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Journal of a Young Lady of Virginia, 1782   By:

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Printed and Published For the Benefit of the Lee Memorial Association of Richmond, By John Murphy and Company, No. 182 Baltimore Street, Baltimore. 1871.


Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by Emily V. Mason, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.



The following pages contain a fragment of the Journal of a young lady of Virginia of the last century.

It seems to have been written by her while on a visit to her relatives, the Lees, Washingtons, and other families of Lower Virginia, mentioned in her Journal.

The friend for whom it was intended was Miss Polly Brent, also of Virginia.

The manuscript was found torn, and discolored by age, in an old desk at the country place in Maryland, to which Polly Brent carried it, upon her marriage into one of the old families of that State.

The Lees, of whom so much mention is made in the Journal "Nancy," "Molly," "Hannah," and "Harriet" were the daughters of Richard Henry Lee, of Chantilly. Molly married W. A. Washington, and Hannah was at the time of the Journal the wife of Corbin Washington. Their grandson, John A. Washington, was the last occupant of Mount Vernon.

Harriet married the son of Mrs. Turberville, the "old lady" spoken of in the manuscript.

Ludwell Lee, a son of Richard Henry Lee, married the "Flora" of this chronicle. She was a daughter of Philip Ludwell Lee, of Stratford, and sister of Matilda Lee, the first wife of "Colonel Henry Lee;" whose little boy is mentioned as so "fine" a "child." Colonel Henry Lee was none other than "Light horse Harry;" the "little boy," his eldest son Henry, half brother to General Robert E. Lee.

It is believed the publication of this Journal will be well received, at a period when everything relating to the family of General Lee is of peculiar interest. It presents, also, a curious picture of the life and manners of that day.

There will be found in it many errors, and some antiquities of orthography, which it has not been deemed advisable to correct. It is believed that the Journal will be more entertaining in its original state than it would be with the aid of any amendments that we might make. It is certainly the work of a very clever girl, and possesses all that freedom of style and charming simplicity which is so pleasing and so rare.

Had the writer anticipated any criticism more searching than that of her amiable Polly, her style and orthography would doubtless have been more correct, and her Journal quite as commonplace as most of those that find their way into print.

The proceeds of the sale of this little volume will be devoted to the "Lee Memorial Association of Richmond," which must further commend it to the favor of the public.

JANUARY, 1871.







Sept. 16.


THE WILDERNESS, September 16.

[Sidenote: "Wilderness" Residence of John Grymes, Esq., who married Miss Fitzhugh, of Eagle's Nest. One of this family was Gen. Robert Lee's grandmother.]

I hear you say, "The Wilderness! where in the world is that, Lucy?" It is the name of this place. I can't say I was much struck with the situation of the House; but they are as kind, good People as I ever saw.

Sept. 17.

To day is Sunday. Old Mrs. Gordon lives in sight of this [place]. One of her Daughters is just come Lucy Gordon very clever, though not a Beauty.

A Mr. Spotswood and his Lady are come to dine here. I must dress, of course.

They are gone.

Mrs. Spotswood, I think, is very Affable and agreeable, though not handsome. She has invited us to see her, and we shall go day after to morrow.

I have spent the day pretty agreeably. Lucy Gordon is to stay with me to night.

[Sidenote: Col. Ball, probably the aide and kinsman of Gen. Washington: his second wife was Frances Washington, niece and legatee of Gen. Washington.]

I have spent the morning in reading; and, much to my satisfaction, old Mrs... Continue reading book >>

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