Slave Photo From Robert E. Lee's Home Discovered On Ebay, Fox News.coma and the Associated Press, October 12, 2014.
National Park Service curator Kim Robinson holds the photo of Selina
Gray, right, who was in charge to care for Arlington House where Gen.
Robert E. Lee had lived in for 30 years, Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014, at
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. The National Park Service
has acquired a rare Civil War-era photograph of an enslaved woman at
Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's home in Virginia. The previously
unknown photograph depicts Selina Gray, the head housekeeper to Lee and
his family. The photograph was unveiled Thursday at Lee's Arlington
House plantation overlooking the nation's capital.
An “extremely rare” Civil War-era photograph of the enslaved woman
who helped save Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Virginia home has been
obtained by the National Park Service after a volunteer spotted the
image on eBay. The previously unknown photograph depicts Selina Gray, the head
housekeeper to Lee and his family, along with two girls thought to be
her daughters. The photograph was unveiled Thursday at the Arlington
House plantation overlooking the nation's capital that was home to Lee
and dozens of slaves before the Civil War. An inscription on the back of the image reads "Gen Lees Slaves Arlington Va."
Park officials said this is only the second known photograph taken of slaves at Arlington. "It's extremely rare to have an identified photo of an enslaved
person," said National Park Service spokeswoman Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles.
"Since slaves were considered property, it's very rare to have a photo
where you can identify the people in the photo."
WJLA eported Thursday that National Park Service volunteer Dean DeRosa
spotted the photograph for sale on eBay for just $20. DeRosa told WJLA
he recognized Gray “immediately.” “What I find so fascinating is how well dressed Selina and her daughters are in this photo,” he told the station.
The nonprofit Save Arlington House Inc. donated $700 to acquire the
image. The seller was based in England and found the photo in a box of
unwanted images. Gray is noted in history books for helping to save Arlington House
after Lee's family left and the plantation was captured by Union troops
during the Civil War.
Arlington House was originally built as a monument to George
Washington. Lee's wife, Mary Custis Lee, entrusted the home to Gray, and
she later confronted a Union general about soldiers pilfering
Washington family heirlooms from the house. She was able to have the
items safeguarded. The photograph was unveiled to the public Saturday, and it will be
used in future exhibits after Arlington House and its slave quarters are
CWL: Still in question is the date of the photograph and the lives of Selina Gray and her daughters.
Text Source: Slave Photo Discovered From Lee's Home and Slave Photo Discovered From Robert E. Lee's Home Discovered on Ebay
Image Source: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana