Lesson Plan

Silent Witnesses: Surrender Souvenirs from the McLean House

Items from the parlor (clockwise beginning top left): Lee's Chair, Silent Witness Doll, Grant's Chair, Grant's table, pencil used, and Lee's Table.
Some of the items taken from the McLean Parlor (clockwise beginning top left): Lee's Chair, Silent Witness Doll, Grant's Chair, Grant's table, pencil used, and Lee's Table.

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Overview

What can the stories of the McLean House items taken as souvenirs tell us about the Surrender events that took place there and the reactions of those that participated in them? Because of the monumental historical significance of these events, in April of 1865, many of the furnishings from the McLean parlor, where the surrender meeting occurred, became, voluntarily or involuntarily depending on whose account you read, mementos of this watershed event in American history.