The Washington & Lee Controversy Rolls On and on


you attempt to make Robert E. Lee out to be some big Confederate slave owner fighting to preserve the institution of slavery. You do this by not stating all of the facts and out and out twisting history
Gen. Robert E. LEE inherited his slaves in 1857. At that time he was in the United States army. He freed his slaves on December 29, 1862, before the Emancipation Proclamation. Robert E. Lee owned slaves for a total of 5 years. A total of eleven were hired out, this is according to Inheritance and legal proceedings were the reason R.E.Lee owned slaves in the first place and also the reason he owned then for the time period stated.
Your posted letter from Robert E. Lee to James A. Seddon, I believe that you may have first read it on Kevin Levin’s blog. You say this letter is proof positive that “Robert E. Lee saying that he and the other confederates are fighting to maintain the institution of slavery” —-

<strong>“In view of the vast increase of the forces of the enemy, of the savage and brutal policy he has proclaimed, which leaves us no alternative but success or degradation worse than death, if we would save the honor of our families from pollution, our social system from destruction, let every effort be made, every means be employed, to fill and maintain the ranks of our armies, until God, in His mercy, shall bless us with the establishment of our independence.” [R. E. Lee to James Seddon, 10 Jan 1863]

You will certainly play with words to support your agenda, I’ll give you that. I should remind you that Lee was not a policy maker for the Confederate government, and there is absolutely no way he could know what every Confederate soldier was fighting for. Too I must remind you that a Yankee fighting “for the Union” was fighting for the preservation of slavery since slavery was legal in the “Union” At any rate there is quite a discussion at One John Cummings is having a field day there. Kevin Levin is “yes buttin’” himself to death but offers up very little historical fact I notice you are absent from that discussion.

Perhaps you should add you two cents of knowledge? Or you can come here, that would be interesting.


2 thoughts on “The Washington & Lee Controversy Rolls On and on

  1. Pingback: They Fought to preserve the Institution—— | Cold Southern Steel

  2. Sorry I think I posted to the wrong answer please remove the incorrect one. I was pointing out Lee did own his own slaves:

    ” We are going to put this to rest once and for all: we have said over and over you cannot believe every web site you visit and if you really want to make sure of something research it yourself. Did Robert E. Lee own slaves? Yes he did! We are not speaking of the slaves at Arlington, these who willed to his wife Mary Anna Custis; as was the custom of the day he handled the estate. The slaves were to be worked for time to provide an income for her but released on a specific date. Lee went to court to delay their release but the court ordered them freed. We are speaking of Lees personal slaves”: you can order a copy of his 1846 will in which he spells out directions and when to free them, from the Rockbridge Court for $1.50 or you can order a copy on aged parchment from the History Store for $ 9.95.

    Send a SASE and $1.50 to the address below. It is written on blue paper and does not copy well.
    Bruce Patterson, Clerk
    Rockbridge County Circuit Court
    20 S. Randolph Street
    Lexington, VA 24450

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