Total Pageviews

Monday, September 10, 2012

LEE WROTE IT DOWN!

under construction 



We all heard it -- everyone in the US has heard it. Every "history" teacher seem smug about it.  Lee had no slaves, he fought "for his state".    Some historians even told us Lee freed his wife's slaves, but they loved Lee so much they refused to leave.

Lee saved sparrows during battle --knelt with blacks in his own church, and prayed with them.   My favorite, though, was the one where    Lee got off his horse -- knelt down,  with all his officers-- and said a silent prayer as bombs blew up around them. 









Elizabeth Pryor is the only scholar ever allowed to study Lee's slave ledgers closely.   What she found there had to shock her.  The problem was -- how would she tell of the horrors Lee himself inflicted upon slaves -- and on others.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------


Lee inflicted pain on others?   What others?   

Lee's papers show he paid bounty hunters for more than escaped slaves.....  Lee paid the hunters for "others".

As  you will see, Pryor used, necessarily, very careful prose when describing Lee's treatment of slaves, particularly slave girls.   Still, she does get the information out -- as gently as she can, without incurring the ire, and possibly hatred, from the Lee family.   She worked, literally, with the Lee family.

Pryor was exceedingly careful how she relayed the information about torture, bounties, white looking slave girls, rapes -- everything.   The more stunning the news, the more she was careful how she said it.  

If his ownership of white looking women was not the most amazing fact Pryor related,  it was the fact Lee bought "others".   Others from the North.  

Pryor apparently was not about to run head to head against the hand the fed her -- the Lee family, and Virginia Historical Society.  Remember, she studied Lee's slave ledgers only because they allowed it.  No other reason.  Lee's slave ledgers, bounty hunter letters, his dirty letters (yes, Lee wrote dirty letters) and asundry other documents are not with the National Archives, or any public place, as are most papers by most notable historical figures of the United States Civil War.

Lee's papers are privately owned -- which is a shame, and a travesty.   A travesty because the Lee family could, if they wanted, destroy the papers revealing the horrors, if they wanted to.   And it's unlikely they will allow anyone else to actually study the same papers Pryor did for another 150 years, if they ever do. 

Given that situation, Pryor probably did as well as she could -- and her goal was never to reveal Lee's horrors.  Her goal was go give a PORTRAIT -- a flattering picture.  Not a totally honest picture.

_________________________________________

THE SLAVES WERE TO BLAME..


Pryor  blamed the slaves for their own torture, saying Lee "had every right to protect his property".   Having slave girls whipped  was protecting his property?  Yes, in Pryor's careful prose, Lee was protecting his property when he whipped the girls.   

COMMUNICATION -- NOT CRUELTY 


PRYOR  also excused Lee's torture (yes, it was torture --"discipline" is a cowardly euphemism, a deliberate lie, we will not  use it)  as a "communication" issue. The tortures were caused by Lee's "poor cross cultural communication skills" 

Let me repeat that --   Pryor suggested Lee's tortures came from his  "lack of cross-cultural communication skills".  

Pryor's book was reviewed by dozens of "historians"  and "critics" -- and as far as I know, not one single "historian"  or reviewer even noticed,  not just this absurdity, but nor did they notice any of the stunning linguistic tricks Pryor used. 

Absurdly, one person commenting on the book in a newspaper article about it, said "Wow, she didn't hold anything back, did she?".      

________________________

WAS SHE JOKING?


Pryor did not mean to be comical -- but she had to excuse Lee somehow. At one point, Pryor actually wrote that Lee's slaves "did not completely agree with his theory of labor management".

Sit there a while - think of this. His slaves (many of whom tried to escape, as you will see) did not "completely agree"  with his "theory" of labor management.

Pryor admits, in another chapter, that Lee's slave said he was the worst man they ever saw.  She further admits, carefully, that the slaves escaped so frequently -- and Lee tortured them if they were caught -- that was his biggest problem as a slave owner: escaped slaves.  

Escaped slaves were his biggest problem.  You have to understand that to know how goofy her comment was about the slaves "did not completely agree with Lee's theory of labor management".

Did any reviewer point this out? Hell no, not that I saw, anyway.   Did they even notice?   Apparently not.   

_____________________________________

  If you had a group of 1000 people, and gave each of them a  half hour to come up with a more stunning bit of Orwellian double speak, or a more absurd and misleading euphemism,   please let me know what that would be.

Pryor wins the absurd euphemism contest for Lee's biographies, IMHO. 

That was her attitude on almost every page, but clearly at times, in some pages, some paragraphs, Pryor was dumbfounded at what she found. But she saved her apparent venom for Lee on ONE thing -- as far as I can tell, and only one thing.  

She was disgusted that Lee owned white slave girls.

Black slave girls? No problem.  That he had slave girls tortured- - that was there fault.  That he bought kidnapped women from bounty hunters -- all you get from her is "others".   That Lee's tortures were cruel and sadistic (yes, sadistic) -- he was protecting his property.


But for the white slave girls?   That surprised her.  That didn't seem RIGHT!





____________________________________________________
Yes Lee kept slave ledgers.  Very extensive, detailed slave ledgers.  

Prices paid for every slave bought or captured (yes, Lee bought slaves).   Prices paid for bounty hunters, not only for capturing escaped slaves, but for capture of "others"  that were not escaped slaves.

Who were those "others"?


Lee  also wrote down payments to bounty hunters to whip slaves.   Yes, Lee had them whipped.  And at times, per  his hand written slave ledgers, it seems Lee paid a bounty hunter hunters whip an escaped slave when the original overseer refused.

And the original overseer refused ----- because the girl was too small to whip.  

__________________________________________

MORE STUNNING


Yes, amazing things in Lee's slave ledgers.  It's hard to pick something more surprising that he had slave girls whipped, too small or not.

The more amazing -- Lee's white looking slave girls.  Pryor is very careful how she tells us, but she does tell us. You must read very closely,  however.



Elizabeth Pryor is the author of another Lee biography.

But it is not like the others.   


     The Lee family allowed  Pryor to study, at length, Lee's slave ledgers.  These ledgers were in two trunks of personal papers that historians knew existed for 100 years, but no one was allowed to study them.   It's likely even the Lee family did not grasp what was in those two slave ledgers.

_____________________________________________________________________________

The slave ledgers laid in those trunks for over 100 years, apparently.  Given back to the Lee family, after the war, historians for three generations assumed those papers would just confirm Lee's kindness, concern for bringing men to Christ,  and his charity to the slaves, and ex -slaves as time went on.

No so much.

________________________________________


THE STATE OF LEE SCHOLARSHIP

More people know the name of Lee's pet chicken, than know the names of the slave girls he had tortured.   This includes "history professors" and the public, alike. 

 Meet Pearl -- Lee's chicken.

 Keep reading for the name of just ONE slave girl Lee had tortured. 

If you go to school in Virginia, you never were asked on any test -- and probably never will be asked -- for the name of a slave girl Lee had tortured, or how much he paid bounty hunters.

But it's a fair bet, in grade school the teacher told you the name of Lee's pet chicken.  And certainly they told you the name of Lee's horse.

That same absurdity, by the way, is not much different that what was taught in all states.   And accepted as fact.

That might change now. 
_________________________________________


"Lee's tortures -- the horrors I found in Lee's slave ledgers"


Pryor could have called her book "Lee's  Slave Ledgers- - What I Found."   There are a thousand titles possible.

Pryor chose the title that was barely true -- they were his papers - but deliberately deceptive.

And she kept that attitude page, after page, after page. 

Yet attitude or no, she did give us information no other Lee biographer had the balls or brains or honesty to do.  In fact, unless Pryor lied her ass off, every biography of Lee was far was bullshit.

________________________________________________

NEVER SAY SLAVE LEDGERS
STUPID PEOPLE WON'T NOTICE


You can bet the Lee family, the Virginia Historical Society, and Journal of Southern History were damn glad Pryor did not write candidly.    Pryor would not show a page of the slave ledgers, she would not write the term "slave ledger".  

 Yet that is what she had in her hands, for much of the information.   She didn't have tea leaves and rumors from mice -- she had his slave ledgers. His bounty hunter letters.  Sexually explicit letters to and from various women - for decades.

Yes, sexually explicit letters.  Instructions to - and prices to -- bounty hunters.  I can't help it she wrote carefully.  But at least she wrote more than anyone else dared to write. 







More people know the name of Lee's horse, than know Lee ordered his soldiers to invade the North, capture hundreds of free blacks (yes, free blacks) there, take them South, and sell them as slaves.

Davis promised in January of 1863 that he would invade the North and capture blacks there -- FREE blacks. He specifically said free blacks.  Not just "escaped slaves"  as some stupidly think.  Davis promised to capture free-- free -- blacks and enslave them.





Lee is the one that actually did it.  Here is a picture from about that time.  No one remotely disputed Lee captured free -- free blacks -- in the North during the War.

What might be a surprise -- Lee did the same thing already, using bounty hunters that he paid, before the war. 




Lee was then, and remains now, the only person in US history to invade another country (he considered the North another country by this point) capture civilians, and turn them into slaves.

But even more  -he did that himself (via bounty hunters) before the war.  How do we know?  Pryor tells us about the bounty hunters - and "others".  Very clever, that Pryor.

See below. 

Yes, he did.   And more people know about his horse, than know that.

____________________________________________


PLACE OF HONOR FOR DEAD HORSES

Even  the place where Lee's  horse is buried, is a place of honor, near a chapel, where Lee is buried and honored every day as a devout man of God.   

Any honor to the slave girls?  Their place of burial?

Schools visit Lee's grave.

And grave of his horse.  No mention of the girls he bought. Or sold. Or had whipped.

And we do so in a reverential tone.  

We do not tell the children that Lee had slave girls their ages, sold, and some whipped. 

We show them the resting place of his horse.

No names, prices, birthplace, or death place of his slaves. No mention of the American men he had killed.
No mention of the Southern War Ultimatums and Southern leaders speeches boasting of killing to spread slavery. 

Certainly we don't show the price of any slave -- male or female, escaped slave or captured by bounty hunters in the North.

We act as if the place his horse is buried, is a place of honor.

_______________________________________________


WHAT IF LEE FAMILY
TOLD THE TRUTH ON SLAVE GRAVES?

A grave might give you this information

                                      Slave Bettes,  female.
                             Purchase price 400 dollars. 
                                  Assumed birth year 1842. 
                      Tortured four times. Captured twice.
Gave Lee 3 Mulatto Children.
 Children value 2700 total.
                                            Died 1858.  

We don't even think of it.  We think of his horse. 

That's the "scholarship" of today.  


_________________________________________________________

Pryor was "diplomatic" in how she gave us the information. 
..........But she did give  us the information. 






LEE KNEW THE SLAVE GIRLS -- WELL 
Yet Lee knew them -- some he bought at auction (yes, Lee used slave auctions).  Pryor tells us, carefully, giving you the false assumption, that this was rare -- slave auctions.  Or that he only "got rid of unruly"  or problem slaves, via auction. 
Read such passages carefully.   Pryor could have said "Lee only used slave auctions 3 times, and only to sell slaves".   Nope.  But she knew how many -- who, what prices -- Lee paid or received. We know because she tells us some prices.  And she can tell averages -- over time.


If she has average prices of slaves, over time, then she has slave ledges, over time.   
We also know Lee knew the girls -- because he paid the prices for each, if captured.  He paid to have slave whipped, if need be. We know that because Pryor says Lee paid to have the Custis girl whipped, when the regular overseer refused, and she confirmed that by payments to the bounty hunter mentioned in the newspapers.


That is amazing specific --and Pryor almost certainly would have squeezed out of that admission (as was her wont) if possible.   Whatever Lee wrote, or whatever someone wrote to Lee, about paying the bounty hunters, for whatever they were paid for, it was clear enough for Pryor to confirm, bluntly for her, that Lee paid to have that girl whipped

Yet, "history" teachers will stand in front of class rooms,  and repeat the awful distortions-- that Lee was against slavery. That he was a man of honor.  And only fought for his state.

That is the power of bullshit repeated over, and over, and over.
________________________________________________


BALDERDASH AND BULLSHIT 

Historian Alan Nolan, 20 years ago, wrote essentially that the "scholarship" about Lee was dubious (meaning, next to worthless). The source of so much of what we teach and believe came from sources that are  more like fictional cartoons,  from novelist, who wrote glowing "biographies"  20 to 40 years after Lee died.

It was almost a contest, for sake of sales, of who could flatter Lee (and other Southern leaders) more.   Stories like Lee and all his lieutenants   knelt in silent prayer during battle - as bombs blew up around them!   That's the kind of absurdity in these "novels" sold as fact.

No, we did not put the most goofy of those novels into our text books, but those novels (because that is what they were) became the basic approach, and much of the information from them became accepted fact. 

To overstate Nolan, we need to start over about Lee.  

 What passed for "scholarship" was not just dubious, but 'adorational*'  at best, and fraudulent most likely. We know the name of his pet chicken,  but do not know he had bounty hunters capture women in the North? 

How the hell did THAT happen.

* adorational should be a word.  But it's not a word -- yet.  
___________________________________________

FREE WOMEN

NOT SO FREE

Most people know that blacks in free states -- especially close to slave states -- could be and were kidnapped by bounty hunters.  The movie "12 Years As A SLAVE" was about such a luckless man.

But few people know Lee bought free women from such bounty hunters.  And while Pryor does her best Orwellian double speak about this  --she admits Lee bought "others".

Lee  did have bounty hunters capture women - free and escaped slaves -- in the North.  Lee insisted slavery was Godly (Divine Providence)  that it was a benefit for the slave,  that he, not the slave, was the unlucky one. The slave was fortunate to be a slave (a common bit of cognitive dissonance, absolutely necessary for slave owners).

So why not enslave women that way?
(We don't know the gender for sure,  Pryor only said "others" 

But our money is on female, because of Lee's  money was on females. Why bring Lee a male for 10 dollars, when you can get 600 dollars for a female?  The prices Lee paid for these humans would be profoundly interesting and important. As would the comments Lee made in writing about them, and the description or prices mentioned by the bounty hunters- - the point is, we are getting from Pryor only the sliver of information, a peek in the door, that she allows. 

Nothing more.

_______________________________________________

Much of the problem is the myth that there were kind slave owners.   And Lee was supposedly the most kind -- so kind his slaves refused to leave, is one such repeated nonsense.

Slave owners, including LEe,  could, and did, at their whim have slave women sold, their children sold, or have them whipped, and even whipped to death.     

The slaves did not forget that.  If you could have your child sold away from you when they were one or two, what would you think?

And slave children or the mother often were sold.  In fact, Pryor tells us that Lee did "separate families"  -- which can only mean he sold the mother or child, the father was not a known quantity. In fact, most slaves had no idea who their father was, and it was often a white man anyway.

   If Lee was the most kind slave owner (yes, he owned slaves)  what a horrible life every slave had, and no wonder slave women killed themselves or risked torture and death by trying to escape.    

It was smarter, of course, to obey the master - and cater favor.   An obedient slave could expect more food, to keep her child with her longer, not to be whipped by white men in a bad mood .  People tend to do what gets them the least pain, and most pleasure and safety.

The slaves were no exception -- but neither was Lee. He did what got him the most pleasure.   

Lincoln called slave owners "pleasure seeking" --and he knew what he was talking about. 

Slavery was not the place for honorable men - though Lee did try to dress up and pretend to be honorable.  



George Mason, who knew Lee's father,  wrote, essentially, that slave owners  like Lee, who were raised from birth to see part of mankind as deserving of torture and slavery, were sick minded despots dressed up for church. 

_______________________________________________

Repeating distortions endlessly does not make them true.

Nolan had no clue that Lee's slave ledgers contained things as vile as any slave ledgers.  Maybe worse.

___________________________________________________


HANDWRITTEN SLAVE LEDGERS

Slave ledgers -- the details in them -- might seem horrid pieces of history, filled with sales of women and children, purchase of captured slaves, even purchase of kidnapped women (yes, blacks were kidnapped illegally in the North, by bounty hunters, taken South, and sold as slaves).

Yet slave ledgers were as common then, for slave owners, as shoes, or a horse, or slaves themselves.

_________________________________________

LEE'S FAMOUS TWO TRUNKS


The Lee family, as scholars and "history buffs" well knew, had two trunks of Lee papers that the public never got to see, much less study.  No copies were made, no access allowed.

Of course -- what did we need those  papers for?  It was well established, was it not, by Pulitzer Prize winning historians, by the dozens, if not hundreds, of books, thousands of articles in journals all around the world, that Lee was anti-slavery.  A noble man of principle -   and if you had any doubt of the matter, just check part of one letter he wrote to his wife about slavery.

Whatever was in the Lee papers, inside those two trucks, were superfluous.   Trivial papers, and likely just showed his purity of heart, his kindness,  his  honor.  Interesting, but not necessary. 

___________________________________________________


 Lee knew the name of his slave girls, including the girls that tried to escape.

He wrote it down, repeatedly.

Pryor is not about to show us the actual slave ledgers.

Her book starts out comparing Lee, favorably, to Richard the Lionhearted of England.  A blood line so pure that Lee could not possibly be other than the most kind, chaste, honest, and honorable man of his generation.  

That is the feeling you get early in the book.

Only later do you learn that Lee not only had slave girls whipped, he bought women from bounty hunters that were NOT, let me repeat that, NOT escaped slaves, but "others".   Others the bounty hunters captured, apparently while searching for escaped slaves in the North.

Only later do you find Lee's heritage was not so wondeful.  His father had a pregnant slave girl hung -- her crime was this. She knocked down the man whipping her. 

She knocked him down.  Apparently the overseer did not tie her up before the torture -- just started whipping her. 

She knocked him down.

She was hung.  That was the kind of atmosphere Lee grew up in.



_______________________________________

Lee, apparently, had the "decency"  to have slave girls tied to a post.   In fact, Pryor tells us -- so sweetly -  that the first thing Lee did when taking over discipline (discipline = torture, remember that) of the slaves, was to install a whipping post.

The whipping post was a "silent reminder" to the slaves, Pryor wrote.  We will show you how "silent"  that post was, below.


Lee paid bounty hunters for her to be captured, and there recorded the money paid to the hunter.  He had to have her jailed for a time, to wait till he got back to meet  her personally, apparently -- he wrote down the prices paid, and named her in those entries.

Lee had to write her name down yet again when he sold her, as punishment, to the "deep South"  were there were hundreds of slavers on other slave farms, even more cruel than he.

______________________________________

And Lee wrote down information that showed the slave hated him - and said he was "the worst man we ever knew
______________________________________

And by the way - torture is the right word.  Not "discipline".   They were tied up, and Lee taunted them, according to overlapping reports at the time.   He taunted them before the torture, and screamed at them during the torture. He had other tortures, and other "disciplines".  So to get it right, we need to be specific. Lee sure was. 
______________________________________


How could this be?  It can't be, right?  

Scholars, movies, more scholars, every teacher from 6th grade on, to the "top" historians in US history told us -- proved to us - that Lee was against slavery.

That letter -- right -- that letter to his wife proves it! (Actually read the whole letter, it is actually a tenacious defense of slavery and the torture (pain) slaves must endure.  And Lee was more than happy to supply the "instructions".  

Lee wrote pain is "necessary for their instruction"  

And Lee wrote much, much more than that.

Pryor nor the Lee family would show us anything but Lee's own self aggrandizing missives to his children and a drawing.

Still, Pryor did make it clear -- if delicately stated -- Lee's slave ledgers and personal papers validate his tortures.



You probably don't know it -- but Lee's slave ledgers still exist.  More people know the name of Lee's pet chicken, than know he even had slave ledgers.

More people know the name of Lee's horse, than know he bought kidnapped women from bounty hunters- though he did.

He paid extra, considerable extra, for girl slaves.  Gee -- I wonder why?

The slave ledgers  are not pretty.



Is it fair to judge Lee by his slave ledgers, and instructions to bounty hunters?________________________________________________________________


Hell yes, it's fair.  


Such information, in Lee's own handwriting, in his own slave ledgers are not only "fair" to examine, but you are necessarily stupid about Lee -- yes, stupid -- if you do not know they exist and what is in them.

Yes, what Lee did -- to slave girls, and in order to get slave girls -- does matter.  He is often (absurdly) shown to be anti-slavery.  A man who seems focused on capturing slave girls, far more than he paid to capture escaped males,  is not anti-slavery.


___________________________________________________


AMAZING BOOK

Elizabeth Pryor's amazing book about Lee is amazing for two things -- one, she reveals basic facts about Lee, such as remarkable cruelty,  white looking slave women at Arlington, and the fact Lee paid bounty hunters for women they caught in the North -- free women, women that were never slaves in their lives, until Lee bought them. 



The second reason her book is amazing is this:  how careful Pryor was in how she told you.  She adored Lee at the outset,  and one has to wonder, did she adore him after she saw his slave ledgers?


Just four of Pryor's clever phrases....

Don't worry too much, Lee' devotees  -- Pryor was exceedingly clever how she told us about the horrors Lee inflicted upon slave girls....you can read her book about his slave ledgers, and not throw up. 

But Lee myth is doing down. Some of Pryor's clever euphemisms and Orwellian double speak.....


"Every right to protect his property"
                      (re whipping slave girls) 

"Lee's lack of cross cultural communication skills"

                       (excuse for torture)

"Coercion was used in those situations"

                       (regarding rape )

"Monthly account books" 

                        (slave ledgers)

"Discipline" 
                        (torture) 

"Others" 


             (women Lee bought  -- yes bought -- from bounty hunters that were not escaped slaves)

Pryor knew the names ages and prices of escaped slaves brought to Lee by his bounty hunters.

And, she writes, they brought him "others".   Other what?  Tomatoes?  No, people. 

Pryor wrote in the same passage about "failed to fill out the time consuming paperwork"  as if there is paperwork, time consuming or not for kidnapping free blacks.

And she writes -- "technically, Lee may have broken the law".

Ya think? 

More about this again, below.  The point is, Pryor told you, if you read it very, very closely.  The more vile, illegal, and treasonous his behavior, the more carefully, more Orwellian and deceptive,she wrote.

But she did tell you. ___________________________________________________

ARE SLAVE LEDGERS

"PRIVATE PAPERS"?   

Pryor had to name  her book something --she could have chosen  "A Portrait of Lee from His Slave Ledgers. "

She could have named it "Top prices Lee paid for slave girls".

She could have named it, "Lee buys free women from bounty hunters". 


SOUTHERN JOURNALS LOVED IT

But Pryor worked literally along side the Lee family.  Her careful work won accolades, or at least thumbs up, from Journal of Southern History, and the Virginia Historical Society.  If any "history journals"  took issue with her whatsoever, I do not know of it.

It's hard to knock her -- she was using Lee's own papers, his own slave ledgers, his own bounty hunter letters.   Clearly she was not overstating the horrors she found because on every page, if not every paragraph, she seems eager to praise Lee, to excuse his tortures, to minimize any blame, as you will see.

Every horror she showed -- she made sure not to blame Lee.   Either others did it, too (no, they did not)  or it was Lee's right to do so (she misled readers on that, too). 

WHITE SLAVES?

Her favorite "trick"  was to write as if she were speaking of slave owners generally --   but she was not.   Read her words carefully. We will come back to this -- but "Whites were increasingly enslaving other whites"  is not near a sentence with Lee's  name in it.

But she was writing ABOUT LEE.    She could have said this 100 ways.  She did not seem to want folks to know, Lee owned white looking slave girls -- and some escaped. At least one did -- and maybe more. 

Yes, Lee owned white looking slave girls.  He did not even free her, or them, depending on the number.

No "history" journal in Virginia, or the South, has ever made a to-do about Lee's white looking slave girls.  Gee, I wonder why?

Yet, not only did Lee have white looking slave girls, at least one tried to escape.   Why would she need to escape?  She looked white. Lee would never be cruel to a white looking girl, slave or otherwise, right?

Well, sadly, we don't know from Pryor if the white looking girl was captured.  But she could have told us that, and much more.

So Pryor was careful enough that Southern journals probably didn't even notice.   Still you have to wonder -- did they actually read her book closely?

Every page?  

__________________________________________________________________


WHY NOT USE THE TERM 

"SLAVE LEDGERS" 

Had Pryor used the term "slave ledgers" in her title -- or even written it candidly on any page --  she likely would have been scorned by the Lee family, and been on every TV news channel in Virginia in two days.

Slave ledgers?  We were told he had no slaves!


_____________________

So Pryor  used the term "monthly account books"   - and that only once. A smart idea.  They were Lee's handwritten slave ledgers, and you can tell that, if you are so inclined, because of the stunning precisely information Pryor is able to give us from his "monthly account books".


For example, prices. 

How would she know the prices?  From a duck?

No, from Lee. 

How would she know the prices he paid for older males, compared to the prices for young girls?   A squirrel?

She got it from Lee's papers -- his slave ledgers. 

AVERAGE?

Pryor could  not only give us prices, she gives us "average prices".  You can't figure average price, unless you have a number of prices.  So she had a large enough number, and proof of it in Lee's own slave ledgers, that she could come to an average.

  She also can tell us - because she did- -how much Lee paid to have girls captured, and how much he paid to have older male slaves captured.  That means Lee wrote that down somehow, somewhere. 

Why not show us the pages themselves?  How many names? What does Lee write, exactly?  He had to write SOMETHING.  He sent letters and instructions -- he had to write names.  They had to write back. He was not using a cell phone, they used letters.

And Lee wrote down prices, prices in, prices out. Money in, money out.

Now maybe you see why the Lee family never let the public examine these "papers" -- slave ledgers -- for 150 years.  And when they did allow it, they made damn sure they picked someone (Pryor) who adored Lee.


___________________________________________


Have you ever seen a picture of one of Lee's white looking slaves?

In fact you have, just above.  That is a Lee slave. Lee owned her (some folks get quite upset that we call this white slave a girl, instead of a boy, as if enslaving a white looking or boy is fine, but enslaving white looking girl is horrendous).

GETTING PART OF THE FACTS

It is not just Lee -- get only self adulating, nearly worshiping distortions about people,  and omit, ignore, or hide the tortures, cruelties and deceits by anyone, you necessarily come out with a hero.  It could not be otherwise.

Partial, or distorted, information make us  necessarily stupid not just about Lee -- we would be stupid about the power of myth, as myth is not only human nature, but also, sadly, woven into much of supposed "scholarly" awareness of Confederate heroes, if not heroes in general. 

 If there are other facts -- and there are -- those, too, are basic to understanding not just Lee -- but to understand how history is often a "cruel joke"  played on the young, as some  have said.

Lee's tortures, his cruelty, his apparent obsession with slave girls (because he paid so much, and because he kept bounty hunters busy trying to capture them) would be a given fact, if Lee's slave ledgers were shown to the public at the time. 

But they were not shown.  The Union Army, who had all Lee's personal property and Arlington during the war,  actually gave the Lee family all the personal property, and then the US government even paid the Lee family for the property, though it was his wife's property!    

The slaves got nothing. 

No pay.

No copy of the slave ledgers. 

They got nothing.

_____________________________________________

Lee and the South, however, got more than money and the posessions.  They were free to spin whatever they did as noble, as wonderful, and as for slavery, Lee got to claim he did it for the Lord, and for the slaves.

Lee actually repeatedly indicated that he enslaved to help the slaves.  Never mind that Lee - as you will see -- tortured dozens of slaves, never mind that he sent bounty hunters for week, and months, on end, to capture runaway slaves "and others"  (that "and others is a BFD.

 It is entirely normal for the Lee family, and he himself, and the South generally, to give their own story in as flattering way to themselves as possible.  

Like the goofy distortions -- many of them deliberate -- about lee told to generations of American that Lee was not just anti-slavery, but "passionately"  anti slavery.  

_____________________________________


CAN SCHOLARS GET THINGS WRONG
OR LIE?

Hell yes. 


______________________________________

According to "scholars"  - and then repeated as gospel forever, unless the deception reversed -- Lee didn't even own slaves.  And if he did technically own them,  he freed them.

And, oh, yeah, they loved him.

________________________________

Lee  released his wife's slaves, "scholars" told us, each scholar more smug than the last,  and each seems to have added another row of misinformation and conjecture about how honorable, or brave, or well loved Lee was.   

When you understand that desertion -- 90% desertion rates, 66% of desertions before fall of 1864 -- you will understand so many of Lee's soldiers deserted, that Lee wanted more executed, and that his biggest problem was NOT the Union Army, but his own soldiers deserting.

No one tells us anything of the sort.

But that is small potatoes compared to some stunners -- white looking slave girls? Yes, Lee had white looking slave girls, per his own comments in his own slave ledgers.  She is just one of the slave women that tried to escape Lee's slave farm.

By the way -- of the 150 or so examples of Orwellian double speak about Lee, and slavers in general, calling Lee a "Planter"  or "Plantation" owner is profoundly deception.

Lee was not a "Planter".  He did not make his money by veggies. He never likely planted a thing in his entire life.  He has slaves do it.

And  his cash crop -- Pryor could have told us this -- was flesh.  Selling it, buying it, renting it out.  

And sometimes, torturing that flesh.  If you need Orwellian double speak, you won't find that here.

Lee ran a slave farm. Period. 

_____________________________________________


We all heard  it - Lee had no slaves, Lee freed his wife's slaves -- and we were shown a letter to his wife that proved it.


(More about that letter below- - it's actually a profound defense of slavery, and the torture of slaves - when you read the entire thing)

Historians assured us, Lee was against slavery (by the same letter to his wife)  and that the few "servants" Lee had loved him so much they refused to leave.

There is probably not a single "history" teacher in US that claims Lee was against slavery, by using that letter to his wife, where Lee said "slavery was a political and moral evil".

But that is not the end of the letter. That was the "set up" part. Read the entire letter.  His wife grew up with those slaves.  Some, including some that Lee had whipped, where her childhood friends, or the children of her childhood friends.   This letter was apparently his way to give her reasons he was out there whipping the slaves.

The rest of the letter appeals to her ultra -religious nature. Contrary to myth, Lee was not so religious, but she was. And he could write a splendid letter about God and the hand of God (Providence = hand of God).

Slavery was actually a blessing, it was for the slaves own benefit.  It is not for us, he wrote his wife, to question God.
Pain is necessary for their instruction. 

Pain is necessary for their instruction.  In other letters, he wrote that abolitionist were out to "destroy the American church".

Do not question God -- he was telling her. God intends slaves to feel pain.   We are civilizing them -- God will handle the details. It may take 2000 years, he suggested, for GOD to free the slaves.

We are obedient to GOD -- it is EVIL -- let me repeat that -- it is evil for men to try to free the slaves, before God free's them.

This was not extreme, by the way. This was exceedingly common justification for slavery by men -- and used on women.
___________________________________________________

Even textbooks told us Lee was against slavery and only fought for the South because "he loved Virginia". 

So how were we to know -- no one told us Lee had slave girls tortured, bought kidnapped women, and that his slaves said he was the "Worse man we ever saw"

__________________________________________________


YOU ONLY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TOLD


__________________________________________________

Since none of us were there -- why not just believe the great sounding stories about Lee?


Elizabeth Pryor believed those stories -- so did almost everyone in the US.  That is, Ms Pryor believed them, until she found Lee's slave ledgers and bounty hunter letters.

__________________________________________________






Things got so twisted about Lee -- you can still find folks on social media insisting Lee's slaves FOUGHT in the Civil War in order to stay with him.

Nothing -- nothing -- is too goofy to attribute to Lee.   

___________________________________________

My favorite is that he and all his officers would kneel as bombs blew up around him, in silent prayer.  No, we don't hear that one much now -- but it's from the books that are responsible for virtually all the nonsense we teach as true about Lee.

In fact, the fiction writer (he wrote fiction about Lee, not truth) is the name of the Award -- yes they give awards -- for the writer today who makes up the most absurd claims about Lee.









_______________________________________________


Awards for making up nonsense like "Lee only cared about bringing men to Christ"   and "Lee now sits at the right hand of Christ, his Lord".

The distortions are across the board, on every Southern leaders -- and stupidly, accepted by most people as truth.

____________________________________

IF THERE WERE TRUTH

If there were truth -- the works about Lee would include his tortur of slave girls, his bounty hunters, and how he paid 600% higher prices for girls of a certain age.

And they would show, because it's true per Lee's own slave ledgers, that Lee had (had = owned) white looking slave girls.

And the light skinned girl(s)  tried to escape too.

In fact there could be 12 or more slaves escaped at one time.

WORST MAN WE EVER SAW


If we had ever taught the ugly truth about slavery anyway -- we would not be surprised at any of this. Slave rape was common -- yes, it was, and you will see proof of that in Lee's own papers.

Torture was common -- terror was common.  While Southern leaders insisted slaves were "the most contented laborers on earth"  clearly they were not.    If they were so content, why on earth did Lee regularly employ bounty hunters -- and why did so many of Lee slaves try to escape.

In fact, hundreds, if not thousands of speeches and mentions in Southern papers were about how the North often did not return run-away slaves.    Why would these slaves escape if they were so content?   Slaves were tortured - yes -- tortured - if they tried to escape.

Pryor found something (she won't show what, exactly) that indicates Lee's slaves said "he was the worst man we ever saw".

That is what the SLAVES said, per Lee's own papers. Remember that, per Lee's own papers, slaves said he was the worst man they ever saw.

Worst. Man. We. Ever. Saw.


__________________________________________________



A Pulitzer Prize winning author -- Douglas Southall Freeman -was considered the "definitive" Lee scholar.   He even looked like a brilliant, level headed, pipe smoking scholar.

Page after page of "proof" of Lee's chastity (yes, chastity) kindness, neatness, his bravery, his honor.  And he supposedly had proof for every word.

Those who knew him (Lee) best were his servants -- and they loved him most of all.   Freeman even presented a "book" written by one of Lee's "servants" .  Turns out -- and Freeman had to know this, almost everything in "Mack Lee's"  pamphlet (not a book at all)  was in error.

Mack Lee went around Missouri And Arkansas in the 1920's, wearing a confederate uniform!  He spoke at white churches, sometimes even state legislatures, and was more of a clown than anything else.  He handed out the pamphlet when he came in a town, for whites to come to his talk.

He would praise Lee effusively, then take up a collection for that church he said he was building.

Freeman left all that out, of course.  And remember, Freeman knew every day of Lee's life,  and he knew the four servants Lee actually had with him in the Civil War. None were named Mack Lee.

But Mack Lee's book was flattering -- if absurd.  Mack claimed a cannon ball came through a wall of a house he and Robert E Lee were in during a battle.  The ball bounced around and  hit Mack Lee in the head -- Lee ran over to him and said something like "I aint never seen no nigger get hit in the head with cannon ball before".

Remember -- Freeman knew this guy was bogus. He probably had no clue that someone 100 years later could search newspapers at the time (1920s) and find out what a scam Mack was pulling.  But Freeman knew. 

Now we know -- from Lee's own papers -- that Freeman was lying on nearly every page.  Either Lee lied on his slave ledgers, his dirty letters, his bounty hunter instructions, or Freeman lied.

Both men can not be telling the truth. 






"Lee now sits in heaven, next to Christ his Lord" is just one of thousands of goofy sentences we can find in Lee "biographies".




Freeman is the most important source of much of the misinformation about Lee.  His father "served" with Lee.  

And the information was deliberate. 

Alan Nolan, who never read Elizabeth Pryor's book when he wrote his own, said essentially, in a kindly way as possible, that Freeman's "work" could not be accepted at face value. We need to essentially "start over" about Lee, with original sources.

It seems Freeman either made up the sources, embellished, and or did not accept the overwhelming evidence of Lee's cruelties, the rapes at Arlington,  etc.

   The material Freeman seems to have accepted as gospel was made up 20 30 and 40 years after the Civil War, by novelist -- people who wrote these books that Freeman used were essentially novelists, making up fiction about Lee.

Lee's only concern in life was "to lead young men to Christ"  said one such novelist.   Nearly every religion claimed Lee as favoring their faith.  Quotes were made up likewise, to support such stories.

Were any stories true?  Who knows?   We know the basic attitude was nonsense, Lee was not kind, he was not against slavery,  he was not even religious, he rarely went to church.  Yet the novelist insisted, of course, that he was "devout".

A devout man does not buy women from bounty hunters, or scream at slave girls as he has them whipped.

We know now most of that was fiction, because Lee's own handwritten papers -- like his slave ledgers and letters to bounty hunters -- completely repudiate much of the fiction

WORST MAN?

His slaves, according to his own papers, said Lee "is the worst man we ever saw".

The novelist wrote that Lee's slaves loved him.  In fact, on social media just yesterday, I saw a tweet that claimed Lee's slaves fought for the Confederacy because they loved him so much! 





So the "historians" that claim all manner of things, including that Lee owned no slaves, are no more reliable or truthful that the novelist who made this myth up.


In fact, one slave that was supposed to be freed, per the will, and per  the court order apparently,  Lee had tortured for trying to escape.  And she was not the only one tortured.


Bizzaro world.

How did this happen?

__________________________________

__________________________________

STARTS THE WORD GAME
IN THE TITLE ITSELF 

Pryor focused on Lee's  "personal papers".    Her euphemisms beginning in the title, fittingly enough.   Personal papers, it turns out, is a phrase Pryor used rather than say candidly  "Lee's slave ledgers, dirty letters, and instructions to  bounty hunters."

READING THE MAN -- she announces in the title.  Well, she apparently read "the man" but she had no intention to let YOU read them. 

Instead, Pryor read the horrors, and cleaned them up as well as she might. Yet her book is profoundly important, not just to understand Lee, and the cruel nature of slavery, but to understand the farce, the overwhelming dishonesty, of anyone who ever presented Lee or other slavers as kind.

Lee was "the most kind"?   

_______________________________________


___________________________________________________________________




The "Lee Myth" has started to crumble since we started this admittedly amateurish blog.   We stupidly hope we played a small role in it.

________________________________________

NEWSPAPERS AT THE TIME

Paying to torture a small female slave --

IMPORTANT TO KNOW ---  
We will cover this more, below, but at the time, three newspapers reported Lee had a girl tortured that  the regular overseer refused because she was too small. 

(By the way -- torture is the right word, she was tied up and whipped, and then other physical tortures. If you need euphemisms, consult a thesaurus )


The overseer was the man who regularly whipped the slaves, and he refused to whip one girl Lee wanted tortured --because she was too small. 

Lee had her whipped anyway -- in fact, he screamed at her, per the papers, all through her torture.  What did she do?  Slap his wife?  Try to kill him?

No, she tried to escape.

______________________________________________

COMMON

Silent reminders?  Silent??

Pryor tries, at one point, to make it seem like torture might have been uncommon at Arlington.  She wrote,  for example, that Lee had the whipping posts installed as "silent reminders"  to the slaves,  soon after he took control of the slaves (and Lee had his own slaves, not just his wife's),.

Well the posts might have been silent, but the screaming slaves chained to them were not. And elsewhere casually admits that whipping was Lee's "preferred" means of discipline.  So, there were other means.  She did not elaborate -- but she could have, if she wanted to.  There had to have been a reason she found one method of torture "preferable". 

There were 100 ways to torture slaves, by the way, as documented at the time, including gouging out eyes, cutting off hands, burying a slave in a hot box,  put them in a small shed and "smoking them" for  hours or days, or even have them attacked by dogs.

Pryor also casually admits, as if it's not a big deal, that psychological torture was real. You could keep your child -- or mother -- near you longer if you pleased the owner.  Lee, we find out, would send slave mothers or children away, very likely as torture to both.  Pryor calls that "separating families"  but it means sending a child to the Deep South, or sending the mother.

Family structure did not exist  -- half of the slaves at Arlington apparently had a white father or grandfather, from rape.  As you will see rape was common, too.  

The "father" was not allowed, it was either difficult or impossible to know who the father was, and it was not recorded.  The master could father his own slaves, or tell a black male, oftentimes called a buck, to breed with a given slave woman.

Slave masters controlled the sex life of slave women, and did so for their own pleasure.


BTW -- did you know Lincoln referred to slave owners as "Pleasure seekers".   And from Lee's dirty letters and papers, we know now more about what Lincoln meant

That was not uncommon -- slavery was not an act of kindness. 


More than one slave girl was whipped to death by men screaming bible verses.   So Lee having a small slave girl whipped was not amazing or newsworthy.


It made the newspapers not because of LEE -- but because the overseer refused. The overseer refused.


Lee had her tortured anyway. 

__________________________________________ 

Yet no one was surprised at the time.   Harpers Weekly, a widely read, and accepted factually both North and South, wrote at the time about Lee's capture of blacks in the North. 

Enslaving FREE blacks --

You didn't know Southern leaders promised to enslave free blacks in the North? 

 It was on orders of Jefferson Davis -- his own official announcement of his (Davis) intent to enslave blacks in the NORTH is a matter of public record. See below.



Still don't believe me?   Good for you -- here, a link to Jeff Davis own papers.

Davis promises to enslave blacks in North


This surprised absolutely no one at the time -- Southern leaders had boasted since 1856  about spreading slavery by force against state's rights.   See  "What South Bragged About Until They Lost"

_________________________________

Yet Lee had no trouble doing Davis deed -- to invade the North, and enslave blacks in the NORTH.    Why did Lee have no trouble?   

Lee had done the same thing before the war -- yes he did -- only Lee hired bounty hunters, paid bounty hunters, to do it. Do what?  To capture free blacks in the North -- women, in Lee's case. Lee paid, according to his own handwritten slave ledgers, to have free people captured in the North.  

Oh you didn't know?  Well, welcome to real slavery 101,  as shown by Lee's slave ledgers.

Lee said slavery was ordained by God. He wrote that slaves were fortunate, and he was the one imposed up by slavery.   Slavery was beneficial to blacks, and God's will. 

But most of all, that is what Lee wrote in his own slave ledgers, in his own handwriting. 

_____________________________________________

You should have known all this, and more, since 6th grade US history class. 

Lee remains the only person in US history to ever capture free and lawful residents of a nation, take them to his "country" and sell them as slaves. More about that, and much else, below.




______________________________________________

Lee's slave ledgers show he paid 600% higher prices (yes, Lee bought slaves) for girls of a certain age.   He bought and sold slaves at actions.   His cash crop was not veggies or tobacco, it was human flesh.....

Orwellian double speak,  and at times, outright lies, have been the hallmark of Lee "scholarship".    As you will see, students in Virginia are taught the name of Lee's pet chicken -- and never told the names of the girls he bought from bounty hunters, or had tortured for trying to escape.


When you teach drivel like the name of a chicken that Lee actually ate --and not teach that he had slave girls tortured, something is fucking  wrong.

The articles in major papers about Lee "abuse" and cruelty have not been nearly candid enough.  But it's a start.  A start toward candor, and maybe truth.

__________________________________________________

WHITE LOOKING

MEANS WHITE


Lee owned slave girls that "could pass for white".  Could pass for white is a euphemism -- they were white. Pass for white is what white means.    

I am a white male -- because that is what people see when I walk down the street, or go into a store.

Pryor used he word "horror"  only in relation to one thing. White looking slaves at Arlington, or as she said "could pass for white".


Pryor wrote this clever sentence  "Increasingly, whites were enslaving other whites" 

This white looking girl
was a slave.

It was a growing "problem".   What do do with the "White looking"  slaves --born from the rape of light skinned mulatto women. 



Both slaves.

One looked white.

Lee owned such children.



Lee -- nor any other slave master -- ever said "Oh my, look how white looking this child is, forgive us, please,  God only wishes blacks be enslaved.   Therefore, we will free you immediately, and find you a good home in the North".

Never -ever - happened. No record, no story, not hint of such a thing.

Lee not only had such white looking slave girl, at least one tried to escape. Lee sent bounty hunters after her.  Yes, he did.

Pryor is artful about this, too. She admits that, in one instance, 12 slaves escaped. One "could pass for white".

Pryor did NOT mention (though she could have) if the bounty hunters caught her.  

Did they torture her, too?   If not, it would have been a simple matter for Pryor to say that.  Pryor actually made it clear as she could -- all escaped slaves were tortured (disciplined).  It was the law, she said, and Lee had "every right to protect his property

In fact, white looking slave girls sold for higher prices, we find out from other sources.  Do you know why?

They could be sold to whore houses -- and were, according to reports at the time.

The famous Nathan Bedford Forrest owned a slave auction.  A woman -- suspected of having a mulatto grandmother, but she could pass for white, was captured in Memphis,  and taken to be sold at Forrest's auction.

She knew Forrest personally, as a white woman, living as a white woman, looking like a white woman.   She begged to see Forrest -- surely he would release her.

Forrest met her, then sold her as a slave.   We don't know where she ended up, but whore houses would pay extra for "comely"  women. "Comely"  was a word used to describe attractive slave women.  It's very possible the white looking woman Forrest sold -- ended up in a whore house.

Apparently Southern men prefered to visit whore houses that had mulatto or white looking women. 


The rape and torture and abuse that went along with slavery anyway, did not stop just because a child was born with lighter skin.  They were still slaves, owned by masters who did with them as they desired.




______________________________

READ NO FURTHER
IF YOU NEED LEE AS YOUR HERO 


_____________________________________



______________________________________________

PRYOR STARTS OUT IN OZ

Pryor starts her book by equating Lee with Richard the Lionhearted, and a long self serving letter from Lee to his children.

Lee's dirty letters to various women, and instructions to bounty hunters (apparently to capture free women in the North -yes, really) come later.

Yes, Lee wrote sexually explicit letters to various women, he wrote instructions to bounty hunters.   Why not show it all?

Why not show one page of his slave ledgers?

Because her intention was to tell -- kinda- - but do it in a way to keep the Lee family happy.

One has to wonder, though. Pryor does get in stunning information, at times.  Like Lee paid to purchase "others".   Like the rapes. Like the tortures.  Cleverly inserted, yes. Built in excuses,  yes.

But she got them in.

_____________________________________

1000 WAYS TO TELL US

The Lee family could not have known, without detailed study, what they had in those two trunks of books.

To know for sure, you would have to sort them all, arranged in some kind of order (chronological would be logical)  his monthly slave ledgers, and his letters to bounty hunters, and letters to and from him on every imaginable topic.

 For example, once Pryor had the three newspapers about Lee's tortures, she could check his slave ledgers for a list of slaves returned by bounty hunters  (the torture of the small girl was right after a bounty hunter returned her).   

She was able to check the names in the newspaper,  and Lee's payments to that name. Lee gave details in his slave ledgers about payments to various bounty hunters, and to various jails where he had the escaped slaves kept, until he could get to Arlington personally for their return.

That's right -- apparently Lee wanted to be there as they were brought in by the bounty hunters.  

After the war -- more newspapers checked into the story.  Of course before the Civil War, no one could go into Lee's slave farm (that is what is was, a slave farm)  and ask slaves.  But reporters did go there after the war, found former slaves, and asked them about the story of whipping the small slave girl -- after the overseer refused.

Remember that, the original overseer refused to whip the girl. That's why this was in the newspapers, and that is why people remembered it years later.  It was not often that the guy who regularly whips slaves refuses to do so.

And he refused to do so this time, because she WAS TOO SMALL

_________________________________________________

Yes Pryor could have started the book with the story of torture, and Lee paying extra to have that girl whipped.

She could have been far more candid about what exactly did she find, and show a list of girls Lee had whipped, if she could tell, and show how much he gave to bounty hunters total.

Pryor just gave us a sliver of information...

HOW CANDID COULD SHE BE?

But how candid could she be?  With the Lee family literally working with her -- and she of course would tell them what she found, how could she say "Look here, Lee was paying bounty hunters for free women in the North, and had this girl whipped when the regular overseer refused."

She probably would not have been allowed back the next day, and told to leave immediately.    It's a near certainty that Pryor, who was careful how she told her readers, was also careful how she told the Lee family.

What did Lee say --all details please -- about white looking slaves.  We know, because Pryor mentioned it as if it was a casual thing  -- that Lee had slaves that "could pass for white".

That's it. There had to be more. Some context.  How many of his slaves, male or female, could pass  for white?

We know from pictures with dark skinned slaves at Arlington that some slave children at the slave farm were as white looking as my children.

We also know -because she told us-- that OVER 50% of Lee's slaves were "mulatto"


Over 50%.  Let that sink in.  And Pryor told us that most slave plantations (slave farms) were about 10% mulatto.  Lee had not only a very large slave farm (over 200), many of those were various shades of black, brown, tan, and some, white looking.

_____________________________________________


WHITE SLAVES STILL PROPERTY


NOT FREED

The white looking slaves -- male or female -- were NOT  freed, we can be sure, or Pryor would have mentioned that.  Just the opposite, Pryor tells us a slave girl that could pass for white DID escape -- though she refused to tell us if she was captured, and if she was whipped, like the others.

The white looking girl "could pass for white" is how Pryor wrote it, was one of 12 who tried to escape, apparently at the same time, or where out at one time, and bounty hunters after them -- in the North.

____________________________________________________________



We know Lee tortured (that's the right word) every slave caught trying to escape. Was the white looking slave (in other words, white) girl captured?  If so did Lee have her whipped?

Pryor would not say.   Why not?

 But she did say white looking slave girl, she did say the girl escaped.  But she never told us -- did the girl get away?   Did Lee's entries show her return?  Did it show any payment for her capture?

She knew -- Pryor likely knew thousands of details like that. 

She only told us what she wanted to tell.

The more vile his action, apparently, the more clever Pryor was about it. Like the "Others"  Pryor alluded to. Lee paid  bounty hunters for escaped slaves, AND,  Pryor says artfully, for "OTHERS".

Who the hell were the others?

Pryor would not include that for fun and games.   Remember, her goal is to protect Lee's myth as much as possible.  Pryor had to -- simply had to -- know more about the others.  Lee or the bounty hunters or both had to detail such information.  How much did Lee pay for the "others".

Were the others female?  Probably so -- Lee paid much higher prices for 14 year old females, we know.  Why would bounty hunters bring back a ten dollar old black man?  Would not they bring back a 1000 dollar 14 year old girl?


ARTFUL DODGER

Pryor was not trying to inform -- as much give us the "bum's rush" -- in a sophisticated way.   She praises Lee, directly and indirectly, on nearly every page.  

Pryor's  difficulty seems to be how to inject the horrors-- torture, rape, selling children, taunting small slave women as they were  whipped are just a few of the horrors.    

In fact, you can read her entire book, as others have, and not realize Lee had slave girls tortured- - and regularly had slaves tortured for trying to escape.  Lee had them all tortured -- and torture is the right word.  Pryor has many excuses for that --Lee had to whip them, it was a law (no, it was not a law).  Lee had "every right" to protect his property is another attempt --she was talking about whipping slaves when she tried to pass it off as "protecting the property".

A lot of times I protect my car at night, but going outside, screaming at it, as I pay a bounty hunter to whip my car.   No, not really.   But that is how goofy Pryor's logical and Orwellian double speak is -- but it worked.

No review of Pryor's book that we are aware of even mentioned such absurdities, which is why we wrote this.  

_______________________________________


WHAT IF SHE WROTE CANDIDLY

If Pryor wrote candidly, or spoke candidly, to the Lee family before she published the book, would she have been allowed near the slave ledgers?

Pryor is not the only person ever to be deceptive or uses Orwellian double speak, distortions, and euphemisms.  In fact it's part of human nature, and certainly part of history and biographies, to  have a "slant" or attitude about the topic.

Still, when writing about wars, war "heroes"   every manner of mischief and oppressions can be, and has been, done by folks spouting euphemisms.   



 Lee had slave girls tortured - torture is the correct word -- that were so small, the regular overseer refused to whip her.  Let that sink in.  The regular overseer REFUSED to whip one specific escaped slave.   Pryor does tell about it, carefully, as she tells all such horrors.  But it's there.

FROM THE TITLE ONWARD

Pryor wastes no time. From the title on - she uses euphemisms, Orwellian double speak, or deflection.  She could have -- and should have for clarity's sake -- used the title "Lee's slave ledgers".

But she does not -- that would shock everyone, and probably violate the agreement she made with the Lee family.   She describes Lee's slave ledgers and letters as "personal papers".

Well -- they are personal papers.  But that conveys nothing -- that tells nothing of the horrors inside those papers, and that was her likely intention.

________________________________________________

NEVER USED TERM SLAVE LEDGERS

As for the slave ledgers themselves, she never wrote those words in her life, nor spoke them at the many speeches and interviews she gave before 2015, when she tragically lost her life in a traffic accident in Richmond.

Why not?  It's clear, upon close reading, that Pryor had such an abundance of detail (date, payments, number of whip lashes, who was paid for what expense, including prison payments to house escaped slaves) that Lee -- yes Lee -- kept exceedingly fine detals, and that Pryor had an abundance of information in her hands - - information and ledgers that were once in the hands of Robert E Lee.

____________________________________

No interviewer, not college history teacher who likely introduced her, had the brains (frankly) or the boldness to say "You mean slave ledgers, right?"

Nor would anyone ask her about the rapes at Arlington. Pryor actually did write that rape was "common"  and actually wrote about the violence in some rapes,  though carefully. She wrote "coersion was used in those situations".

She was talking about rape.

By force -- or by threat of selling your child, or just the absolute power a slave owner had over male and female slaves,  means rape is the only honest word to apply to what Pryor tried early in the book to pass off as "dalliances"

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers
had a "dalliance".

Lee had no such relationship with the slave girls, yet Pryor suggested as much early in her book. 

___________________________________________


Later in the book,  she was more candid.  She used the word "rape"  but quoted a witness, and even then she buffered that honesty, by using ebonics.  As for rape, a slave later in life said "Lord, chile, dat wuz common."

Why?   Why not just say it was common.   Pryor was not out to be candid.  We assume she did as well as she could have.

 But the attitude Pryor presented overall was deceptive, given the nature of the horrors Lee inflicted. Yes, he inflicted horrors, as you will see.

_____________________________________________________

In fact Pryor called the slave ledgers-- and only once --"monthly account books".  They were monthly accounts, written daily, about his SLAVES.   Included in those "account books" were payments to bounty hunters,  payments FROM slave buyers and from those renting Lee's slaves.

If the Lee family does not destroy them --and they might --it will likely be another 150 years before they let anyone else study them, and maybe twice that long before they release them to the public.

________________________________________

Letters to and from bounty hunters-- instructions,  and even dirty letters (yes Lee wrote sexually explicit letters).   Pryor's biggest task, likely, was how to tell the horrors without becoming a Judas, a Benedict Arnold, of Lee devotees. 

Yet she did -- if you pay attention and decode -- tell drastically more than anyone ever did.  Furthermore, it could be another 150 years before the Lee family ever allows someone else to actually study the papers.  And they probably will never release the actual papers -- at least not the dirty letters, not the payments to have slaves whipped, etc. 



HAVE YOU EVER  SEEN A PICTURE

OF ONE OF LEE'S WHITE LOOKING SLAVES?



NOW YOU HAVE

The girl in the picture is a slave.  She was born on Lee's slave farm (that is what Arlington was, a slave farm), she and others tried to escape -- she was chased, and if caught, tortured by Lee or his bounty hunters.


How do we know that?

Lee wrote it down, that's  how.


_________________________________________




_______________________________________

Pryor wrote "Increasingly, whites were enslaving other whites."

Who was she talking about?  She was talking about Robert E Lee.

_______________________________________

Pryor uses every trick in the book -- euphemism, Orwellian double speak, clever obfuscation.  Whatever Lee may have done "wrong" was just "communication" issues for example.

Lee had every right, she said, to protect his property  She wrote that sentence when she was referring to his torture (she called it discipline) of slave girls.  So it was "protecting his property" and his rights!

She had to write that way -- and even think that way -- to function in her culture (her cult is correct, too).  She worked with the Lee family, and Virginia Historical Society.   Both groups essentially exist to praise Lee.  

________________________________________

"She did not overtly lie -- but she almost always distorted"

A clever trick Pryor uses is to expose Lee, but to make it seem like an issue was about slave owners generally.   

White slaves was the best example.  She did tell us that over half his slaves were mulatto.   She even blurted out, as if casually, that one of the white girls had escaped.   Well, she did  not say "white" in that way.  One of the girls "who could pass for white" escaped.

If you can pass for white, you are white, by definition.  To say otherwise is nonsense.  She was not about to tell you Lee had white slaves, she barely allowed one "could pass for white" reference.

But whites - people who could pass for white -- were enslaved. And Lee own more of such slaves than anyone else, it seems. Over half.. over  half -- let me repeat that, over half of Lee's slaves were mulatto.  Exactly what tone, how light skinned, she does not say.

But she did write "Increasingly,  whites were enslaving other whites".   Since she elsewhere admitted Lee owned a very high number of mulattos, and since she admitted elsewhere slave rape was common (where did you think babies come from on slave farms with white owners and white men in charge?) it is very clear to anyone not in the Lee cult that Lee is the slave owner she is referring to, she is writing a book about HIM. 


WHITE SLAVES? NO WAY!!

_______________________________________________________________

 THREE NEWSPAPERS 

Did you know three newspapers -- before the Civil War -- reported in detail about Lee's torture of slave girls?

Not one. 

Not two.
Three.  And did you know those reports were confirmed by reporters after the war who actually went to Arlington and asked the ex slaves if the newspapers were accurate.  They were accurate.

FURTHER

Did you know that Lee's own hand written records validate those reports, according to Pryor.  In one of the bravest passage in her book,  so brave you wonder if the Lee family approved it before it was published, Pryor comes down squarely and as candidly as she should,  and makes it clear those newspapers were correct in substance, because the material in those articles was validated repeatedly.

And mostly -- because Lee himself validated them with entries into his own slave ledgers.  Pryor did not show us -ever - any page for his slave ledgers.  She could have, she should have. But she did all she could do on this point, given her situation.  She affirmed the newspaper accounts were accurate because of layers of confirmation, including Lee's own writing.

____________________________________________

ORDINARY WHIPPING WAS NOT NEWS


Not that the torture of a slave girls was news. It happened a lot.  Elizabeth Pryor adores Lee, her book is practically another "Lee was a man of God" bit of nonsense - that is, unless you read closely.

When you learn what Pryor found -- written to Lee or by Lee -- is stunning. Torture, rape, slave auctions, bounty hunters, dirty letters (yes dirty letters).   But Pryor gives you that information very, very carefully.

____________________________________

SMALL GIRL TORTURED 

Lee's regular overseer (the overseer whipped the slaves)  refused to whip her.  She was too small. 

Let that soak in.  The regular guy refused to whip her, because she was too small.  Lee had someone else - - a bounty hunter than brought him the escaped blacks personally -- whip the girl.

And Lee, as she was being whipped, screamed at her.

The overseer  refused to whip her because she was too small.

Can't be. Right? No way, right?  Lee paying someone to torture a girl?  Lee paying bounty hunters at all?  

That would have been well known from that day to this, right?

The newspapers were lying, right?   Three or ten newspapers, they were lying, Lee had no slaves.  Furthermore he  hated slavery.

And he was kind, honorable and Godly.   He even wrote a letter against slavery (no, he did not).   

What kind of madness must this book be?  

________________________________________

KNOWN FOR 150 YEARS.  They just didn't tell you.

Of course, "historians" have long know about the newspaper reports of Lee's tortures.  They knew, too, about the small girl he tortured, per the paper.

But they sure as hell did not tell the public, at all.  Those that even mentioned Lee's tortures dismissed it as silly and a lie, because Lee, of course, didn't have slaves, right?

And if he had slaves, they loved him, right?

And Lee was so kind to slaves that when he freed his wife's slaves, they refused to leave, right?

Wrong. All wrong.

Lee did not only have the girl tortured, he had more tortures applied to her than the whip.

Oh -- and he  screamed at her all thru the torture.

Could not be Lee -- that's silly!   He didn't even own slaves, right? 
_________________________________

I N HIS OWN HANDWRITING


 FROM HIS OWN PAPERS

PRYOR WROTE THIS BOOK. 

Per his own slave ledgers, Lee's hand written records confirm he the stories screamed at the slave girls as he had them tortured. The details of who Lee paid, the dates, the name of the bounty hunters he paid, all confirm the newspaper reports of those same names, etc.


Other Lee writings confirm his torture of slaves.  He was not ashamed, though he did try to mollify  his wife.  Remember, those were HER slaves (until he bought his own, and yes, he did buy his own).   She did not have them whipped. Lee, according to Pryor, installed a whipping post when he took over "slave management".

Lee believed -- at least he wrote it to be so -- that slavery was of God because that was how things were. Providence set things as they were. Divine Providence = God's will.

THE MORE VILE THE ACTION
THE MORE HOLY THE JUSTIFICATION....

All through human history, the more vile the action, the more holy the justification for it.  Slavery was no exception.

Animals never bother (as far as we know) to justify any cruelty, and they don't seem cruel for the sake of cruelty.  Men are cruel, and they justify it. They must.

We all know that power corrupts, it's old news.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Slave owners -- just by saying a few words -- could have children sold. Could have women stripped, and whipped.

Slave owners  -- according to Southern leaders -- were actually put there by GOD, and slaves must obey the slave owner as they would GOD.    

Slave owners, necessarily , turned to the most powerful justification that could dream up -- the bible.


They were so fond of any quote in the bible that justified slavery, and the torture of slaves, that they memorized those parts of the bible.   Frederick Douglass saw one slave owner scream those bible verses as he tortured a slave woman -- to death.

Lee too,  overlapping newspapers reported at the time -- screamed at slave women as he  had them whipped.  Not just had the girls whipped-- he screamed at them during the torture.

And not just screamed -- because the original overseer (the overseer is the guy whose job it is to do the whipping)  refused to whip one girl -- she was too small.

Lee had her whipped anyway.

Let that sink in.  A small girl -- too small to whip anyway -- tried to escape. Lee had her chased by bounty hunters for weeks. Thats right for weeks.  When they caught some of the escaped slaves, including the girl or woman too small to whip, they brought them to Lee.

Lee had them all tortured.  Torture is the right word.

And it only made the papers at all because the girl was so small -- so small the professional overseer REFUSED.  

Lee paid a bounty hunter nearby to do the torture -- and as that bounty hunter whipped the girl, do you know what words he yelled? 

Over and over, Lee yelled the same thing.

Guess -- go on guess -- what it was.

"Hit her harder, hit her harder" -- or in the vernacular of the day "Lay it on, lay it on".

That's not all.  After the torture, Lee had other pain for her.  He had her back soaked in brine -- salt.   More pain.  Years later Lee's defenders claimed that salt was for their own good (just like Lee said their torture was for their own good).

Actually witnesses there at the time, watching this barbarism, said it was for extra pain.   Apparently too many scars on a slave girl could lessen her price when sold.  So fewer lashes, but add the salt.

And her crime?  Her horrible crime?

She tried to escape.


Abolitionists, Lee insisted "are on an evil course"

Slaves "must endure" painful discipline.

Pain is "necessary for their instruction".

Slavery, insisted Lee, was a "spiritual liberty"

___________________________________________________

For several generations now, idiotically,  we have taught Lee as kind, anti slavery, and honorable.  None of that is true, and was never true, but myths get spoken, repeated, built up, and then repeated so often,  as far as the public is concerned, the myths must be true.

Lee's slave ledgers and letters to bounty hunters sill exist.  And now we have the benefit of a book -- all about the slave ledges.  Only the author was a Lee devotee.  She opens her book with flattery typical of Lee adoration books, which is probably why so many historical journals loved the entire book, if they read it all.

Yet Elizabeth Pryor, author of "Reading the Man"  did not just repeat absurdities of the past. The material before her was Lee's own slave ledgers. He own sexually explicit letters, which stunningly, he wrote for DECADES, before and after his marriage. In fact he wrote various women even after the Civil War, and used sexual terms and references in the letters to various women.

When is the last time you wrote a letter to someone with sexual terms in it, but were not and never were sexually intimate with them?  Lee even referred to sexual activity -- stunning even if it was to his wife, but it was to not just other women, but to a number of women.  Pryor was not about to be clear about it, rather, as on virtually everything she wrote, Pryor was a vague as she could be.

But she did give us information about Lee, that he recorded in his own handwritting, and that were in letters to him, that show the "scholarship"  on Lee was in most cases total nonsense.  

_________________________________________________

FRAUD

In almost every classroom that teaches Robert E Lee,  the teacher shows part of a letter Lee wrote to his wife.   In that letter, if you just read part of it, it might seem that Lee is telling his wife about the evils of slavery.

But read on -- read on.  The letter is written after Lee took over torture (torture is the right word).  By all accounts the slaves at Arlington were not tortured until Lee got there.  Mary Custis, who Lee married, grew up with many of those slaves.   She knew them as children, when they were children.

When Lee took over -- per his own slave ledgers and notes - Lee had a whipping post installed.  While Pryor at one point called the whipping post a "silent reminder"  to the slaves, there was nothing silent about the slaves attached to the post and whipped. 

In other places in her book, Pryor admits stunningly, but carefully, that torture of slaves was COMMON.  Lee not only had whipping as option, but he used other means to torture!   Pryor does not explain this in a clear way, but she did admit that Lee's "prefered" method of "discipline"  was the whip.  

She also admits (and remember, she gets her information from Lee's papers) the slaves hated Lee, and said he was "the worst man we ever saw".

The worst man.   They ever saw. Let that sink in.

The slaves saw overseers-- men who actually were experts at whipping and punishing slaves.  These slaves saw bounty hunters -- Lee hired them to capture women, men and children, including some that were free blacks living in the North.

So they saw plenty -- and Lee was "the worst man we ever saw"

________________________________________


YET

Yet we teach Lee as kind, against slavery.  The very letter apologists and "academics" for years used to prove this, actually proves the reverse.  Later in the letter Lee speaks of pain being "necessary for their instruction."   

And if the "evil aboloitionist" will just leave the slaves alone (as if the abolitionist got near the slaves"   the slaves will behave, and the master won't need to be upset.   

Lee further describes the slaves as being fortunate for their slavery.  Lee and his wife, Pryor tells us, both thought the slaves should appreciate them.

But that was hardly unique, in fact, slave owners had to justify their tortures, had to blame others.  The human mind does not do such vile things without heavy and repeated brain washing, which is where religion comes in.  Over and over, in fact, in almost every sentence, Lee refers to, or implies, religious reasons and intentions.   

That was extremely common - - and necessarily so.  Slavery could not have existed unless those doing the tortures - those having the tortures done, like Lee, could do the mental gymnastics to justify it. 

And of course, he was not going to tell his wife that he paid 600% higher prices for girls of a certain age (which he did) because he liked their bodies, or tell her the details of what went on at night in the slave barns,  separated, as they were, by gender.    He of course would refer, for his wife's eyes, about religion and GOD and the benefit of her slaves.

_____________________________________________

ACTIONS MATTER TOO

Lee's actions, we now know with certainty, were brutal, cruel, and not just an aberration for him.  This is how he treated slaves.

In fact, Lee grew up knowing that slave girls could be -- and were -- hung, for disobeying a master.  Lee's father, Pryor tells us, actually had a slave girl hung for knocking down a man beating her.

She knocked down the man beating her.

Lee had her hung. She was 15 years old, and 8 months pregnant.

Lee's father had her hung.

Lee did have white men executed in the war, and he was in charge, at the start of the war, of thousands of slaves building the earth works around Richmond.  Pryor does not mention if he whipped or tortured those men.

But consider this -- if Lee had small girls tortured during peace time, for running away,  and if he screamed at them during their torture,  what the hell do you think he did to slave MEN during war, when Lee's life depended on the speed and effort of those slaves to build the defenses? 

So how the hell did these myths get started? 



We show you how it got started.  And it's not that much different than how all distortions, myths, and lies get started... a little at a time, then repeated and enhanced, enhanced again and again.
Here is another


Lee, scholars told us, knelt during battle and had all his officers kneel in battle, as bombs blew up around him.

Knelt during battle, in silent prayer!   

No one said such goofy things during Lee's life -- in fact, no one said he was in battle!  Longstreet said Lee was always "well in the rear".    There was no genuine account of Lee even near the battles,  though today the Lee myth folks would have you think Lee was in the thick of every battle, close enough to see the enemy, and close enough for them to see him.

Not so much

__________________________________________
.   
The point is,  almost all the "goofy nonsense"  came 20 to 40 years after Lee died, as an avalanche of hustlers started to write pro Confederate biographies that sold well in the South. 




Yet today, we accept as proof those goofy frauds, actually cite the frauds to prove how wonderful Lee was.

 Men like John Cooke just made up crap,  as if he were writing  fiction -- which he was.  The things he were not true then, and not true now.   Yet we actually give awards based on the name of two of the biggest frauds in pumping up Lee as a noble, brave, anti-slavery man of kindness. 


We might always accept the goofy frauds, if not for Lee's own handwritten slave ledgers. 





________________________________________________________



_____________________________________________



More history teachers  know the name of Lee's pet chicken than they know the name of any white looking slave girl that Lee owned.


Pryor adored Lee -- and wrote as carefully as she could possibly do so not to scare the reader. She framed words in a way that did not blame Lee whatsoever.

Pryor actually admits -- carefully -- that Lee had slave girls tortured (torture is the right word, as you will see).  

She claims, however, that Lee had to torture them, because it was a law to whip slaves who tried to escape.

She added that the tortures (she called it discipline) was because of Lee's  "Poor cross cultural communication skills"

That's right, Lee was not to blame for the tortures (and there were many).   It was a "communication" issue.  Lee just did  not have the "skill"  of cross cultural communication!

That's pretty much how Pryor's entire book goes -- very carefully revealing horrors (tortures are not the only horrors) and then absolving Lee of any blame.

____________________________________

SHE HAD TO ?

We of course do not know  if Pryor had to write this way -- likely she had to get approval from the Lee family,  who hired her and allowed her access to the slave ledgers and other papers.

Certainly Pryor had to get some system to get such information in. She could not, for example, make a list of Lee's white looking slave girls, and the prices he paid,  for their purchase or capture.

Lee did use slave auctions, and he did regularly hire bounty hunters.  No one ever dared mention that much before.

So Pryor, for whatever reason, saw fit to blame  slaves, as you will see, for their own tortures. It was the law, she added (no such law existed, actually, nor could she show any.)  It was communication skills.  It was the girls fault.

She was not about to blame Lee.

 Pryor was clearly on Lee's "side" in every page, every paragraph, except for one item: White slave girls.

_________________________________

Yes, Lee owned white looking slave girls -- meaning, white.  White looking IS white.

Pryor seems infuriated when she found out about the white looking slave girls, and what Lee did to them.

_____________________________

White looking slave girls a BFD.

There is not a US text book we know of that does more than, at most, mention light skinned slaves.

But white -- WHITE -- looking slave girls were an issue.  Lee himself indicated the skin tone of one girl, because he wrote she could "pass for white".

Pryor could have expounded on that more -- shown us a list of his white looking girls, or prices, or where he sold or rented them out. Lee kept meticulous records,  she would have seen month by month, if not day by day financial transactions, including how much he paid bounty hunters, the names of the slave girls they pursued, and the price he paid for their capture.

Pryor does give us SOME information  -- Lee paid much higher prices for slave GIRLS about 14 years old. 

White and light skinned slavery was an issue, even in the Lincoln Douglas debates.  By the logic of enslaving the darker skinned people, Lincoln said more than once, what if you were darker skinned than someone else?  Can they enslave you?

  Lincoln posited that question, and he could have been describing Lee.

Stephen A Douglas blamed Lincoln -- claimed Lincoln would "have your daughters sleep with Niggers".   The races will mix, Douglas and others insisted, and white race will be destroyed.'


Lincoln countered that on the contrary, it was SLAVE states that had the race mixing.  He did not need add, whatever everyone already knew, slave rape was the source of mixed race slave children, and light skinned slave girls.

Pryor does NOT tell us (though she could have) if Lee's bounty hunters caught the white slaves. But she does  in effect tell us Lee had all slaves caught tortured for trying to escape.

Only if the Lee family releases the slave ledgers and bounty hunter letters will we know for sure.

There is a REASON  the Lee family refused to let anyone actually study the two trunks full of "papers".  Those papers included slave ledgers.

Pryor would have caused an uproar if she had used the honest term slave ledgers.

She simply said "monthly account books".
_________________________________________


We all know the myth.  Lee was against slavery, an honorable man,  a man of profound religious beliefs.   A man so kind to his wife's slaves, we are told, that they refused to leave. 

Is any of that true, whatsoever?

When you learn about Lee's slave ledgers,  letters to bounty hunters, and sexually explicit letters to numerous women long after he was married, you can make a decision yourself.

But you need the facts, first.

__________________________________________

Elizabeth Pryor is the only person in US history (that we know of) allowed by the Lee family to read his personal letters and slave ledgers.




About the only thing Pryor seemed upset about in her book was the white looking slave girls.  Yes, Lee owned white looking slave girls.

There is a lot you don't know about Lee. ___________________________________________


We will not use euphemisms here.  There have been far too many euphemisms in describing the tortures, rapes, and horrors visited upon black slaves.  If candid descriptions of who did what offends you, read no further.  This is not the place for you.

THE MYTH

No one alive when Lee was alive, including he himself, said he was against slavery.  The letter to his wife, so often quoted to "prove" Lee was against slavery.  is actually, when you read the entire thing,  a powerful defense not just of slavery as a Godly enterprise, but the torture of slaves is for their own benefit.

Slavery is a "spiritual liberty" wrote Lee,   and the slaves are fortunate to be enslaved. It is the slave OWNER, Lee insisted (as did many others) who was burdened by slavery.  Slaves were fortunate,  and slave owners were just doing the will of God.

In fact Lee and his wife were both offended slaves did not appreciate them.  

Contrary to slaves having any affection for Lee, as Pryor herself found in his papers, slaves said Lee "was the worst man we ever saw".

But Lee was not that unusual for slavers. (Yes, Lee was a slaver -- someone who bought and sold slaves, someone whose income came from slaves, the term "Planter" is as vile an Orwellian term as any. Lee's income came from flesh, not from plants, not from selling cotton.  His money came from selling and renting out slaves, which he sold and bought. 

The human mind, of course, can not enslave others, torture others (yes, Lee had slaves tortured) without justifying it in their minds.  The greater the horrors inflicted, the greater the justification, which is exactly why Lee, and all other slave owners, used GOD and the bible as their justification.



Lee worship is so absurd that authors who write more goofy stuff (like claiming Lee knelt with all his lieutenants during battle as bombs blew up around them) won awards.

You heard right.  Lee and all his lieutenants dismounted during battle, and prayed, as bombs blew up around them.

Lee, said others, now "sits at the right hand of Christ, his Lord"  in heaven.

____________________________________________

As Southern official documents said,  if you were against slavery, you are against GOD.   Lee concurred. 

Abolitionists, Lee wrote, are on an "evil course"  and intend to "destroy the American church." 

Did Lee believe this, or were such words just to pacify his ultra religious wife and mollify her about the tortures Lee brought to Arlington?

According to most accounts, the slaves at Arlington before Lee arrived were not tortured.  

Pryor tells us that one of the first things Lee did was to install (actually he had slaves install it) whipping posts.   And he used those whipping posts, we find out from Pryor herself, in her careful prose, regularly. 





Pain, Lee wrote, is necessary for their instruction.

He wrote in another letter that slavery was a "spiritual liberty"  and abolitionist were on an "evil course".   Those against slavery were against GOD -- abolitionist, wrote Lee, were trying to "destroy the American church."

____________________________________________

LEE WAS WORSE THAN NORMAL SLAVERS

Given that "historians"  like Douglas Southall Freeman actually won Pulitzer prizes for writing massive and supposedly factual books about Lee, praising him effusively on every page, if not every sentence, it would be reasonable to believe Freeman.

Until now.  It's clear now that Freeman either ignored the most basic information possible, or created his own distortions -- which, in the case of Mack Lee, Freeman apparently did.  

More about Mack Lee  and Douglas Southall Freeman, later.




There are considerably more vile things Lee wrote, including payments to bounty hunters, instructions to them, which reveal his prices paid for girls of a given age, and his record in his own handwriting to bounty hunters to torture - yes torture -- slaves.

Elizabeth Pryor -- who adored Lee, and worked with the Lee family, is the only person on earth (that we know of) that was allowed to actually study Lee slave ledgers, bounty hunter letters, and sexually explicit letters.


It's unlikely they make such a mistake again, unless they destroy what Pryor found. 

_____________________________________________



Of the many amazing things Pryor relates to us in careful ways is that Lee owned white looking women, and sent bounty hunters after them when they escaped.

You probably never heard that white looking slave women -- born from rape of light skinned slave women, who themselves were fathered by slave owners, was an issue in 1860s.   

How did Lee handle the white looking children born to his light skinned slaves?   

Did Lee free them because they were white?

Or did he sell them at auction (yes, Lee sold slaves at auction, per his hand written record)?

We don't know.  Pryor could have explained things in a much clearer way -- because Lee kept meticulous records, with prices, dates, names.   Pryor was able to tell us with certainty the prices paid for certain captives -- and even that Lee bought women from bounty hunters captured illegally in the North (a not uncommon way to make money for the bounty hunter, and the slave owner who bought such women). 

Pryor was not out to shock the nation -- or even to alienate the Lee family.  She wrote carefully,  so carefully that she regularly excused Lee's tortures as "communication" issues, not as the actions of a mean man.

Yet Pryor did tell us that Lee's slaves hated him -- and he them.  Lee's slaves, Pryor found out from his own papers, said Lee was "the worst man we ever saw".

Sound like a kind  man?  Anti-slavery? Devout?

_____________________________________




Pryor should have, and could have, actually shown Lee's slave ledgers, bounty hunter letters, etc. The Lee family still has them, and you will soon learn why it could be another 150 years until they ever let anyone study them again.

________________________________________

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDLY

Lee anti-slavery?

Lee freed his wife's slaves?

Lee so kind to his wife's slaves they refused to leave?

That's not what's in his bounty hunter letters.

That's not what's in Lee's slave ledgers.

That's not what his own hand written evidence shows.

_______________________________________

No one alive in 1860's ever said -- including Lee -- that he was anti-slavery.  Yes, there is a letter to his wife, wherein he tries to mollify her abut the torture of slaves -- but read the entire letter. He not only defends slavery, he even defends their torture,  or as he called it, "painful discipline"  they must endure.


And because of Lee's slave ledgers themselves, and letters to his bounty hunter, we know exactly what kind of tortures Lee used. 


THE STATE OF "LEE SCHOLARSHIP"  TODAY


_________________________________

Lee's slave ledgers are more about the absurdity of what we accept for "scholarship"  than about Lee himself.   But Lee's slave ledgers of course speak volumes about him, too.


HOW IS LEE TAUGHT?

We only know what we are told
it can not be otherwise...


 More history professors know the name of Lee's pet chicken than know the name of Lee's white looking slave girls. Yes, he had white looking slave girls.  Let that sink in.

So it's no surprise that "history" professors simply repeat the myths they were fed. It can not be otherwise.

If we did not have (the Lee family has them) Lee's slave ledgers, you could dismiss the notion that Lee was an especially sadistic slaver as unfounded, salacious, absurd, and contrary to all scholarship.  

There is plenty of OTHER evidence of Lee's torture of slave girls -- such as eye witnesses and newspapers then.

There is plenty of OTHER evidence that Lee had free women captured in the North and turned into slaves.

But Lee's hand written slave ledgers and letters confirm these reports.  Remember that.


Until Pryor could actually see, and study, Lee's slave ledgers and letters to bounty hunters, all such claims were dismissed as silly or made up.   They were not silly, they were not made up.  

And Lee's handwritten records -- his own words -- proved it.

____________________________________________

NOT SOMEONE LATER...

THE WHITE SLAVE WOMEN

Eevidence in Lee's own handwriting showLee not only had slaves, of various skin tones, he was an especially cruel slaver.  He paid to have girls whipped, he used bounty hunters, he even bought kidnapped women from bounty hunters who illegally captured free women in the NORTH.

Yes, NORTH.  

______________________________

ORWELLIAN DOUBLE SPEAK

 Typically Lee is spoken of as a "planter" -- as if Lee ever planted anything in his life.   Sounds great though. Elizabeth Pryor states all Lee ever wanted to be in his life "was to be a Planter".

As you will see, Pryor, more than any other person in the last 100 years, knew "planter"  was a euphemism for slaver.  She could have told us exactly how much Lee made per month and year on slaves, on slave women, slave men, slave children.

She could have showed up how much Lee paid the bounty hunters for the captured free women.  

_______________________________________________


MUCH MORE...


Lee's papers filled two trunks,  and included slavery ledgers, letters to and from bounty hunters,   and even Lee's "dirty letters" -- sexually explicit letters Lee wrote for decades to various women.

Of course, show the "dirty laundry" of anyone,  if you had all their records, from any period of history and you will find surprises. 

This, however, is more than surprises about sex and bounty hunters. Lee's papers show a drastically different man that the myth shows.  Most people were smart enough to realize the Lee myth was largely fanciful -- but to an astonishing extent, the "scholarship" of Lee simply repeated myths written down 20-30 years after the war.

The Lee "scholarship" showed virtually nothing of Lee's tortures and apparent sadism, and to the extent the "scholars"  like Douglas Freeman even mentioned such things, it was only to deny them as preposterous. 

____________________________________

LEE'S PAPERS NOT PREPOSTEROUS 

JUST KEPT OUT OF SIGHT 

But Lee's papers are not preposterous, they were just hidden. Scholars knew they existed, and assumed, apparently, when the papers were studied they would show how wonderful Lee was, and confirm the repeated myths.

Not so much. 

Pryor had to be careful how she put that information in her book about Lee's papers. 

Why careful ?  Because Lee's papers show he owned white looking slave girls (as if black slavery is fine, and having white looking slave girls is vile stuff).   They show Lee paid 600% more for girls, than for men.  They showed Lee's regular use of bounty hunters and an apparent personal vengance by Lee on any slave woman that tried to escape.

The Lee family did not let anyone else study the ledgers (that we know of).  Nor would they release the papers to the public.   They kept them private for 150 years for a reason, is a reasonable conclusion.   But it might be the Lee family did not know what horrors were buried in price lists, letters to bounty hunters, and letters to Lee. 

It would take a scholar  months to go through the papers, check dates, correlate slave ledger entries to bounty hunter letters, and much more.  



WHAT WE HAVE HERE -- 

Make no mistake, Pryor is on Lee's side.

When discussing Lee's torture of slave girls (yes, he had them tortured), and even screamed at them during their torture, according to witnesses (a fact confirmed in his own handwritten records). 

But Pryor tries to explain that away.

Lee was not cruel -- no, no, no.   Lee's tortures (whippings) of slaves, including slave girls, was because "of Lee's poor cross cultural communication skills".

See if you can beat that Orwellian double speak. 

Lee. Wrote. It. Down.



_________________________________

PRYOR HAD TO SAY SOMETHING

Pryor  had to say something.  

Her book is 90% or more narrative -- meaning her own thoughts about what she found.  Only 10% or less is factual information.

She could have had 50% factual -- told us, for example, all the names of the slaves Lee had whipped.   She somehow knew of the whippings, knew who he whipped,  and even seemed to know how often he used whipping, as opposed to other tortures.

Now, to know that much, she had to see quite a bit of information.  SHe did not give us the information in any clear way, just her narrative of it. 

______________________________________________________

We know too that the regular overseer refused  -- yes refused -- to whip the girl that Pryor wrote of -- the girl that was tortured and newspapers reported it.

The newspapers reported it BECAUSE the first overseer refused to whip her, because she was so small.

Think that over. 

And -- according to Pryor -- witness reported it in the newspapers, and confirmed after the war. 

And Lee's own papers, the details of which Pryor saw, confirm those reports.

  1. Three newspaper reports of the tortures
  2. Witnesses after the war confirmed it
  3. Lee's own handwritten slave ledgers confirmed it.
Pryor did not deny it -- in fact, she confirmed the tortures. And she adores Lee, she was not out to trash him whatsoever. She made every excuse possible for him. 

____________________________________________________________


WHY PRYOR HAD TO WRITE THIS WAY 


Remember, Pryor worked for -- literally chosen by -- the Lee family.   And apparently she got along very well with them.  

You have to wonder sometimes, if the entire family read all her work very closely.  Or did they have right of refusal? 

Certainly no one else ever got information like this from the family -- from his slave ledgers.

Pryor would not even say the term "slave ledgers".   She simply wrote about his "personal papers".

But --if she had not written this way,   does anyone believe the Lee family, Journal of Southern History, Virginia Historical Society, would approve?  Hell no.

Stunningly the Journal of Southern History and Virginia Historical Society gave thumbs up to this work.   Even though Pryor was very cautious, and took Lee's side in every way possible, and said things in Orwellian double talk or emphasise,  the Lee family had never dreamed Lee tortured slave girls, bought kidnapped women, and had white looking slave girls.

Until Pryor found it all, and more, in the slave ledgers. 

___________________________________________


Labor management theory?  Hilarious. Was she drunk?

FUNNY STUFF ORWELL? 

Pryor is like that on every issue.  The most amazing sentence in her book might the the one about slave's "satisfaction".   The slaves, Pryor wrote, did not "completely agree" with Lee's theory of labor management.

Remember that -- did not COMPLETELY agree with Lee's "theory" of labor management.

Say that to yourself ten times.  Did not completely agree with Lee's theory of labor management?

And that Lee did not have good "cross cultural communication skills.

 Not one -- not one -- of the reviews of this book that I know of even bothered to mention this.  If you can't notice this, then you either didn't read the book closely, or you were cowardly or stupid enough to not dare mention it in a review. 

Lee tortures slave girls -- Lee buys women from bounty hunters - Lee turns free women into slaves.  All might sound overly sensational, but those are the facts.

Lee an especially cruel slave owner.

Lee used slave auctions.

Lee bought his own slaves.

Lee screamed at slave girls as he had them tortured.

Pryor could have written that way.  Or spoken that way to the Lee family.

But she did not. 


____________________________________________

________________________________________________

WHITE SLAVES?  NO WAY!

Over half mulatto. 

What do you think happened to the light skinned girls born to light skinned mothers?  

Over half -- over half -- of Lee's slaves, according to Pryor -- were mulatto.  

How many were women?  About half, right? Unless he bought more women, or sold more men, whatever happened, she knew, because Lee kept apparently very detailed slave ledgers.

 Mulatto means of mixed race.  Pryor also tells us the common percentage of mulatto slaves was 10%.  Lee's mulattoes were OVER five times that.

Why? How?     

No slave owner known in history seems to have spotted an infant from a mulatto slave he owned, and said "Oh my God, we have enslaved a white child... we must find her a good white home. We are so sorry".

No, they kept the light skinned slave, and like any business, they sold the light skinned slave if they thought, all things considered, it was profitable.   Attractive slave women -- the papers called good looking slave women "likely"-- sold for more. 

And we know lighter skinned slave women sold at auction ended up in whore houses -- yes, there were whore houses in the South.

And black -- mulatto -women were sold to the owners.  

Pryor could have told us - - very likely  -- much more about who sold for which prices.  In fact, other than general comments, she stayed way away from details about which color and age girls, sold for how much money.

But she did tell us, Lee paid 600% higher prices for GIRLS.  She made it sound as if these payments were for bounties -- on escaped slaves. But read her words carefully.  Not all of Lee's bounty hunter payments were for escaped slaves.

Lee also paid bounty hunters for "others".   And Pryor relayed that odd information while discussing the Fugitive Slave Act.  Lee paid the bounty hunter for escaped slaves -- and "others".

Now, you do you suppose those "others"  were.  Well, they had to be OTHER than escaped slaves. 

Lee "failed to fill out the time consuming paper work"  for these "others".

As if there is paperwork at all, time consuming or not, for escaped slaves, and certainly there was no paper work, time consuming or not, for "others". 

_____________________________________________

TEACH THE CHICKEN
TEACH THE  HORSE

Don't dare teach the truth.

 In Virginia, schools teach the name of Lee's pet chicken and the name of his horse.

As far as we know, not a single public school student in Virginia has ever learned the name of one of the several girls Lee had tied to a whipping post and whipped.

In fact, those students are taught -- fraudulently -- that Lee had no slaves, or that he freed his wife's slaves.  

Total nonsense -- no one alive during 1800-1865 ever thought, much less said, Robert E Lee did not have slaves.  The whole idea would have been preposterous.  Lee was called "King of the Spades"  early in the Civil War for his massive use of slave labor.

Lee's slaves "loved him most of all"





REMEMBER 

ELIZABETH PRYOR  ADORED LEE  

and supported him on every page

____________________________________________________________________


Elizabeth Pryor,
Abolitionist,  Lee wrote in another letter, according to Pryor, "were trying to destroy the American church".

But read her book yourself. You can easily breeze right through these passages in the book, because it's always so gently inserted.  It almost seems like she is saying other slave owners did this, and she goes for that impression repeatedly.   But she is also talking about Lee's tortures, Lee's cruelties, Lee's purchase of other women.



ONLY PERSON  IN HISTORY 

Elizabeth Pryor is the only person in US history allowed to actually study Lee's slave ledgers and bounty hunter letters. The Lee family could have made them public any time in the last 150 years.

The Lee family  still have not allowed the public to see them, much less study them, except for Lee devotee, Elizabeth Pryor. 
________________




_________________________________________________

 WHERE DID THE LEE MYTH
COME FROM?




'Lee is now in heaven, seated next to Christ, his Lord'.



Essentially the fraudulent goofy books about Lee during that time are the basis for what we teach in schools.  If the things in those books were true, it would not be irrational to respect Lee.   

That's the problem. Much of the basic "facts" we have been told about Lee are destroyed by his own slave ledgers and personal letters.


__________________________________________________________________


TWO BOOKS IN ONE? 

MAD ABOUT WHITE SLAVES? 

It seems at times as if Pryor was willing to be candid on some pages  - but not on others.

Since sadly Elizabeth Pryor was the victim of fatal traffic accident in 2015,  we can not ask her, but a close reading of her words suggest Pryor was at times furious with Lee.   It seems  what pissed off was not torture -- or even rape. 

 What seemed to piss off Pryor was the "white looking" slave girls.

Yes, Lee had white looking slave girls -- they could pass for white.

As if the torture and rape of a woman with darker pigment in her skin was understandable, and defensible.

But if that woman was a bit lighter -- that just about drove Pryor bananas.

__________________________________

"Increasingly, whites were enslaving other whites."  

Pryor tells you about Lee's white looking slave girls in a way you can easily think (by design) she is talking about all slave owners.  Not really - read closely. She is talking about LEE and his white looking slave girls.

"Increasingly, whites were enslaving other whites."  This clever sentence, of course, does not mention the name "Lee".   But the details in her overall narrative show it was Lee personally who owned white looking slave girls, and had even them chased by bounty hunters when they (the white looking slave girls) escaped. 

She was writing about Lee-- and she showed you -- if you paid attention closely -- that Lee had by far more light skinned slaves (and slave girls) that anyone else.



LEE DID NOT BURN HIS SLAVE LEDGERS

__________________________

Lee "only wanted to bring souls to Christ".

Lee "Simply wanted to be a planter"

Lee and his lieutenants  "knelt for silent prayer during battle, bombs blowing up around them."

Pryor joined the absurdity at times, of the "historians" in the past. 

Some other absurd Orwellian double speech we covered above. But Pryor is right up there with the best.  Lee only "wanted to be a planter".

Planter?   Seriously? 

Say it plain -- a slave owner, a big time slave owner.  That is what "planter" means, and she well knew it.  But that's her style, her way of softening the horrors.

Lee always wanted to be a big time slaver.   Say that -- be honest, be candid. She never would write candidly -- but it's easy for us to sit her and judge Pryor.  She had to deal with the Lee family, get the approval of Virginia Historical Society.  I assume she did the best she could -- and no one else ever told as much as she did, anyway. 

Point is,   Lee did not plant anything, his crop was not veggies. His crop was flesh -- the sale of, and rental of, and breeding of, slaves. 

Why not tell people that?  Why not be honest, candid? 
________________________________




____________________________________

ORWELLIAN DOUBLE SPEAK  MUCH?



Still -- give Pryor all the credit possible. 

She did tell us, in Orwellian double speak at times, in euphemistic nonsense at times, but she did get the facts out.  

Pryor passed away (automobile accident April 15,  2015) so there is no way to ask her, but very likely the Lee family, who granted her access to Lee's physical slave ledgers and bounty hunter letters,  were not about to allow her to show you the gruesome and ugly proof.

Pryor actually took Lee's side -- in every single instance of cruelty and torture. Yes, it was torture, yes it was cruelty. Deliberate, calculated, repeated cruelty.   Pryor insisted Lee "had every right" to protect "his property" -- she was writing about his "discipline" (torture) of his slave girls.


______________________________________________



__________________________________________



The very dark black man in the picture  certainly could not have been the sperm donor one generation removed  for this nearly white looking child.  

In fact, slave men had to sleep apart from slave women -- do you know why?  When the white men came at night, to pick the women they wanted to rape -- the black men, if they were there, would try to stop that outrage.

If a black man struck a white man in anger -- the penalty was death.  Remember that, because as you will see, the Lee's father did have a girl hung because she knocked down a white man who was beating her.   

So, black men could not sleep in the same barn as the black women.

Welcome to Lee's world.  

_________________________



___________________________________________






_________________________________________________


HOW COMMON IS "COMMON RAPE"?

"Coercion was used  in those situations. "


Since Pryor is the polar opposite of someone trying to trash Lee, when she writes that  rape was common,  she has a very good reason to say that. You can be sure she did not want to write those words.     In fact,  she used ebonics to say it .

And when she chose to describe the rapes as violent rapes -- she was again careful.  She wrote "Coercion was used in those situations."

She was writing about RAPES. Violent rapes.  She would not of course write "The slave women were raped violently".   But she would write a much softer "Coercion was used in those situations" 

Pryor goes into her "non-describing"  mode in all these matters.   She is not about to paint you a picture in your head of women being tied up, or dragged off, or raped right after a slave auction.  Whatever force was used -- and it was used -- Pryor is not going to say what that force was. A whip?  Grabbing a slave girl after dark? 

We have no clue.  

_________________________________________________

If you defend slavery as Godly, as Lee did, as good for the slaves, as Lee did, and state that it is evil for men to try to end slavery, as Lee did, and if you whip slave girls or have them whipped, as Lee did, and taunt them during their torture, as Lee did, it is no step whatsoever to buy black women, as Lee did, who his hunters captured in the North that were NOT escaped slaves.



___________________________________________



Picture of Lee's soldiers gathering thousands of free blacks in the North during the Civil War-- taking them South for sale.
How do we teach about this? 

We hardly teach it, and then even in mentioned, we don't blame Lee, who actually did it. We blame nameless "confederates". 

Newspapers today show the caption "Confederates capture escaped slaves".

No, these were not -- not -escaped slaves.  These were blacks in the North during the war.  Remember that.  Lee ordered  his men to round up all free blacks. 

That is what they did.  They were NOT escaped slaves, and if there were any escaped slaves in the mix, it did not matter in the slightest. 



Davis had just issued an order to enslave all blacks their army could. Let me repeat that -- DAVIS ISSUED THE ORDER that blacks should be rounded up and enslaved - even in the North.









So what Lee did during the Civil War -- at Davis's direction -- Lee had already done the same thing, in a smaller way, before the war, with bounty hunters.

______________________________________


1) Essentially, what "historians" have told us simply is not based in fact.  Almost all of what we were told was as fiction as a novel.   


2)  Repeating myths do not make them true.



Alan Nolan said 25 years ago that we should "start over"  on Lee, because what we had was not scholarship. To paraphrase him,  what we had was bullshit.

 He had not known what was in Lee's slave ledgers -- he did not know Lee's torture of slave girls, purchase of kidnapped women, etc etc.   

______________________________________
















________________________________________________


SOCIOPATHS IN VIRGINIA?






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.