Growing Up in the 1850s: The Journal of Agnes Lee

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  • Growing Up in the 1850s: The Journal of Agnes Lee

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Growing Up in the 1850s: The Journal of Agnes Lee


Martha Washington as Mistress of the Household


Mary Custis Lee DeButts, ed.


University of North Carolina Press







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DeButts, Mary Custis Lee, ed. Growing Up in the 1850s: The Journal of Agnes Lee. Chapel Hill: Published for the Robert E. Lee Memorial Association by the University of North Carolina Press, 1984.

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Quotations and Notes

Sunday, 3/23/1856

“[Sunday, 3/23/1856] I had forgotten that during the time my journal was discontinued, dear old Mammy died about seventy-eight years old. One morning before Christmas, when Sister went to carry her julip she was cold & lifeless, but O I trust her spirit is in Heaven. She was as faithful as could be. How I missed her Christmas. When we paid the servants our usual visits there was one pair of steep steps up which I had no cause to go. She is the last but two of the Mt. Vernon servants. What tales she could tell of “those good old times” of Mrs. Washington’s beauty & good management. How “she was one of the out-door gals & would run to open the gate for the Gen.” And when my beautiful Aunt Lewis was married “how ole Mistis let all the servants come in to see it & gave them such good things to eat,” “how Ole Mistis was dressed so splendid, in a light flowered satin your Aunt Lewis all in something white, beautiful too.” But though a celebrated beauty she did not come up to “Ole Mistis” in Mammy’s eyes! she [sic] could not see why so much fuss was made over “the genl, he was only a man!”, a very good master she was sure, but she didn’t suppose he was so much better than anyone else.” O those nice talks! we [sic] won’t have any more….”


How to Cite this Item

Mary Custis Lee DeButts, ed., "Growing Up in the 1850s: The Journal of Agnes Lee," in Martha Washington, Item #147, (accessed July 9, 2020).