Elizabeth Blair Lee

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Elizabeth Lee (Blair)

Birthdate: (88)
Birthplace: Lexington, Franklin, Kentucky
Death: September 13, 1906 (88)
Silver Spring, MD, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Francis Preston Blair and Elizabeth "Eliza" Violet Howard Blair
Wife of Rear Admiral Samuel Phillips Lee (USA)
Mother of Blair Lee I, U.S. Senator
Sister of Montgomery Blair, U.S. Postmaster General; Juliet Blair; JAMES Blair and Maj. General Francis Preston Blair, Jr., (USA), U.S. Senator

Managed by: Tina Marie Brown
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth Blair Lee


Elizabeth Blair Lee (born June 20, 1818, Kentucky; died September 13, 1906) was an American woman who lived through the American Civil War, and wrote hundreds of letters describing the events of the times to her husband, Samuel Philips Lee.


She was born in Kentucky to Francis Preston Blair and Eliza Violet Gist Blair. She was the sister of Montgomery Blair, Jessup Blair, and Francis Preston Blair, Jr. When the family moved to "Blair House" across the street from the White House, the President, Vice-President and Cabinet members were frequent guests. Elizabeth's best friend was President Jackson's young niece who was serving as First Lady for her uncle, whose wife had died. Elizabeth lived in the White House one winter because of her health problems from dampness at Blair House.

According to one version of the story, Elizabeth was present with her father when they chanced upon the silver-flecked spring which would inspire the name of the family's summer home in what would eventually become Silver Spring, Maryland. The spring site is memorialized at Silver Spring's Acorn Park though the water source was disrupted in the 1950's.

She married Rear Adm. Samuel Phillips Lee, a US Navy commander in the Union Army during the Civil War. Her letters to her husband, who was away for long periods as commander of the USS Philadelphia, describe wartime life in her homes of Washington, D.C. and Silver Spring, Maryland, during the war. Elizabeth was the mother of Blair Lee, a US senator from Maryland.

Held DAR membership # 171

"Descendant of Gen Nathaniel Gist, of Maryland."

Info added per DARs "Lineage Book of the Charter Members" by Mary S Lockwood and published 1895 stating:

"Nathaniel Gist was a colonel and brigdier of the Virginia Line."

"Also descendant of Ann, mother of Archibald Cary, of Virginia, who was a member of the Committee of Correspondence in Virginia and of the Convention of 1776"

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Elizabeth Blair Lee's Timeline

June 30, 1818
Lexington, Franklin, Kentucky
August 9, 1857
Age 39
Silver Springs, Montgomery, Virginia
September 13, 1906
Age 88
Silver Spring, MD, USA