Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Guardian of a Nation's Heritage

Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial

 
 
Guardian of a Nation's Heritage Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 29, 2013
1. Guardian of a Nation's Heritage Marker
Inscription. Selina Gray, her husband, and their eight children lived in the room to your right. She was Mrs. Lee's personal maid and later the head housekeeper. Her parents had been Mt. Vernon slaves, so she grew up steeped in the lore of George Washington.

In May of 1861 on the eve of the Civil War, Mrs. Lee abandoned her home. She left the household keys with Mrs. Gray, entrusting her with the “Washington Treasury,” cherished heirlooms that once belonged to George and Martha Washington (Mrs. Lee's great grandmother.) By assuming stewardship of these revered artifacts, Mrs. Gray became, in a broad sense, the guardian of the heritage of the young nation.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 38° 52.859′ N, 77° 4.377′ W. Marker is in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, in Arlington County. Marker can be reached from Sherman Drive 0.2 miles south of Lincoln Drive, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in front of the old slave quarters behind Arlington House in Arlington Cemetery. Marker is at or near this postal address: 321 Sherman Drive, Fort Myer VA 22211, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Kingdom of My Childhood (a few steps from this marker); The Arlington Woodlands
Guardian of a Nation's Heritage Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 29, 2013
2. Guardian of a Nation's Heritage Marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); Garden to Graves (within shouting distance of this marker); Arlington House, 1864 (was within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing. ); Pierre Charles L'Enfant (within shouting distance of this marker); Arlington Estate, 1860 (within shouting distance of this marker); Dependence on Slave Labor (within shouting distance of this marker); A Garden Sustains (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Arlington National Cemetery.
 
Also see . . .
1. Old Marker at this Location. This marker replaced an older one at this location titled “Selina Gray” (Submitted on December 1, 2013.) 

2. Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial. National Park Service (Submitted on December 1, 2013.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansWar, US Civil
 
The Washington Treasury image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 29, 2013
3. The Washington Treasury
The Washington Treasury included items such as battle tents used by Washington during the Revolutionary War, Society of the Cincinnati China, and furniture from Mt. Vernon.
Close-up of photos on marker
Selina Gray image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 29, 2013
4. Selina Gray
Close-up of photo on marker
Jasperware Pitcher image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 29, 2013
5. Jasperware Pitcher
Before Mrs. Lee's departure, she gave this Wedgewood cream pitcher to Selina Gray. One of Mrs. Gray's daughters returned the pitcher to Arlington House during the 1920s restoration.
Close-up of photo on marker
Arlington House, June 28th 1864 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 29, 2013
6. Arlington House, June 28th 1864
When Union soldiers began looting, Selina Gray alerted their commander, who had the remaining pieces sent to the Patent Office for safekeeping.
Close-up of photo on marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 30, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 332 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 30, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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