Alexandria, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
City of Alexandria Est. 1749
Revolutionary War hero Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee, father of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, purchased several lots on North Washington Street in Alexandria soon after the War for Independence. He lived with his family in a house on Cameron Street, and later sold a lot at the corner of Oronoco Street, four blocks north, to his cousin Philip Richard Fendall. From 1785 until 1903, the large residence Fendall built on the lot served as home to 37 members of the Lee family. This period of residency was interrupted during the Civil War in 1863, when the Union Army seized the property for use as a hospital for its wounded soldiers. The first known successful blood transfusion in America took place at this site.
In 1903, Robert Downham, a prominent Alexandria haberdasher and liquor purveyor, resided with his family in the house for 31 years, selling it in 1937 to John L. Lewis. As President of the United Mine Workers and the founder of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, Lewis was one of the most powerful and controversial labor leaders in American history. He lived this house during the height of his power, and until his
Erected by City of Alexandria.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Science & Medicine • War, US Civil • War, US Revolutionary. In addition, it is included in the Virginia, The City of Alexandria series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1785.
Location. 38° 48.306′ N, 77° 2.808′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of King Street and North Washington Street (Virginia Route 400), on the right when traveling west on King Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 631 King Street, Alexandria VA 22314, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Timberman Brothers (a few steps from this marker); George Washington Memorial Parkway (within shouting distance of this marker); The Alexandria Lyceum (within shouting distance of this marker); Retail in Alexandria (within shouting distance of this marker); Dr. Bernard Stier, O.D. (1930-2005) (within shouting distance of this marker); The Methodist Episcopal Congregation of Alexandria (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Portner'sGeorge Washington in Alexandria (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alexandria.
Also see . . . Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden. (Submitted on April 2, 2018.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 27, 2021. It was originally submitted on March 31, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 179 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 31, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.