Foley, Washington Green Lee (1780–1874)

By: Paul G. Boethel

Type: Biography

Published: January 1, 1995


Washington Foley, Lavaca County pioneer, immigrated to Texas in 1838 with his wife, Sarah, two sons, a daughter, and a large number of slaves. He established a plantation at a site on Nixon Creek in Colorado County (now in Lavaca County). The mill, gin, blacksmith shop, and cluster of slave huts were listed on Ferdinand von Roemer's map of Texas as Foley's Settlement and were described by William Bollaert in 1843 as "a very fine settlement and good cotton and corn plantation." Foley was wealthy and made extensive loans to settlers and merchants in the area, including one for $1,000 to Gail Borden to finance his "meat biscuit." In 1851, on the tax roll for Lavaca County, Foley is listed as owning ninety-five slaves and over 12,000 acres. He had five sons and two daughters. Sarah Foley died in 1863; W. G. L. Foley died on January 23, 1874. His funeral was attended by seventy of his former slaves.

Paul C. Boethel, Colonel Amasa Turner, the Gentleman from Lavaca, and Other Captains at San Jacinto (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1963). Paul C. Boethel, Ole Foley: The Story of W. G. L. Foley (Houston: Armstrong, 1981). W. Eugene Hollon and Ruth L. Butler, eds., William Bollaert's Texas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1956).

Categories:

  • Agriculture
  • Plantation Owners

Time Periods:

  • Antebellum Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Paul G. Boethel, “Foley, Washington Green Lee,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 19, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/foley-washington-green-lee.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995

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