The tenth son of Betty and Fielding Lewis, Robert Lewis was also George Washington's nephew and served as his secretary between 1789 to 1791. During this time period Lewis escorted his aunt, Martha Washington, and her grandchildren from Mount Vernon to the presidential mansion in New York. Lewis, however, was paid less than any of Washington's other secretaries, whose salaries were twice as high.
Lewis also served as a temporary manager at Mount Vernon from 1790-1792, during the illness of his cousin, George Augustine Washington. At the end of Lewis' term at Mount Vernon, George Washington placed Lewis in charge of managing his lands in western Virginia. In 1793, Washington gave Lewis a plot of inherited land in Stafford County, and provided a larger piece of inherited land in 1796 in Fauquier County. Later in life, Lewis was elected several times to the office of mayor in Fredericksburg, Virginia.1