VA -- Arlington Natl Cemetery -- Robert E. Lee Memorial:
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ARLLEE_080927_002.JPG: These are the various hand-painted images above the doors in one of the outbuildings, the south slave quarters.
ARLLEE_080927_005.JPG: Selina Gray:
Selina Gray, the daughter of Leonard and Sallie Norris, was a second-generation Arlington slave. For a number of years, Selina was the personal maid of Mrs. Robert E. Lee. By 1861, Selina had become the head housekeeper at Arlington. When Mrs. Lee abandoned her home in mid-May 1861, she left the household keys, symbolizing authority, responsibility, and her trust in Selina Gray. Locked away inside Arlington were many of the "Washington treasures." These pieces were cherished family heirlooms that had once belonged to Mrs. Lee's great-grandmother, Martha Custis Washington and President George Washington.
The U.S. Army assumed control of Arlington on May 24, 1861. Later, U.S. Army officers occupied the house and looting began. When Selina discovered some of the treasures had been stolen, she confronted the soldiers and ordered them "never to touch any of Miss Mary's things." Selina alerted General Irvin McDowell, commander of the Union troops, to the importance of the Washington heirlooms. The remaining pieces were sent to the Patent Office for safekeeping. Through Selina's efforts, many of the Washington pieces were saved for posterity.
The Grays received their freedom in 1862 as specified in the 1857 will of George Washington Parke Custis, Mrs. Lee's father. Eventually, the Gray family left Arlington to live in nearby "Green Valley." Gray descendants still live in Arlington County, Virginia.
ARLLEE_080927_021.JPG: This is what the freedman's village looked like during the war
ARLLEE_080927_041.JPG: Interior of the north slave quarters
ARLLEE_080927_044.JPG: Restoration of the North Slave Quarters:
Although this building remained largely unchanged throughout most of the 19th century, it underwent serious alterations in the years that followed. Recent physical investigations of the slave quarters have revealed many changes made to the buildings over time and uncovered unusual original architectural features and surprising details about the structures. The original design structure was similar to a contemporary split foyer house. Slaves entered through a center door onto a small platform, from which they could reach the ground and second floors.
One of the earliest changes made in the north quarter wall was loss of the "summer" kitchen, which could only be reached from an exterior entrance that was usually locked. The kitchen was filled in perhaps as early as 1854. Grade changes were made around the building, and eventually the north quarter was converted to a one-story structure. Architectural historians have identified the original floor line. On the north wall in front of you, the visible window lintel indicates the location of the basement windows that were filled in many years ago.
Remnants of soot, ash, and grease as well as the broken "key" bricks reveal the location and size of the original kitchen fireplace on the north wall. Historians have used computer-aided investigative techniques and have relied on oral history interviews conducted with former slaves in the 1920s to discover the many secrets of the north quarter. The planned restoration of the two surviving quarters by the National Park Service will provide a vivid backdrop for telling the African American story at Arlington. This project is made possible by the Save America's Treasures program.
ARLLEE_080927_057.JPG: In 1845, Elizabeth Randolph Calvert, a cousin of the Custis family, describe the two slave quarters:
"At equal distances from the house are two long buildings consisting of three rooms each; the one to the north contains the kitchen and furnishes homes for some of the house servants. The opposite one accommodates a storeroom, wash and sleeping room."
Calvert's account is one of the earliest descriptions of Arlington's slave quarters. This building, the north quarters, was probably completed by 1824. The two-story structure contained living quarters on a second floor. The kitchen may have been used for seasonal cooking in the summertime, or may have functioned as the primary kitchen.
Several house slaves occupied the rooms in this building. Daniel Dobson, the coachman, lived in the west room on the first floor. Eleanor Harris, the housekeeper, had a room in the attic. Judy, the nurse who had come from Mount Vernon and was "much respected by all," died in the center room in 1855. George Clark, the famous cook of Arlington, lived in the east room over the summer kitchen. At times, he shared his room with Ephram Derricks, a slave who worked as a valet and gardener. Ephram's family lived in Washington DC and he often spent weekends in the city.
ARLLEE_080927_132.JPG: The attic
ARLLEE_080927_139.JPG: More graffiti. Note the 1878 and 1862 dates.
ARLLEE_080927_204.JPG: We weren't actually sure what these things were. They had little keys on chains inside these metal boxes. Checking on the web, these are designed to insure that night (typically) watchmen are correctly checking a station at their appointed times. From http://www.wescottcompany.com/quartz.htm
* Install a key station at each control point that the officer is to visit during his rounds
* Insert a new record dial into the clock, set the time and give the clock to the security officer
* As the officer visits each control point, they remove the recording key from the station,insert it into the clock and turn the key. This registers the station number on the recording dial in the clock at the correct time of day
* The recording has a ruled space for each of the 24 hours of the day. The advancement of the dial is sychronized with the clock mechanism, so that each time station is registered, its number is embossed at the correct time of day and follows the previous registration. The recording keys are designed such that a missed station causes a conspicuous gap on the dial
* The daily record is removed by simply unsnapping the locknut and removing the dial, and inserting a new one
* When the dial is inspected, any stations missed or rounds not performed can be readily seen
Detex Furnishes key station models to meet the requirements of every setting. They can be easily and quickly installed by plant or office maintenance personnel, with only a screwdriver and drill.
Each key station is installed with aluminum seals. Any attempt by security personnel to collect the keys causes damage to the seals, which is readily detected by routine inspection. The chain holding the key is made from continuous links of stainless steel, and is anchored such that any attempt to detach it from the station will create noticeable damage.
All-Purpose Indoor/Outdoor Key Stations
Models SDC and SDA are surface-mounted and feature simple lift-up covers for easy access. They are suitable for indoor or outdoor factory and office locations. Model SXDC is molded from high-impact Cycolac (ABS) thermo-plastic; Model SDA is durable , powder-coated cast aluminum.
ARLLEE_080927_329.JPG: The two shadows are the bus drivers talking to each other
ARLLEE_081225_090.JPG: The flag came down promptly at 5pm
AAA "Gem": AAA considers this location to be a "must see" point of interest. To see pictures of other areas that AAA considers to be Gems, click here.
Wikipedia Description: Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Arlington House (The Robert E. Lee Memorial), is a Greek revival style mansion located in Arlington, Virginia, USA and was once the home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. It overlooks the Potomac River, directly across from the National Mall in Washington, D.C. During the American Civil War, the grounds of the mansion were selected as the site of Arlington National Cemetery, in part to ensure that General Lee would never again be able to return to his home. Yet the United States has since designated the mansion as a national memorial to its former opponent, a mark of widespread respect for Lee in both the North and South.
Construction and early history:
The mansion was built on the orders of George Washington Parke Custis, a step grandson of George Washington and the most prominent resident of what was then known as Alexandria County. The house was built on a 445-hectare (1,100 acre) estate that Custis' father, John Parke Custis, purchased in 1778. Custis named the house Arlington after the Custis family's homestead on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. George Hatfield, an English architect who also worked on the design of the United States Capitol designed the mansion. The north and south wings were completed between 1802 and 1804. The large center section and the portico, presenting an imposing front 43 meters (140 ft) long, were finished 13 years later. The most prominent features of the house are the 8 massive columns of the portico, each 5 feet (1.5 m) in diameter.
In his day, Custis was the most prominent resident of what was then known as Alexandria County, and the house was host to many of the famous men of the era, including Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette, who visited in 1824. At Arlington, Custis experimented with new methods of animal husbandry and other agriculture. The property also included Arlington Spring, a picnic ground on the banks of the Potomac that Custis originally built for private use but later opened to the public, eventually operating it as a commercial enterprise.
Custis' only child to survive to adulthood was Mary Anna Randolph Custis. Young Robert E. Lee, whose mother was a cousin of Mrs. Custis, frequently visited Arlington. Two years after graduating from West Point, Lieutenant Lee married Mary Custis at Arlington on June 30, 1831. For 30 years Arlington House was home to the Lees. They spent much of their married life traveling between U.S. Army duty stations and Arlington, where six of their seven children were born. They shared this home with Mary's parents, the Custises.
When George Washington Parke Custis died in 1857, he left the Arlington estate to Mrs. Lee for her lifetime and afterwards to the Lees' eldest son, George Washington Custis Lee. The estate needed much repair and reorganization, and Lee, as executor, took a leave of absence from the Army until 1860 to begin the necessary agricultural and financial improvements.
At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Virginia seceded from the Union. Colonel Robert E. Lee, who at that time had served in the U.S. Army for 35 years, was offered command of the Union Army. Lee, however, felt that he could not turn his back on the citizens of his native state of Virginia and decided to instead resign his commission in the army, which he did in writing while still residing in the home. After his resignation, Lee reported for duty in Richmond, as commander of the Virginia Provisional Army; he soon joined the Confederate States Army and was promoted to general. Lee was concerned for the safety of his wife who was still residing at the mansion and convinced her to vacate the property at least temporarily. She managed to send some of the family valuables off to safety.
Federal forces occupied Lee's property within a month after Fort Sumter and used it as a headquarters for officers supervising some of the forts that were part of the defenses of Washington. Many of the remaining family possessions were moved to the Patent Office for safekeeping. Some items, however, including a few of the Mount Vernon heirlooms, had already been looted and scattered.
By 1864, the military cemeteries of Washington and Alexandria were filled with Union dead, and Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs quickly selected Arlington as the site for a new cemetery. Meigs, a Georgian who had served under Lee in the U.S. Army and who hated his fellow Southerners who were fighting against the Union, ordered that graves be placed just outside the front door of the mansion, to prevent the Lees from ever returning. Meigs himself supervised the burial of 26 Union soldiers in Mrs. Lee's rose garden. In October, Meigs' own son was killed in the war, and he too was buried at Arlington.
Neither Robert E. Lee nor his wife were to ever set foot on the property again. Mary Custis Lee visited the grounds shortly before she died, but was overcome by emotion and unable to go inside.
The federal government had confiscated the mansion property, in 1864, claiming that property taxes had not been paid. Robert E. Lee and his wife never legally challenged the return of the home. In 1870, after his father's death, George Washington Custis Lee, the eldest son of Robert E. Lee, filed a lawsuit in the Alexandria Circuit Court which resulted in a later Supreme Court decision in 1882 awarding Custis Lee just compensation for the house and 1,100 acres (4 kmē). Lee originally asked for $300,000, however, the court only awarded $150,000, considered the fair market value of the property.
In 1920, the Virginia General Assembly renamed Alexandria County as Arlington County, to honor Robert E. Lee and to end the ongoing confusion between Alexandria County and the independent city of Alexandria.
In 1925, the War Department began to restore the mansion, and control of the mansion was transferred to the National Park Service in 1933. Congress designated the mansion as a memorial to Lee in 1955, and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.
Today, the mansion is managed by the National Park Service as a memorial to Robert E. Lee while the land surrounding the mansion, known as Arlington National Cemetery, is managed by the Department of the Army.
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