Lessons for Children
The Lee daughters kept their trunks and possessions in this room. Continuing a tradition begun by her grandmother, Mary Fitzhugh Custis, Agnes Lee also taught enslaved children how to read and write here. Her cousin, Martha “Markie” Williams, continued the lessons when Agnes was away.
“I am busy now teaching Marcelina before breakfast & Emma afterwards—besides there are my Sunday scholars so I am both pupil & Mistress”–Agnes Lee, May 20, 1855
Agnes Lee was the fifth child of Robert and Mary Lee. During the 1850s, she kept a diary of life at Arlington that provides a glimpse into the lifestyles of the Virginia elite.