Intimate family meals were held in this dining room, while larger dinner parties and social events were usually held in the Morning Room in the house's adjacent South Wing. Robert E. Lee's romantic personality traits often emerged in this room. When he lived at home, Lee would pick flowers from the flower garden outside to leave at the seats of his wife, daughters, mother-in-law, and other female guests who would dine at the family table.
Much of the china and silverware that would have been used in this room was brought here by George Washington Parke Custis from Mount Vernon. Some was later looted by Union soldiers, who lived in the house during the Civil War. Family histories state that Robert E. Lee proposed to future wife Mary Randolph Custis in this room in 1830.