Support

Support the Arlington House Foundation (AHF) to help tell the story of historic Arlington and the people who lived and labored there.

Arlington House Foundation is raising money to fund the following projects:

Click on Table of Contents item to learn more.


Archival Document Identification and Repair of the Curatorial Building

The voluminous files, archives and library of the National Park Service contain countless documents, along with artifacts, relevant to the history, restoration and maintenance of Arlington House that have never been available to the public. These documents are poorly organized, lack adequate identification, have never been digitized in a way that is useful to researchers and are stored in a non-climate controlled curatorial building which has a leaky roof. Funds are sorely needed to digitize, protect and preserve these valuable historical documents and artifacts.

In sum, although David Rubenstein gave $12.5 Million for the restoration of Arlington House and outlying buildings, nothing was allocated to the repair and maintenance of the Curatorial Building where so much of the Arlington House archival materials are located. The Curatorial Building currently lacks proper air conditioning/humidification, electronic and digital research aids and a comfortable work environment for staff and researchers. This project will ensure that all Arlington House documents are properly identified, archived, and digitized and are made accessible to staff and researchers in a productive work environment for staff, historians, researchers, and the public.

Project Funding Needed: $45,000


Collecting, Organizing, Digitizing and Archiving the Research Papers of Elizabeth Brown Pryor

Elizabeth Brown Pryor, author of "Reading The Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters" (2007), was a leading scholar on Arlington House and Robert E. Lee. A Founding Member of AFH Board, her untimely death in 2015 was a significant loss to community of scholars focused on the American Civil War. By collecting, organizing, digitizing and archiving Pryor's research papers, historic documents and invaluable insights related to Robert E. Lee and the American Civil War can better be made accessible to researchers and the public. Below are links to notes and articles demonstrating Pryor's research skills and fidelity to voicing the truth of our nation's momentous historical past:

  1. Notes on the construction of Arlington House
  2. Notes on the Arlington House Furnishing Plan
  3. Notes on Mary Custis Lee from birth to late-adulthood
  4. Notes on Sydney Smith Lee's visit to Arlington House in late 1865 as recounted by Mary Custis Lee
  5. "Robert E. Lee's Lonely Struggle with Disunion," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 119, Number 3
  6. "Robert E. Lee and Slavery," Civil War Times, February, 2009 

Project Funding Needed: $10,000


Restoration of the Kitchen Garden

The "Kitchen Garden" located on the northwest side of the Mansion is the space where enslaved Africans toiled to produce food for the Custis and Lee families. By restoring this garden, we honor their lives and legacies while feeding the needy in nearby Arlington.

Project Funding Needed: $10,000


Maintenance of the Flower Garden and Restoration of the Gazebo

The Arlington Flower Garden was a great place of beauty and reflection during the plantation years. When Arlington National Cemetery was created during the Civil War, General Montgomery Meigs purposely placed the graves of Union officers surrounding the garden as a demonstration of federal control and a message to the Lees that they were no longer welcome in their old home. The garden has been restored but funding isn't available for its constant upkeep. This project will replant the garden with flowers, plants, and shrubbery similar to the plantings that existed in 1860, along with restoring the gazebo that graced the garden at the outbreak of the Civil War.

Project Funding Needed: $10,000


As each day passes, the work of Arlington House Foundation grows more vital. In addition to the above projects for which we seek funding, we will be raising money to complete the restoration of the historic frescoes in the mansion and on the facades of the enslaved quarters. We will be creating education programs for local students and will assist the National Park Service in any way that is needed. Please join us in preserving this historic property and its unique history.

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