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Robert E. Lee and Slavery

I’m tired of hearing historical mythology used to lionize Confederate leaders like Robert E. Lee. People say things like, Lee was against slavery, never owned slaves, and anyway, was a Christian.

Robert E. Lee absolutely owned slaves. He ran a plantation that he had inherited between 1856 and 1861. And he beat his slaves himself when they tried to run away (evidenced in a personal letter). Lee’s “opposition” to slavery consists of a single passage in a private letter to his wife. While he was a slave owner. Who whipped his own slaves. Then he committed treason to maintain slavery, and the armies under his command enslaved free blacks in the territories he invaded. Oh, and Lee wrote that slavery was bad because it forced whites to be mean. It was on the whole best for the blacks, but such an awful burden to slave owners.┬áLee┬ámay have self-identified as a Christian, but his behavior does not merit the label.

Let’s stop cherry-picking biographical facts to support wounded southern pride. Let’s stop whitewashing traitors and slavers.

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