The following pages contain a fragment of the Journal of a young lady of Virginia of the last century. It seems to have been written by her while on a visit to her relatives, the Lees, Washingtons, and other families of Lower Virginia, mentioned in her Journal.
I am preparing to set off for Chantilly. Adieu, my Polly.
I have arrived at Chantilly. Nancy was much better than I expected to find her. Weakness is her only complaint. She was delighted to see me, and inquired eagerly for her dear Polly, and was much pleased with your letter.
Mrs. Pinkard is here--and a sweet Woman she is. Adieu. Nancy says I shall not write more.
I am just up, and am going to seat myself for Sibby to crape my hair.
[Sidenote: Stratford. Residence of Philip Ludwell Lee.]
Cousin Nancy and myself have just returned from taking an airing in the Chariot. We went to Stratford: walked in the Garden, sat about two hours under a butifull shade tree, and eat as many figs as we could. How did we wish for our dear Polly, and think that was the only thing we wanted to compleat our happiness!
We brought to Chantilly Col. H. Lee's little Boy. He has stayed at Stratford sinc
I loved this little book, I wish more of the journal had survived. This journal gives you a taste of the life of the upper class in the early 1780's just as the new nation is being born. And is a glimpse like a time capsule into the lives of the two most prominent families in Virginia, the Washington's and the Lee's. Had this little worn, dilapidated and torn journal not been discovered in an old desk, this amazing view of the past would have been lost. Little treasures like this is why I dig through old books.
In 1782 at the estimated age of 22, Lucinda Lee kept a journal for two months for her friend, Polly as she traveled through southern Virginia visiting friends and family.
The journal provides an account of the homes of various relatives, with descriptions of neighborly visits received and returned, games played, novels read and walks taken, and the arrivals and departures of relatives and courters.
It is an delightful and fascinating glimpse into the daily world of a young woman of the Colonial era, an invaluable resource for glimpsing a time long gone through the eyes of one who lived in it.