Eliza Parke Custis Rogers (Law) (1797 - 1822)

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Death: Died
Managed by: Arik Vladimir Russell
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About Eliza Parke Custis Rogers (Law)

Thomas Law was born 23 October 1756 (some sources say 1759) in Cambridge, England into a cultured and wealthy family. His father, Right Reverend Edmund Law, was the Lord Bishop of Carlisle; brother Ewan served in India and was a member of Parliament from 1790-1802; brother Edward was Attorney General and Speaker of the House of Lords; brother John was a bishop; and brother George Henry was Bishop of Chester.

Little is known of Thomas Law's earliest years or of his educational background, but in 1773 at the age of seventeen he travelled to India in the capacity of writer, an office introductory to employment in the civil service of the East India Company. Here he served the usual term of the novice and passed through various grades of promotion until his 1783 appointment to the collectorship of the Bahar. Gya, the capital of Bahar, venerated as much by the Hindus as Mecca by the Muslims drew pilgrims from all parts of India. The high taxes, however, deterred them from fulfilling their religious exodus. Thomas Law, by modifying the tax structure and lowering taxes, increased the number of pilgrims travelling to Gya, thus increasing the revenues. For this reason he was given recognition by the Board of Control in London, England.

In 1788 Law submitted to the Board of Revenue in Bahar his plan for a mocurrery or fixed settlement of the land tax. This system, embodied in the Cornwallis settlement of 1789, insured the security of various lands in India. Ill health, however, obliged Law to return to England after a successful career in India.

While in England Law became a member of the Asiatic Society of Bengal and the Association for Preserving Liberty and Property. He also wrote numerous pamphlets on land usage and taxation in India. In 1794 Law left England and sailed to the United States after filing a suit for restitution against the East India Company who had seized one fifth of his fortune acquired in India to satisfy a claim against a paymaster for whom Law was surety.

Law arrived in New York but soon moved to Washington where in 1796 he married Elizabeth Parke Custis, granddaughter of Martha Custis Washington and step-granddaughter of George Washington. In 1797 a daughter, Eliza, was born. Law and his wife separated in 1804 and filed a bill for divorce in 1810. While living in India his mistress bore him three sons, John, George, and Edmund.

Law invested most of his savings in lots and houses in Washington. He distinguished himself by his efforts to establish a national currency, and in 1824 was a member of acommittee which presented a memorial to Congress on the subject. Around

1817, Law turned farmer and bought 243 acres of land near Washington called it Retreat. Here he learned farming techniques along with livestock management, and soon became president of the Agricultural Society of Prince George's County.

Throughout his life Thomas Law was an incessant writer. He wrote prodigiously on the scheme for a national currency and had papers published by the Columbian Institute and the National Intelligencer, many under the pseudonym of Homo.

Owing to failure of some of his investments, Law became comparatively poor in his later years although never insolvent. He died on 31 July 1834.

 
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Eliza Parke Custis Rogers's Timeline

1797
January 19, 1797
1817
April 5, 1817
Age 20
1818
January 27, 1818
Age 21
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
1822
August 9, 1822
Age 25
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