• The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia

The Lee Family Digital Archive is the largest online source for primary source materials concerning the Lee family of Virginia. It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online. We are always looking for new letters, diaries, and books to add to our website. Do you have a rare item that you would like to donate or share with us? If so, please contact our editor, Colin Woodward, at  (804) 493-1940, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



21st Dec. White House [1861]

Mamma says she has left a little space for me to write dear Mildred, how I wish you could spend your Christmas with us. I have not seen you for a whole year now. but the next best thing to do is to write & you must write to me soon. I do not remember whether you owe me a letter or not. We have just returned from a shopping expedition to Richmond, but goods are so high & scarce, it is very fatiguing. I saw both Hetty Carey & Miss Jean but I am afraid Custis is not very attentive. You asked Mamma about your hair, I would not have it cut off unless it is really very thin & still coming out. Mine is delightfully comfortable & everyone except Mamma thinks it  very becoming. It has stopped coming out entirely. It ought to be cut by some one that knows how to do it, not too short & as yours curls so much it would look very well. Rosalie Stuart cut mine & it waves all around my head. If it is  really very  thin & still coming out I have no doubt it would do it good. If you do wash it with whiskey just afterwards or something to keep you from taking cold and before you are eighteen you ought to have a fine suit again.

We were very pleasantly surprised by Rob’s arrival just now, he is very well, send you much love & says he will write to you very soon.

The baby is getting remarkably sweet & fascinating. You must give much love to them all at Annfield for me & to Mary Page if you see her. “No more at present” as Marceline would say.

Your sister



Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 408, Section 20, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Gibson, 2017 July 13

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