• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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.



Arlington 19th [1861 February]


with a sad heavy heart my dear child I write for the prospects before us are sad indeed & as I think both parties are in the wrong in this fratricidal war there is nothing comforting even in the hope that God may prosper the right for I see no right in the matter. We can only pray that in his mercy he will spare us. I send you your bonnet & a spencer which Miss Helen cut out for you, she says they are much more fashionable than the Zouave’s. It is to be washed with the Quilling on tho’ you may not need to have it washed before you come home I hope my dear child you will not be waiting for any thing that you can do without you have clothes to last you till you come home all send much love

Ever your affectionate


M C Lee  


I saw Selina[1] today in Alexa she gave a very good account of your Tom committed a great theft the other day, ate up nearly a whole shad that I had for dinner. I am afraid he is losing his good character, Agnes has I suppose written you all the political news, Mical[2] is waiting so adieu

yr fond Mother

M C Lee

Mical took your bonnet over to Mrs Barnes this morning but [letter ends]




Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 275, Section 15, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 May 26   


[1] Selina Grey, a slave who lived at Arlington.

[2] Mical, another Lee family slave at Arlington.

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