The Presbyterian Cemetery

Discover the Fascinating History of Louis Cazenove and Harriot E. Tuberville Stuart at the Lee-Fendall House

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.

The Lee-Fendall House Alexandria, Virginia – image courtesy of the Lee-Fendall House and Museum and Gardens

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.

Harriot and Louis Cazenove. Images courtesy of the Lee-Fendall House Museum

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 Duel. Library of Congress

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.

In 1855, Harriott Cazenove decided to leave the Lee-Fendall House, relocating her family to Seminary Hill. This marked the beginning of six years when the house was leased out. The untimely passing of Louis led Harriot to make the poignant decision to never again reside at Lee-Fendall House.

Despite this, she ensured the property remained within the family, leasing it to relatives as their home. The Lee family retained ownership of the house for many decades, with it being passed down through generations until 1903. That year, a change in circumstances resulted in the sale of the property to new owners, concluding the direct familial link to this historic estate.

to the memory of
born Nov. 29th, 1807
departed this life March 7th, 1852.
43:104, box tomb

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.

Post-war portrait of Edward Bentley (July 3, 1824 – February 5, 1917). Following the Civil War, Bentley assumed leadership of the Third Division U.S. Army General Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, in September 1862. By 1864, he held authority over all area hospitals. Later, he played a pivotal role in establishing the Medical Department of Arkansas Industrial University, which commenced its operations on October 7, 1879. His final resting place is at Arlington National Cemetery—Photo courtesy of the UAMS Library Historical Research Center.

Doctor Robert Fleming Fleming

In 1870, Harriot decided to sell the Lee-Fendall House, 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

In her later years, Harriott Cazenove often spent winters in Alexandria, enjoying the company of friends. However, in the autumn of 1896, her health declined significantly, leading to her passing on December 13th at her Seminary Hill residence. Her funeral service took place at the Episcopal Seminary chapel, and she was laid to rest near her husband, Louis Cazenove. She was buried in plot B:189 at the southern boundary of the Presbyterian Cemetery. She was joined by her son, Louis Cazenove, Jr., who passed away in 1925. This tranquil cemetery became the shared final resting place for these notable family members.

Harriot E. Stuart Cazenove’s gravestone in the Presbyterian Cemetery-image courtesy of D. Heiby.
1823 – 1896
son of
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

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By David

As a public historian, I am dedicated to preserving and sharing the rich history of Alexandria, Virginia, and the surrounding region. With a deep passion for bringing the past to life, I serve my community in this meaningful role.

Before this, I enjoyed a fulfilling career as a businessman and entrepreneur. Now retired, I have found a new sense of purpose in my work as a public historian.

Since 2015, I have had the privilege of serving as the Superintendent of the historic Presbyterian Cemetery and Columbarium, located within the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex in Alexandria. This cemetery holds a special place in my family's history, as it was started in the early 1800s by the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, a historic congregation dating back to 1772 that is situated one mile east in the heart of Old Town. The cemetery is the final resting place of my parents, and the Meeting House is where I have worshipped for over 60 years.

As a public historian, I am thrilled to lead tours of the Wilkes Street Cemetery, which has thirteen cemeteries in a complex with over 35,000 interments. It is considered the most historic cluster of cemeteries in the United States. These sacred grounds offer a fascinating glimpse into the story of Alexandria and its people. I also enjoy guiding tours of nearby Civil War battlefields, combining my passion for history with the compelling narratives of those who fought and fell on these hallowed grounds, bringing their stories to life. I primarily lead tours of Harpers Ferry, South Mountain, and the Antietam Battlefields, along with tracing the footsteps of those involved in the Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in April 1865. I am also a licensed tour guide in Washington, D.C.

To further engage the community, I manage a blog focused on Alexandria's cemeteries, where the many souls buried across the city are memorialized. I am also an active Board Member of the Alexandria Historical Society and the Lee-Fendall House Museum.

Whether you are a resident or a visitor to the area, I invite you to explore Alexandria's rich history by joining one of my cemetery or battlefield tours, reading my blog, or connecting with me on social media. It is my sincere pleasure to bring the city's captivating past to life and serve my community meaningfully.

3 replies on “Discover the Fascinating History of Louis Cazenove and Harriot E. Tuberville Stuart at the Lee-Fendall House”

Hi David One point about Harriot Cazenove when she leaves LFH she has a house built near VA Theological Seminary before she goes to Chantilly where her mother resides. It is 616 Ft. Williams Pkwy and resembles LFH

Russell – Thank you for the comment. I knew that Harriot left LFH after Louis’s death (she kept it until 1870) and moved elsewhere, but I didn’t know the exact location—many Thanks.

Hi David One point about Harriot Cazenove when she leaves LFH she has a house built near VA Theological Seminary before she goes to Chantilly where her mother resides. It is 616 Ft. Williams Pkwy and resembles LFH.

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