandria.
Sadly, Dr. Fleming passed away within two years of acquiring the Lee-Fendall House and was buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.
After being in the possession of the Fleming family, the historic house saw a significant change in ownership. In 1903, following 118 years of being in the Lee family, the property was sold to Robert Forsythe “Bob” Downham, a local liquor dealer.
The Death of Harriot Cazenove
Harriot Cazenove’s life came to an end on December 13, 1896. Her final resting place can be found in plot B:189, situated along the southern edge of the Presbyterian Cemetery. She was laid beside her son, Louis Cazenove, Jr., who died in 1925. The serene cemetery became their eternal resting place, marking the end of a remarkable family’s journey.
|HARRIOT E. STUART|
1823 – 1896
|LOUIS A. CAZENOVE, M.D.|
Louis A. and Harriott E.
18511 – 1925
The Lee-Fendall House Today
Over the years, the Lee-Fendall House has stood as a silent observer of Alexandria’s history, gracefully transitioning from one family’s beloved home to another, leaving an indelible mark as a treasured landmark within the community. Today, the house is a museum, skillfully interpreting American history through the lens of the people who once lived and toiled on this historic property from 1785 to 1969. Through immersive exhibits and captivating narratives, the museum honors the diverse experiences of those who shaped the house’s legacy, providing visitors with a unique and engaging glimpse into the past. For more information, please visit this [Link]
Sources of Information
Moore, G. M. (1949). Seaport in Virginia George Washington’s Alexandria. Garrett and Massie, Incorporated. Richmond, Virginia.
Lee, Jr., C. G. (1957). Lee Chronicle Studies of the Early Generations of the Lees of Virginia. Published for The Society of the Lees of Virginia by Thomson-Shore. Dexter, Michigan..
Fleming, L. B. R., Rhodes, E. F., & Fleming, J. E. (1981). Centennial Thomas Fleming 1881-1941. AdArt. Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Pippenger, W. E. (1992). Tombstone Inscriptions of Alexandria, Virginia: Volume 1. Family Line Publications; Heritage Books, Inc.
Miller, T. M., & Smith, W. F. (2001). A Seaport Saga Portrait of Old Alexandria, Virginia. The Downing Company Publishing. Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Pulluam, T. (2007). Gunpowder, Flour, Fire and Heirs: A Waterfront Block from Duke to Wolfe Streets. The Alexandria Chronicle, (Fall). Published by the Alexandria Historical Society, Inc.
Dahmann, D. C. (Unpublished). The Roster of Historic Congregational Members of the Old Presbyterian Meeting House.
The Lee-Fendall House Museum. (2020). Summer Newsletter. URL: [Link]. Accessed: 2022.
Roberts, J. Article title: Alexandria’s Mills. Jaybird’s Jottings. URL: [Link]. Accessed: 2023