Mrs. Lee suffered from rheumatoid arthritis in her hips through most of her adult life. She used a crutch like this or a cane to help her walk. The affliction began in her mid-thirties and almost completely crippled her by the beginning of the Civil War. So debilitating was her condition that it was difficult for her to travel, making her forced departure from Arlington in May, 1861 as hard physically as it was emotionally. Her condition, combined with travel restrictions during the war, also prevented her from journeying to Alexandria, VA to pay the property tax that was due on the Arlington Estate. That failure to pay the tax in person allowed the US Government to seize the property.

Wood, leather, rubber L 132, W 21.5 cm
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, ARHO 5801