A mid-October weekend found me at Stratford Hall, a historic house museum on the coastal plain of central Virginia known as the Northern Neck. It’s nestled between the Potomac and the Rappahannock rivers, about an hour from Fredericksburg, VA. It was a weekend of discovery, and I wished I lived closer to visit more often.
The region was the cradle of the American revolutionary movement, an outcome of a wealthy, sophisticated, and learned society that honed a uniquely American philosophy honoring civic duty and informed by the values of the Enlightenment.
In this context, I learned that Thomas Lee, patriarch of the Lee family, acquired land along the Potomac in 1713, built a successful tobacco and shipping enterprise. Over the next century, the Lees contributed much to the formation of our fledgling nation – 2 Lee brothers signed the Declaration of Independence – and their influence extended for decades afterward.
Robert E. Lee, who ably led the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, was born at Stratford Hall in 1807.
Nearly three hundred years later, the Lee family’s iconic home, Stratford Hall, is a touchstone to our nation’s agrarian past and start as a Republic. Here’s why you should go….