Creating a blog was a personal challenge for me. I shy away from putting personal information on the Internet, which has meant no blogging for me (perhaps there has also been a lack of interest). But, creating a blog based on history, with a little fiction tossed in, where few know that I am the writer, has allowed me really get into blogging and figuring out how to best put history on the internet in an easy and accessible way. My goal with this project was to bring more attention to Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee and her experience surrounding Civil War. At Arlington House the history is focused mostly on Robert E. Lee, it is his memorial after all, but I feel that the history of women at Arlington House can be overlooked and that during the Civil War women played an important roll in society. Because of this I wanted to write about the history of a woman and Mrs. Lee turned out the perfect candidate. I have tried to stay true to her voice and her beliefs; because of this the blog can have a decidedly religious feeling about it sometimes.
While class has ended, or has almost ended, this blog will continue and while I think the content has been interesting for the first few months it will become more interesting now that Lee has resigned. The blog will now be following Mrs. Lee journey from her family home to her final resting place Washington College, now Washington and Lee University. In a few days Mrs. Lee will be posting about how her husband is telling her she needs to leave her home and that will in turn bring to her mind memory of the house and of her family.
I have enjoyed thinking about how to present Mrs. Lee’s history to the public and how to make the blog make sense. I want to present her family life and her intellectual life to the reader right as has she has to leave her family home because of the Civil War. It can be difficult to see her apart from her family because so much of her life was taken up with family and so in this endeavor I believe I have failed but I think that looking at her family life I have exceeded beyond my expectations. When writing about her family, her children and her husband, I think that Mrs. Lee’s personality comes through and that the reader can see how the Civil War begins to impact her life. Through the blog I hope readers can see how the Civil War impacted not just the soldiers, but the civilians removed from the war as well.
Over all the blog has been much more successful than I ever imagined. I honestly thought that I might get a handful of views but people are consistently visiting the site. I have been pleasantly surprised. I am excited to see where the blog goes and where it ends up, whether or not I am the person finishing up the blog. I have really enjoyed the process and the current outcome of this project.