Anne Carter Lee

This portrait was taken from Arlington House by a soldier early in the Civil War and returned to Arlington House in the 1930s by the soldier’s descendents. Emma Gray Syphax, a former slave who was a teenager during War, identified the girl in the portrait as Anne Lee (“Annie”), the second daughter of Robert and Mary Lee..

Nicknamed “The Little Raspberry,” because of a pink birthmark on her face, Annie had a horrible accident at the age of three. While playing with a pair of scissors someone had carelessly left within her reach she pierced one of her eyes. This accident resulted in the loss of sight in that eye and left her permanently disfigured. This made Lee especially tender towards his daughter, and very protective of her. Probably self-conscious about her appearance, it seems that Annie did not want to be photographed as no known photograph of her exists.

This portrait, showing her without any scar or birthmark, was painted by an unidentified artist - possibly a relative - when she was in her teens. It is the only known picture of her. Annie died of typhoid fever during the second year of the war when she was 23.

Oil, canvas. L 90, W 80 cm
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, ARHO 1925