ully, the country home of Richard Bland and Elizabeth Collins
Lee, was built in 1794 on land inherited by his father, Henry Lee II. The house was situated on what was originally a 3,111 acre tract between Cub and Flatlick Runs, then part of Loudoun County, Virginia.
In 1789, Lee was elected to represent northern Virginia in the first congress of the United States. For the next five years
he spent a good deal of his time in New York and Philadelphia, where the delegates convened. By the end of 1793, construction began on the manor house and associated buildings which eventually replaced
the log house that was Richard Bland Lee's bachelor residence.
From Philadelphia, Lee ordered the necessary supplies and forwarded building instructions to his agent in Virginia. Nails, plaster of Paris, linseed oil, window weights and ropes, even two marble hearths,
were among the cargoes shipped by sloop to the port of Alexandria and transported by wagon the remaining twenty miles to Sully.
"The colors I directed were slate for the Roof and Stone for the Body inside and out," Lee wrote.
"Urge the painter to lose no time in his work."
Two-and-a-half stories high and three bays wide, Sully bears a resemblance to the townhouses of Philadelphia, the city where Lee met and married Elizabeth Collins, the daughter of a Quaker merchant.
Stephen Collins, visiting his daughter's Chantilly home in September of 1794, wrote to assure his wife that Sully was "a clever house, has an elegant hall 12 feet wide and two very pretty rooms on the first floor...
...There are two large and one small Chamber in the second story, and one handsome and large chamber in the third or garret story and another good lodging room besides..."
The Lee home was, by design, a fit residence for a man of Lee's station and a comfortable dwelling place for his wife.
Sully was built during the nation's Federal Period (1790-1820). Outside, the clapboard siding conceals mortared brick set between the studs of the frame. Inside, the floor plan presents one half of a center hall
configuration, in keeping with Lee's initial plans to build a second full wing at a later date.