• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 us about how you can contribute to this historic project.



The White House



I always think of myself as a rediscoverer of Stratford. Probably there were many others who, like myself, stumbled upon the Stratford of twenty years ago. I knew of its existence, of course, but not its precise location. When, therefore, a party of us who were serving in the Wilson administration landed from the small presidential yacht Sylph at an apparently uninhabited section of the lower Potomac and Stratford appeared before us as we strolled inland, we felt the thrill of a Balboa upon a peak of Darien. The amazing dignity of the great house, of the outbuildings and barns, transcended the want of repair and the lack of accessibility. Many times after that I returned to visit Doctor Stuart and to wander with him through the rooms and then up to the roof to see if aught remained of the original glimpse of the Potomac.

It is right and fitting that Stratford is being made once more a shrine to which the lovers of the history of our land can come from every part of the nation. It is a shrine dedicated to a great American family and especially to the memory of that very great gentleman, Robert E. Lee. It is equally a permanent memorial to a brave, young civilization for which modern America will always be grateful.


Franklin D. Roosevelt



Source: Stratford Hall archives

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2021 September 27

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