This cupboard stood in the North Wing of the house, and was used as a pantry. It was returned during the 1930 restoration of the house by one of Selina Gray’s daughters, Ada Thompson. The cupboard stands in its original location.
According to family history, house slaves put milk and cornbread on the cupboard edge for Robert E. Lee each evening.
At the beginning of the Civil War, when Mrs. Lee was packing to leave home, she gave this piece to Selina Gray, one of the house slaves. Mrs. Lee also gave her the keys to the house and asked her to protect the possessions left behind, particularly Washington heirlooms. After Union soldiers took over Arlington, Selina Gray requested that the commanding general, General Irvin McDowell, protect the Washington heirlooms. He complied and sent them across the river to storage at the US Patent Office.
Walnut, metal. H 216.3, W 51.9, L 125 cm
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, ARHO 218