ROBERT EDWARD LEE was born at Stratford, Westmoreland county, Virginia, on the 19th of January, 1807.

His father, General Henry Lee, had been a great chief in Washington’s army. They sometimes call him “Light-Horse Harry Lee.” While with Washington, he was ever in front of the foe, and his troopers were what they always should be—the eyes and ears of the army.

After the war he was Governor of Virginia, and then a member of Congress. It was he who said in a speech made before Congress after the death of Washington, that he was “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” He also said, “Virginia is my country; her will I obey, however sad the fate to which it may subject me.”

The long line of Lees may be traced back to Launcelot Lee, of Loudon, in France, who went with William the Conqueror upon his expedition to England; and when Harold had been slain upon the bloody field of Hastings, Launcelot was given by William the Conqueror an estate in Essex. From that time the name of Lee is ever an honorable one in the history of England.

In the time of the first Charles, Richard Lee came to the New World and found a home in Virginia. He was a man of good stature, sound sense, and kind heart. From him the noble stock of Virginia Lees began. He was the great-great-grandfather of Robert, who was much like him in many ways.

Robert’s mother was Anne Hill Carter, who came from one of the best families of Virginia. She was a good and noble woman, who lived only to train her children in the right way.

Stratford, the house in which Robert was born, is a fine old mansion, built in the shape of the letter H, and stands not far from the banks of the Potomac River and near the birthplace of Washington. Upon the roof were summer houses, where the band played, while the young folks walked in the grounds below, and enjoyed the cool air from the river and the sweet music of the band.