Eleanor Agnes Lee
Biography of Eleanor Agnes Lee
Eleanor Agnes Lee or "Wig"(as she liked to be known) was one of seven children. She was born in 1841 as the daughter of the Robert E. Lee who would go on to become a major Confederate General in the American Civil War.
Agnes spent much of her time in reading, studying, playing piano and in working in her garden. Agnes kept a fascinating journal during her childhood years, later published and entitled Growing Up in the 1850s.
Before leaving for boarding school in 1855, she and her sister Annie had a tutor, Miss Sue Poor, from whom they learned their love of music, English , French, and probably arithmetic. For a time Eleanor helped to instruct the Arlington slaves by conducting a Sunday evening school for them and by instructing individual children before and after breakfast.
She was religious and was confirmed in the Episcopal Church in 1857. She was a charming and attractive young lady, and there is some evidence that she felt a romantic attachment to Orton A. Williams, her mother's young cousin and a frequent visitor at Arlington, just before the Civil War. Her father is said to have frowned upon the romance because he regarded young Williams as too unsettled to marry.
Thought to be somewhat reserved and aloof after the war by her family, this may have been caused by the tragic death of Orton Williams in 1862, and to her own serious illness in 1865, Considered her mother's favorite daughter, Agnes never married and died from typhoid fever in October 1873 at the age of 32.
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Eleanor Agnes Lee Poems
On The Jail Steps
I've won the race. Young man, I'm new! Old Sallow-face Good luck to you!
Mary,the Christ long slain,passed silently, Following the children joyous astir Under the cedrus and the olive tree,
Suddenly bells and flags! Suddenly -- door to door -- Tidings! Can we believe, We, who were used to war?
A Roman Doll
(In a Museum) How an image of paint and wood Leaped to her life with a love's control, Struck the chords of her motherhood,
The Wife Child, why do you linger beside her portal? None shall hear you now if you knock or clamor* All is dark, hidden in heaviest leafage.
A Statue In The Garden
I was a goddess ere the marble found me. Wind, wind, delay not! Waft my spirit where the laurel crowned me! Will the wind stay not
The snow is lying very deep. My house is sheltered from the blast. I hear each muffled step outside, I hear each voice go past.
A Roman Doll
(In a Museum)
How an image of paint and wood
Leaped to her life with a love's control,
Struck the chords of her motherhood,
Passionate little mother-soul!
Fair to her sight were the stolid eyes,
Dear to her toil the robes empearled.
She crooned it the ancient lullabies,
She gathered it close from the outer world.