Hang on to your hats, Lee lovers.
It's going to be a bumpy ride.
Facts are stubborn things
DO NOT MAKE THEM TRUE
Lee didn't have slaves?Lee slaves loved him so much, they refused to leave when he freed them?
Lee "detested" slavery and thought it was evil.
Lee prayed during battle, as bombs blew up around him.
Lee now sits at the right hand of Christ, his Lord, in Heaven.
Above Just some of the so called "facts" we were told by "historians". Over, and over, and over. Each one just repeating, and even adding to, the last adorational bits of nonsense about Lee.
TROUBLE WAS -- MUCH OF THE LEE MYTH WAS BULLSHIT.
Alan Nolan -- a "historian" himself -- wrote 25 years ago, that we need to "start over" about Lee, because so much of what passed for history about him, was not supported by facts.
Nolan could have no idea how correct he was.
ELIZABETH PRYOR -- the only scholar ever allowed to see Lee's slave ledgers, dirty letters, bounty hunter letters, and the two trunks of personal papers, kept by the Lee family -- for 150 years.
If Elizabeth Pryor could tell Robert E Lee one thing, it might be this: " Please, please, burn your slave ledgers and dirty letters" He would have, if he could have.
The author -- Elizabeth Pryor -- third from left in this picture.
These are the trunks that stored Lee's slave ledgers and bounty hunter letters.
Most people assume we know so much about Lee, it would be almost impossible to squeeze out another trivial detail, much less a basic fact.
Most people would be wrong.
People actually believe -- because they are told by self confident "educated experts" that Lee all Lee cared about in life life was "bringing men to Christ Jesus".
Actually, if you pay attention to Lee's slave ledgers and his letters to/from bounty hunters, Lee was rabid to capture girls, mostly. He paid much higher prices for girls about the ages of 12-14.
Now, why would Lee pay so much higher prices for 12-14 year old girls? Did he like to talk to them about bridge construction?
Maybe he enjoyed the way they spoke? There had to be a reason -- because Lee was a sane man, not a lunatic -- that Lee paid that much higher prices for girls of a certain age.
But you are not told that fact -- until now.
Pryor does tell us -- in as careful a way as humanly possible -- that Lee bought girls.
It's like pulling her own teeth -- Pryor does not want to do this. She does not want to mention that Lee bought girls, but he did.
She writes that as if Lee paid this money for the CAPTURE of escaped slaves.
Look closer. Look real close. Yes, Pryor admits Lee paid for the capture of escaped slaves, she even admits he had them 'discipline" -- tortured -- by whip and other means.
But look again. Pryor relates- - carefully mentions -- that Lee paid for "others".
You have to chase that dog around a bit, but Pryor, when she admits Lee paid for "others" -- she was writing about his payment for women kidnapped from the North.
Blacks were kidnapped from the North -- it was a lucrative business. Lee paid bounty hunters not only for the escaped women, but for "others".
ADORING LEE A PROFITABLE SCAM
Did you know there is an actual award given to the writer who can praise Lee the most effusively? It is named after the most flattering Lee biography, named after Cooke, who wrote an unintentionally hilarious book about Lee.. You can not know it's hilarious, however, unless you know bout Lee's actual tortures, purchase of kidnapped women, his disdain for religion, and his obsession with bounty hunters and punishing escaped slaves.
The typical biography of Lee is almost difficult to read, even if you believe every word. Lee is the MOST wonderful, brave, religious, anti-slavery, patriotic, cleanest, devoted, faithful, and chaste man ever born.
In the Lee biography most folks assume is "definitive" -- Douglas Southall Freeman is the author -- he actually has four columns in his index about noble human qualities, then sets out to prove Lee was the best at each quality. He was not just chaste, but the most chaste (never mind he wrote sexually explicit letters to various women for decades). Never mind that rape was common at Arlington, and Lee either participated or knew it was common, and profited from the rapes.
How do you profit from rapes? Lee sold and rented out slaves- - that was how his "plantation" made money. He didn't sell vegetibles. He sold human flesh, a basic fact glossed over in every Lee biogrphaphy.
If the Lee family would show the slave ledgers -- Pryor referred to them carefully as "monthly account books, but they were accounts about profit and loss of slave dealings -- we would know exactly how much Lee made.
He wrote it all down.
WHY IT WAS NECESSARY TO BE WACKOABOUT ESCAPED SLAVES
Yes, Lee had an obsession about capturing escaped slaves -- especially the young women. But why?
Because if you allowed 10 or 20 slaves to escape (Pryor tells us Lee had a dozen slaves escape at one time, and likely, there were many others) -- you soon didn't have anyone left, but those too old, sick, or young, to do the work, or give you slave babies.
And slave babies -- the flesh from flesh -- was were the money was. As soon as a child could work, it worked, and if the price was right, rented out. Maybe rented out nearby, maybe sent to the deep South, maybe sold.
Pryor hints at such a reality -- Lee, she admits, was WORSE than most slave owners, who tried to keep mother and child together. Lee would "separate families" which is Pryor's Orwellian double speak for selling the mother or child. He didn't care, he did what got the most money.
So keep that in mind, if you read Pryor's book, and you see the part about Lee paid so much extra for girls.
And he tortured -- yes tortured - any slave who tried to escape -for the same reason. That was his money. And he was not going to let a slave girl escape. He would send hunters after her, for as long as it took.
Lee didn't much care -- he gave BOUNTY payments. The bounty hunters only got paid if they got the flesh and brought it back to him. There was not just one bounty hunter, there were hundreds of bounty hunters.
And they didn't care much if the black girls they captured in the North were escaped slaves or not. They got paid -- paid by men like Lee -- for the flesh.
HOW "HISTORIANS" GOT IT SO FUCKING WRONG?
How did "historians" come to the conclusion that Lee was anti-slavery? That his slaves servants loved him? That he only cared about "winning souls to Christ" bullshit?
Understand this -- No one alive when Lee was alive, including Lee, said his only goal in life was to "bring men to Christ" -- no one alive, when Lee was alive, said he was against slavery, or that he freed his slaves before the war, or that his slaves loved him.
No one alive when Lee was alive, said Lee was kind to his slaves.
And yes -- contrary to what your smug uncle, your misinformed teacher may have told you, Lee not only owned his own slaves, not only "managed" his wife's slaves, Lee bought more slaves.
And he bought them -- at least some of them -- from bounty hunters.
And Lee defended the torture (yes, torture) of slaves, including slave girls, in his own handwriting. See more below.
PRYOR TELLS IT CAREFULLY
SHE ADORES LEE
SHE WORKED FOR THE LEE FAMILY
But wow, what she found. How do you tell the Lee family that their hero bought kidnapped women (yes, kidnapped women) that Lee's bounty hunters found in the North, and captured, illegally?
How do you tell the Lee family that their hero wrote dirty letters -- sexually explicit -- to various women, for decades?
How do you tell the Virginia Historical Society, in a way that doesn't get your car blown up the next time you start it, that Lee had various tortures he used on slave girls, and used the tortures - torture is the right word -- regularly.
Far from Lee freeing his slaves, Pryor carefully relates that Lee's biggest problem was escaped slaves!!
Pryor -- as you will see -- would never spell anything out candidly. She related things in as diplomatic, as soft spoken, and as non-shocking way as humanly possible. Typically Pryor would not even mention Lee's name in the paragraph about his tortures, his bounty hunter payments.
Pryor couched whatever she wrote, however, in flattery. Or double speak, or both.
Such as the funniest line in her book (she did not mean it to be funny ) Lee's slaves "did not fully agree with his theory of labor management".
Did not fully agree? Labor management? As she relates herself, Lee defended the torture (she did not say torture, but it was) of slaves as being ordained by God. God "knew and intended" slaves feel pain. Pain, Lee wrote, was "necessary for their instruction."
Lee's father had a slave girl hung -- to death -- because she knocked down a white man. No one even bothered to mention why she would knock down a white man, but she was pregnant - 8 months pregnant -- and 15.
Was the white man whipping her? Raping her? Taking a child from her, to sell? Taking her mother away? All of those things happened on slave farms. But so unimportant it was WHY she would knock this white man down, no one bothered to write that down.
She was hung.
That is how Lee grew up -- and the myth of kind slave owners was never true. At any time, any slave could be tortured, sold, whipped, or even they fought back, burned to death or hung.
Slavery HAD to be based on violence, as Lincoln and many others pointed out. You did not have to torture every slave -- hang one girl up to be whipped until the blood pooled around her feet- - make the others watch, and they got the idea.
Lee's amazing letter -- one of many.
Lee insisted his slaves were lazy. He and his wife both, according to Pryor, thought the slaves should be more grateful to them. Lee insisted slaves were fortunate to be slaves -- the imposition was to the slave owner, he told his wife, in one of the most amazing letters ever written.
That letter -- two sentences in it -- are used thousands of times, in thousands of classes to show folks Lee was against slavery.
Uh -- read the whole letter- - and more importantly, learn what Lee did.
Slavery was of God, and it is evil - yes evil -- for anyone to even attempt to end it other than by prayer.
In fact, Lee equated slavery with "spiritual liberty".
HAD TO TELL HIS WIFE SOMETHING
That Lee had slave girls tortured is not even debatable, when you know his own hand written records validate a horrific torture Lee imposed on one girl for trying to escape.
Escaped slaves was Lee's biggest problem, Pryor wrote. She could have given us much more information behind that, like show us the letters and entries in his records, about it.
Pryor knew, for example, that at one time, Lee's hunters were looking for 12 escaped slaves.
Pryor knew, too, that Lee paid 600% more bounty for the capture of girls of a certain age- - about 14.
Now -- why why -- would Lee paid so much extra for girls of a certain age? Was he stupid? Was he silly. Did he want them back for their singing voice? Did they recite poetry he liked?
You can figure it out, but the fact is, Lee was eager to get slave girls back, and apparently, get more. Pryor wont tell us the gender of "others" that Lee bought from bounty hunters, who captured the "others" in the North. But it's a good bet, the hunters brought him WOMEN. FEMALES
He paid much more for females. Six times as much.
How is it then, that virtually no one knows Lee's slave ledgers, dirty letters, and letters to bounty hunters, still exist?
How is it, then, we don't know Lee turned kidnapped women (kidnapped illegally in the North) into slave women?
How is it we did not know -- and teach -- the very open fact at the time, that Lee had his soldiers kidnap hundreds of free blacks in the North, during the way, and had those blacks taken South, and there sold as slaves?
TENDENCY TO BULLSHIT
Actual "historians" wrote that kind of nonsense about Lee -- some got "Pulitzer Prizes" for books so goofy, they should not be in history section of any library.
It's not that EVERY historian fell into line completely. Historian Alan Nevins dared to suggest we need to "start over" about Lee --in 1991 -- because what we had was, to oversimplify him, what we had was bullshit.
Even Nolan, however, dared not to say anything specifically negative about lee -- in fact, he seemed to bend over backwards to praise Lee on almost every page, despite criticizing those who did that themselves.
Nolan, though, almost had to do that, in order not to be shot at book signings.
Nolan could have no clue -at all -- how right he was, because he never got to see Lee's slave ledgers, dirty letters, and letters to and from bounty hunters.
In fact, only one person that we know of, was allowed to actually study Lee's slave ledgers, dirty letters, and bounty hunters letters.
She wrote a clever book about those dirty letters, bounty hunter letters, and slave ledgers. Her name was Elizabeth Pryor, who sadly passed away in automobline accident April 1, 2015. But her book remains.
Remaining, too, unless the Lee family destroyed them by now, are Lee's dirty letters, slave ledgers, and letters to/from bounty hunters.
Repeating myths, adding to them, work. It works to sell books -- and worked very well from 1880-1950, about Lee. Basically the books repeated bullshit from previous books, but who could, who would, refute that bullshit?
Others repeated it, endlessly, adding their own nonsense. Smug "history teachers" pumped it up, and sold it to generations. Not out of malice or eagerness to distort, but pumping out bullshit is a rewarding pastime.
(To those of you who never knew historians are often full of bullshit, and spread that bullshit proudly, not just about Lee, this may be a shock.)
During Lee's life - no one claimed he didn't own slaves. No one claimed his "servants" loved him so much they refused to leave when freed.
Dozens of books, however, in the 1880's and 1890's, capitalized on the nostalgia for adoration of Confederate leaders. Almost hilariously, the books had to have more goofy preposterous things to say about Lee, than the other guy.
For example, John Cooke came up with the goofy story that Lee -- and all his staff officers-- would dismount during battle, as bombs blew up around them, and stood in "profound respect" as someone would pray.
No one said a thing about that at the time -- none of the staff officers mentioned it.
Who in their right mind gets off their horse and stands in silence, with dozen or two dozen other officers, as bombs blow up around them? Not LEE!! Lee was "well in the rear" anyway. I
When bounty hunters brought to Lee black women -- kidnapped from the North, Lee did not rush out and go "Oh my God, you poor child. You are not an escaped slave. You are a free girl from the North. I will have you taken immediately back to your loved ones. I am so sorry"
Lee took a different approach.
He bought the women, turned them into slaves.
And he would do that, on much larger scale, during the Civil War.
Lee is the only soldier in US history, to have civilians rounded up during a war, taken to another country, and there, sold as slaves.
LEE THE PLANTER?
WHAT DOES "MANAGE SLAVES" MEAN.
In the typical Lee biography, the language is necessarily double speak, even Orwellian.
For example, Pryor and others will tell you Lee took much time off from the military to "manage" the "plantation".
But in candid, honest terms, manage slaves meant this -- sell these slaves (yes, Lee sold slaves) buy others, "discipline" others. Put fear in the hearts and minds.
Lee stated in his own letter (that some use, idiotically, to prove Lee was anti slavery) that pain was necessary for their instruction.
Slaves "must endure painful discipline" Pain is "necessary for their instruction".
In the bizzaro world of history bullshit, you can take one disingenous sentence, ignore all the other sentences Lee wrote, ignore his slave ledgers, the newspapers, the letters to and from bounty hunters, and claim that proves Lee was against slavery.
Lee was very very much "into" slavery.
Lee personally suggested places for bounty hunters to look, and apparently sent the bounty hunters on long trips- -into the North.
Yes, the North is where the escaped slaves would go, and yes, the Fugative Slave Act required the Northern authorities to return the escaped slaves.
But if Lee was anti slavery -- why on earth did he have bounty hunters go on long trips to capture them.
Pryor tells that Lee, at one time, had 12 escaped slaves -- but he may have had many more at various times. According to Pryor, Lee's slaves hated and feared him, called him "the worst man we ever knew".
Just in case you think Lee's slaves loved him - hell no. That is not reflected in his own slave ledgers and letters.
Lee may or may not have personally tortured the slave girls, but he did taunt the girls before the torture, and scream at them during the torture, according to accounts at the time. Those accounts are validated- - remember that - validated by Lee's own papers, Pryor tells us. Exactly what she found, Pryor is rather coy about. But she did admit the newspapers were validated by each other, and by Lee's own paperwork.
And by discipline,as you will see, Lee meant whip. In fact, as Pryor so artfully relates, in a way that doesn't scare the shit out of readers, one of the first things Lee did when he took over "management" of the slaves, was to install a whipping post.
That's right, Lee had a whipping post installed. No doubt, the slaves themselves had to build and install their own device, to be tortured. And torture is the right word.
WHAT DOES "PLANTER MEAN"
Lee was a "Planter" Lee "managed" his servants.
Pryor tells us -- "All Lee ever wanted to be, was a Planter"
Planter is Orwellian double speak for slave owner. Lee not only never planted anything-- his cash crop was not cotton or vegetables or chickens. His cash crop was HUMAN BEINGS -- their flesh, and their labor.
Most people assume - wrongly -- that Lee must have grown food, cotton, or tobacco. To the extent his slaves grew any of that, Lee's ledgers -- and Pryor could show this -- show Lee's rentals and sales of slaves, purchases of slaves, farming out this slave or that, was how he got his money.
And yes, Lee used slave auctions. Pryor admits that, too, but as she does everything, in a way not to stun the shit out of anyone.
No. As you will see, Pryor tells us nearly everything, in a very "uncandid" way -- but no one else came close to telling us what Lee actually did, in clever ways, or not.
Some biographies of Lee claim he didn't even own any -- they got that information from others, who said the same thing.
But Lee not only had slaves, Lee was very much into selling, renting, and getting more slaves. That's the kind of information in his slave ledgers and bounty hunter letters.
POWER OF BULLSHIT
As we learn from Lee's own papers, Lee turned free women INTO slaves. He bought women from bounty hunters, who captured luckless free blacks in the North, on their trips to capture escaped slaves.
The bounty hunters didn't really care if the woman they captured was an escaped slave, or not. Thousands of free blacks were captured -- kidnapped really -- and sold to men like Lee , and to Lee specifically.
Lee's papers show that. In the most artful doubletalk of her book, Pryor relates that Lee paid for "others". He paid the bounty hunters for capturing escaped slaves (and he paid much higher prices, 600% higher prices, for escaped girls) and he paid for "others".
Others -- others. Lee paid for others. Very clever.
So polished -- so smooth -- is Pryor's prose, that no reviewer of her work seemed to notice, much less mention -- why not just show the ledgers? Why not show or quote Lee verbatum.
For example, Pryor relates Lee paid for "others". She could have said something like "In Lee's letter to his Bounty Hunter Toombs, and in his slave ledger, Lee records 2,000 dollar payment for capture of the following slaves, and 450 dollars for purchase of the following blacks that were not slaves".
There is material -- Lee's own handwritten material -- for all of this. Pryor choses never to show it, or mention it in a candid, stark, but honest way.
But Pryor would never be candid -- at all - about the documents she reports on. She refused to even call his slave ledgers by their candid name -- slave ledgers. She calls them, and refers only once, to "monthly account books".
MONTHLY ACCOUNT BOOKS
Monthly "account" books, receipts, letters to bounty hunters, letters to and from assorted women (Lee wrote a "number" of women, for decades, and some were sexually explicit)
If Lee had destroyed his slave ledgers, dirty letters, bounty hunter letters..we would never know
The myth of Lee would still be a travesty to the women he tortured, the children he sold, the women he turned into slaves.
Yes, Lee turned free women INTO slaves -- as you will see. His bounty hunters were not picky -- they would search for escaped slaves, but bring him "others" according to his slave ledgers. See how Pryor handles that below.
She told us -- but in a clever and diplomatic way. Doubtless she was not about to infuriate the Lee family. She worked literally side by side with the Lee family, in a sense, she worked for the Lee family.
WHO WERE THE OTHERS
HOW DID PRYOR GET THAT INFORMATION?
The "OTHERS" Lee got from bounty hunters were black women living in the North, free women. People today are almost clueless that in Northern Virginia (Lee lived only 2 miles from the White House) buying kidnapped women, and men, was a business opportunity.
Men like Lee, who claimed God ordained slavery (see below) and that he was doing the black a favor by enslaving them, did not think it horrible to accept black women from bounty hunters. As bounty hunters rode up to Lee's plantation, their slaves and "others" in chains walking along, Lee did not rush out and go "Oh my God, you poor child. You are not an escaped slave. You are a free girl from the North. I will have you taken immediately back to your loved ones. I am so sorry".
No -- Lee took a different approach. He bought them.
But Pryor does tell us he paid for "others". She would not list their names, though she could have. She would not list the prices Lee paid, though she could have.
Remember, Pryor GOT THAT INFORMATION FROM LEE'S OWN HAND WRITTEN LETTERS AND LEDGERS.
Yes, Lee was one of those men, according to his slave ledgers.
And why not? If God -- as he said -- ordained slavery. If GOD delivered the other blacks to him, this was "Providence"
PRYOR NOT OUT TO TRASH
Pryor had a problem -- the "horrors" she saw in his slave ledgers, (she even calls them horrors) are not what she expected, and not what the Lee family hired her to do.
Pryor worked literally with the Lee family and Virginia Historical society, on this project.
The project was to do a review of the hand written papers Lee did not destroy himself, and which the family kept in two trunks.
Scholars knew of the trunks -- and wanted to get their hands on them for 100 years. But as you will see, there were good reason not to show the papers to the public.
And they STILL won't show those papers to the public.
Instead, the Lee family allowed one person to actually study those papers for months.
CORRELATING DATE SKILLS
It's likely the Lee family had little idea what the hell were in the papers, if a scholar like Pryor got them, and could correlate, for example, newspapers from the era, and dated papers in Lee's own handwriting.
For example, no doubt Pryor already knew of newspaper reports of Lee's amazingly cruel torture of slave girls -- and his capture of free black women in the North (yes, in the North) that Lee ordered. Lee had his soldiers gather black men, women, and children, regardless if they were free or slaves, regardless of anything. There is no dispute whatsoever that Lee had his men capture hundreds of free blacks in the North during his invasion of Pennsylvania -- and that those blacks were taken to slave auction, where they were sold.
Who got the money from selling that flesh -- Pryor did not say. But she might well have known, there might well be entries in Lee's ledgers.
MAGIC OF BULLSHIT
But thru the magic of repeating bullshit, a man who had slave girls tortured, a man who bought kidnapped free black women from the North, and turned them into slaves (yes he did) and a man who essentially wrote that God wanted him to inflict pain on slaves, turns by repeating bullshit, into a "great man of GOD, who was against slavery".
No, Lee was not against slavery. His actions and letters (read the full letters) show Lee defended slavery, and defended the torture of slaves, with a religious tenacity. Others did the same thing -- but Lee did it on bigger scale. Lee used bounty hunters, then later soldiers, to grab free blacks in the North.
This is not the only time, nor is Lee the only person, to be entirely different in the myth made up by others. Nor will he be the last.
NEWSPAPERS AT THE TIME REPORTED
Most people today have no clue that Newspapers at the time reported Lee's torture of slave girls.
Not that whipping a slave girl made the papers-- but Lee ordered his regular overseer to whip the girl, and the oversee refused because she was so young.
So called historians -- who could recite every line of Lee's myth -- naturally refused to believe those papers, if they ever even knew about them.
But Pryor -- who had Lee's slave ledgers and letters to/ from bounty hunters, confirmed Lee did indeed record, on those dates, information in his own handwriting, that verified the tortures.
To her credit -- and rather surprisingly -- Pryor makes it emphatic, Lee's own handwritten entries in slave legers and letters, validate the story of the torture of this girl. Pryor blames the girl -- Lee had every right to protect his property, seems to be Pryor's justification.
Pryor also notes, elsewhere in the book, that torture -- physical torture (painful discipline) was not unusual. Lee's "prefered" way to "discipline" the slaves was the whip. He had other ways -- chemical torture (really) like pouring salt on open wounds.
As an eye witness to the girl's torture stated --and he was there -- Lee did it to increase her pain, but to keep the scars, which would last for life, to a minumum.
But Lee had other tortures, as well, psychological terror -a woman could lose her child, a child lose their mother, as easily as Lee telling an overseer to take this child or mother to auction, or to send this mother or child to that plantation deep in the South, and Lee got the money. Pryor notes that Lee would separate "families" which means, separate the mother from the child.
Typically, a slave child did not know who the father was, and the biological father was, often as not, a white man at Arlington. So when Pryor talks about breaking up families, she knew quite well the horror -- Lee sold the mother or the child.
She could have been more clear about what she found, and show us, quote the material verbatum. There is a very good reason she never did that, on any of the "horrors" --the vile nature of what she found in the slave ledgers and bounty hunter letters, were too vile for her to be candid about.
She did the best she could.
1 OF MANY THINGS YOU NEVER HEARD
Pryor would not show you any of Lee's papers, except for things that did not tell you anything important., Lee's drawing of a pump, she included. What she mentioned, but did not show pictures of, Lee's whipping posts, and his slave ledgers.
Still, no one else even hinted at the things Pryor revealed, no matter how artful, how Orwellian, her double speak, she is the first in US history to reveal dozens of facts, that no one even imagined before.
Purchase of free women, kidnapped in the North? Yes, he did, he bought such women from bounty hunters.
Did you hear that in your "history" class?
Yet, you never even heard that Lee's slave's skin tone -- white in come cases -- was an issue. Pryor's book tells us that, and much much more, in a very careful way.
More people know the name of Robert E Lee's pet chicken than know he had girls captured and tortured.
Which is more informative, more important, to know the character of a man? To know the name of his pet chicken (Pearl) or know who he tortured, and why, and what he did during the torture of girls so small, his regular "torture guy" refused to whip her.
Let me repeat that -- Lee had a girl tortured that was so small, so young, his regular guy refused to whip her. Lee had to hire a nearby bounty hunter, to whip her.
How do we know? From his slave ledgers. He validated -- yes, Lee's own slave ledgers, in his own handwriting, validated the overlapping newspaper reports of his torture.
The news of Lee torturing a slave girl, only made the paper because his regular guy refused to whip her. Whipping a slave girl was not news. But the fact his regular guy said no - that was news.
Pryor's book -- see the book described more below -- could have opened with the story of Lee's torture of slaves, and particularly the torture of one special girl. Pryor could have -- and should have -- shown us the actual letters and slave ledger entries.
WORKED WITH LEE FAMILY
Pryor, however, was not out to defame, or even besmirch Lee. Quite the opposite. She worked, literally, with the Lee family and Virginia Historical society. Both those groups exist to praise Lee, and Pryor was not about to bite, or even offend, the hand that fed her. You can (and many do) read her book and not notice the tortures, and you could be completely oblivious to her admission Lee bought free woman from kidnappers, that they caught in the North. Not escaped slaves, he bought OTHERS too.
1000 WAYS TO SAY I BOUGHT YOU
There are a thousand ways Pryor could have relayed the information, such as the tortures, and Lee's purchase of kidnapped women.
Pryor told you of the tortures, rapes, purchases of kidnapped women. She told you about his dirty letters, about how he ordered men to shoot other confederate soldier in battles who ran away, she told you all kinds of things.
But she told you in careful ways. Certainly, Pryor would not let you visualize Lee's torture of slave girls, by showing you a picture of one of the whipped slaves. She would not make it clear Lee bought women from kidnappers -- yes, kidnappers, who grabbed free women from the North.
She simply, and artfully, wrote the words "and others" when telling about Lee's bounty hunters returning from the North with escaped slaves. Pryor wrote that "technically, Lee may have violated the law".
Clever that. She even tried to get you to feel sorry for Lee -- claiming Lee "failed to fill out the time consuming paperwork". Poor Bobby, all that nasty paper work, so "time consuming" you know.
He had purchased women from the North -- and he would do much the same during the Civil War (see below). Pryor was not going to show you the tortures, beatings, chains, and horrors of what Lee did. She would tell you by saying "time consuming paperwork".
Most people know that bounty hunters grabbed free blacks in the North -- and sold them in the South. Lee was one of the buyers, according to his own records.
you visualize, not let you grasp, what the hell she was talking about. You may not even notice Lee had slave girls tortured -- but he most certainly did, and verified it himself. But the way Pryor wrote about Lee purchase of "others" - she had to have stayed up some nights, trying to figure out how to do that, in a "non-judgmental" way.
She did it, of course, by leaving out the candid facts, and not letting you, or anyone, know what exactly he wrote down about it.
LEE WROTE IT DOWN,
Consider this -- Pryor did not make things up out of thin air. For her to actually write any combination of words, about his purchase of "others" that his bounty hunters captured in the North, means almost certainly that Pryor did not want to include that, but the entries his slave ledgers and or, his own words in his own hand written letters, made it undeniable.
All oppressions are tied to Orwellian bullshit. Lee himself justified torture- -and yes, torture is the right word -- by claiming pain was "necessary for their instruction" and that God "knew and intended" they "must endure" that pain.
Tortured -- that's the right word. He had them tortured, while he screamed at them. He taunted them first. And he had other physical tortures, applied after the whipping.
In fact, Lee's slaves said "He was the worst man we ever knew."
Contrary to the nonsense that Lee's "servants" would not leave when he granted them their freedom (he never did such a thing) Lee's slaves --dozens of them, perhaps over 50, tried to escape. Judging by the expense he paid, and the cruelty he showed, to escaped slave women, Lee took it personally when a female, yes female, escaped.
ONE OF LEES WHITE LOOKING SLAVE GIRLS
She may well be his blood relative, too.
George Mason, founding Father, wrote that men (like Lee) who were raised from birth to see slaves as subservient beings who deserved torture, were sociopaths (he used the vernacular of the day of course) and predicted they would cause a violent calamity for the United States, in the future.
He could not have been more correct. Interesting as hell, Pryor included this fact in her book -- about LEE. Pryor did not have to even mention what Mason thought, or said, But she did. Why mention Mason, at all?
Alan Nolan told us 20 years ago, essentially, we need to "start over" about Lee, because what passed for "scholarship" about Lee, was nothing of the sort. He could not know how right he was.
WHY PAY SO MUCH FOR GIRLS -- YOUNG GIRLS?
Pryor does tell us Lee paid over 600% more for escaped women, than men. And the highest prices-- were apparently for 14 year old girls, or smaller. Like all things, Pryor had his slave ledgers, she could have, and should have, shown those, and shown the information she saw that let her arrive at the conclusion.
She didn't show it. And she was artful in how she told anything. But no one else even hinted as such things.
After you learn how rapes were common at Arlington, you may put 50 dollars and 50 dollars together, and conjure up a financial reason Lee paid so much more for females.
Dozens of his slaves tried to escape, though their tortures for doing so were horrific. Lee's father had a slave girl hung for trying to escape, and Lee thought that was fine.
How do we know? He wrote it all down. He confirmed horrific things, he wrote prices down, he wrote instructions down, he wrote which slave should be sold, which slave should be tortured, which slave child should be sent to the deep South to punish which slave woman was "uppity".
Lee was no more cruel, perhaps, that other slavers. Slavery was a violent enterprise, no matter what fucking bullshit you heard about "caring" slave owners.
The myth of Lee's "kindness" toward slaves is exactly as true as the overall myth of most things we learn about the South, leading up to the Civil War.
We all only know what we are told. And no one told us this. How else would we know?
TEN MINUTE VIDEO
We can't be sure, of course. If we had a ten minute video of Lee at a slave auction (yes, he went to slave auctions, and apparently sold and bought flesh there), we would know what he laughed at, we would know what he said about the 14 year old girl he just purchased.
Did he talk about the bust size of the girls he bought? Did he comment on what he would do with them? Did he inspect them for signs of whippings, rape?
And yes, men like Lee did inspect slave girls, and buy them, based on their attractiveness. Here is a dirty little secret.... lighter skinned slave girls were considered more attractive, more sexually attractive, and went for higher prices.
No one told you that, but this was known, and reported, at the time. Yeah, yeah yeah, men like Lee would write letters about GOD and how God ordained slavery - but that was for show, to his own wife. What was he saying at the moment of purchase?
We don't have such video, but we do have his slave ledgers and dirty letters.
That's a start.
Could not be, right? No way, right?
No way Lee tortured girls. He didn't even own slaves, right?
No way he had his bounty hunters, and later, soldiers, capture free women in the North to be turned into slaves. He was against slavery, right?
A bastion of spiritual insight? A man of "great compassion"? A man who cared more about "bringing young men to Christ" than anything in the world? Oh horseshit.
We know the name of Lee's pet chicken! So surely we would learn of the tortures, the horrors he inflicted on women and children. He was a GODLY man "who now sits next to Christ his Lord."
We know that Lee was "deeply spiritual man" who "turned to the bible for direction and purpose" and was "loved by his men, and admired by everyone".
Yes, "historians" will tell you such bullshit -- like the Pulitzer Prize winner, who told us Lee "now sits next to Christ, his Lord" in heaven.
Holy shit. Maybe it's time we cared what the evidence showed, not what liars and dumb asses repeated.,
MORE BOOKS. MORE BULLSHIT.
More books tell you Lee's (supposed) devout religious beliefs, than tell you Lee paid 600% higher prices for girls of a certain age, than for any male.
In a very real sense, almost every Lee biography is written by some ass wipe whose goal it is to praise Lee MORE than the others. And worse, that passes for "scholarship" in the minds of the stupid.
I believed all that, believed Lee was against slavery, believed he had no slaves, believed he was kind to his "servants" -- on and on.
Why not believe it? Didn't they tell us that in school? Did the biographers not tell us? Did not the movies tell us?
Did you know that the Union army returned two trunks of Lee's personal papers, back to the Lee family, after the war?
Well, historians sure knew, and wanted to get their hands on those papers -- including slave ledgers -- but no one was allowed to even see them up close, for 150 years.
The historians assumed -- stupidly it turns out -- that Lee's papers would just confirm what a great guy he was: anti slavery, kind, brave, loyal to his country and wife, and with tender concern for he well being of his "servants"
Uh, not so much.
Then the Lee family let one -- ONE -- person study them: Elizabeth Pryor. She would not dare show us one page of his ledgers, nor show one comment to his bounty hunters, to or from them.
But she wrote a very very careful book about those dirty letters, the slave ledgers, the bounty hunter reports -- and never even described them in a candid way.
And no wonder -- if she wrote "Lee's slave ledgers" even stupid people would go "Oh, let's see them".
Instead Pryor wrote the innocuous "monthly account books" and did not make it clear in that page, what amazing info she got from those "account books".
She was able to learn what price Lee paid for which slave, where he sold the slaves, which bounty hunter he paid. She gave us a few amazing details, but did not scare you to death.
ROUNDING UP FREE WOMEN
IN THE NORTH...
There is no debate, or question, that Lee ordered soldiers to capture free women, in the North, on his invasion of the North. No one even thought much of it.
Harper's Weekly reported the capture of hundreds of free blacks, living in the North, by Lee's army. They were taken South, and sold.
But how does this come down, in history?
Entirely white washed. Lee's hands -- and name -- not even near any article about it.
Even more, they try to make it seem like "slaves" were rounded up. FUCK NO. They were free blacks. Anyone they could find that was black, or close to black.
And -- they were SOLD. S O L D. They were taken South, and send to slave auctions. Furthermore, Lee did much the same thing before the Civil War, using his own bounty hunters, per his own hand written slave ledgers.
At the time, it was matter of factly spoke of in terms of Lee's army. And people know about cattle drives of blacks, at least people in the South did.
No one reported that "escaped slaves" were rounded up. That shit was added later.
And Lee's name removed. So by the time it gets to us, if you hear the story at all, you will think "Confederates" were going after escaped slaves. FUCK NO.
Typical -- very typical way to remove the harsh reality of who did what. And remember, no one went "Oh my GOD Lee ordered the round up of hundreds of free blacks -- I thought he was against slavery".
People knew the kind of shit slave owners did.
You don't know it, but cattle drives of humans -- called
But what you never heard at all (if you heard about Lee orders to soldiers to capture free blacks in the North) is that Lee did the same thing before the war -- using bounty hunters.
1000 ways to say he tortured girls, bought kidnapped girls, and was obsessed with slave GIRLS
The big problem today, we are fed this horseshit that some slave owners were kind, noble, even caring men. Bull shit.
And worse, we use Lee as an example of one of the better slave owners. Bullshit. He was one of the worst.
Pryor even tells us that Lee's slaves said he was "the worst man we ever saw".
Think of that. Think real hard. Pryor didn't tell us the context of that remark -- was it in a letter about rapes, tortures, sale of children?
No way to tell. And Pryor made damn sure we had no way to tell.
But at least she said something about it. No one else even dared do 1/10 of that much.
Turns out, Lee wrote dirty letters, meaning sexually explicit letters, FOR DECADES. Pryor is not about to show the letters, she presents everything in an exceedingly careful way.
He also kept slave ledgers -- Pryor is not about to call them "slave ledgers" --she calls them "monthly account books". Had she shown one page, we would know 100 times what she volunteered to us, in her careful way. And Pryor could gather copious information from those slave ledgers-- who he bought, who he sold, who he rented out.
Name by name, she had that information in her hand. She knew the highest prices he paid for escaped slaves -- and she knew how much he paid for "others.". Pryor refers to the women Lee bought from bounty hunters as "others" when she very deftly writes about bounty hunters catching run away slaves in the North. They also brought back "others".
And oh, by the way, technically, she says, Lee might have "broken the law". Pryor is comical, sometimes. In this case, she has Lee be the victim. Lee "failed to fill out time time consuming paperwork" concerning these "others".
What the fuck paperwork does she think even existed to grab "others". There was no paperwork and she knew that. But she had to say something, as you will see.
If you don't know slave plantations were vile places, get the fuck off this blog. And Lee was more cruel -- not less cruel -- than others.
Pryor does mention that Lee would "separate" family members. WTF -- why not say what that means? It means, in blunt terms, Lee sold the mother, or sold the child. Family memember? She is well aware that slaves did not know who their father was, because often, the father was a white man.
It could only be Lee sold or rented out the mother, or the child. She could tell us -- she had to know, to write what she did write. She had to know something happened, to say "separated family members".
And she sure as hell did not make it clear. Like everything, she wrote it in a way to NOT make it clear. To KEEP the reader stupid.
But no one else even hinted that Lee wrote to assorted women, for DECADES, and would make sexual references.
No one even hinted Lee bought kidnapped women.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Posted by Seeker at 6:25 AM