Those Trunks...

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Aug 26, 2007
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#1
Remember those trunks found in a vault a while back... Elizabeth Pryor gets to be the only person to read everything and write about it. I think the biggest thing is the slave ledgers and little is spoken of them... She did publish a book from the letters....

http://www.amazon.com/Reading-Man-Portrait-Through-Private/dp/0143113909

Here is an article about a person trying to do research on General Lee... but finds the protective nature of the Lee family and learns about those two trunks in a vault...

http://www.salon.com/2011/07/31/lee_papers_lafantasie/

The two trunks that were found have been open a while back...
https://www.questia.com/magazine/1G1-193840798/treasures-of-robert-e-lee-discovered-a-lee-descendant

Here is a question and answer interview with Elizabeth Pryor

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2007/06/24/the-private-thoughts-of-robert-e-lee

Remember Lee did not punish his slaves well it s not true... Elizabeth Pryor confirms 1859 stories...

http://www.crossroadsofwar.org/wp-content/uploads/CWS_Robert-E.-Lees-Slaves.pdf

Then there is this site that reviews Elizabeth Pryor work and thinks she glossed over Lee's failing...

http://leepapers.blogspot.com/
 

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James B White

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#2
Makes one wonder, if the Lee family was so embarrassed over the papers, why didn't they just destroy them? I'm obviously glad they didn't, and even they must have had a sense that it's wrong to destroy something that has passed into history and that gives insight into a famous man, for better or worse.
 
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#3
The family stills controls what is released... The slave ledgers seem to the most ****ing to Lee's mythic character... I wish they would have allowed complete openness with the new material, maybe one day...
 
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#4
It is obvious give people say series of short one page articles to read--- They won't read them... if they did this thread would be on fire...
 
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#5
Remember Lee did not punish his slaves well it s not true... Elizabeth Pryor confirms 1859 stories...

http://www.crossroadsofwar.org/wp-content/uploads/CWS_Robert-E.-Lees-Slaves.pdf
Norris writes:“Gen. Lee, in the meantime, stood by, and frequently enjoined Williams [the constable] to ‘lay it on well,’ an injunction which he did not fail to heed; not satisfied with simply lacerating our naked flesh, Gen. Lee then ordered the overseer to thoroughly wash our backs with brine, which was done.”

Following Norris’ testimony in June 1866, Lee seemed to be personally aggrieved at the accusations, writing to E.S. Quirk that “There is not a word of truth in it...No servant, soldier, or citizen, that was ever employed by me can with truth charge me with bad treatment.”

My take:
Who is more credible? A man with zero demerits during four years of study at West Point and one who displayed exemplary behavior during all military engagements and in private life, or a runaway slave?

Lee is not a legend because of alleged Lost Cause mythology. Lee is a legend because Lee is a legend.
 

James B White

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#7
My take:
Who is more credible? A man with zero demerits during four years of study at West Point and one who displayed exemplary behavior during all military engagements and in private life, or a runaway slave?

Lee is not a legend because of alleged Lost Cause mythology. Lee is a legend because Lee is a legend.
Do you mean that a runaway slave already broke the law and showed he was dishonorable by running away, thereby behaving poorly as a southerner and earning our distrust, while Lee behaved in an exemplary way for a southerner, thereby earning our trust?

That would certainly be the way that other white southerners thought of it at the time. I'm not real comfortable using the same benchmarks today, and even northerners at the time wouldn't necessarily fault a slave for running away.
 

Yankeedave

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#8
Do you mean that a runaway slave already broke the law and showed he was dishonorable by running away, thereby behaving poorly as a southerner and earning our distrust, while Lee behaved in an exemplary way for a southerner, thereby earning our trust?

That would certainly be the way that other white southerners thought of it at the time. I'm not real comfortable using the same benchmarks today, and even northerners at the time wouldn't necessarily fault a slave for running away.
were do i sign up?
 
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#9
Do you mean that a runaway slave already broke the law and showed he was dishonorable by running away, thereby behaving poorly as a southerner and earning our distrust, while Lee behaved in an exemplary way for a southerner, thereby earning our trust?

That would certainly be the way that other white southerners thought of it at the time. I'm not real comfortable using the same benchmarks today, and even northerners at the time wouldn't necessarily fault a slave for running away.
Lee's behavior was exemplary throughout his life, before there was a CSA, during and after. The character of these slaves is totally unknown. Given the available information, I have chosen to believe Lee's version. It's just that simple. Don't read anything into it that ain't there.
 
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#10
Lee's behavior was exemplary throughout his life, before there was a CSA, during and after. The character of these slaves is totally unknown. Given the available information, I have chosen to believe Lee's version. It's just that simple. Don't read anything into it that ain't there.
That is the point..if the trunks were turn over to historians without without rules from the family, we would know the truth. It all there in those trunks. The question is why does the family keep the information in the trucks a secret? We must a least be happy they never burned them...
 
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#12
Because they can. You should be thankful they allowed access to what they did instead of casting doubt and derision at them
Yes, they can... but they are the ones casting doubt on Lee's image by limiting access to what can be published. What are they hiding?

I think the government should confiscate the material because they a national treasure being denied to the American people.

We would learn the extent of his naughty letters to younger women. We learn more about his slaves from his slave ledgers like why he overpaid for young slave girls. It just thoughts...
 
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#14
Yes, they can... but they are the ones casting doubt on Lee's image by limiting access to what can be published. What are they hiding?

I think the government should confiscate the material because they a national treasure being denied to the American people.

We would learn the extent of his naughty letters to younger women. We learn more about his slaves from his slave ledgers like why he overpaid for young slave girls. It just thoughts...
I don't think Lee's image has a problem. Also, I find it hard to believe that those trunks could contain all the salacious, morally incriminating and sinister material that you hope they do but yet no one ever observed that in Lee's life.
 
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#15
I don't think Lee's image has a problem. Also, I find it hard to believe that those trunks could contain all the salacious, morally incriminating and sinister material that you hope they do but yet no one ever observed that in Lee's life.
If there was not salacious or morally incriminating items then why control the contents of then so closely. If you watch some of Elizabeth Pryor's video's on her book about Lee. In one, she reads items in letters and wonders if she could find these items in others letters held by others. She goes looking and finds these items she was looking for in other letters by Lee know to be available already to historians. It seem that these items were willfully ignored by by other historians before her. Why were these item she mention ignored before her? I think the big thing being ignore was his naughty letters to young women... We have sexting today and it seems they had sexting letters back then....
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#16
Because no one has a duty to turn their life over to pawed through. By anybody. No one signs a paper at birth stating " Here-on-in, please find an open book, contents of which are property of anyone at all who wishes violated boundaries using whatever means at their disposal. When such a paper is signed by each being at the moment of birth or when we are all answerable to you personally, perhaps these questions will be answered.

In the meantime, using words like " salacious " and phrases such as " morally incriminating " create something called guilt by association. It is being insinuated there is something being hidden ' or else why '. If this were being stated about a living human being, this would be considered very dicey, depending on one's tolerance. As it stands- these men, warriors of another era, garnered respect though things like getting on a horse and going into battles. R.E. Lee did that many time, both for the United States and for his loyalty to his home, Virginia. That is a man. They also tend to be icons for a lot of people and are looked up to. I can see why. Lee did not drink or swear. At an age when it had to have been difficult he endured long years of tough army campaigns- physical torment the man never spoke of. He was religious. He revered his family. For what it's worth- his reasons for going to war were, indeed loyalty to something, his home, Virginia. You don't see a lot of that 150 years later.

I will not reply or take notice of this thread again because I have seen how delightedly you tend to jump on replies. I could possibly be accused of some of the same things or be accused of defending what happened to some girls who had pain in their lives. So no- I will not be back here. It's just difficult when these men of the past, worthy of respect because of who they were and what did alone have words like ' salacious ' and phrases like ' morally incriminating ' attached to them through a post. I realize it is supposed to be ' just a question. I am stating simply that we should allow these people the dignity they earned through dignified duty. R.E. Lee was a man of duty- and much dignity.
 

dlofting

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#17
Here is an article about a person trying to do research on General Lee... but finds the protective nature of the Lee family and learns about those two trunks in a vault...

http://www.salon.com/2011/07/31/lee_papers_lafantasie/
I've excerpted the following from this article. What the author doesn't say or perhaps didn't know is that "The Wartime Papers of Robert E Lee" published in 1961 and edited by Clifford Downey and Louis H. Manarin contains the Lee to Mary Custis letter in it's entirety, including the postscript. According to the notes the original letter is in the Library of Congress and presumably available to researchers.

What’s interesting about Lee’s letter to his wife is that it was published, in truncated form, in a book “Recollections and Letters of Robert E. Lee,” compiled by his son, Robert E. Lee Jr., in 1904. The younger Lee excised the final lines of the original letter, now located at the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) in Richmond, and indicated the deletion with ellipses. From the son’s perspective, the omitted lines had no inherent importance. They read:


“Custis [Lee’s eldest son] writes the girls [Lee’s daughters] have gone to Carter’s. They did not get your letter in time. I hope I may be able to get there before you leave. I may have to go to the Kanawha & if so will write you from Lewisburg. Fitzhugh [another son] is very well. Charlotte [Fitzhugh’s wife] writes the baby is better. Love to Daughter [Mary Custis Lee, his eldest daughter].”


Below his signature, Lee added a postscript:


“I am much obliged to you for your offer of socks. I should like to have ½ dozen good thick cotton socks if you could get them knit & have the cotton.”


If you’re primarily interested in Lee’s role as a Confederate general, the final sentences of this letter probably seem irrelevant, with their references to family members and cotton socks. But if you want to understand Lee not only as a military leader, but also as a man, the last lines of his letter are revealing, if only because they do mention such mundane matters. But historians have been repeatedly stymied in their efforts to humanize Lee — socks and all — by the descendants of the general, who, like his son, have worked assiduously to keep Lee the man hidden from view.

Since Lee’s death in 1870, the Lee family has chosen to perpetuate the general as a “marble man” — a phrase that his fellow West Point cadets used and later biographers have employed to describe Lee’s reluctance to express his feelings openly. But getting to know Lee better, as a man and a general, has been difficult for historians not only because the general kept many of his personal feelings bottled up, but because historians have not been allowed full access to the documentary record pertaining to Lee, particularly his personal papers.
 
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#18
I am stating simply that we should allow these people the dignity they earned through dignified duty
Its not about dignity it's but about why the family chooses it limit access to the true Bobby Lee. It seems you want to believe the myth or the white wash Bobby Lee. I want the truth if want fantasy then I would read fantasy novels. When I want history then I want more truth then myth.

Since Lee’s death in 1870, the Lee family has chosen to perpetuate the general as a “marble man” — a phrase that his fellow West Point cadets used and later biographers have employed to describe Lee’s reluctance to express his feelings openly. But getting to know Lee better, as a man and a general, has been difficult for historians not only because the general kept many of his personal feelings bottled up, but because historians have not been allowed full access to the documentary record pertaining to Lee, particularly his personal papers.
Again, what is the family protecting...?
 
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#20
Its not about dignity it's but about why the family chooses it limit access to the true Bobby Lee. It seems you want to believe the myth or the white wash Bobby Lee. I want the truth if want fantasy then I would read fantasy novels. When I want history then I want more truth then myth.
That's interesting considering that you seem to be injecting your own fantasy into documents that you don't know the content of.
 



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