Monday, September 10, 2012


under construction -- my "editor"  promises to get this on our soon.



 More people 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.  

More people know the name of Lee's horse than know Lee had bounty hunters capture free blacks in the North, bring them back illegally to the South, and sell them as slaves.

Lee. Wrote. It.  Down.   


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. 




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.  

Sounds insane?  Lee wrote it down. 

Lee. Wrote. It. Down.

Elizabeth Pryor adored Lee, and could not have possibly anticipated information she found, like torture of slave girls, like regular whippings, like payments to bounty hunters.  No one told her that -- until she saw Lee's hand written slave ledgers.

So Lee told her. Otherwise she would not believe it. 



Pryor takes Lee's side in every issue -- from enslaving them, to whipping them.  Because Pryor died in 2015 (car accident)  we can't ask her if she saw the movie "Cool Hand Luke".

The star in the movie- - Paul Newman -- is tortured (whipped).   Just like Lee justified torture,  the man whipping Paul Newman justified torture -- and justified it the same way Pryor did.

Lee was not cruel, according to Pryor. No, no no.
 Lee just did not communicate well.  Lee's tortures (she calls it "discipline")  was because of Lee's  "Poor cross cultural communication skills".



Pryor  had to say something.  She is 90% narrative in her writing, 10% factual references, give or take.  To just tell us, however carefully and in Orwellian double speak, about Lee's torture of slave girls, she had to pacify the readers and maybe more importantly, pacify the Lee family and Virginia Historical Society.

She could not just leave the tortures there -- no matter how clever she showed them. She had to spin it somehow

Was she going to posit  that Lee enjoyed the sight of girls being tortured, and he paid extra for them to be tortured?  Of course not.

We don't know if he enjoyed it, but we do know Lee made sure he was there, yelled at the girl as she was whipped, and paid extra to have her whipped.

We know too that the regular overseer refused  -- yes refused -- to whip her, according to witness reports in the newspapers, and confirmed after the war. 

So she said - - like the guy in the movie -- it was a communication issue. As if she knew how they all communicated, and as if Lee's regular torture (yes, he used torture regularly, she admits later)  was not a clue it was more than "cross cultural communication".

Do you really think if Lee  could just have talked to those slaves in ebonics or whatever manner of communication slaves used, Lee would not need to torture anyone?   So he would not do so?

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



Labor management theory?  Hilarious. Was she drunk?


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.

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. 

So don't worry, Lee lovers.  The woman telling you about Lee's tortures and much more (like white looking slave girls) is not out to scare you out of the Lee fan club. 


Pryor tells you carefully, in a way you won't want to rip Lee's statues down, but she does tell you. For example, she "nonchalantly" mentions that one (of many) of Lee's escaped slaves "could pass for white".

Could pass for white -- that means white. It means the only way to know she (and others perhaps) had a black person as parent or grandparent is to know that child from birth.  

Lee did not only only mullatoes -- he owned many of them.   Pryor even tells us that "over half" of Lee's slaves (yes, he had slaves) were mulatto. 

Read more of her book carefully,  and she says more about this. Whites (she meant Lee) were"increasingly enslaving other whites".

It's impossible to tell now that Pryor lost her life in a traffic accident in April of 2015.  But it seems she was incensed at Lee not for torture of slave girls, not for bounty hunters, not for taunting slave girls as he had them whipped.   She didn't even seem to mind that Lee bought kidnapped women from the North.

But she did seem to mind that Lee owned white looking (in other words, white) girls. 



What do you think happened to the light skinned girls born to light skinned mothers?  Turns out, Lee owned (yes, he owned and controlled) over 200 slaves, over half of them mulatto.  Mulatto means of mixed race.  Over half- - over 50% of his slaves were mulatto.  

Pryor also tells us the common percentage of mulatto slaves was 10%.  Lee's mulattoes were the majority.

Do you think a child was born very light skinned, and men like Lee said "Oh my goodness, put this dear child with a white family as soon as possible, may God forbid we enslave a while child"

Lee did not such thing. In fact, Lee sent bounty hunters to capture the escaped slaves, including the white looking slave girls.   And Lee paid 600% higher prices for girls about 14 years old.



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.



Furthermore, newspapers reported Lee's torture (yes torture) of slave girls at the time -- three different newspapers. 

It's important to know -- the torture of slaves was not a newspaper item.  As you will see, Pryor claims torture by whip was mandated for any slave who tried to escape.

This report of Lee's tortures made the newspapers because Lee had a crowd watch the whipping -- and the regular overseer refused to whip one girl because she was too small.

Lee had her whipped anyway. Remember that, the first guy refused to whop her because she was too small.

Lee simply paid someone else to whip the girl. 

 Not only did Lee's slave ledgers confirm this, but after the  war ended, reporters went to Arlington and found there former slaves that witnessed these tortures and confirmed it, too.  So there is ample, almost overwhelming, proof (not conjecture) that Lee had slave girls whipped.

Add to that  -- Pryor admitted he had slaves whipped, admitted this type of torture (she calls it discipline) was Lee's "preferred" method -- so there were other methods she could have articulated, apparently, if she so wanted to.

✔Three newspapers at the time reported it. 

✔ Lee's own papers confirm it.

✔ Witnesses after the war confirmed it

Read Pryor's book -- she clearly didn't want to confirm Lee as a man who tortured girls, but that is just the beginning of what Pryor found in Lee's own handwritten papers. 





 Pryor had to have been stunned by what she found.

She could have no way of knowing about Lee's tortures of slave girls, his purchase of kidnapped women, etc etc, when she started.  No one ever told this ugly truth.

Lee's slaves "loved him most of all"

We were all told what we can now call (and should call it this way)  the "Lee myth".   He was anti-slavery, we were told.  Freed his wife's slaves and did not own any himself, we were told.   Some even said the slaves refused to leave Arlington when Lee freed them.  Lee's slaves, we were told "loved him most of all".

But his own papers, as you will see, show Lee's slaves said he was "the worst man we ever saw".  Lee had slave girls tortured, he sold children as punishment to the mother, and he even bought kidnapped women FROM THE NORTH.

You may not know that bounty hunters went North, kidnapped freed blacks there, and sold them in the South.

Lee was one of the buyers -- per his own slave ledgers. 


When you get all of Lee's letters, slave ledgers, and bounty hunter papers, you find a few "surprising" things.   Like his defense and use of torture.

Torture is the right word. Please go elsewhere for euphemism and Orwellian double speak.  Lee not only had slave girls tortured, his hand written records verify that he he paid a bounty hunter to whip one girl so small that the regular overseer refused to whip her.

Let that sink in. Lee's OWN hand written records verify the supposedly discredited reports of his torture of slave girls so small the regular overseer refused to whip her. 


 Lee himself wrote letters defending slavery (ironically this letter is often misquoted to "prove" Lee was against slavery).

More people know the name of Lee's horse, than know Lee ever tortured anyone, much less torture young and small women. Yes, Lee had young and small women tortured -- as you will see.

First and foremost -- Elizabeth Pryor adored Lee. 

You can read her amazing book had hardly notice the tortures, rapes, bounty hunters and white looking slave girls. 

This is NOT a book to skim.  I know people who read this book (or claimed to) and insisted it didn't mention a word about Lee's torture of anyone, much less slave girls.  Yet, Pryor reported that -- and much more -- in a careful, artful, and euphemistic way.

Pryor was a "Lee devotee"  who the Lee family and Virginia Historical Society trusted to be the only person  (that anyone knows about)  to study Lee's slave ledgers and bounty hunter letters at length.

It's very likely no one before Pryor knew what Lee wrote down -- you'd have to correlate his slave ledgers, for example, by date, to letters to and from bounty hunters.  You'd need five or ten big tables to lay things out, and spend weeks, if not months,  to understand a random letter.   Any bounty hunter letter, for example, taken alone meant little.

But a bounty hunter letter with prices and dates, and names -- which is the kind of thing Pryor studied -- you can learn who the slave girls where, where Lee bought them, if he did, and where he sold them.  Because Lee did buy and sell slaves.

Read Pryor closely -- she refused to show us the actual slave ledgers and bounty hunter letters.   It was not her job or her inclination to trash Lee with anything candid.   It was her job, apparently, to keep his halo upon his head as much as possible.

Most people, of course, had no clue Lee even had slave ledgers, or used bounty hunters.


But Pryor found information about torture  in Lee's own handwriting. Who he had tortured, what for, and in some cases, who he paid to handle the whip.

Pryor artfully introduces us to Lee's whipping post -- claiming (fraudulently) that the whipping post Lee had installed was a "silent reminder" to the slaves.   True enough, whipping posts are silent, but the men and women -- and girls -- Lee h ad tied up to those "silent" post were probably not silent.

Lee as not silent during the whippings.  The reports of three newspapers at the time show Lee yelled at the slave girl as she was being whipped.   Pryor, in an uncharacteristic burst of near candor, admits that the newspaper reports of this particular torture was undoubtedly verified by information in Lee's own papers. 

She could have shown us how Lee's slave ledgers verified such things -- but that she would not do.  It's possibly, even likely, the verification of these tortures was so foul Pryor would not dare let us see them.  But whatever words Lee wrote down in his slave ledgers, and bounty hunter letters, write them down he did.

And have slave girls tortured, he did.

Note to people who thought otherwise -- slavery was a violent enterprise, and if you did not torture slaves who tried to escape, you soon were not a slave owner. 


Lee's father had a slave girl hung -- 15 years old,''

She was pregnant. Lee's father had her hung. 

Her crime?

She knocked down the man whipping her.  Apparently she was not tied up -- she was able to fight back, and did.  Pryor tells us just the sanitized version, but she does tell us that.  She fought back, she knocked down the man whipping her, and for that, Lee's father had her hung.

Lee himself  was not reluctant whatsoever to use torture.   Pryor even admits, carefully, that torture (whipping) was Lee's "prefered" method of "discipline".   He had other methods -- and we know at least two of the other tortures  -- salt in wounds after the torture,  and being sold away from your child, or your child sold away from you.

Yes, Lee did that.   He was not the only slave owner who used torture, and terror.   Slavery was an act of ongoing violence to anyone who resisted - fighting  back could get you killed (like the girl)  and running away could get you tortured,  your mother or child could be sold. 

Pryor does not like to tell you any of this --she is not candid or blunt about it, she is clever and sometimes Orwellian.  But she does present enough that it's clear to anyone willing to read closely -  Lee regularly used torture, hated his slaves, they hated him, and Lee's slaves said he was "the worst man we ever saw".


Newspapers at the time -- three of them -- reported Lee's torture of a slave girl so small in size that the original slave overseer refused to whip the girl.

He refuse to whip her -- witnesses said -- because she was so small.

Lee had her whipped anyway.

And Lee's personal papers confirm that -- in Lee's own handwritten slave ledgers.



Absolutely no one alive in 1820-1860 would think otherwise.

It was a self evident fact violence was the heart and soul of slavery, and slavery could not spread or remain without violence.

Pain to the slaves -- of course.   Exceedingly painful to any who tried to escape.  As Pryor shows, Lee's biggest problem was escaping slaves, and he responded each time with violence.  Not some of the times --each time.

Pryor had no problem with that.  She writes carefully, but very much in defense of Lee, that Lee had "every right to protect" his property.  She is writing about torture of slaves -- when she includes this nugget.   Protecting your property is Pryor's Orwellian double speak for torturing slave girls.

But if you do not use Orwellian double speak or euphamism, you literally can not discuss Lee without knowing he was a cruel sadistic man, who was eager -- yes eager- - for torture.  When you learn the details of Lee's torture of slave girls, you can never see him in the same way again.



Given Lee's slave ledgers and bounty hunter letters, the idea Lee did not own slaves, or that he freed his wife's slaves, etc etc, is absurd.  He not only owned his own, he bought more  slaves and brought people who were not slaves from bounty hunters. 

You read that right -- Lee bought people that were not slaves until Lee got ahold of them.  See more below. 

The record - - Lee's own hand written records -- show an entirely different reality than what we were told. 


Elizabeth Pryor, who adored Lee, wrote a book about his slave ledgers and bounty hunter letters.  She called these documents  "Lee's personal papers." 


Pain, Lee wrote to his wife, was "necessary for their instruction".

Another Mark Curran history blog.

Why do I write these?

Because I got tired of waiting for someone else to do it. 


Have you ever seen a picture of one of Lee's light skinned slave girls?



Hang on to your hats, Lee lovers.
It may get a bit bumpy. 




Pryor refused to ever mention the term "slave ledgers" or bounty hunters letters.  Torture of slaves, though Pryor does admit it was common, Pryor describes as "discipline". 

Lee himself was more blunt in some of his own letters -- claiming "Pain is necessary for their instruction".   Slaves "must endure painful discipline."

Painful discipline -- as we find out from witnesses -- exceeded anything ever shown in any US depecition of slaver by anyone.  According to witnesses, overlapping witnesses,  Lee taunted the slave girl before he had her tortured, and screamed at her or about her all through the torture. 

Let that sink in.

Were those witnesses lying?  

No- - and Pryor actually proves that.  To her credit, she says it is unquestionable that these events took place,  because Lee himself confirmed the basic facts reported by the witnesses, in his names, prices, and specific details in his slave ledgers.

Pryor would not show us exactly, however.  Did Lee actually give written instructions on torture (yes, it was torture, we won't call it by euphemism)?   Did he list the number of lashes to use? The number of days tied to the post after torture?  What were the details?

We don't know.  But they could not have been gentle or Pryor would have showed us- - she showed us things Lee wrote that were self serving,. 




That is exactly how the human mind works. 

Lee wrote to his wife that it was the slaves that were fortunate.  It was the slave owner that suffered, he told her.  How much worse would their lives be a heathens in Africa?  It may take 2000 years, he implied, to civilize the slaves. God's plan may seem mysterious to us, but we should not question God.

Abolitionist, he wrote, are "on an evil course"   and their goal he said in another letter, is "to destroy the American church".

Slavery was simple. God ordained it.God will end it "in His time".

Man must justify his own evil -- God is often that justification 

That is exactly how the human mind works.  You must justify your actions. The more cruel your actions, the more powerful your justification.

No slave own -- not one as far as I know -- has ever said "Yeah, I like slaves for the power, for the money, and I get to rape who I want to".    No man is ever that honest.   

 Lee was no exception.  And he was raised by a father who had slaves tortured -- Pryor tells us his father had a 15 year old girl hung for knocking down the white man whipping her.

 The bible is very much pro slavery, and even pro torture of slaves.  Yes, it is.  Frederick Douglass saw his owner torture a slave woman to death, while the owner shouted scriptures.

We don't even know why he was torturing her -- but he was. Lee made no such mistake.  As you will see, Pryor tells us one of Lee's first instructions when he took over his wife's estate was to have a whipping post installed.

A whipping post.

Pryor softens that by claiming the whipping post was a "SILENT REMIND" as she said, to the slaves.  

As you will see, the post itself might have been silent, but the people Lee had tied to that post could not always be silent.  More about Lee's whipping post later.



Lincoln wrote that violence was the only way to maintain slavery. It starts in violence, it is maintained in violence, and is spreads (like a cancer) through violence. 

There is a report of a ten year old boy, on a slave ship, likewise tortured to death, as an example to the other slaves. 

According to witnesses, Lee actually told his slaves before their torture that he was giving them "a lesson they will never forget".

No doubt they never forgot their tortures -- but as far as humanly possible, Southern apologist have tried to deny or gloss over Lee's torture of even small slave girls. Yes, he had SMALL slave girls tortured.

If not for Lee's own slave ledgers -- and from those we find out torture was common at Arlington -- Southern apologist could have gotten away with distorting and lying about it forever.

They almost did get away with it. 

 The Lee family  -- very likely -- had no idea what the slave ledgers and bounty hunters letters showed.   Pryor herself had to have been shocked.

Yes, people knew some "horrible" truths about Lee already -- like during the Civil War, he had hundreds of free blacks captured in the North, ordered them taken to the South, and sold as slaves.   That was common knowledge at the time of the Civil War, and not even that remarkable. 

It would take Elizabeth Pryor - remember, she was a Lee "devotee"  actually studying the letters, ledgers, newspapers, and thousands of bits of information, from Lee's papers.   Not from what others said about Lee -- but what Lee wrote himself, what Lee received from others himself, and kept.   

No doubt when the Lee family allowed Pryor to study, at length, all these hand written documents,  they assumed the lavish praise on Lee, long accepted as "historic fact"  would be validated, and maybe Lee would be praised and honored more.

Not so much, actually.



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.

She does not dare make that so clear you weep for the slave girls. She could have made it that clear, but that was not her goal.

   Unlike the carefully selected letters to his religious wife-- Pryor is not about to show what Lee wrote to bounty hunters, the ones he had captured and tortured. Yes, tortured.

Go somewhere else for euphemisms. 

Call it what you want, but Lee's own letters confirm reports of barbaric tortures -- whipping, salt poured into wounds, Lee taunting the girls during their "discipline".


If Pryor has written "slave ledgers"  or "bounty hunter letters" people would, even in Virginia, ask "What the hell are you talking about -- Lee had no slaves, and he had no use for bounty hunters".

Then she would have to show the slave ledgers.  

That was not her plan, or her style. Remember, she worked for, and with, the Lee family and Virginia Historical Society, two groups that essentially exist to praise Lee.

What is amazing is this --that Pryor was able and willing to get out to the public amazing things -- things no one else dared mention for 150 years.  Euphemism or no, Orwellian double speak or not, Pryor has forever changed the river of bullshit distortion that passed for "history" regarding Robert E Lee.

And the public should be glad of that. 


From Lee's own papers, it's clear Lee kept bounty hunters busy -- Pryor told the ratio of payments for girls of a certain age, vs what he paid for older males. 

For her to make generalizations of payments to bounty hunters -- she had to have plenty of numbers, and of course Lee's bounty hunter letters and slave ledgers would have those numbers. 

That is where Pryor got the numbers -- from Lee.

So why not just show the ledgers?   The letters?  Why just get a ratio?

Because showing us the names of the girls Lee bought, the names of the bounty hunters he paid would be far too clear.   So Pryor mentioned, as if it was a trivial detail, that Lee used slave auctions and bounty hunters.  You could -- and she hoped you would -- hardly notice.

She further hoped you would not find fault with Lee --she did not find fault with him.  As you will see it was the slaves fault for trying to escape. And Pryor even seemed to double down on Lee's absurd resentment for the slaves because they did not appreciate him.

When you find out Lee sold children -- as punishment it seems-- and tortured girls and men as others watched -- and that Lee taunted girls as he had them whipped, remember, Lee thought they did not appreciate him enough. 

Let that sink in.


Pryor was not out for clarity.  She was out for vagueness.

You can read her book -- as others have -- and not even notice Lee had slaves whipped, much less notice Pryor admitted Lee's prefered method of discipline was the whip. He had other -- more barbaric--tortures, when you understand after whipping Lee had salt poured in the wounds.

Salt. Poured. In. Open. Wounds.

That's what ISIS does.

Lee did that.

When you show proof of that to Lee devotees they will claim Lee had salt applied in open wounds to help keep out infection.  That's not what the eye witnesses said.  He did it for EXTRA PAIN.

And Lee yelled--see below -- "Whip her harder, whip her harder"  as the young slave girl was being tortured.

Slavery was a cruel enterprise- - and for 150 years we have pretended there were "good kind slave owners".    Lee was held out as the prime example.

Not so much.





   The more vile Lee's actions (like paying bounty hunter to capture free women in the North -- yes, Lee bought kidnapped women from the North that were not escaped slaves)  the more "delicate"  Pryor is in the telling.

But compare her to all others -- she is drastically more candid.

It is accident that Pryor opens her book with a long letter written by Lee in glowing and kind words to his children, about the Lee family before them.

The entire book would have had a different feel if she opened it with pictures of Lee's prices, names of slave girls, and his markings to show which slave girls could pass for white.



Yes Lee had slave girls that could pass for white.  That's what Pryor wrote.  So how did Lee indicate that?   She had to see something, she did not dream this up. Lee had to have a sentence, a list,  a way to delineate which slave girl was which tone of dark or white, because Pryor said LEE indicated a white looking slave girl, and that she had escaped, and she was being hunted.

Why not show us those papers?

 As slave girls were raped (and rape was common at Arlington, as Pryor coyly admitted)  they often gave birth to lighter skinned children, because the rapes were by white men.

And then the female children, when they were old enough, were raped too.   Vile and ugly, but that is what happened.  Not sorta, not kinda, that is what happened.  And Lee's own slave ledgers and letters prove that.



That term "personal  papers" was the first clue that Pryor was not about to be candid.  Pryor used that same approach on every page, sometimes hilariously, if the subject was not torture of young and small slave girls.

For example, Pryor wrote "the slaves did not fully agree with Lee's theory of labor management".

Think about that for a while.

They did not "fully agree".   Yet Pryor tells us Lee's slaves hated him, many tried to escape, and they said he "was the worst man we ever seen".  But she does all that, amazingly, in such a delicate, even Orwellian double speak way, you may hard notice.


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. 



'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.




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.

Pryor could have told you the name of the white looking girls -- she would not even be specific if there was one or ten.   She could have made a chart of white looking slave girls (she clearly knew which ones were white looking.).

She tells us the bounty hunters were looking for  them -- did they catch this girl?   How much were they paid for her?

What did Lee write about that?

Did the bounty hunters write Lee back and list names, prices, or conditions of the slaves?   

Pryor omitted all such things  -- that would make her readers wonder how the hell Lee was so cruel to torture ANYONE for trying to escape, and what the hell was Lee thinking enslaving white looking girls.

But if you wonder why Lee should not enslave white looking girls, you might wonder what the hell difference does it make?   What is worse about enslaving whites?  Lee didn't think it was worse.

Pryor did not want you to grasp that.

Still, she COULD have easily left that sentence out -- the sentence about white looking slave girl.   She was under no legal obligation to insert that. 

In fact, I sometimes wonder if Pryor did not get some of these amazing details in AFTER the Lee family checked the text.  Did she make "a few" changes and insert a few words here and there?  I am still stunned the Lee family allowed some of these sentences in the book.  Did they know and approve all of Pryor's clever admissions?  

 Escapes -- slaves trying to get away from Lee, though it meant torture if they were caught -- was Lee's biggest problem.  She told us his slaves thought he was "the worst man they ever saw". 

Fake "historians" like Douglas Southall Freeman told us  precisely the opposite, that Lee's servants loved him.  Utter nonsense.  Yet Freeman's nonsense is taught as the truth. It never was the truth, and never will be the truth. 

Pryor told us, in her book:  Escapes were Lee's  biggest problem. 

Escaped apparently enraged Lee personally -- to the point he regularly had bounty hunters chasing escaped slaves AND OTHERS.

Then, Lee was there personally to meet the slave girl on her return, and personally supervised (and of course, ordered)  the torture.

Pryor tries to ameloriate that by claiming it was a law in Virginia to torture (whip) escaped slaves.   No, it was not a law, Pryor lied.  And as you will see, Lee broke whatever laws he cared about about slavery -- including the law against kidnapping free blacks in the North, which Lee paid his hunters to do (yes, he did).

Pryor, however, tells you this in a way that you can easily read and assume Lee was rather like others, not worse,  and almost a victim. 

I fact Pryor posits and seems to adopt Lee's pathological insistence he was the victim -- not the slaves.  No, the slaves were the victims.


Pryor did better than anyone has ever done to show Lee's torture of slave girls, purchase of kidnapped women from the North, and his cruel use of bounty hunters, not only to capture run away girls, but to torture (yes, torture) them as well.
If Pryor could have said one thing to Robert E Lee, it might have been this:  
"Please, please General Lee, burn your slave ledgers and bounty hunter letters.



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."



There are a thousand ways to tell you that Lee had slave girls tortured -- and screamed at them as he had them tortured.




Pryor could have just told you about Lee's tortures, his purchases of kinapped women from the North, and a dozen other things on page one.

Pryor could have showed you the actual slave ledgers and letters in Lee's papers that showed he bought kidnapped women. She could have shown you the prices Lee paid, in his own handwriting.  You would not forget that. You would remember that for the rest of your life -- 240 dollars for capture of slave child Sally.  710 dollars for the capture and whipping of slave girl Betts, and so on.

Pryor knew, and carefully artfully mentioned, that Lee had the small girl -- too small for others to whip -- whipped anyway.  She didn't get that information in a dream.  You can be sure to include it at all, carefully or not, these tortures were undeniable.  Yes, Lee had women -- including very small woman -- tortured.

That would have been the honest thing to do.  Pryor got the information from those papers -- and then to an astonishing degree  white washed the horrors out of them, and absolved Lee of blame.

Oh she blames some one. Just not Lee.  There is not a single sentence in the entire book blaming Lee directly.

Whites, she writes, were enslaving other whites.   Who was doing that? It was LEE.  She had his papers. He had white looking slave girls.  She was not talking about some guy 10 miles down the road. She was writing about and had the papers of, Robert E Lee.  Lee was enslaving other whites.

But that was too clear for her to write -- and very likely because of the Lee family looking literally over her shoulder.  The Virginia Historical Society apparently signed off too.   

Even the Journal of Southern History spoke well of Pryor's book -- though you wonder if they read it closely.  While she was artful, she also was revealing if you paid attention.   Lee had several manners of torture -- we know that because Pryor told us the one he used most -- whipping.  

But she mentions the others, so carefully.  Salt in wounds. Torture psychologically by sending the mother or child away (separating families meant taking the child or mother away, slaves were not allowed to know who their father was, probably because often the father was white).

Pryor also actually blamed the slaves.  That was Lee's approach, too.  Pryor tells us that Lee and his wife felt the slaves did not appreciate them enough -- a common trait among slave owners.   Unless your mind can justify slavery and torture as a kindness, helped in every case by the bible, humans will not so easily do vile things. Always language, what language, slogans and words bounce around your  head, is what lets you sell children, whip young women, and in some cases, burn other men to death.

There is no indication Lee burned anyone to death, but slaves who fought back -- who struck or injured a white man -- could be burned to death.  It's undeniable that Lee's father had a pregnant slave girl hung for fighting back against the man whipping her. 

If Lee had small slave girls whipped during peace time -- for trying to escape, what the hell would Lee do to slave MEN during war time, when his life and the life of other confederates depended on those slaves digging those 70 miles (yes 70 miles) of defenses?

Lee was in charge of those defenses -- built by slaves, under his command.

Gee-- wonder why Lee biographers "forget" to mention these "details"?



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.

Yes, Lee had slave girls tortured.  And while Pryor does not, can not, admit it in candid terms, Lee was not reluctant to torture slave girls. In fact, Lee went to a lot of trouble (paying bounty hunters for months is just one example) to catch escaped slave girls.

Lee paid higher prices for girls of a certain age. Let that sink in.  Six hundred percent higher.  Now, why would Lee pay so much more money for slave girls of a certain age?   Take your time, you will figure it out, sooner or later.


The hardest part of Pryor's work had to have been how to tell you about the horrors she found -- horrors inflicted by Lee himself. 

She found a way to tell you -- as gently, as carefully, as she could.  Still, she told you. 

My favorite -- Pryor admits carefully that Lee tortured slave girls.  He even tortured at least one slave girl that the usual overseer refused to whip.  Pryor writes it was a result of " Lee's poor cross cultural communication skills."  

Yes, that poor cross cultural communication skill hired the bounty hunters paid them, was there for the return of the escaped slaves, and then that communication skill taunted those slaves, had them tied up and tortured.

Wow- - it was not Lee's fault.  It was "Lee's poor cross cultural communication skill".


Pryor found plenty of evidence in his own hand written records that validate not only this torture -- as she tells it carefully later, Lee's "prefered"  method of "discipline" (torture)  was the whip.

Lee hired someone standing nearby -- a bounty hunter -- to use his preferred method on this girl that was too small for the regular guy to whip.

Man those poor cross cultural communication skills are a problem, are they not class?

Pryor found evidence of Lee's payment to this man in his slave ledgers, and other corroborating evidence in his own slave ledgers. 



Pryor  adored Lee.  She qualified as a Lee "devotee".  The Lee family and Virginia Historical Society actually chose Pryor to study Lee's  "personal papers."

 Those papers included his slave ledgers, and letters to and from bounty hunters.   Yes, bounty hunters.

Yes, slave ledgers.  

 This is what her book looks like. 

 Even the Southern Journal of History praised this book. Yes, praised.  Pryor was so careful that the Journal of Southern History praised this book.

Which is surprising as hell, when you learn what's in it. 

You should read it.   Don't worry,  Lee lovers.  Pryor is as flattering as possible, as delicate as possible.  She praises Lee on every page, well almost every page.  She excuses Lee in every page.  At times you can't be sure she is talking about Lee -- or just those damn slave owners generally.  But she is talking about, writing about, Lee. 


Pryor  carefully, like a dentist drilling kid's teeth,  starts her book by giving the patient a teddy bear.  Here -- see the teddy bear. You like teddy bears, don't you?   See this lovely letter by Lee himself to his family?  See  how he loves them!  Just like you love your new teddy bear, Lee loved his family. And the Lord.  

Now, come with me and sit in this chair here. Yes, you can keep that teddy bear. You won't feel a thing. 

Pryor uses words like a dentist in a clown suit  uses novocaine. But as far as she was able, with the Lee family and Virginia Historical Society looking over the dentist chair as she worked, drill she did.

And write a book she did.




The girl in the picture is a slave.  She lived on Lee's slave farm. (Plantation = Orwellian double speak for slave farm)

   That is her slave grandfather holding her.  He was a Lee slave.  His daughter was a Lee slave, and she gave birth to a lighter skinned girl.  So her mother and grandmother were both slaves.  Therefore, she is a slave.

We don't have a confirmed picture of her mother or grandmother, but they had to be increasingly mulatto -- light skilled.

Pryor tells us --"Whites were increasingly enslaving other whites".   This is what she was talking about.  White looking  and lighter skinned blacks -- at Lee's slave farm.


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.  


Did Lee own white looking slaves?


And he wrote it down. 

Excuses woven into every page.

"Poor cross-cultural communication skills."

Not anger. Not revenge. Not terror. No sadism. Not sexual thrill.

 The tortures came about because of " Lee's poor cross-cultural communication skills.".   

 Pryor never seemed upset of Lee's tortures -- though she admits he had slaves whipped, and used other tortures (I won't use euphemism, as you will see, Lee had slaves, including small slave girls, tortured.)

Pryor excused Lee's torture of slave girls - they were a result of "Lee's poor cross cultural communication skills". And besides, it was their fault.  They should have appreciated all Lee did for them.

Why escape Lee's plantation?  Silly girls! Didn't anyone tell them how lovely Lee was? How he didn't even have slaves? How when he did free his wife's slaves, they refused to leave?

Those stupid slaves.  If they just read a little history about Lee, the would not try to escape. They would thank Lee. Thank him for all he did for them, getting them to know Jesus and all.

On every page, Pryor is careful how she tells  you. But she tells you. Delicately, with no blame for Lee, and indeed, she blames the slaves, as he did. But she does tell you. 

What would happen if we could study Lee's handwritten slave ledgers?


It is no exaggeration to say, in many lectures and books, youtube videos,  about Lee,  it's drastically more likely you will hear about Lee's pet chicken than hear the words "slave ledgers".

And almost certainly you will hear one distorted part of one letter by Lee -- a letter than actually defends the torture of slaves and says pain is necessary for their instruction. You won't hear that part, just like you won't hear about his slave ledgers.

In other words, avoid the tortures, the slave ledgers, the bounty hunters,  talk about a sentence or two in one letter , repeat some BS made up 30 years after he died, and your history teacher who gave such a lecture will consider himself well satisfied.  He will go back to his office dumber than when he left it, and his students will be more misinformed than ever.

Of course, history itself  can be this way -- and often is.  No one is surprised to learn generally that history is mostly BS.   But they are deeply resentful to admit their own cherished heroes could be different than they imagine.

No one in their right mind would say the pet chicken reveals more about Lee than his slave ledgers.   Yet, that's what we have today.  "History"  teachers proud they know the name of Lee's pet chicken, while they have no clue -- and no curiosity, and do not teach,  about Lee's slave ledgers.

You won't find a single text book in the US that even mentions Lee's slave ledgers.

Very likely, you can not find a single history teacher in US that even knows Lee's slave ledgers still exist.

But many know about that pet chicken!

Lee was brutal -- to the point of being sadistic -- to his slave girls.

Yes, girls.  Lee actually taunted girls before torture, and yelled at them during torture, according to three newspapers at the time.

Pryor covers this -- and to her credit -- she carefully admits, as artful as she can, that Lee's own hand written papers confirm what was in the newspapers.

And -- this was not a one time torture. (Torture is the right word, we won't use euphemisms here).  Lee's preferred method of "discipline"  was the whip. 



Even Pryor, who studied the slave ledgers,  and compared them to his various letters, to newspapers, to  his bills, his paperwork, refuses to use the term "slave ledgers".

She refers to them as "papers" or "monthly account books".

 In his ledgers, we know from Pryor herself, were prices of slaves, bounty hunter payments, even mention of  the skin tone of the slave girls.

Yes, skin tones.  Big deal to Lee- - he wrote them down, and mentioned which slaves could pass for white.  Including the female slaves.  He would not make such notes in his own paperwork (slave ledgers) if it were not a big deal to him. 

Another shocker in Pryor's book -- rape was common. 

  Rape. Was.  Common.   On all these "shockers"  Pryor is delicate. She had to be delicate to get along with the Lee family -- remember, she worked with them, with their permission. 



"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.  

How many women were raped? How common?   Pryor does not say how many slave Lee had, only that over 50% were mullaloo  A stunning percentage-- over 50%. 

But how many could pass for white?  1? 3?   We don't know. 

We  know that one slave girl that could pass for white -- according to Lee himself -- and she  had escaped.  Lee had bounty hunters looking for her and others.

Did the bounty hunters catch her?  We don't know. Pryor could have said just that "I can not tell from his slave ledgers if Lee's bounty hunters found the slave girl who could pass for white".

She would not say that. She only gave us the merest slickest double speak about it.   

Yet she could have given us so much more -- her name. Her mother's  name.  The price Lee offered -- or paid- for her capture. That would have all been in his papers.  

Pryor did not have a few scraps of papers. She had apparently dozens of these slave ledgers -- if she only had one month, or two months, why not say that.  Apparently they were all there, all that Lee had, that were in the trunks, Pryor had.


We know the name of Lee's horse.

We know the name of Lee's pet chicken. 

We can't know the name of Lee's white looking slaves?

We can't know the prices he paid bounty hunters?

We can't see the prices for the children - sold or bought?

Just the name of the pet chicken?

Just the name of the horse?

This is essentially the level of "scholarship"  for Robert E Lee. 




 The Lee family, of course, were not about to pick anyone who did not adore Lee to study his slave ledgers.

And yes, in his papers were his slave ledgers.

And apparently, the Lee family worked side by side with Pryor. By work we mean put his slave ledgers in this pile, put letters from bounty hunters in that pile.  Then maybe  sexually explicit letters to Lee in yet another stack, and Lee's sexual letters to them near by.

Pryor could -- if the Lee family allowed it- - just publish it all.  Just show us the whole thing.  That is one end of the logical extreme.

She could have just not told us anything about the tortures, the bounty hunters, the slave ledgers.   That is the other end of the logical extreme.

Pryor did not chose the middle course.  She chose, very nearly, to tell us nothing much in a candid way. And what she did tell us, tell us carefully.

That is human nature.  Would you want your family history out there if your great grandfather tortured slave girls and  bought kidnapped women?  You may say you would want that out there-- but that is not human nature.



It's highly unlikely the Lee family had a clear idea what was in the slave ledgers.  To them it was probably just lists and numbers and dates.

To make sense of those slave ledgers Pryor had to get things organized.  She had to compare letters to and from Lee on or about those dates.   She had to check newspapers and other documents.

It was a bit like a huge puzzle Pryor had.  You would not simply open a ledger, and there see Lee write "I tortured this girl today, and bought that one, and these four escaped. I sent the Smith team with their dogs to track them, and offered them 500 for the 14 year olds, and 200 for the 40 year olds".

But Pryor could piece it together -- dates, accounts, letters to and from bounty hunters.   You can't get that easily unless you study it, like the scholar Pryor was.

Do you think Pryor  would candidly state "Yes, Lee had slave girls tortured and he bought kidnapped women from bounty hunters".  She could not she could not bring herself to use the term "slave ledgers".  But she does get the information across in a very delicate way.    Her goal was never to embarrass Lee or his family.  So she did not.  

Pryor can -- and does -- give us page after page of self serving Lee's letters to his children.  Why not show us a paragraph -- or the whole page- - of Lee's letter to bounty hunters?

Because she didn't want to, that's why.


Where did the myth come from?

The Lee myth did not just fall from the sky one day.

During the Civil War,  Jefferson Davis was so unpopular to many, Richmond newspapers (especially those edited by Edward Pollard) seemed to hate Davis and praise Robert E Lee by comparison.

But Pollard would never say Lee was against slavery, or that he didn't have slaves, or any such silly nonsense.   Lee was well known for his slaves, and his treatment of them.  No one -- no one -- before 1870, as far as we know, ever tried to even pretend Lee was anti slavery.

But that all changed.

SELLING BOOKS 1885-1930.

"prayed as bombs blew up around them"

Roughly from 1885 to 1930, because of the advances in publishing, and the huge market for Civil War books and biographies, Southern leaders became a natural topic for books.

There weren't any "tell all" books about slave owners generally, or Lee specifically. Quite the reverse.  Authors seem to find that the more laudatory the writing about this Southern hero or that, the more it sold. 

Some where downright comical -- you might see a Lee biography claiming that Lee's only concern in life was "bringing souls to Christ".   

Others claimed Lee and all his officers stood in the open during battle, dismounted as bombs exploded around them, in silent prayer.

There is a treasure trove of information in Lee's slave ledgers.  And likewise, there is a reason only one person was allowed to study those slave ledgers for 160 years.

This light skinned girl is one of Lee's white looking slave girls.

Yes, she is. And she was not the only one. 


Pulitzer Prize winning "historians" have told us that Lee did not even own slaves.

They told us -- and even got schools named after themselves-- based on their "scholarship".  

So why on earth are Lee's own papers so drastically different than these scholar's "works"?

Obviously whatever facts you show-- or claim to show -- is the basis for your "narrative".  

What facts did men like Douglas Southall Freeman show?  Did he show Lee had his soldiers capture hundreds -- maybe over 1000- - free blacks in the North, have them taken South, and sold as slaves?


Did Freeman mention that Lee's used bounty hunters and paid much higher prices for girls of a certain age?


So what were the "facts"  Freeman used?

He certainly "forgot" to mention Mack Lee wore confederate uniforms, had nearly everything about Lee wrong.  Mack Lee probably never met Lee, but he certainly did not accompany Lee for four years like he claimed.  Mack raised money from whites to get 500 more dollars for his "church".

And of course, Freeman would know all of this.

Freeman told you none of it.



You can, if you want to, take the worst person his history, simply omit every foul thing they did, insert chapters and chapters of BS,  and add things you know were fraudulent (as Freeman did) and make anyone seem like Christ Jesus.

In fact, the more you write such flattering nonsense, and the less you include of the basic facts, you necessarily end up in adoring the person you are writing about.  There is no other logical outcome, given enough time. 

When you ignore a man's torture of slave girls and purchase of kidnapped women -- what the hell won't you ignore?


The prime example....
Sadly, Freeman and others  knowingly cited nonsense as facts-  like "Mack Lee's book".   

Freeman and others also cited the authors who wrote these goofy books written decades after Lee died.  So Freeman had all kinds of footnotes.  He was great at footnotes.

He was terrible at telling the truth. 

The "academics" did not seem to even question Freeman.

No one could write that many pages, with that many footnotes, and by lying their rears off, right?

Actually yes, they could be lying, or could be psychology unable to be candid. 

Freeman  simply claimed those hustlers were factual. And at the same time ignored the basic and horrible truths. Therefore, it was not humanly possible for Freeman or others  to arrive at any other narrative.

Some folks have said that, OF COURSE, Southern historians have showed Lee's "warts".   Really?   You mean they showed how much he paid for girls of certain age?

They showed his intense and ongoing use of bounty hunters?

They showed his torture -- er, "discipline"-- techniques?   Really? Show me where those "warts" are revealed. 


That's how the goofy nonsense got shoved into "academic" acceptance, and much of that remains to this day.   Almost all of it is refuted by Lee's own slave ledgers and bounty hunter letters.   Either Pryor dreamed up the information from Lee's letters and bounty hunter payments, or she did not.

Either Lee tortured slave girls, or he did not.

Lee either bought women from bounty hunters, or he did not.

You can't include facts like that, and make Lee a man of honor, kindness and principle.  Because he was not. 


Freeman was never satisfied to have Lee be normal human being. Instead, Lee was the MOST kind, the MOST chaste, the MOST tidy.  

The MOST brave. The most able. The most everything.  

Page after page of adoration -- in fact, it's rather hard to read Freeman's  book because  it is so endlessly "adorational". Every sentence, every page, every paragraph, every page.

No  mention of Lee's personal participation in torture of slave girls and capture of kidnapped women.

Did Lee personally torture slaves?  Well having them captured and paying to have them whipped, and screaming at them during their torture -- yeah, that's personally doing it.

Freeman could not explain why Lee paid so much more for certain girls -- because he was not about to tell you that Lee did pay extra for girls of a certain age.

Why would Lee pay so much extra? 

So he could hear them sing?

But Freeman insist Lee's slaves "loved him most of all".

Freeman used that preposterous "loved him most of all"  suggesting it was his "servants" as Freeman called them. And he specifically presented Mack Lee 

How insane can you get? 

But worse, how vile is it we accept that kind of nonsense as history.  And teach it in schools.

Lee's slave loved him?  No, they hated him, and tried to escape -- dozens of them - even though they would be tortured if caught.

Is that how they loved Lee?

So it boils down to this -- if  Lee's slave ledgers are any indication, and if his bounty hunter letters are any indication, guys like Freeman lied his ass off on nearly every page. You can not trust Freeman on anything, given his powerful drive to distort. 

Prize winning "historians" claimed Lee was against slavery. Others claimed  that  when Lee freed his wife's slaves, they loved him so much, they refused to leave.

Refused to leave?   As Pryor shows, if they escaped, they were pursued for months on end, and Lee paid more money that they were worth at auction, to bring the slave girls back.

And Lee met them personally -- personally -- when they got back.  Lee then had them tortured.  And torture is the right word. 

And by the way -- those prize winning "historians"? 

They knew they were lying. Yes, they did.


Other "historians" claimed Lee dismounted during battle, with all his officers, and knelt to pray in silence, as bombs blew up around them.

Other "historians" claimed Lee is now "Seated at the right hand of Christ, his Lord".

Seated next to Christ in heaven.

I dare you to outdo that. Go on, try.   To get any higher in heaven, Lee would need to push Christ out of the way, and sit next to GOD.   That is how stupid, silly and bizarre our history of Lee came to us.

And remember, those are respected "historians" at the time.  

We are not quite that crazy now, but essentially that goofy bullshit about Lee is the same.   It might take another 150 years to take the next step, and teach any truth about Lee's tortures and bounty hunter purchases.

What did Lee buy from bounty hunters?

The question should be "WHO"  did Lee buy. He bought apparently most women -- Pryor is not going to make this clear.   And there is a reason she won't make it clear.   We don't know what that reason is, until we can see those slave ledgers and bounty hunter letters ourselves, without Pryor being a diligent and clever filter, 


Where did the myths come from?

GREED.  For  about 30 years, writers  competed to honor Lee more than the other writers in attempts to sell more books.  People not even alive during the Civil War or too young to know what was going on seemed to be the audience.  

To an astonishing extent, what we claim as factual history for Lee came from this 30 year absurdity of making up goofy nonsense about Lee.  Some things might be true, partly true, or entirely made up.  They did not seem to care.

Yet these books and articles --published after Lee's death -- is often the actual source  for much of what we teach as history now.  It was fiction as it needed to be, it was often nonsense. But that fiction and nonsense is now woven into our "history" as fact. 

Did they lie? You decide, after you learn about Lee's torture of slave girls, purchase of kidnapped women, and dirty letters.





Pryor needed approval and permission from the Lee family and Virginia Historical Society to study the slave ledgers, and other hand written Lee documents, and to  publish this book. 

Pryor studied those slave ledgers for months on end, as you can tell by her references to prices Lee paid for certain slaves, hints of which slaves he sold at which auction, and what Lee paid for the capture of certain girls.

You can't get such information from a rabbit. She got that information from Lee's SLAVE LEDGERS. 

  Yet she would never say or write the words "Lee's slave ledger".    She would  say, and that only once "monthly account books."

Monthly.  Account.  Books.

She could call those pancakes if she wanted, but they were slave ledgers, and she knew it.

 She had to think of a way to tell her readers something about where she got the information, and "slave ledgers"  was a bridge far too far for her -- and too far for the Lee family, and the Virginia Historical society.


PRYOR  could have named her book "Lee's Slave Ledgers"  if she were candid, or 1000 other names.  "Lee's Prices"?   "Lee's Bounty Hunters"?

Lee's White Looking Slaves?

Of course that was not her goal. Her goal was to keep Lee's halo upon his head to such an extent the Lee family and Virginia Historical Society were well pleased.

Even the Journal of Southern History was pleased. 

You wonder, though, how carefully did they really read her book?  Yes, she was careful, diplomatic, and Orwellian. Still she does admit, even in that fog, of torture, rapes, sale of children, slave auctions, bounty hunters and purchase of "others" caught in the North.

In a sense, Pryor wrote two books, at one time.

Pryor carefully admits 
Lee ordered tortures on slave girls.

It worked. Otherwise, it's foolish to believe the Lee family and Virginia Historical Society would allow her anywhere near those bounty hunter letters, his sexually explicit letters, price list, slave ledgers, and whatever else she may have held in her hands.

Not just held -- but studied.  She had to arrange the information by date, cross reference to other documents like newspaper accounts of Lee's tortures of slave girls, and then figure it out all.

She told us, sorta kinda. But she told us -- as was her right -- in the most careful words, with the most diplomatic spin.  She essentially absolved Lee of any blame -- instead she blamed, as did Lee, the slave girls for their own tortures.

Lee had "every right" to " protect his property"   Pryor wrote. She was writing at that point about discipline (torture) of slaves. 


Pryor could have showed us price list.

Pryor or the Lee family  or the Virginia historical society could have shown us the price list.  Pryor saw enough prices (yes, prices) that she could tell us the ratio of prices Lee paid for men, vs women. And for young women, vs older women.

So why not just show us the damn prices -- or whatever she had in her hands that forced her to reveal what she did?  She was not getting this information from tea leaves. She was not getting this information from rumors.

She was getting the information from LEE'S OWN HAND WRITTEN PAPERS. 

You can easily not grasp that, the way Pryor tells her story.

Pryor had in her hands all the information she needed to make certain statements, like his drastically higher prices for girls. Why not show the whole thing?

Why not a list of the girls he paid for (and he paid for many, as you will say, many being over 20 at least).   Pryor had to see such lists or information because she could tell us how much extra Lee paid for girls of a certain age. What he paid, generally, for older men.

To tell us that information she had to have far more than one or two examples. His slave ledgers would be full of such information.

And so would his letters to, and from, bounty hunters.

She held in her hands information about which slave he took to auction, and why.  Now, where on earth would she get that information? From  a duck?

She get it from Lee's own slave ledgers, auction records, and bounty hunter letters. But she sure told us in a careful way. And she sure as hell did not let us see the information as she saw it.

Nor did the Lee family allow anyone else to see it.

Gee, it's almost as if there is a reason for that?


Pryor could have showed us price list.


Pryor does tell us, with  a reasonable amount of candor, that Lee's father had a slave girl hung for knocking down a man who was beating her.  She fought back, and for that, Lee's father killed her.   For a black person to strike a white person  was enough to get you hung.    Remember, she knocked the man down because he was beating her. 

For that  -- the girl was hung.  She was 15 years old, and pregnant. Lee had her hung anyway.

When you hear about all this "noble blood" in Lee -- remember, his dad hung a slave girl, for knocking down a white man who was beating her.

That was how Lee was raised. 

Lee, if his slave ledgers are any indication, went to great lengths personally to  cause the capture and torture -- torture is the right word -- of slave  girls who dared try to escape.  He had his hunters go North, apparently regularly used bounty hunters even in the North. 

And those bounty hunters did not just sell Lee his escaped slaves.

They sold him "others".   Who could those "others" be?  Pryor was coy about that. She only said "others".  As you will see, the "others" Lee bought were not escaped slaves at all - but those blacks unlucky enough to seen by the bounty hunters, and unprotected.

 (yes, Lee bought them, you can't sell them to Lee, unless he buys them - they sold them to Lee.)


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.



 What does Plantation mean?  

 Lee did not own a vegetable farm.  He did not raise cotton for sale.

Plantation is an orwellian term, in Lee's case, for a slave farm. 

Stunning how powerful -- and powerfully deceptive -- language is, and how it infects history. 

We should have long ago dispensed with the Orwellian double speak "Plantation".   In the upper South, at Arlington, the cash crop was NOT cotton.  It was human beings -- a most basic fact that "historians" dare not make clear.  Pryor was not about to make that clear, either.


Remember, Pryor is the ONLY "historian" that dared be this candid about Lee.  And she pathetically but necessarily panders to the myth of Lee as an honorable man. 

Honorable men do not torture girls, do not taunt them as he has them tortured, and do not do any of the thousands of things Lee did.  Facts matter.  

How could she make things clear and get the Lee family approval, and Virginia Historical society approval.  Pryor states Lee only wanted to be "a planter".   He did not plant anything.  He did not make any money from PLANTS. He made money, got his status, from slaves.  

It is 150 years. And we can't even say Lee had a slave farm?  

We can't even say Lee had slave girls tortured, when his own hand written records make that abundantly clear?

Hell, we can't even say the two words "SLAVE LEDGERS".  Pryor's book is the most amazingly candid book about Lee, yet she refuses to even say those two words -- slave ledgers.


Lee paid 600% higher prices to capture certain slave GIRLS. Remember this -- he paid much higher prices to bounty hunters to capture girls of a certain age.

Pryor knew that - and kinda told us,  but only in a way that essentially  blindfolded us to what she actually saw.  She never ever showed us in a clear way the papers about prices for slave girls, or prices for kidnapped women.

Yes, Lee bought kidnapped women.  

But the way Pryor tells us -- like all such things horrible -- is to obfuscate as much as possible. 


We all, by now, know what Orwellian double speak is.   We think, however, that it could not possibly appear in history books.  Certainly not about the Civil War and Robert E Lee.

After all, did we not know every tiny detail of Lee's life?

How chaste he was.

How religious.

How he hated slavery (!).

How Lee's slaves loved him?

On and on. And on.

The thought was this.... if we ever found out anything about Lee, it would not matter that much.  We knew him, we loved him,  and if he had some "warts" ?  Well who did not.


We all should know what euphemism and bullshit is.

 Well,  Pryor, even though she revealed drastically different things that anyone ever before (like Lee had slave girls tortured)  she did so very vary carefully.

You can easily assume Lee only had ONE slave girl tortured.  And Pryor explained that!    Pryor blamed the slaves for their tortures by saying Lee had "Poor cross cultural communication skills".

That's right, and more about that later.  But Lee's tortures of slaves was not anger, rage, hate, revenge, or terror. No no no, she could tell us what caused it -- his "poor cross cultural communication skills".

So the lasting impression to those who read it could easily be, well Lee had poor cross cultural communication skill regarding that girl.  But otherwise, gosh he was a swell guy.

Not really. Read Pryor closely. Lee regularly used "discipline" -- meaning torture.  Whipping was not the only torture. Lee had other tortures, too, Other physical tortures, and psychological terrors.

Part of the problem today we believe the nonsense that most slave owners treated their slaves pretty well. One history teacher told me that slave owners worked with slaves in the fields, and treated them like "family".  

No one would beat their family.  If there were some cruel slave owners, well they were few, and they were not men like Lee and other Confederate leaders. 

But how careful is she?  Damn careful. 

Pryor did the best she probably could, considering she worked literally for, and literally with, the Lee family and Virginia Historical society.

Lee wrote dirty letters (sexually explicit) to various women for decades, before and after his marriage.  He spoke of sexual tricks and prowess -- Pryor wont show us the letters, but it made such an impact on her she brought it up several times. 

No one even had a clue that Lee wrote dirty letters after (or before) his marriage, and did so for decades. He was even writing sexually explicit things after the Civil War.



Sadly, Pryor died in car accident April 15, 2015, in Richmond.  She is not around to answer questions. She is not around to ask her why not just show the entire slave ledgers?  And why not give the names of the girls he tortured-- all of them.

You could rightly ask Pryor questions for days -- none of which she answered in her clever book.

 But is it possible Pryor did not even show the Lee family and Virginia Historical  Society everything before the book went into print?  Did they know every sentence?  I wonder.  The more I read this book, the more I doubt the Lee family actually saw every sentence.  But who know? 

 Pryor seems to be writing two different books, for two different audiences. One audience perhaps was the Lee family.  

It's hard to believe the Lee family let all  that information in, particularly about the rapes and white looking girls that escaped- - no matter how carefully she wrote it. 


Clearly, we need the actual slave ledgers, dirty letters, bounty hunter letters, etc, to know just what the hell happened between Lee and his slave girls. 

In fact, white slave girls were "a thing" -- and documented cases where white slaves were sold, almost always they were the children of darker slave women, raped by someone, often the owner.



No one told you this -- but the "complexion" of slave girls was actually an issue in the Lincoln Douglas debates.   White children born from black women -- mulatto.   Some mulattoes were so light skinned, they passed for white.

In fact, light skinned women, who could pass for white but were born to slave women, sold well.   And they were sold to men who put them to work -- as slaves -- in whore houses.  No one told you that, either.

Slave owners had a very practical problem..... a baby is born, and looks white. It still looks white at two, three and four years old.

The child is cared for by slaves.   Does Lee go to that child, look at it carefully, and say "You are white. Go free"?

No. Just like slavery itself, one day the child is there, white looking. Lee is there. Lee sees the child, does nothing.  The next day, same thing. One day turns into the next.

There is no logic point at which Lee would walk over to that child and somehow free it.  He could not take it to Richmond and drop it on the street.

Remember, God ordained slavery.  This was all the work of the Lord.   He could not "free" a white looking child. We know he did not free them, because we know they escaped.  That's right, at least one white looking slave girl escaped, according to Pryor.

Let that sink in.  A white looking slave girl escaped from Lee's slave farm.  And apparently Lee sent bounty hunters after her, too.


A book Lee no doubt owned -- Lincoln even mentioned the ideas from it in the the Lincoln-Douglas debates -- was Slavery Ordained of God, by Pastor Ross.  

Ross and Lee had identical "ideas". 

 Excuses really, ideas not so much.

But the excuse for slave rape  was that slaves STILL owe the master obedience, in all matters.  If the master "erred" that was between God and that slave owner. The slave must obey.

Pryor says "there is no evidence"  Lee took part in the rapes --  hard to tell what kind of evidence Pryor has for blacks being raped by other white men, that is not available to her about Robert E.  She clearly knows SOMEONE white raped the girls.

So what "evidence" does she have for them?  Who did those rapes?

But there is no such evidence for Lee?   If she has evidence of the other whites who raped the slaves, show us.  Tell us how Lee is excluded from that set of rapists. 

Whatever "evidence"  there is that other white men raped these very girls at Arlington, would that not be the same evidence for Lee?

True, we can't know if Lee raped slave women. But we know he had them stripped and tortured - see below. We know he taunted them before and during their torture. Yes, he did.

Now think about this. A man who buys women (he did), a man who has girls stripped and tortured, a man who taunts the girls before and during torture -- tell me what the hell would stop a guy that would do that from raping a slave?



But she writes this "The slaves did not completely agree with Lee's theory of labor management".  I defy anyone to write a more absurd and cruel sentence 150 years after Lee's death, given how cruel Lee was to his slaves.

The slaves "did not completely agree" with Lee's "theory of labor management."

Go on. Take a half hour, an hour, an entire day, and just try to come up with anything more absurd. Completely agree??

Remember, Pryor admits Lee's biggest problem was escaped slaves. That was his biggest problem, according to her.   And Lee tortured those who tried to escape.  Torture is the right word,

He even tortured (that's the right word) girls so small the regular overseer refused to whip her.

And then Pryor writes "The slaves did not completely agree with Lee's theory of labor management".

If you do not understand how absurd that is, please get the hell off my blog. I do not want you here. You are too stupid.  Seriously,  get the hell off. 


Every page of "Reading the Man" is written in essentially the same style of euphemism and Orwellian double speak.

Pryor had to be that careful, that absurd, in flattering Lee, in excusing Lee, in blaming the slaves, in obfuscating what Lee actually did,  to get the Lee family's approval to publish this book.


Pryor held in her hands not what someone said about Lee 10 or 40 years later. She held in her hands what Lee wrote himself. His own letter, for example, justifying torture of slave girls (yes,  he did) is shocking by itself.   

Without context -- without knowing, for example, that Lee regularly used bounty hunters, you can easily be fooled into believing the utter nonsense that Lee was anti slavery.

In fact, Lee actually bought "others"  from  his bounty hunters -- others that were not his escaped slaves, that his bounty hunters caught in the North.  Women and children that Lee turned into slaves when he got his hands on the.

We show you how carefully Pryor presented that information.

Pryor was careful how she presented everything. 

Lee, though Pryor does not want to admit it candidly,  hated his slaves, and they hated him.   Lee's slaves said he "was the worst man we ever seen" .  Pryor tells us that, and she wasn't getting this information from fortune cookies.

She was getting it from Lee's own handwritten paperwork. His own letters, to or from him.   It's clear Pryor hated like hell to release any such information, and that anything she did reveal, she was, shall we say, "delicate and diplomatic".

More than anything, she was on Lee's side.



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 blame nameless "confederates". 

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

No - it was LEE who ordered it. And it was not escaped slaves. It was anyone black.

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.

Lee carried it out.

See the order from Davis -- he bragged about it.

Let me make this clear Davis ORDERED It. And her was proud of it. Lee obeyed. Davis said he will capture any black they encounter in the NORTH -- and put back on the slave status "in perpetuity"

This is from his official papers.  It was also in Southern newspapers -- headlines -- at the time.  There is no doubt about it. 

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.    

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.   



The "facts"  cited by Douglas Southall Freeman were not facts, but largely bits of flattery and wishful thinking that came 10 -30 years after his death, by authors who capitalized on Civil War books from 1880-1920.

Freeman's father "served"  with Lee, and Freeman was eager to praise all things Lee.  So he did. 

Freeman looked like a scholar. He wore the best spectacles of the day, the best clothes, and seemed to have unlimited information.   

But Freeman made up stuff, too, as you will see. 

 He got rid of everything horrible, or even bad, about Lee, and inserted fraudulent information, like the "Mack Lee" book.  See below. 

"Scholars" like Freeman treated these "adorational" authors as absolute truth.   If anything, Freeman added to the nonsense.  


 If someone wrote (idiotically) that Lee would stand silently or kneel with all his officers and pray during battle as bombs blew up around them,  Freeman would accept that nonsense as gospel.

No one during the war ever hinted that Lee knelt in silent prayer with all his officers doing the same, as bombs blew up around him.    But that is exactly the kind of thing that showed up 30  years later.  And Freeman used those kinds of books as gospel about Lee.

And he knew better.


Pryor never contradicts Freeman bluntly. 

Either Lee had slave girls tortured- - while he taunted them -- or he did not.

Either Lee used other tortures on slave girls (and men) or he did not. 

 Either he bought and sold slaves, or he did not.  

Either he owned white looking slave girls, or he did not. 

Either slave rape was common, or it was not.



 We can not be smug today about slave owners then.  For one thing, if you were raised as Lee was -- and if your wealth and status came from slaves, you would likely do just as he did.

Virtually everyone rich, everyone with high status in the South when Lee was born, up to the Civil War, had something to do with slavery.


Lee's poor "cross cultural communication skills" 

Pryor claimed Lee's torture of slave girls -- seriously -- 
was because of   his "poor cross cultural communication skills." 

He was not mean or cruel, he just couldn't seem to explain to these slave girls that they couldn't run off like that. 

As you will see, Pryor is not out to trash Lee in any respect -- quite the opposite.

She could have -- she could have shown the slave ledgers, for example, or even any page from any ledger.

She could have show the sexually explicit letters she held in her hands.

There are a thousand ways to show us how Lee had slave girls tortured.  And to  tell us that torture (torture is the right word) was Lee's go to reaction to slave problems.

In fact, Pryor does tell us -- in ways that seem mild in her artful prose -- that Lee's "preferred" discipline was the whip.   She forgets to make it clear Lee h ad other tortures -- tortures on top of, and in addition to the whip.  Specifically he had girls whipped, then had other tortures applied,  other  physical and psychological tortures.

Psychological torture like selling the woman's children, or otherwise separating mother and child. 




Pryor starts off with a glorious letter from Lee to his children -- not with instructions to slave hunters, and not with one of his dirty letters.   She was no fool.

Pryor writes so artfully that you may not notice she is referring to his slave ledgers- - she can look up the prices he pays for which girl, she can look up auction records, she can look up who Lee paid for which torture (yes, he paid to have slaves whipped).

You don't get that information from one of his shoes (size 8).  You get that kind of detailed information from slave ledgers.

Pryor called them "account books"  -- and I suppose they were.  She sure didn't call them slave ledgers, or people might want to, you know, see them for themselves.



Pryor  could have shown the letters (and prices, and instructions) Lee wrote to his bounty hunters.   But that would be odd, to show one horrible thing and not the other.

 Apparently Lee was exceedingly involved emotionally and financially to get get the slave girls back -- the ones that risked their lives to escape.   Why go to such lengths to capture escaped girls -- if you do not believe in slavery?

 Lee paid only 10 dollars for capture of older male slaves, but 600 or more for the capture and return of 14 year old girls.

Lee had -- at one time -- over 12 slaves his hunters were tracking.  And Lee kept in close contact with the hunters.  Lee's hunters went North  and not only caught some escaped slaves -- as happened at the time, bounty hunters would also grab other blacks, perhaps blacks who had helped the runaway,   It was of course illegal to grab free people in the North-- white or black -- and take them South to sell as slaves.   But  as you will see, Pryor dances around Lee's actions because apparently that is precisely what Lee's bounty hunters did, return "others"  as Pryor calls them. 

Technically, Pryor posits in Orwellian double speak, Lee "might have even broken the law".  

She makes Lee the victim -- of course- - by saying absurding "Lee failed to fill out the time consuming paperwork". 

She knows well there was not paper work -- time consuming or otherwise -- to grab free blacks and make slaves of them, for his own profit.

  Once you know what Lee did -- and recorded in his own paperwork -- Pryor actually works hard on every single page to excuse, minimize, and obfuscate his actions.  Such as Lee's torture of slave girls - which is verified by his own slave ledgers.

Lee regularly had wayward or escaped slaves tortured-  and torture is the right word.  Pryor defends Lee's actions, saying he had "every right to protect his property".    She even seems to adopt Lee's absurd (but widely held justification) at the time that he (Lee) was the one who suffered from slavery, the slaves were fortunate to have men like Lee bring them to Christ.

God "knew and intended"  slaves feel pain, Lee wrote. Paid is "necessary for their instruction".


We all know the story -- in fact it's stupidly repeated in every school in the USA -- Robert E Lee didn't own slaves and was against slavery.

Uh- not really.

Thanks to Lee's own slave ledgers and hundreds of his letters (such as letters to and from bounty hunters)  Elizabeth Pryor was able to write a fascinating book -- all about his "personal papers."

Pryor wrote carefully - she did not wish to alarm her readers, nor the Lee family, nor the Virginia Historical Society.  Her job was clearly to keep Lee's halo upon his head, and just admit maybe the halo was not as straight and bright as some had thought.


Contrary to myth, he was not against slavery at all, in fact, he had slaves all through the Civil War.  Furthermore, his own records  show he continued to own slaves and try to make money on them during the war.  Also, Lee never freed his slaves (and yes, he owned slaves) that he got through his wife, until repeated court orders to do so.  By the time Lee "freed"  anyone, they were worthless to him anyway.

And it's all in his own handwriting, in his own papers.

YES, Lee had white looking slaves.   Children born to slave women (some of whom where lighter skinned) and raped by a white man, could turn out as white looking as you are me.  And some did.

In fact, Lee himself commented on the light skinned children he owned.  Pryor won't tell us exactly what he said about them -- nor show what he did with the white looking slave girls. 



Pryor writes carefully about Lee's slave ledger.

 She was not out to trash him,  or infuriate the South or the Lee family.  And she refused to show us any of the papers with any of the "odd information"  like Lee's letters to and from bounty hunters, or his slave ledgers, which listed the prices he paid or received for slaves,

Yes, Lee sold and bought slaves. 

Why not show them?   She does get the prices, and all the information, from his letters.  There is a good reason she did not, and will not, show the papers themselves.  She nor the Lee family nor the Virginia Historical Society want that information every to come out -- except in a very sanitized way.

Like Pryor's book is sanitized.

Pryor relates amazing things -- amazing in that no one told us before, we were all fed essential nonsense, repeated endlessly. So give her credit  for that, she is unique even in releasing this information, sanitized or not.

But Pryor had in her hands Lee's papers, including slave ledgers, his letters to and from bounty hunters, letters to him, from him. Most amazing to me -- Lee also wrote sexually charged letters to various women for decades, even after the Civil War, and long after he was married.

Pryor is on Lee's side. You will not be offended, she writes like a loving great granddaughter might write, after spending a few months with her ancestor's dirty diary.  

There are 1000 ways you can relate the information about Lee's cruelties, his slave ledgers, his torture of slave girls (yes he had slave girls tortured -- and torture is the right word).    Pryor wrote her pages in a way that skillfully did NOT let you get foul images in your head.   Lee didn't torture -- he "disciplined"  and he had "every right to do so".  

Only by close reading do you see-- Lee had these girls tortured with a whip -- and he screamed at them as he had them tortured.

Why not say it plainly, he validated it in his own handwriting. 

Pryor relates facts in such a gentle, even delicate way way.   She could given the name of a chapter "LEE'S TORTURE METHODS" -- because he actually had various methods of torture.


Instead Pryor gives you some gentle words about "discipline".   At one point she cleverly says a whipping post is a "silent reminder"  Lee had installed.

Well the post was silent, yes, but the human beings tied to it, including the girl you will learn about, was not silent as they were being tortured.

So why call it "silent"?

Because Pryor had in her hands the information about that whipping post -- Lee ordered in installed not long after he took over discipline of the slaves.

How could she tell us that?  Here are her choices.

  • Show us the letter or order for the whipping post she had in her hands
  • Tell us Lee ordered the whipping post installed.
  • Tell us the names of the slaves Lee had attached to that whipping post
  • Write some very disarming and clever words about a "silent reminder"
Read her book. You will see which one she chose.

That's how it is on every page, every subject.  She tells us about Lee's light skinned slaves, but it as gentle way as possible.

Here were her choices on that one
  • Tell us the names of the light skinned girls -
  • Tell us the prices he paid or received for them
  • Tell us why Lee was commenting on the light skinned girls
  • Show us the sales figures and the names side by side
  • Write some disarming words about a light skinned girl


In fact, according to Pryor's careful prose in "Reading the Man" Lee might have owned the most white looking, or mulatto, slaves in US history.  

She told us that cleverly, too.    

Pryor reports that over 50% of his slaves were mulatto -- but  you have to flip back and forth in the pages to notice something -- Lee had Laves that were so light skinned, Lee himself mentioned they could pass for white. 

So Lee owned a drastically (almost half) high percentages of light skinned slaves.  And he had the biggest slave farm in Virginia.  It's logical to assume, therefore, that he owned the biggest number of while looking slaves in US history.


You can not have sex with a slave, by definition it is rape. Did you know that?

 And in case you harbor under the delusion that maybe these slave women just wanted to have sex with the white men,  as at one point Pyror seemed to hint, consider this. Pryor later claimed cleverly  "coercion was used in those situations"

Think of those words.  "Coercion was used in those situations" .


Pryor had to see something in the papers that told her that. She was not looking at the clouds to get this information.  What inside his papers gave her the idea that slave girls were forcibly raped?   "Coercion was used"   "in those situations.  

 What could it be?  Would Lee write "Well Dear Wife, I was riding behind the barn and saw coercion used in rape situations".

No, someone almost had to write to Lee to complain about the forcable rapes going on, those Pryor is not about to tell us. Whatever it was,it was brutal enough for Pryor to write "coercion was used in those situations".




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.