Elizabeth Blair Lee

The wife of Rear Admiral Samuel Phillips Lee, she was born on June 20, 1818, was a member of one of America's most prominent families and married Lee in 1843.

She anticipated long separations that his career would necessitate and promised to write to him every day that they were apart. In the course of their 54-year marriage, she penned thousands of letters which were thoughtfully saved by her husband and preserved by their descendants. For this collection, Virginia Jeans Laas has selected and annotated 368 of the more than 900 written during the Civil War years.

An intelligent and astute woman, she was keenly interested in the events of the day. Living just across the street from the White House in Washington (in what is now the Blair House), she was acquainted with many of the nation's most influential men and their families. The correspondence offered not only an intimate picture of the Lee household, but also a “direct and immediate account of life during the United States' greatest crisis.”

She died on September 13, 1906 and is buried with her husband in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery.

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