This rare stereoview is thought to feature Selina Gray and two of her daughters. Selina Gray was the personal maid of Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee, the wife of Robert E. Lee. Featured behind the family is most likely the South Slave Quarters building, which contained the family’s personal quarters. Here Selina Gray lived with her eight children and husband, Thornton Gray. Selina was a close confidant of Mrs. Lee. It is said that she and her husband Thornton were married in the family parlor at the estate, underneath the same archway Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Lee were married under in 1831.
It was to Selina that Mrs. Lee left the keys to Arlington House as the family fled the estate in 1861. They fled ahead of Union seizure of the estate due to its strategic location outside of Washington, DC at the start of the American Civil War. Early in the Union occupancy of the estate, Selina was instrumental in saving relics that belonged to President George Washington, passed down in the family by Mrs. Lee’s father, George Washington Parke Custis, step-grandson of President Washington.


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