Dower Play / Power Play
Camille Wells


I am most grateful to Nat Alcock, Turk McCleskey, and Fraser Neirnan, who thoughtfully commented on drafts of this chapter. Hal Sharp was an extraordinary research assistant. Allan Brown, Ray Cannetti, Edward Chappell, and Jeffrey Plank contributed to this piece in the form of agreeable and perceptive on-site conversations about the construction and orientation of Menokin. Research fellowships at the Virginia Historical Society and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities provided critical and generous support.

1. Stephen R. Potter, Commoners, Tribute, and Chiefs: The Development of Algonquian Culture in the Potomac Valley (Charlottesville: Univ. Press of Virginia, 1993), 14–20, 27–42; Helen C. Rountree, The Powhatan Indians of Virginia: Their Traditional Culture (Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1989), 32–78.

2. Camille Wells, “The Planter’s Prospect: Houses, Outbuildings, and Rural Landscapes in Eighteenth-Century Virginia,” Winterthur Portfolio 28 (1993): 28.

3. In 1774 Philip Fithian visited John Tayloe’s Mount Airy, where he remarked, “From this house there is a good prospect of the River Rapahannock [sic],” which is about three miles away. “We can also from the chambers easily see the town Hobbes-Hole [sic] & the ships which lie there.” Hobbs Hole, now known as Tappahannock, is four and a half miles from Mount Airy. Today, mature trees completely obscure this vista. Hunter Dickinson Parish, ed., Journal and Letters of Philip Vickers Fithian, 1773–1774: A Plantation Tutor of the Old Dominion (Williamsburg: Colonial Williamsburg, 1965), 95.

4. Thomas Beale II, whose father was a member of the colony’s council of state, patented 929 acres of land “on Rappahannock Creek near the head” on May 28, 1673, and named it Chestnut Hill. Virginia Land Office Patent Book 6:24, Public Records Division, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va.; William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large: Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia . . . (Richmond, 1819–23; reprint, Charlottesville: Univ. Press of Virginia, 1969), 2:320; Old Rappahannock County Record Book 1686–92, Public Records Division, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va.; Aug. 7, 1689, p. 126. The plantation remained in the hands of Beale’s male descendants through the first quarter of the nineteenth century. A room-by-room inventory of the house, which stood at Chestnut Hill in 1822, indicates that it had a two-room plan with an enclosed porch or “portico” instead of a first-floor passage. Inventory of George Beak, taken Nov. 4, 1822, proved Dec. 2, 1822, Richmond County Will Book 10:11–14, Richmond County Clerk’s Office, Warsaw, Va. This reference to a lobby entrance, combined with the very early style of woodwork and hardware salvaged from the house before it was demolished, suggests that it was built no later than 1725. Thus the wealthy Beale family apparently remained content with—perhaps even proud of—their relatively small and old-fashioned house throughout the eighteenth century. Notes from site visits by the author to the house at Chestnut Hill built in about 1842 and incorporating components of the colonial house, May 10, 1989, June 29, 1989, and June 26, 1990.

5. “Fauntleroy’s” dwelling plantation is marked as located at the confluence of Rappahannock Creek and Rappahannock River on Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson, A Map of the Most Inhabited Part of Virginia . . . (London, 1751), Library of Congress. The diversity of agricultural and commercial buildings at Fauntleroy’s site is suggested in Inventory of Moore Fauntleroy, recorded Apr. 7, 1740, Richmond County Will Book 5:356–61, and Inventory of Moore Fauntleroy, completed Feb. 7, 1791, Richmond County Will Book 8:116—24.

6. William M. S. Rasmussen, “Sabine Hall: A Classical Villa in Virginia,” Journal of the Society ofArchitectural Historians 39 (1980): 286–96.

7. Edward Chappell, “Menokin: Prospect, Orientation, and Outside Finish,” Menokin Afield 2 (1999): 1–3.

8. John Stephens first patented a thousand acres on “Manakin Creek” on March 13, 1658. Virginia Land Office Patent Book 4:303, Public Records Division, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. The tract passed undiminished, and apparently always known as “Menokin,” through several owners until 1751, when John Tayloe II purchased it from the Ludwells. This deed, recorded in and subsequently lost among the papers of the Virginia General Court, is referenced in a subsequent transaction. Tayloe to Lee Deed of Gift, Richmond County Deed Book 14:501–2.

9. “A List of Lands belonging to the Hon’ble. John Tayloe in the Northern Neck,” Tayloe Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond (hereafter cited as Tayloe Family Papers). The management of Menokin as a Tayloe quarter from 1751 until 1769 is dear from notations made in the Daybook of John Tayloe II, which was kept on blank pages of the Accounts and Letter Book of Stephen Loyde, Tayloe Family Papers. As a plantation lying near the periphery of Tayloe’s domain, Menokin’s woods and waters also welcomed gentlemanly recreation. In 1766, Robert Worrneley Carter wrote that he “went to hunting at Manokin with Coll. Tayloe & Mr. Ball.” Entry for Jan. 31, 1766, Robert Wormeley Carter Diary, Swem Library, College of William and Mary (hereafter cited as Carter Diary).

10. For a thorough account of John Tayloe’s wealth-generating enterprises, see Laura Croghan Kamoie, “Three Generations of Planter-Businessmen: The Tayloes in Virginia, 1710–1830” (Ph.D. diss., College of William and Mary, 1999), 50–142. The rise of the Tayloe family is also treated in “Resignation of John Tayloe from the Council,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 17 (1909): 369–75, and in Richard S. Dunn, “A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life at Mesopotamia in Jamaica and Mount Airy in Virginia, 1799–1828,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 34 (1977): 33.

11. The characterization of Tayloe’s house-building plans as “daring” is in Edmund Jenings to John Tayloe II, June 9, 1754, Edmund Jenings Letter Book, Virginia Historical Society. Notations among Tayloe’s accounts make it clear that the actual building began in October 1760 and continued through late 1764. Thus Mount Airy was almost certainly complete by 1765. Daybook of John Tayloe II.

12. Fairfax Harrison, “The Equine F.F.V.s: A Study of the Evidence for the English Horses Imported into Virginia before the Revolution, “ Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 35 (1927): 345–46; T. H. Breen, “Horses and Gentlemen: The Cultural Significance of Gambling among the Gentry of Virginia,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 34 (1977): 239–57.

13. “John Tayloe II and His Children,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 25 (1917): 191–92.

14. In Williamsburg for the October session of the General Court, John Tayloe II wrote to Landon Carter of Sabine Hall, requesting that his neighbor tend to some plantation matters at Mount Airy. He closed by asking Carter to give “my love to my dear girls.” Tayloe to Carter, Oct. 16, 1762, Carter Family Papers, Albert H. Small Special Collections Library, Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va. Ten years later Tayloe wrote a letter to Ralph Wormeley of Rosegill in which referred to his daughter Anne as “Nannie” and noted the tenderness he felt for his daughters. Tayloe to Wormeley, Aug. 4, 1772, cited in Winslow Marston, ed., In Memoriam: Benjamin Ogle Tayloe (Washington, D.C., 1872), 346–47.

15. Rebecca Plater Tayloe was then ill after the birth of their daughter Sarah, and Tayloe obviously feared she would bear no more children. Letter of John Tayloe II to William Byrd III, Apr. 4, 1758, William Byrd Papers, Virginia Historical Society.

16. Jean B. Russo, “A Model Planter: Edward Lloyd IV of Maryland, 1770–1796,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 49 (1992): 62–88.

17. Kathleen M. Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs; Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1996), 247–60; Barbara Burlison Mooney, “‘True Worth Is Highly Shown in Liveing Well’: Architectural Patronage in Eighteenth-Century Virginia” (Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1991), 158–66.

18. To cite but three of many colonial Virginia examples, the union of William Randolph and Mary Isham produced, among ten children, a son named Isham Randolph (1687–1742). Nathaniel Burwell honored his wife Elizabeth Carter the dowry she brought from her father Robert Carter by naming his second son Carter Burwell (1716–1755). Matthew Page and Mary Mann christened their first-born son Mann Page (1691–1730). Gerald S. Cowden, “The Randolphs of Turkey Island: A Prosopography of the First Three Generations, 1650–1806” (Ph.D. diss., College of William and Mary, 1977), 50, 353; Florence Tyler Carlton, A Genealogy of the Known Descendants of Robert Carter of Corotoman (Irvington, Va.: Foundation for Historic Christ Church, 1982), 128; Rachel Most, ed., Discovering Rosewell: An Historical, Architectural, and Archaeological Overview (Gloucester, Va.: Rosewell Foundation, 1994), 1–3.

19. John Tayloe III and a twin brother were born on September 2, 1771. Only John survived the first few days. Jane Tayloe followed three years later. This last babe brought to nine the total number of children whom John Tayloe II and Rebecca Plater Tayloe raised to maturity. “John Tayloe II and His Children,” 191–92. A. G. Grinnan, “Marriage Records from Ralph Wormeley’s Bible,” William and Mary Quarterly, 1st ser., 6 (1898): 153–55.

20. Will of John Tayloe II, written May 22, 1773, proved July 5, 1779, Richmond County Will Book 7:354–58.

21. Will of John Tayloe II, 354–58.

22. For particulars of the Lee family of Stratford, see Paul C. Nagel, Lees of Virginia: Seven Generations of an American Family (New York and London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1990).

23. Will of Thomas Lee, written Feb. 22, 1750, proved July 30, 1751, Westmoreland County Deed and Will Book 11:311–15, Westmoreland County Clerk’s Office, Montross, Va. Thomas Lee was a founder of the Ohio Company, the most important attempt by colonial Virginians to press their governance beyond the Allegheny Mountains and into the Ohio Valley. Alfred P. James, The Ohio Company: Its Inner History (Pittsburgh: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 1959); Marc Egnal, A Mighty Empire: The Origins of the American Revolution (Ithaca: Comell Univ. Press, 1988), 215–26.

24. William Lee complained of “the small pittance which my father left me” in a letter to his eldest brother Philip Ludwell Lee dated October 31, 1770. Edmund Jennings Lee Papers, Virginia Historical Society. Arthur Lee exclaimed, “Good God what trouble does the not having been born to a fortune, give me” in a letter written on October 20, 1770, to his elder brother Richard Henry Lee. Lee Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society.

25. Thomas Ludwell Lee settled on the easternmost edge of his inherited land in Stafford County. In order to stay in the neighborhood of his birth, Richard Henry Lee settled tenants on all of his back country lands in Fauquier County. For a dwelling plantation, he leased five hundred acres in Westmoreland County from his eldest brother Philip Ludwell Lee, the fortunate eldest son who had inherited Stratford. The two youngest sons, William and Arthur Lee, both left for England, where they remained until after the Revolution. Nagel, Lees of Virginia, 65–97.

26. Lee family letters often call or refer to Francis Lightfoot Lee as “Loudoun Lee,” even after he had moved back to the Tidewater region. For numerous examples, see Worthington C. Ford, ed., Letters of William Lee . . .1766–1783 (Brooklyn: 1891).

27. In 1765 there were 872 heads of household in Loudoun County, out of whom 267, or 30.6 percent, owned land. Of this group, 164, or 61.4 percent, owned less than four hundred acres. Francis Lightfoot Lee was not only the tenth largest landholder in Loudoun County, he also figured among the wealthiest 4.5 percent of the landholding population. Furthermore, he was better off, in terms of land and labor, than about 99 percent of all resident heads of household. These figures are calculated from information in Marty Hyatt and Craig Robert Scott, Loudoun County, Virginia Tithables (Athens, Ga.: privately printed, 1995), 1:125–66.

28. Lee’s role as a trustee for Leesburg is recorded in Hening, Statutes at Large 7:284–86. Lee’s first election to the House of Burgesses in 1758 is confirmed in a letter of John Kirkpatrick in Alexandria to George Washington, July 21, 1758, cited in W. W. Abbot, ed., The Papers of George Washington Colonial Series (Charlottesville: Univ. Press of Virginia, 1988), 5:315. Lee’s appointment as county magistrate on October 23, 1764, is recorded in “Justices of the Peace in ColonialVirginia, 1757–1786,” Bulletin of the Virginia State Library 14 (1921): 57. Lee’s membership and rank in the Loudoun County militia was confirmed in 1764 when Landon Carter referred to him as “Colo. FLL.” Jack P. Greene, ed., The Diary of Colonel Landon Carter of Sabine Hall, 1752–1778 (Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, 1965), 1:255.

29. Sixty-three slaves is a minimum number; they represent those listed in two of the leases Lee later made for his Loudoun County land. Other slaves may have been hired out without written notation. Still others—probably including the most skilled individuals—likely traveled east with Lee to settle at Menokin. Lease of Lee to Cleveland, Dec. 1, 1772, Loudoun County Deed Book 1:183–89; Lease of Lee to Humphries, Dec. 3, 1772, Loudoun County Deed Book 1:189–94, Loudoun County Clerk’s Office, Leesburg, Va.

30. This 1765 purchase of a newly surveyed lot bounded by Wolf and Pitt Streets in Alexandria is confirmed in Lee’s 1795 conveyance of the lot to Bushrod Washington. Richmond County Deed Book 17:127.

31. An English farmer intent on settling in Virginia noted the importance of Alexandria’s role as a point of distribution for “backcountry” wheat and flour when he visited there in 1774. Nicholas Cresswell, The Journal of Nicholas Cresswell 1774–1777 (New York: Dial Press, 1924), 27.

32. Cited in Alonzo Thomas Dill, Francis Lightfoot Lee: The Incomparable Signer (Williamsburg: Virginia Independence Bicentennial Commission, 1977), 15.

33. It is significant that the other seven Tayloe daughters married eldest or only sons who had inherited or expected to inherit notable Tidewater estates. “Resignation of John Tayloe,” 374–74.

34. An analysis of all inventories recorded in Loudoun County between 1766 and 1771 indicates that householders had little time and few funds to devote to domestic comforts. Of seventy-two decedents, total wealth in personal property ranged from a low of 10 shillings to a high of £1,431; the median estate value was about £86, and 80.6 percent of all personal estates were worth less than £200 That none of the inventories mention room names implies the appraisers were doing their work in houses with only one room or with poor differentiation of rooms by function. A comparison of numbers of beds (a rough indicator of household population), listed in these inventories with the occurrence of hearth tools, conveys something of the materially improvisational quality of life in the Loudoun County at this time. Twenty-seven (37.5 percent) of the decedents owned only one bed; the rest owned more—up to eleven in one case. Yet forty-eight of the inventories (66.7 percent) list no hearth tools of any sort. This suggests that any fireplaces available to the residents of two-thirds of Loudoun County’s houses had to be tended with implements, such as hoes, flesh forks, or cooking spoons, intended for other purposes. Among the remaining twenty-four inventoried house holds, nine had only one hearth tool—usually a set of tongs. Nine others had two implements—most frequently a shovel and tongs. Four households had three—a poker, a set of andirons, a second shovel or-set of tongs. There remained only two households with four or more tools for tending a fire. Of all seventy-two inventories, only three, or 4.2 percent, included “andirons, shovel, and tongs,” the complement of fireplace equipage which was standard among most inventoried households in the Tidewater region by the middle of the eighteenth century.

35. John Tayloe II was taxed for 8,942 acres of land in Loudoun County in 1765. Hyatt and Scott, Loudoun County, Virginia Tithables 1:166. The Tidewater gentry’s distaste for the perceived or imagined roughness of life in Piedmont Virginia persisted well beyond John Tayloe’s day. In 1802 John James Maund of Westmoreland County wrote to his brother-in-law George Carter of Loudoun County that his reason for visiting was “from affection,” otherwise he would have “nothing to do with the stumps, the sticks, stones and blocks of your county.” “Letters of John James Maund,” William and Mary Quarterly, 1st ser., 20 (1912): 280. In that same year, Henry St. George Tucker acknowledged to John Hartwell Cocke that Virginia lands west of the Fall Line “surpass in fertility the low, level, dry lands” of the Tidewater region, but living so far inland cost him “the pleasures of society.” Tucker to Cocke, Aug. 12, 1802, Cocke Family Papers, Albert H. Small Special Collections Library, Univ. of Virginia.

36. Remarks on Frank Lee’s sensible, mild, and responsible character appear in Dill, Francis Lighfoot Lee, 1, 5, 18, 22.

37. Between 1771 and 1774, Francis Lightfoot Lee leased most of his Loudoun County land to tenants. Loudoun County Deed Book H:182–90; Deed Book I:183–94; Deed Book K:311–20, 366–70; Deed Book L:30–35,108–13; Deed Book M:21–26.

38. John Pendleton Kennedy, ed., Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1766–1769 (Richmond, 1906), 135, 228–29; Diary of Colonel Landon Carter 2:1008–9; Francis Lightfoot Lee became a magistrate of Richmond County and a member of its quorum on May 11, 1770. “Justices of the Peace in Colonial Virginia,” 100.

39. The existence as early as 1769 of this deed of gift for Menokin is inferred from the reference Tayloe made to it in his will of 1773. Tayloe wrote the deed of gift that was at last recorded on October 5, 1778, but twelve days earlier. Tayloe to Lee, Richmond County Deed Book 14:501–2; Will of John Tayloe 11, 354–58; Daybook of John Tayloe II, Tayloe Family Papers.

40. Tayioe to Lee Deed of Gift, Richmond County Deed Book 14:501–2.

41. Marylynn E. Salmon, Women and the Law of Property in Early America (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1986), 55; Linda E. Speth, “More than Her ‘Thirds’: Wives and Widows in Colonial Virginia,” Women and History 4 (1982): 5–41.

42. Lee to Lee Deed of Trust, Oct. 5, 1778, Richmond County Deed Book 14:502.

43. The most perceptive treatments of the sort of patriarchy peculiar to colonial Virginia include Rhys Isaac, The Transformation of Virginia, 1740–1790 (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1982), 322–57; Rhys Isaac, “Communication and Control: Authority Metaphors and Power Contests on Colonel Landon Carter’s Virginia Plantation, 1752–1778,” in Rites of Power: Symbolism, Ritual, and Politics since the Middle Ages, ed. Sean Wilentz (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1985), 275–302; Dell Upton, Holy Things and Profane: Anglican Parish Churches in Colonial Virginia (New York: Architectural History Foundation and MIT Press, 1986), 101–96; Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs, 137-86,247–83.

44. The most recent of many architectural histories which identify the source for Mount Airy as plate 58 in James Gibbs’s Book of Architecture, published in London in 1828, is Charles E. Brownell, Calder Loth, William M. S. Rasmussen, and Richard Guy Wilson, The Making of Virginia Architecture (Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1992), 25.

45. For the continued prevalence of small houses built entirely of wood in eighteenth-century Tidewater Virginia, see Wells, “Planter’s Prospect,” 5–12.

46. To supervise the masonry construction and rough carpentry at Mount Airy, John Tayloe II hired William Waite, who came down from Alexandria for the duration of the project. For the finer carpentry and joinery, he hired William Buckland, who in accepting the job, moved from Fairfax County and stayed in Richmond County until 1771. Daybook of John Tayloe II. Rosamond Randall Beirne, and John H. Scarff, William Buckland, 1734–1774; Architect of Virginia and Maryland (Annapolis, Md.: Gunston Hall Board of Regents and Hamrnond-Harwood House Association, 1958), 34–48.

47. Though some architectural historians entertain the possibility that John Tayloe III originally intended to stucco Mount Airy, the precision of the brown sandstone ashlar and the quality of its mortar joints testify to his intention that the house retain its strong polychromy. Chisel stippling on the equally precise sandstone ashlar of the two formal offices do not suggest an anticipated coating of stucco for these secondary buildings: the pattern of stippling is so precise and controlled that it is clear the mason involved was creating a “pecked” finish intended to distinguish the appearance—and status—of the flankers from those of the main house. For Aquia stone, see “Freestone from Aquia,” Virginia Cavalcade 9 (Summer 1959): 35–40.

48. Dell Upton has described how the eighteenth-century land approach to Mount Airy meanders in a way which visitors a sequence of momentary and anticipatory glimpses of the house from different perspectives before the full impact of arrival could occur. Upton, “White and Black Landscapes in Eighteenth-Century Virginia,” Places: A Quarterly Journal of Environmental Design 2 (1985): 59–72.

49. Landon Carter the younger settled at Bull Hall on Bull Run Creek in Fairfax County. John Carter settled at Sudley in Prince William County. Diary of Colonel Landon Carter 1:130–32.

50. Entry for Aug. 25, 1766, Carter Diary. Young Carter married Winifred Travers Beale of Chestnut Hill. Their children—Landon, George, Elizabeth, Frances, and Ann Beale Carter—apparently were all born and complicating domestic affairs at Sabine Hall by 1769. Louis Morton, “Robert Wormeley Carter of Sabine Hall: Notes on the Life of a Virginia Planter,” Journal of Southern History 12 (1946): 345–65; Carlton, Genealogy, 372–80.

51. Landon Carter’s diary contains accounts of fifty-four quarrels with his son Robert Wormeley Carter between 1764 and 1778. Most had to do with the younger man’s drinking, gambling, insolence, or ostensible idleness. Far more numerous than these narratives are the complaints about his son which the elder Carter scribbled in his diary. Diary of Colonel London Carter, vols. 1–2, numerous entries; Daniel Blake Smith, Inside the Great House: Planter Family Life in Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake Society (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1980), 192–94.

52. Diary of Colonel Landon Carter, 1:386–87.

53. The only outbuilding which survived at Menokin long enough to attract the attention of a photographer was the stone office located to the northeast of the main house. Archaeological testing has turned up signs of numerous other buildings close the house, and remnants of the excavated terraces are still visible. William F. Rust, III, “A National Register Assessment of Menokin,” unpublished report prepared for the National Park Service, 1985. That Lee had a barn at Menokin is confirmed by a 1780 entry Rebecca Plater Tayloe’s Account Book: Lee gave her nearly three thousand nails “in leu of those he had for his barn.” Tayloe Family Papers. The range of service and agricultural buildings which Lee built at Menokin is based on conclusions in Wells, “Planter’s Prospect,” 1–31.

54. Francis Lightfoot Lee to William Lee, June 7, 1771, Robert E. Lee Papers, Perkins Library Special Collections, Duke Univ., Durham, N.C. Lee’s use of the phrase “under my own vine” is drawn from the Old Testament. Under the reign of Solomon, “Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree” (I Kings 425). The reference was popular in eighteenth-century Virginia. Among others, both William Byrd II and George Washington employed it. William Byrd II to Charles, Earl of Orrey, July 5, 1726, in Marion Tinling ed., The Correspondence of the Three William Byrds of Westover, Virginia 1684–1776 (Charlottesville: Univ. Press of Virginia), 1:355–56; George Washington to George Mason, Mar. 27, 1779, in Robert A. Rutland, ed., The Papers of George Mason, 1725–1792 (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1970), 2:493.

55. Evidence concerning the cutting date of Menokin’s structural wood is not conclusive, for the material has suffered the insults of long exposure to the weather. Undeteriorated bark edge survives on one sheltered roof strut, and dendrochronological analysis of that member determined that its last year of growth was 1772. Dendrochronological sampling and provisional dating of Menokin was completed between January and March 2001 by William J. Callahan Jr. and Edward R. Cook as part of a project, still underway, to dendrochronologically date a set of eighteenth-century Virginia houses. This project has been sheltered by the University of Virginia School of Architecture and supported by a grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Religious, Charitable, and Educational Fund.

56. The remarkable similarities between the woodwork at Grove Mount and Menokin were first observed by Grove Mount’s current owner. Martin Kirwan King, interview with author, July 13, 1988, Grove Mount, Richmond County, Va.

57. In the middle of the nineteenth century Menokin’s north entrance received the shelter of a roughly built porch. The outline of this porch is still imprinted on the facade where plaster was never applied. Thus the north side of the house, at least, was not stuccoed until some half-century after the Leek had died. Camille Wells, “A Tale of Two Houses: Menokin and Mount Airy,” Menokin Afield (Spring 2000): 1–4. Analysis of the plaster on all four elevations of the house confirm a consistency of composition in base, intermediate, and final coats of plaster for which only a single campaign of application can reasonably account. David S. Lane, “Examination of Menokin Exterior Plasters” (Charlottesville: Virginia Transportation Research Council, 2000), 1–2.

58. In 1775 Frank Lee took Rebecca Tayloe Lee with him to Philadelphia, and the couple remained entirely absent from Menokin, except for a five-month leave from Continental Congress, which extended from June to October 1778. Dill, Francis Lightfoot Lee, 45, 47–49. It was during this visit back to Virginia that Tayloe permitted the deed of gift for Menokin to become a matter of public record in Richmond County court. Francis Lightfoot Lee’s contributions to the revolutionary cause in Continental Congress were valued and valuable. The Philadelphia patriot Benjamin Rush wrote that he had an “acute and correct mind. He often opposed his brother [Richard Henry Lee] in a vote, but never spoke in Congress. I never knew him wrong eventually upon any question.” George W. Corner, ed., The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1948), 158.

59. In February 1776, Landon Carter noted that Frank Lee, then in Philadelphia, had written John Tayloe II on the matter of getting arms and powder from Europe. Diary of Colonel Landon Carter 2:989. Lee subsequently sent his father-in-law a “parcel” of copies of Tom Paine’s Common Sense to be distributed among their Northern Neck friends. Letter of Francis Lightfoot Lee to Landon Carter, Mar. 18, 1776, cited in John Hazelton, The Declaration of Independence: Its History (New York, 1906), 93–94.