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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Ravensworth Va:

22 July 1870

My dear Custis

                        I am much disappd at not being able to take the White House in any way to Lexington where I hoped to meet you, my farmer sons, my sweet daughter Tabb, and my Grd son all together, & to have been thereby in a measure rejuvenated. But I have taken fresh cold this hot weather which has revived my pains & I find it necessary to proceed quietly to Lexington. I am very sorry not to have been able to have taken advantage of this vacation to talk to you all once more, for I feel that my opportunities of enjoying your Company are turning daily more precarious. Though oftener with you than with the rest, we are both so engrossed that we can not exchange new ideas in hands & my principal pleasure is your proximity which I silently enjoy. Tell Fitz I shall rely upon him to send Tabb & her boy up to us if they give signs of indisposition. I hope the former is now well & is able to think of her Papa sometimes as he is always thinking of her. I find your Aunt M. well in General health, but moving about with difficulty which distresses me very much. Mrs. Dickens is here on a visit of some days & she has her neice Mrs. Goldsborough & her husband with her now. She was Miss Laird[1], the daughter of her sister Wilhelmine Goldsborough. If you come up this way you had better stop & see her. She speaks of your last visit with pleasure. Come out in the Strasburgh train, which leaves Alexa. at 11 am daily. I shall go to Lexington on the first opportunity to the R.R. I will tell you of what I have been able to accomplish in reference to the mill track & Arlington when we meet. It is not much but would take me too long to write. It is so hot that my ink will not flow & I am compelled to stop. Good bye. Love to all. Do not forget Sissus[2]

Your Affectionate

Father- RE Lee


Genl G. W. Custis Lee





Source: Digital scan of original document, Robert E. Lee Papers, 1749-1945, Rubenstein Library, Duke University

Transcribed by Daniel Shevalier 2018 June 15


[1] Refers to Martha Pearce Laird Goldsborough (1845-1915), daughter of Wilhelmina Elizabeth Cadwallader Goldsborough Laird (1814-1865). The family was close to the Lee’s despite being Maryland natives.

[2] Apparently referring to Cassius F. Lee, Jr., of Alexandria, Virginia. He lived from 1844-1892.

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