The elder Mary Lee learned to read and write in this room and would later home school her children here. However, the Custises and the Lees were not the only people who were educated at Arlington. A devout
Episcopalian, Mrs. Custis felt it her duty to educate enslaved children to read the bible and be prepared for eventual freedom. Because of these beliefs, three generations of Arlington women would teach the enslaved people reading, writing, and childhood hymns, all despite laws passed making the practice illegal in the state of Virginia after Nat Turner's slave revolt in 1831.