The Questionable Romance of Robert Mayo

By Caitlin Connelly Scandal arrived at Stratford Hall in 1820. The owner of the plantation was Henry Lee IV, eldest son of “Light Horse Harry” Lee and half-brother of Robert E. Lee. In 1817 Henry married his wealthy neighbor Anne Robinson McCarty, and the next year she gave birth to a daughter, Margaret. Sadly, Margaret died at two years old …

When Was Robert E. Lee Born?

Every serious student of Robert E. Lee knows that the general was born on January 19, 1807, right? Or was he? Check out Robert E. Lee’s entry at the Encyclopedia Virginia and you will find that the general’s birth date is given as “ca. 1806.” According to Elizabeth Pryor, who wrote the article, “Lee’s writings indicate he may have been …

Thomas Lee’s Vision for Virginia

Where were you born?  A simple question with many different answers, but, if Thomas Lee had had his way, many more of us would be answering “ Virginia.” Thomas Lee, President of Virginia (yes, that’s what he called himself),  reported to the British Lords of Trade on September 29, 1750: Since I have had the Honour to serve His Majesty …

The Crooked Paths of Duplicity & Treachery

Does anyone think the current number of Congressional investigations of scandal is unprecedented? Or that “pleading the Fifth” to avoid self-incrimination in a Congressional hearing is a recent phenomenon? Look no further than the Lee-Deane affair during the American Revolution for one of the best examples of what can happen during fact-finding investigations by Congress. Arthur Lee, the youngest son …

Sharks in the Potomac?!

Well…not anymore. My name is Beth and I’m the Assistant to the Executive Director and I’ve been at Stratford Hall for two-and-a-half years. One afternoon, not long after I began working here, a co-worker of mine asked me if I wanted to go down to the beach and search for shark teeth. This small excursion was the beginning of an …

All’s Fair in Love and War…

Or is it? At least Henry Lee IV of Stratford thought so in 1815. I am currently working on cataloging our files of photocopies and transcripts of Lee-related documents owned by other libraries and museums. The first mention that Henry Lee IV (only surviving son of “Light Horse Harry” Lee and his first wife Matilda) was seriously courting someone before …

A Learning Experience

When I first started working in the Visitor Center I was amazed at how many visitors were descendants of the Lees. We get several folks each month who are somehow related to this great family. Once in a while guests with other ties to Stratford will come to visit. The story of Richard Mynatt is a great example. Some members …