Thomas Fairfax, 9th Lord Fairfax of Cameron

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The Lord Fairfax of Cameron
9th Lord Fairfax of Cameron
Known forPlantation owner
Parents Bryan Fairfax, 8th Lord Fairfax of Cameron
Elizabeth Cary

Thomas Fairfax, 9th Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1762–1846), was an American born Scottish peer, who along with his father, on 11 December 1799, was among the last guests at Mount Vernon before Washington died. [1]


Early life and family

Thomas Fairfax was born in 1762. He was the son of Bryan Fairfax, 8th Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1736–1802) and his wife, Elizabeth Cary, daughter of Colonel Wilson Cary and Sarah Cary. His brother was Ferdinando Fairfax (1766–1820), [2] whose godparents were George Washington and Martha Washington. [3]


In 1802, he succeeded his father to the title of Lord Fairfax of Cameron after his father's death. He lived the life of a country squire overseeing his 40,000 acres (160 km2), lived at Belvoir, Ash Grove, and Vaucluse, where he died.

Personal life

He married three times: Mary Aylett, Laura Washington, Margaret Herbert. Fairfax birthed children with Mary Aylett, a Native Indian woman. He had seven children by his third wife Margaret: [4]

He maintained a winter home at 607 Cameron Street, Alexandria, Virginia, which he built in 1816. [5]

Thomas Fairfax was a follower of Swedenborg. Because of these religious beliefs, he manumitted his slaves (including the great-great-great grandfather of Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax [6] ), some of whom he taught a trade and sent to Liberia. [7] This is consistent with the thinking of the American Colonization Society.


His grandson, Charles Snowdown Fairfax, 10th Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1829–1869), succeeded him as the 10th Lord Fairfax of Cameron as Fairfax's eldest son, his father, predeceased him. Another grandson, John Fairfax, 11th Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1830–1900), a physician, became the 11th Lord Fairfax of Cameron as his brother Charles died without issue. His granddaughter was the writer Constance Cary (1843–1920). [2]

Thomas Fairfax was referenced by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on rap musician Logic's 2017 album Everybody on the song "Waiting Room." [8]

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  1. "Mount Vernon - The Year 1799". Old and Sold Antiques Digest. 1925.
  2. 1 2 3 du Bellet, Louise Pecquet (1907). "Some Prominent Virginia Families". Bell company: 176. bryan fairfax.{{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. Great Falls Historical Society (January 2009). "The Fascinating Story of Towlston Grange". Great Falls Historical Society. Archived from the original on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2009.
  5. 607 Cameron Street [ permanent dead link ]
  6. "Poised to make history, Justin Fairfax got a powerful reminder of his own heritage". The Washington Post . Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  7. Constance Cary Harrison, Refugitta of Richmond Gail Bowman Master's Thesis
  8. Logic – Waiting Room , retrieved 7 May 2017
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by Lord Fairfax of Cameron
Succeeded by