Events & Programs

  • Fungus Trek


    Join us on October 1, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., for a Fungus Trek with Ryan Mooney; lecture in duPont Library followed by site walk; $12 adults; $7 children (8-13) and free for FOS. Pre-registration required....

    October 1 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • Star Party at Stratford


    October 8 Star Party at Stratford. The Rappahannock Astronomy Club will offer FREE solar and night sky observation, weather permitting. Begins 6PM on the Oval and ends 11 PM....

    October 8 @ 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
  • Dining with the Lees: 19th-Century Dinner with Nancy Carter Crump


    Enjoy a 19th-century-inspired mid-day meal with Nancy Carter Crump on October 22, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Includes lecture on foodways and tours of the Great House and Old Kitchen, followed by a special multi-course menu adapted from historic recipes. $75 per person. Reservations required....

    October 22 @ 10:00 am - 2:30 pm

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If you have visited the Lee Family Digital Archive website ( you may have seen a portion of this portrait flash across the main page, and wondered 'who is that?' So, a bit more detail about this shadowy gent... ...

Cassius Francis Lee (1808-1890) By Augustin Amant Constant Fidèle Edouart (French, 1789–1861), America Pencil and ink on paper, dated 1843 Gift of William M. Boothe [2004.3.6] (Behind the Scenes) Cassius Francis Lee, who lived in Alexandria, Virginia, was a businessman and active Episcopal Church leader. This silhouette, along with other Lee family objects, were donated to our collection by a descendant in 2004. We don't yet know exactly when and where he sat (or stood!) for this silhouette. The art of tracing or cutting silhouettes was practiced by professionals and amateurs alike in the 18th and 19th centuries. Professional artists like Edouart were able to complete a silhouette in just a few minutes, often adding background detailing and other flourishes to their compositions. Silhouettes were referred to as 'shades' or 'profiles' in the period and consisted either of blackened cut paper mounted against a light background to show the positive (as in this example) or 'hollow-cut' white paper mounted on top of colored paper or fabric to show the negative image. 'Shades' could either be traced using a candle to cast a shadow or could be cut freehand with nothing more than a pair of scissors. For amateurs, the form of entertainment was popular from the late-18th to mid-19th century as a parlor activity. The Lee family and their contemporaries likely tried their hands at cutting silhouettes - in addition to offering an inexpensive and quick method of portraiture, the activity also helped build artistic skills and provided a pastime for quiet evenings among friends.

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For Banned Books Week, I identified more than a few books in the library collection that were banned in different places, in different times, and for very different reasons. Our banned books range from a two-volume first edition (1776) of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations to an 1885 edition of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. Smith's work was banned in the UK and France for criticizing mercantilism, and banned in communist nations for its capitalist content. Uncle Tom's Cabin was banned in the southern United States during the Civil War due to its anti-slavery content, and also in 1852, in Russia under the reign of Nicholas I due to the idea of equality it presented. ...

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