Skip to comments.A Portrait in Letters (Newly Discovered Robert E. Lee)
Posted on 07/12/2007 6:04:07 AM PDT by RDTF
Two old steamer trunks sit in the rare-book room at the Virginia Historical Society, looking worn and forlorn. The smaller one was once red but the paint has faded to a dull rust. The larger one is brown with a piece of tin patching a hole in the top. On one side, a name is stenciled: "M. LEE."
That's Mary Custis Lee, Gen. Robert E. Lee's adventurous eldest daughter. In 1917, she stored these wooden trunks in the "silver vault" in the basement of Burke & Herbert Bank & Trust in Alexandria. A year later, she died at the age of 83. Her trunks sat in a dusty corner of the vault for 84 years, unclaimed, until E. Hunt Burke, the bank's vice chairman, discovered them in 2002.
Burke called his high school classmate Rob E.L. deButts Jr., who is Robert E. Lee's great-great-grandson. Together, the two men descended into the vault. Burke carried a basket of old keys.
"The first one I pulled out was a perfect fit," he says.
The trunks were stuffed with Lee family papers -- a priceless cache of 4,000 letters, photographs and documents. DeButts carted them to the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, which houses the world's largest collection of Lee papers. He spent a week there, sitting at a desk in the research library, reaching into Mary Custis Lee's trunks and picking out treasures and trash.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Stuff like this gives me goosebumps! Eagerly looking forward to what new information these trunks contain.
Yeeeeehaw!.......The Confederate Rosetta Stone!.........
I wonder if it says anything like “I foresee a future where whites will be legally discriminated against with minority quotas, set-asides, minority only scholarships, minority only boost in civil service tests, diversity programs, multiculturalism and such. Where colleges will teach socialism and vilify western culture and Christianity. Where illegal aliens will have more rights then citizens. Where boys will be taught to act like girls and girls will be taught to act like prostitutes. Where defending your country from attacks will be seen as crazy and where cowards and surrender monkeys will destroy America for their very own power...
Very interesting article. Thanks for the post.
ping for later
“Was Robert E. Lee’s daughter, in some perverse way, a forerunner of Rosa Parks?”
I don’t understand why it was “perverse.”
Thanks, enjoyed this. She was quite a lady. I am surprised that she never married.
In most high school History texts today, Lee is a nonperson. Because he fought for the side which upheld slavery he can’t be mentioned, or only mentioned in passing.
His military brillance, his character, his love of his country, Virginia are all unmentionables. Ask a teenager about Lee today, most of never heard of him.
And that’s the way it is.
“Ask a teenager about Lee today, most of never heard of him.”
But he’ll know how hip AlGore is. Makes me want to hurl!
I’m guessing, no.
It really is shocking where our nation is today. It can not last much longer on this course.
I caught that, too. The writer just couldn’t do the piece without somehow making SOME derogatory remark.
I took a minute to read a little about Mrs. Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee and found these two nice little nuggets.
“Again following the example of her mother, Mary Lee taught Arlington slave women to sew, read and write. Advocating the idea of eventual emancipation, Mary wanted to ensure that all of the enslaved people, would be able to support themselves when they were freed.”
“After the Civil War, Mary accompanied Robert to Lexington, Virginia where he became the president of Washington College, later named Washington & Lee University. Arlington was very important to her and she never quite got over its loss. Life is waning away, and with the exception of my own immediate family, I am cut off from all I have ever known & loved in my youth & my dear old Arlington I cannot bear to think of that used as it is now & so little hope of my ever getting there again. I do not think I can die in peace until I have seen it once more.
“Mary Lee did visit Arlington a few months before her death in 1873. Unable to get out of the carriage, one of her former slaves, brought her a drink of water from the well. I rode out to my dear old home but so changed it seemed but a dream of the pastI could not have realised (sic) it was Arlington but for the few old oaks they had spared & the trees planted by the Genl and myself which are raising their tall branches to the Heaven which seems to smile on the desecration around them.
We lived in Richmond for a time. A wonderful city. In some quarters, the War of Northern Aggression isn’t over yet, and the Yankees most certainly didn’t win.
I loved that town.
Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.
Robert E. Lee
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