Part of the Family
The Lees’ eldest daughter Mary used this room as her bedchamber. Martha “Markie” Williams, Mrs. Lee’s cousin, also slept here. In 1853 Markie moved to Arlington House to help care for George Washington Parke Custis. She read to Mr. Custis often, and the two had many discussions that she recorded in her diary. Markie was a Unionist, but she remained in contact with the Lees during the war. She helped save several Lee possessions, including the painting “Battle of Monmouth” that is exhibited downstairs.
“I am glad the day wasso bright and beautiful, as it was my dear Uncle’s Birthday. For there are few whose spirits aremore affected by the weather, than his.”–Markie Williams on George Washington Parke Custis’ birthday, April 30, 1857
Markie Williams’ father, Captain Williams, painted a portrait of her at age 12. It likely hung in this room from 1853 to 1861.