"A garden of old-fashioned flowers, covering more than 10 acres, grow around the plantation house and under the constant care of the older slaves, roses, crepe myrtle, verbenas, syringas and hollyhocks grow in brilliant perfusion. The garden was apart from the dogwood, wild peach, oak and pine trees that shaded the house in order that the sun might reach it.
Down the flag-bordered walk and out to the garden, Sam Houston went to meet the Indians waiting for him on benches scattered through the grounds. His bodyguard was a Negro named Josh, who always accompanied his master to the Indian councils. They came either on horseback or in a carriage drawn by four horses. The slaves hated and feared the Indians, but helped prepare the food in advance of their visit and served it to them in the garden.
The graves of Vernal Lee and his oldest son, Temple, are on Council Hill in the old rose garden beyond the trees. A monument still stands, overrun with Cherokee roses and its message reads, "Mark the perfect man and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace."
Marie Lee, daughter of
Vernal Lee, was married in her father's plantation home to Major Charles
F. Hume, brilliant lawyer and friend of Jefferson Davis."