308 East 79th Street

28 Aug. 1936.


My dear Mr. Stone,

You ask for a history of the Lee Star. Here it is.

General Robert E. Lee was a next door neighbour of my grandmother Mrs. John S. Triplett on lower Franklin Street in Richmond, Va. & was a constant guest in her house. My mother Lizzie Campbell Triplett wished to have a button off Gen. Lee’s uniform after the Civil War was over, in 1865, & asked him for one. He told her he had more left, having given the last one to her sister Mary, afterwards Mrs. Philips Haxall of Richmond. But, he said, he would give her a star & therewith took his pen knife & ripped one off.

It was taken abroad, to Switzerland by her uncle & there set as you see it, with Gen. Lee’s autograph engraved on the back. The button was also set in this way, & is the property of my son, C. Frederick Houston, Jr.    

In several lives of Gen. Lee there is mention of the general visiting at Mrs. Triplett’s house, & his younger daughter Mildred Lee was one of my mother’s bridesmaids.

This is well authenticated, & has been told me many times by my mother, who only died a little over two years ago.

Very sincerely yours,

Elizabeth Price Hamilton




Source: Digital scan of original letter, Robert E. Lee Collection, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives & Rare Book Library, Emory University, Atlanta

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2019 January 15