Photograph of picture of house and article, Southern California, 1927. "Estouteville; The ancestral seat of the Coles family in Virginia where Lafayette executed the brilliant maneuver that hastened the close of the Revolution; By Harriet Sisson Gillespie; When in pre-Revolutionary days, Selina Skipwith, daughter of Sir Peyton Skipwith of Prestwould, became the bride of John Coles and the first mistress of the plantation which lies for five miles through the heart of the Old Dominion, she sought a title for her new possessions; there seemed none so worthy as that of her noble ancestor, the gallant Count Estouteville, soldier under William the Conqueror. Four American presidents have left their impress upon Estouteville's history in the epoch-making times of the period, for Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and Martin Van Buren were among the men who enjoyed the hospitality of their friend and neighbour, John Coles, and in the case of the first three, conferring with him over events that were fast approaching a national crisis. Besides being colonel of militia, John Coles was honoured with the command of the British prisoners after the surrender of Burgoyne. His estate, too, was the theatre for one of the most dramatic scenes in the War of the Revolution. Colonel Tarleton and his British dragoons had just attempted the capture of Governor Thomas Jefferson, then presiding over the legislature in Charlottesville. Failing that, Tarleton turned the attention of his lawless troops to seizing the military stores collected in Albemarle County. In this he might have been successful had not the "boy" Lafayette, with four thousand troops, stepped in between him and his prize. Within a stone's throw of hte manor house he cut through the forest, forcing back the invaders, and then pressed forward, successfully bottling up Cornwallis and effecting the siege of Yorktown which terminated the war. That stormy period in Estouteville's history has long since vanished, and, although the place has recently passed out of the Coles family into that Virgil P. Randolph of the Virginia Randolphs, the flavour of romance, lent by historic events and the illustrious personages who dwelt there, still remains. Of the latter none, perhaps, has impressed her individuality upon Estouteville more than Sally Coles Stevenson, whose charming letters written to members of her family during her husband's diplomatic career in London have since been published. These letters give delightful glimpses of the home life of Queen Victoria, as well as personal reminiscences of royalty. It is said that the wife of no other American ambassador has ever been admitted on such terms of intimacy with the royal household. Apart from her attendance upon court functions, she was a frequent visitor at Windsor and was often invited to dine en famille with the queen. Dolly Madison had an especial niche in the annals of Estouteville, for her mother was a cousin of John Coles, and in this very hall many distinguished personages gathered to felicitate her upon her engagement to the 'great little Madison.' Among them were her two sisters, Lucy Payne, who married George Steptoe Washington, and Angelica, who became the wife of Martin Van Buren. As Sally Coles reigned in the hearts of British royalty, so did she hold sway at the White House when her kin, 'Queen Dolly,' presided there and her uncle, Edward Coles, later special envoy to Spain, was private secretary to President Madison. It was Sally Coles who announced at Octagon House the end of the war with England in 1812. Being first to receive the joyful news while an official reception was in progress, Sally, from the head of the stairs, electrified the guests by crying "peace, peace" at the same time telling the butler, John Freeman, to serve wine without stint to all within, with the result that some of the dependents were incapacitated for days. Sally Coles' gipsy face is absent from the collection of family portraits that hang on Estouteville's walls, but there are some interesting Randolph portraits in the old drawing-room. One of them is the owner's great-grandmother, Mrs. Richard Henry Randolph, wife of Dr. Randolph of Atlanta, Georgia, who had the honour of educating Alexander Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederacy. Close beside her hangs the Sully portrait of the brilliant John Randolph of Roanoke, and next, as though to proclaim his intention of one day following in the footsteps of his noted forbears, is that of Virgil, the Randolph scion, aged nine." -- on article.