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Transcript
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NEWS AND NOTES
from
The Fauquier Historical Society
WARRENTON, VIRGINIA
Vol. 24, No.2
Fall& Winter 2002
Donations, restoration project add to collections
Local artifacts featured at Old Jail Museum
"Robe a la Francaise" style, this exquisite
dress was worn only on the most formal
occasions. It was designed and sewn by a
professional mantua maker of many years
ago.
The robe and petticoat were made of very
expensive fabrics for that day and age, probably for a woman of high social standing.
In storage at the Old Jail for many years,
the vintage outfit was in tatters when Ms.
Lee decided to pursue restoration.
She took the dress to Mrs. A. Newbold
Richardson, an historic costume specialist
and lecturer in Alexandria, for a thorough
examination. Ms. Lee was given an estimate
for the stabilization and restoration work,
which the Board of Directors approved.
"The stomacher is newer, and the sleeves
of dresses of that era were usually adorned
with lace," noted Ms. Lee. "But we decided
to restore the dress to the design it was when
we found it."
According to Ms. Lee, it appeared that
many years ago someone started to cut up
By JOHN T. TOLER
EDITOR, NEWS AND NOTES
Over the past year, Museum Director
Jackie Lee has worked to expand our offerings at the Old Jail.
Inside the museum, she has restored a
colonial-era dress that has been in the possession of the Society for many years.
In the display area in front of the museum, we have brought back to Courthouse
Square three significant artifacts that had
been missing for several years: one of the
concrete benches from the early 20th century BftH-)L Monume-n and- Fountain, the
Lafayette stepping stone, and the legendary
slave auction block.
These items join the Mosby monument
and the section of the "Desert Storm railing"
created by Frederick E. Hart, and donated by
the Fauquier Veterans Memorial Committee.
Exquisite dress
Now ready for public display is a carefully restored silk "sacqueback" dress, consisting of a robe and matching petticoat, which
was made and first worn around 1765.
Sometimes referred to as "Watteau" or
Restored 1765 formal dress is
now on display at the museum.
(Continued on Page 5)
Fauquier relatives gave Mrs. Robert E. Lee refuge
When Robert E. Lee (1807-1870)
married Mary Anna Randolph Custis
(1808-1873) in the parlor at Arlington
House in 1831, among the guests were several members of the family of Maj. Thomas
Turner of Kinloch, near The Plains.
"Maj. Turner had served as Robert E.
Lee's guardian in his minority, and Maj.
Turner's wife, Eliza Carter Randolph Turner
and Robert E. Lee were half first cousins,
their mothers being half-sisters, daughters
of Charles Carter of Shirley," according to
family genealogist John McGill, in The
Beverley Family of Virginia.
Two of Maj. Turner's children, Thomas
Turner Jr. (1807-1883) and Marietta
Fauntleroy Turner Powell (1812-1894) were
members of the wedding party.
The bride was the only surviving child
of George Washington Parke Custis and
Mary Lee Fitzhugh, and she had been
raised at Arlington House.
The groom was the son of Gen. Henry
"Light Horse Harry" Lee and Anne Hill
Carter Lee of Stratford, in Westmoreland
County.
Throughout their lives, these close family ties were important to the couple, espeMary Custis Lee, after the Civil War
(Continued on Page 3)
Annual Meeting features American flag program
The Fauquier Historical Society held
its annual meeting on June 22, 2002, at
Fauquier Springs Country Club. President
Maxwell Harway welcomed the members
and guests.
After the adoption of the minutes of
last year's meeting and the approval of the
treasurer's report, the Museum Committee
Report was given.
Committee reports
Over the preceding 12 months, more
than 9,400 people had visited the Old Jail
Museum, including almost 300 from foreign countries. In addition, the Society now
has its own Web page, wwwfauquierhistory.com, due largely to the efforts of committee member Matt Carson, owner of
SiteWhirks, in Warrenton.
Katy Myers, chairman of the Education
Committee, described the successful partnership that had developed between the
Society and Fauquier County public and private schools, especially since the "Salute to
Lafayette" planned and executed by the
Society.
This memorable project, which culminated with the three-day festival in
September-2000, involvediocai-schoutchitd-
ren of all ages, and continues to draw praise.
NEWS and NOTES
Published by the
FAUQUIER HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC.
A non-profit organization incorporated under
the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Dues
and contributions are tax-deductible. Copyright
2002. All rights reserved.
Annual Dues
Individual or Family
$10.00
Contributing Member
15.00
Sustaining Member (min.)
25.00
Business Member
25.00
Student Membership
3.00
Officers
Co-Presidents: Richard Gookin
and Janet Hofer
Recording Secretary: Diane Gulick
Corresponding Secretary: Katie Carson
Treasurer: William Skinker
The program for the Annual Meeting, "Building the Flag" was presented by members of
the Heroes of '76. Lora Jane Lisle, assisted by as her husband Harry, adds the stars.
In addition, Fauquier County Public
Schools' foreign language program has
been recognized by the Commonwealth of
Virginia for the outstanding partnership
formed with the Society during the "Salute
to Lafayette" project, and since then.
MrMyt:n; gavt: an update on the proposal to pair Warrenton with Brioude,
France, under the sister-city program.
She also reported that the committee
has established a literacy program relative
to the "Salute to Lafayette," using funds
provided to the Society by the Flagler
Foundation.
The foundation requires that 60 percent
of the fund be spent on technology; subsequently, $4,500 was spent for computers,
per the recommendation of Mrs. Pat
Downey.
JOHN T. TOLER
Newsletter Editor
Museum Director: Jackie Lee
Honorary Members:
Isabel S. Palmer and John K. Gott
Address Inquiries to:
The Fauquier Historical Society
P.O. Box 675
Warrenton, VA 20188 Telephone: (540) 347-5525
Education Committee chair Katy Myers
(2)
This year, for the first time, the
Education Committee set up a scholarship
fund, whereby a graduating senior with a
connection to the study of local history
would receive financial aid. This year's
stipend was $500.
Irwas
espeCIally appropriate thc first
recipient was Miss Frances Robinson,
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ripley Robinson
of Midland. Mrs. Robinson has served the
Society as a museum docent for years, and
Frances has helped at the museum as a volunteer. Indeed, Frances has grown up in the
midst of Fauquier and Virginia history. This
fall, she began her studies at Mary
Washington College in Fredericksburg.
Mr. Harway steps down
As he had informed the Board earlier,
President Harway announced to the membership that he had submitted his resignation as president, although he would continue as a member and director.
In his report, he enumerated some of the
goals he had set and reached during his presidency, including:
• The Old Jail Museum is open to visitors year-round.
• The financial status of the Society has
improved greatly.
• Handsome plaques, designed by the
Society, have been placed on historic
homes, businesses and other buildings in
Warrenton.
• The popular "Walking Tour of
Warrenton" has been revised and improved.
(Continued on Page 6)
'Reminiscenses' of difficult times during the Civil War
(Continued from Page 1)
cially during the tumultuous years of the
Civil War.
Before the beginning of hostilities,
Robert and Mary Custis Lee had made
Arlington House their home; it was the
place where Mary awaited her husband's
return from extended military duty.
Arlington House was also where six of
their seven children were born, in the years
between 1832-1846.
Strategic location
Because of its strategic position in
Virginia on the heights across the Potomac
from Washington, D.C., Arlington House
was a prime target for takeover by the
Union forces when war broke out.
Much of what is known about this family
tragedy
can
be
found
in
"Reminiscences" written by Mary Custis
Lee after the War.
She starts with the inauguration of
Pres. Abraham Lincoln in March 1861 and
the resignation of her husband fro~ the
Union Army on April 20,1861, just days
after Fort Sumter was fired upon.
On April 22, Robert E. Lee accepted
the command of the Confederate fQrces of
the Commonwealth of Virginia, and left
Arlington House for the last time.
Mary Custis Lee remained there with
three of their children, George Washington
Custis Lee, Mary Custis Lee and Eleanor
Agnes Lee.
It was only a matter of time before federal forces would move to occupy Arlington
House. Within weeks of her husband's
departure, Mary Custis Lee received a surprise visit from Orton Williams, the eldest
son of her first cousin, Martha Peter and
William G. Williams.
Arlington Honse before the Civil War (left) and while occupied
At the time, Orton Williams was serving as a second lieutenant in the Union
Army, on the staff of Gen. Winfield Scott.
"...(Orton Williams) entered my chamber one afternoon where I was quietly seated, copying a beautiful portrait of my
youngest son. His countenance as I raised
my eyes to greet him startled me. 'Youmust
pack up all that you value immediately,' he
exclaimed, 'and send it off early in the
Iflotnin:g:-TI1~my
in-nITge-foTce WIll
cross the long bridge tomorrow, and take
possession of these heights.' There was little time to deliberate."
As it turned out, the takeover of
Arlington House was postponed for about a
month, giving Mary Custis Lee time to
gather the family's most prized possessions
and move them to Ravensworth, the home
of her aunt, Mrs. Mary Anne Fitzhugh,
widow of William Fitzhugh, about 10 miles
away in Fairfax County in what is presentday Annandale.
The precise date that Mary Custis Lee
After leaving Arlington House, Mrs. Lee stayed at Ravensworth in eastern Fairfax
County, the home of her aunt, Mrs. William Fitzhugh.
(3)
by Union troops
departed Arlington House is not known, but
by May 28, 1861, Union Gen. Irvin
McDowell had assumed command of the
property.
"To her husband, the possible loss or
destruction of Arlington - like the war
itself - was a manifestation of divine
wrath, to be borne with patience," wrote
Murray Nelligan of the National Park
Service, in Old Arlington: The Story of the
-e-MurrsiurrNational-Memvrtal.
LEutas- -
the weeks passed, Mrs. Lee became more
reconciled to her situation."
Refugee
Mary Custis Lee would spend the next
several months as a refugee. During this
time, she lived in relatives' homes in the
Northern Virginia area and Richmond areas
- sometimes within earshot of the battle
lines - before settling at Derwent, a farmhouse in Cumberland County, for the duration of the War.
Fearing that her presence at Ravensworth would arouse the suspicions of the
Union forces, Mary Custis Lee went to stay
with Mrs. Calvert Stuart, the widow of her
uncle, who lived in Chantilly, in early June.
While there, she passed through Fairfax
Courthouse, where the Warrenton Rifles
under Capt. John Quincy Marr had fought
federal dragoons a few days before, on the
night ofJune 1, 1861.
The Confederates won the fight, causing the dragoons to retreat and inflicting a
number of casualties. But Capt. Marr was
killed by gunshot during the fight, becoming the first Southerner to die in the Civil
War.
(Continued on Page 4)
Mary Custis Lee
(Continued from Page 3)
Mary Custis Lee stayed with Mrs.
Stuart for about a week before departing on
June 12 for Kinloch, near The Plains, the
home of her cousin, Edward Carter Turner
(1816-1891). She stayed there for the rest of
the summer.
She described Kinloch as "...a most picturesque spot, surrounded by mountains
and near the Manassas Gap Railroad. Here
we remained all summer with kind hearts
and hands constantly employed in some
way for the benefit of our army then
encamped at Manassas."
During her stay at Kinloch, Mary Custis
Lee visited Eastern View, near Casanova,
the home of the heirs of her late great uncle,
Col. Robert Randolph.
The Lees were not strangers at Eastern
View. During the summer of 1829, thenBrevet Second Lieutenant Robert E. Lee
stayed at Eastern View before leaving for an
assignment with the U. S. Army Corps of
Engineers in Savannah, Ga.
On the day of her visit to Eastern View
- July 21, 1861 - the Battle of First
Manassas was raging just a few miles to the
northeast.
She recalled, "... we heard.illl thatm.eIDorable Sunday, while at church in
Warrenton, the roar of cannon which commenced early in the day and continued until
evening. Two young men of that family
were in that battle, and you may conceive
the agony that filled their mother's heart
until assured of their safety."
By the end of the battle, troops under
Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard
defeated fue Union force commanded by
Gen. McDowell.
During the summer of 1861, Mrs. Lee stayed at Kinloch, east of The Plains, the home of
Edward Carter Turner. She also visited relatives at Eastern View, near Casanova.
after the War ended.
"In this quiet retreat, we have been sheltered for many months, thro' the kindness of
our good friend Mrs. Cocke, a quiet so profound I could even number fue acorns
falling from the splendid oaks that overshadow fue cottage ... the exciting events of
the past four years recur so vividly to my
mind that I am impelled to make some
record of them which may at kasthe inter-=
esting to my friends."
Mrs. Cocke (an ancestor of W. F.
"Toby" Merchant of The Plains) was a relative on the Randolph side of fue family.The
General and Mrs. Lee remained at Derwent
until he assumed the presidency of
Washington College on Sept. 15, 1865.
Upon moving to Lexington, Mary
Custis Lee continued her "Reminiscences,"
which would eventually consist of seven
handwritten pages.
Safe at Derwent
A homecoming not to be
Mary Custis Lee arrived in Richmond
in the fall of 1861, and her spirits had
improved. She later moved to Derwent,
another family home in the country.
"A lady who met Gen. Lee in a
Richmond church about this time later
recalled how calmly he spoke of fue occupation of Arlington and the flight of his
wife," wrote Nelligan. "The General
replied, 'She has moved out of the way of
the enemy twice, and now says they will
have to take her. She will move no more.'"
Sadly, Mary Custis Lee's rheumatoid
arthritis continued to worsen, and by 1863,
she was confined to a wheelchair. Gen. Lee
joined his wife at Derwent in April 1865,
For many years, Mary Custis Lee had
hoped she could return to live at Arlington
House, but it was not to be.
Beginning in May 1864, Secretary of
War Edwin M. Stanton had directed that the
grounds surrounding Arlington House be
designated a National Cemetery, and
ordered burials of Union war dead in the
area by the house. This effectively prevented the Lee family from ever regaining possession of the property.
Mary Custis Lee visited Arlington
House only one time after the War. She was
by then a widow, and was greatly depre.ssed
by what she saw. She never got out of the
carriage that brought her there.
There were thousands of graves around
(4)
After a stay in Richmond, Mrs. Lee moved
to Derwent, the Cocke family place, where
she was later joined by Gen. Lee.
the house, and the mansion itself was in
serious disrepair. Many the trees had been
cut down, and trenches dug in the fields.
"I rode out to my dear old home, but so
changed it seemed but as a dream of the
past," she wrote Mary Custis L~e i~ her
"Reminiscences." "I could not reahze It was
Arlington, but for the few old oaks they had
spared, and the trees planted on the lawn by
the General and myself."
She remarked to Mildred Lee, who had
accompanied her on fue visit, that she never
cared to see Arlington House again. She
died in 1873 without ever coming back.
Custis Lee inllerited Arlington House
from his grandfather, and pursued a claim
against the government for damages that
went to fue U. S. Supreme Court.
In 1882, it was determined that the confiscation of Arlington House was invalid,
but given the current situation, Custis Lee
accepted a monetary payment in lieu of the
property.
Artifacts
(Continued from Page 1)
the fancy dress, apparently to use it for
everyday wear. However, the damage
was not so severe that it was beyond
restoration.
"It took a tremendous amount of
tedious hand-sewing just to stabilize the
dress," noted Ms. Lee.
Now back at the museum, the robe
and petticoat are displayed with other
vintage clothing in the new display cases
on the second floor.
Concrete bench
From 1913 to 1928, the Barry
Monument and Fountain stood in the
center of Courthouse Square, at the
intersection of the roads to Winchester
Alexandria, Waterloo and Falmouth. I~
addition to the fountain and watering
troughs for horses and dogs, the monument had a circle of benches for weary
travelers.
With the growth of automobile traffic and other problems, the monument
had to be removed. Sections of the
benches ended up in the yard of a house
on- EaLmouth_Street,
and-in
Circular concrete bench that was once part of the Barry Monument and Fountain
2-002,
Warrenton
businessman
Harrington
"Skippy" Harris - who had come into
possession of the benches years ago donated a section to the Historical
Society.
Mr. William Rider of R. L. Rider
Construction donated the services of his
company to haul the bench back to
Courthouse Square, and a Town of
Warrenton crew assisted with placement
and leveling of the bench.
"A local man who was interested in
the history of the bench volunteered to
stabilize it and make repairs," said Ms.
Lee. "We plan to have a permanent
plaque affixed to the front of the bench
in the near future."
The Lafayette stepping stone
It is believed that during his 1825
visit to Warrenton, General Lafayette
stood upon the stepping stone in front of
the c.1795 Fauquier County Clerk's
Office. The stone was used to alight from
carriages or onto horseback for many
years.
When the old Clerk's Office was
demolished
in 1926, Thomas E.
Bartenstein, Clerk of the Court from
1918 to 1958, saved the old stone and
The Lafayette stepping stone
Legendary slave auction block
moved it to his home, Oddangles.
There it remained until the Bartenstein
children gave it to the Society earlier this
year. Fauquier County Parks and
Recreation Department Director Larry
Miller, who worked with the Society on
the "Salute to Lafayette," arranged for
delivery of the stone to Courthouse
Square.
Ms. Lee about the stone. She spoke to Mr.
William Rider about acquiring the artifact
for the museum, and he graciously donated the stone, and delivered it to
Courthouse Square.
Once in place, Ms. Lee spent many
hours with paint remover and a wire brush,
cleaning off the coats of bright yellow
paint that had been applied while the
stone served as street curbing.
Legendary slave auction block
Early 20th century photos show a
large, L-shaped stone at the comer of Main
Street and Alexandria Pike.
According to local legend, the naturally-formed stone was found in Carter's Run,
and brought to Warrenton, where it served
as a mounting block for carriages and
horseback riders.
In the years before the Civil War, it is
believed that it also served as a slave auction block.
More recently, it was used as a curbstone at the busy intersection. The stone
was removed in the late 1960s, and stored
in the R. L. Rider construction equipment
storage lot at the edge of town.
Doug Allison, a local history buff, told
(5)
In Memoriam
Nettie Lee Moffett
Local author, artist and
researcher
1926-2002
N aney Chappelear Baird
Author, genealogist and Historical
Society director
1919-2002
Annual Meeting
(Continued
from Page 2)
• The Society influenced the improvement of Old Town Warrenton, supporting
the installation of brick sidewalks and
antique-style lamp posts .
• And of course, the highly-acclaimed
"Salute to Lafayette," the three-day event
which featured exhibits, a parade, a costume ball and re-enactment of the historic
visit of the General's visit to Warrenton in
1825.
President Harway closed by thanking
all who had assisted him during his tenure
as president.
Election of officers, directors
Ballots for the officers and directors for
the forthcoming year were distributed to the
membership, and there being no more nominations from the floor, the slate was elected
by acclimation.
Co-presidents, Richard Gookin and
Janet Hofer; Vice President, Sue Scheer;
Treasurer, William Skinker; Recording
Secretary, Diane Gulick; Corresponding
Secretary/Program Chairman, Katie
Carson.
Board of Directors: William Barr, Katie
Carson, Matthew Carson, William_U.
Couzens,
Colleen
Dawson,
Fred A.
Drunagel, Richard J. Gookin, Diane Gulick,
Maxwell Harway, Janet Hofer, Robert DeT.
Lawrence Iv, Bea McDonnell, Katy Myers,
Conway
Porter, Sue Scheer, Cheryl
Shepherd, William Skinker, John Toler and
Charles G. Turner Jr.
Praise, presentation
Following the elections, a special presentation was made.
As retiring President Maxwell Harway
passed the gavel, Richard Gookin, thanked
Mr. Harway for his seven years of outstanding leadership and service as an officer and
director of the Fauquier Historical Society. r.
In his tribute, he praised Mr. Harway for
his "Wealth of experience in the United
States and abroad, both military and civilian.
Through strong and active leadership, wisdom, vision and imagination, Max has
enhanced knowledge of Fauquier County
history and the appreciation of its rich heritage."
Mr. Gookin also recalled Mr. Harway's
vision in organizing and executing the
"Salute to Lafayette" in 2002, which he
described as "One of Warrenton's most brilliant and patriotic occasions."
"It is therefore with the greatest pleasure and honor that the Board of Directors
Co-president Richard Gookin (right) presents his tribute to Maxwell Harway
of the Fauquier Historical Society extends
its deep appreciation, and pays its affection
and high tribute to Maxwell S. Harway,"
said Mr. Gookin.
The evening concluded with the program, "Building the Flag," presented by
members of the Light Horse Harry Lee
Camp ofthe Heroes of'76.
In rich-detail,-the..presenters
described
how the earliest versions of the U. S. flag
came about, including the 13-star flag that
was adopted. As more states joined the
Union, stars and stripes were added (the
design later reverted to the original 13
stripes).
The presenters
gave an interesting
account of each new star, inviting the audience to participate until all 50 stars had
been placed on the blue field.
The presentation was dedicated to John
and Betty Cole of Warrenton, members of
the Heroes of'76 who could not be present,
due to illness.
At the
end of the
meeting, CoPresident
Gookin
thanked
everyone who
had worked
on the enjoyable evening,
and asked for
a motion to
adjourn.
Scholarship recipient
Miss Frances Robinson
The Fauquier Historical Society
P.O. Box 675, Warrenton, VA 20188
Change Service Requested
(6)
Nonprofit Org.
U.S. Postage
PAID
Warrenton, VA
Permit No.1 09