James was a member of a large family. He attended the school conducted by Mrs. Custis. As a boy, he sometimes swam in the Potomac River with the Lee children. When Molly Custis died in 1853, young Jim served as one of the pallbearers at her funeral.
During the Civil War, he helped construct the enclosing wall around the cemetery and assisted with burials. Several journalists interviewed Jim during his final years to record his memories of the old plantation. When Jim Parks died in 1929, he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
Paper, L 24, W 14 cm
Arlington House Reference Collections, Courtesy of Henry Gray Gillem