Discussion Frederick Douglass id's he cause of death of Robert E Lee in 1870

2nd Dragoon

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San Diego, Ca

Will Carry

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The Tar Heel State.

A. Roy

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Well as much as I admire Fredrick Douglas, he was still human and suffered the same frailties as anyone else. The letter Mr. Douglas wrote to his former master is one of the great documents of the era.

It's a long letter but well worth a read.


Thanks for pointing to this. Every once in a while, I find it valuable to read something heartbreaking.

Will, are you in NC? I'm in Raleigh. Always interested to hear from other tar heels.

Roy B.
 

A. Roy

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According to Douglass's editorial, it was Jefferson Davis who said Lee "died of a broken heart." Douglass's sarcastic comment was that, if Davis was to be believed, "the liberation of four millions of slaves and their elevation to manhood, and to the enjoyment of their civil and political rights, was more than [Lee] could stand, and so he died!"

I guess Douglass wanted to add his bit of caustic rhetoric to the public commentary about the death of Lee.

As far as the idea that Lee died of a broken heart, is there really any evidence that he was chronically despondent over the Confederate loss? He had a pretty active career after the war, even if only for a few years. I understand that he had a stroke at age 63, then died of pneumonia. I suppose one's mental and emotional condition can affect one's health, but for that time period it wasn't so unusual for a man to die in his 60s.

Roy B.
 

A. Roy

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I live in the Bull City. My kids live in Raleigh. I am a Tar Heel born and bred.

Ah, close by, then! I was born in Raleigh and grew up here. Moved away in my early 20s and lived in the north for a long time, then moved back here in 2006.

Maybe we've talked about his before, but some of us have been investigating the Civil War fortifications around Raleigh, about a 5-6 mile circle built in 1863. No preservation work has ever been done, but we're trying to pin down the locations and see if something can be done to preserve something of the works.

Roy B.
 

VA_Jim

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Samuel Phillips Lee, cousin of Marse Robert who didn’t follow the same treasonous path. Served in the US Navy. “When I find the word Virginia in my commission, I will join the Confederacy”
When I decide to march against my neighbors and family and burn my own hometown I'll join the Union - Jim :smile:
 

Ole Miss

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Regarding the cause of Robert E. Lee's death, I believe he had suffered a stroke days before his death. I have read that it purported that he had suffered a heart attack in 1863 and the continuing stress and strain of campaiging and waging war cause additional damage to his health. Coronary disease was the cause of his death as far as I have read.
Regards
David


 

Pete Longstreet

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Hartford, CT
Douglass writes "many northern journals also join in these undeserved tributes to his memory". I always found it interesting that after the war... R.E Lee was respected in the north, and nearly worshipped in the south. Yet, Jefferson Davis was vilified throughout the country. Although I believe Lee was much more dangerous than Davis, militarily speaking.
 
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I believe Lee was emotionally a broken man for two reasons. First was he made aware belatedly that his decision to engage in a southern slaveholder insurrection was a mistake. Secondly he was made more upset over those who were engaging in the subsequent post War insurrection violence and lynching of fellow southerners. Lee lawfully returned to his obligation to the Republic and stood as a noble example of how others should be behaving but he was ignore by most. I have high regards for Fredrick Douglass but here he only tooting his horn while missing the big picture while being partially correct. Stress hastens Death.
 

leftyhunter

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los angeles ca
I believe Lee was emotionally a broken man for two reasons. First was he made aware belatedly that his decision to engage in a southern slaveholder insurrection was a mistake. Secondly he was made more upset over those who were engaging in the subsequent post War insurrection violence and lynching of fellow southerners. Lee lawfully returned to his obligation to the Republic and stood as a noble example of how others should be behaving but he was ignore by most. I have high regards for Fredrick Douglass but here he only tooting his horn while missing the big picture while being partially correct. Stress hastens Death.
I am not aware of Lee ever critizising any paramilitary terrorist groups or advocating racial equality. Are there any examples of Lee doing so post ACW.
Post ACW NBF did give a speech about the need for racial equality although he died soon afterwards if I recall correctly.
Former Confederate General Longstreet did briefly lead African American milita in Louisiana against the Red Shirts so not all former Confederates were against racial equality .
Leftyhunter
 
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