Mary Custis Lee—Anti-War?


Mar 8, 2020
Hi, folks!

As I was researching the Lee family recently, I came across an interesting read about General Lee’s eldest daughter, Mary Custis.

Mary Custis Lee was a character in her own right and is known for the extensive traveling she did following the Civil War. Mary stayed abroad for most of her adult life. Thus, she made many friends and acquaintances throughout the European continent. She preferred the company of military men whatever the nationality.

Mary was abroad at the outbreak of the First World War. Her comments to British friends at this time caused quite the scandal. Instead of condoning Britain’s need to go to war against Germany, she warned of the great consequences of war, perhaps thinking of her German friends also. This was quite the shock for the Brits accustomed to the image of the “fighting Lees,” and Mary lost many friends due to her stance. She never again travelled abroad, remaining in the United States until her death.
Article info:
The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography
Vol. 124, No. 3 (2016), pp. 216-260 (available online for free with a JSTOR account).

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