Monday, September 10, 2012

WHY would Lee pay 34 times as much money to capture slave girls, than slave men? Could they pick 34 times as much cotton?

Lee's own handwritten slave ledgers might forever change what we consider as "Southern honor."

Lee against slavery?

Think again. His own records show he was an especially cruel slave master, who took part in the torture of slave girls. 

Lee's own papers, in his own handwriting, may destroy the myth built up for 150 years.   The power of myth, vs the power of his own slave ledgers and dirty letters.

Yes -- sexually explicit letters, he wrote to various women, for decades.

And other shockers -- gently put. 


Yes, Lee had slave ledgers -- highly detailed slave ledgers, that still exist.  His family has had them for 150 years, saved, ironically, by Union troops who boxed up all Lee's possessions, and gave them to his family.

Turns out, Lee was not as his myth suggests. For example, Lee had slave girls whipped -- and did indeed scream at them as they were tortured.   See below for proof. 

And much, much more. 

The Lee family, and Virginia Historical Society, chose Elizabeth Pryor, a Lee devotee and scholar, to study, at length, all Lee's papers, including a stunning 10,000 letters, and those darn slave ledgers.


Make no mistake: Pryor adores Lee. Her mission is not to trash Lee, but to keep the halo upon his head as much as she can.  She worked with the Lee family, literally side by side at times.  

Lee wrote it down. Not someone else, not a neighbor, not an historian. Lee wrote his own dirty letters, and his own slave ledgers.

Pryor's book -- despite the "details" she does her best to gloss over  -- is mostly flattering.  She begins with a self serving epistle by Lee to his children. The narrative was so appealing, even the Journal of Southern History gave her rave reviews.

But Pryor could have  -- and perhaps should have --started the book with a list of his slave girls, listed by prices paid, to whom, and whether each girl was light skinned, dark skinned, or captured by bounty hunters.  Because Pryor had that information.   

Should Lee be held to "today's" standards of morality?   Who cares, just show the facts, what he did, who he bought, who he had whipped, what he boasted of at the time. 

Get the facts out -- that  he wrote about himself. Start there.  Most people did not own slaves, and Lee was actually more cruel than most slavers --not less cruel. 

It was already well known that, during the Civil War, Lee had his men capture free blacks in the North, then taken South and sold as slaves.  Lee therefore is the only person in US history to take civilians during war, and enslave them.

But Lee already did that -- during peace time.  According to his slave ledgers, Lee paid for "others" as Pryor calls them, that his hunters caught in the North, while looking for escaped slaves.

"Others"?    Pryor could tell us their names, and what Lee did with those slaves - how many were children, how many were women, and what price he paid for them.

Pryor just wrote "others".  Pretty clever.

But that's how Pryor writes every page -- very carefully.

One of Lee's light skinned slaves.
 Lee likely owned the most light skinned slave girls in US.
Pryor saved word "horror" for  rapes and mixed raced slave children. Slave masters fathered their own slaves, then sold their own children into slavery.  

Pryor writes that Lee owned girls so light skinned, Lee himself wrote they could pass for white. Here is a clue -- you are white, if you look white, white is a shade of skin.

Pryor did not open with details about rapes at Arlington, or the light skinned children born to 14 and 15 year old slave girls there.

Pryor did not open, or anywhere emphasize, the tortures and bounty payments -- the tortures were punishment for girls running away. Lee seemed especially focused on one slave girl, he paid 600% higher price for her capture and punishment.

Pryor stunningly admits, in a nonchalant way, that over 50% of Lee's slaves (she wont say how much over) were mulatto. She also writes that "increasingly whites were enslaving other whites".

She does not open the book with any such information -- she is too clever to say "Lee enslaved white looking slaves, and increasingly, children born to Lee's slaves could pass for white."

That would be a bit too candid.

She did not say,  "Lee focused on certain slave girls, because he paid much higher prices for the following girls to be captured_______">

But give her credit, in her own understated, even Orwellian way, Pryor gets the details in.  Yes, she  buried the details in a myriad of excuses, justifications, and misdirections. But they are there. 

Yes, she SHOULD  have shown us the slave ledgers, she probably could not, because the Lee family still controls them.  She SHOULD have shown us the bounty payments, letters about torture, and wide spread desertions by Lee's soldiers.  

Lee devotees -- Pryor was one herself -- can read the book and hardly notice the tortures (torture is the right word) bounties, and rapes, at Arlington.   Sound sensation?  Hyped?

Not if her details are true. 

She used euphemisms, even Orwellian double speak, but buying slave girls from bounty hunters, who caught the girls in the NORTH living free, is a detail she included, but in the most clever matter.  See more about that, below.

The details -- oh, the details.  She get them in, sprinkled like MSG in a Chinese buffet.  You can easily read her work, and not notice who was whipping who, raping who, and paying bounties for who.

But read it closely.  Pryor is a wordsmith, but it's there.   One wonders if the reviewers at Journal of Southern History actually read it, or just the first chapter. 

Not Lee's slave ledger. 

Pryor would not show his slave ledgers. Nor much of anything else.

Pryor  held the actual slave ledgers in her hands, and 10,000 or  so letters to, or from Lee, many about his slaves. She knows which day Lee bought which slave, which bounty hunter he sent after which slave girl, and even what he advised his bounty hunters to do.

Pryor knows, and told a bit, about  how much Lee paid for slaves.

Pryor  obliterates the goofy myth that Lee freed his slaves -- in fact, Lee refused court orders to free them and went to court to delay their freedom. Well into the Civil War, Lee profited on his slaves, or tried to.

And Lee owned slaves on his own -- not just his wife's. And he bought more. He used slave auctions, and bounty hunters.

Remember, Pryor got this from  his own papers.  

She studied the letters and slave ledgers thoroughly, she would not let us see them.  Rather, she "interpreted" the papers.  Why not just let the public see them?

Maybe in another 150 years. Remember, it took 150 years for the family to let one person (Pryor) study them all, at length.

 She refused to call them slave ledgers, she called them "monthly account books".  That's how she would reveal almost everything -- in euphemisms, but no one else has even hinted at the rapes, the whippings, the tortures, the bounties.


Alan Nolan, 20 years ago, said we should start over about Lee.
What we had been told about him was not history, not scholarship.
Nolan could have no idea how correct he was.


The details are stunning --Pryor often wrapped in Orwellian double talk, she excuses, minimizes, and concerning Lee's purchase of kidnapped girls, she crosses over to deceitful.  (Lee bought free, non-slave girls his  hunters found in the North, as you will see.)

How did the Journal of Southern History miss the rapes, tortures, kidnapping and bounties?  They either didn't read it, or skimmed it, or just interpreted everything in a light most favorable to the Lee Myth. Hard telling.

A blatant example -- while Pryor admits Lee had slave girls whipped, she defends it.   She claimed Lee had every right to "protect his property".

She also took Lee's side -- saying the girls "tested Lee". 

Lee did not just whip a few slaves, as Pryor later and artfully admits.  Whipping became Lee's "prefered" method of "instruction".    How many slaves did he have whipped?  

We don't know.  We know Lee's had dozens -- perhaps almost 100 slaves -- try to escape. Pryor knows the number, she got the information from his slave ledgers.

But Pryor just avoids specifics -- by claiming Lee had "epidemics" of escape attempts.  Why all these escapes, and attempted escapes?

Pryor does tell you -- in a clever way.  She quotes a slave as saying Lee was "The worst man we ever met."

The worst man we ever met.   Want to know what the slaves actually thought of Lee?  They thought he was the worse man they ever met.

And many risked their lives to escape from him. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Because that is what his slave ledgers -- without the Orwellian bullshit -- show.

 Lee's "Poor cross cultural communication skills."

Pryor excuses the tortures ( and torture is the right word) by claiming it was caused by  Lee's "Poor cross cultural communication skills."

Yeah, poor cross cultural communication skills, thats it. Not cause he was a cruel bastard, not cause he lost his temper, not cause he wanted to frighten the rest of the slaves, to teach them not to escape -- no, nothing like that.

It was because of his "poor cross cultural communication skills.

People who only hear of the book, claim Pryor was out to trash Lee-- utter nonsense. She bends over backwards on every page, every paragraph, to excuse, minimize, explain way, or minimize the horrors.  

She says Lee put up a whipping post "as a silent reminder."

Silent reminder?   In other places, Pryor shows there was torture aplenty at that "silent reminder".

Pryor  also excuses Lee's whipping of slaves -- saying (incorrectly) that Lee had to whip escaped slaves.  

Lee paid 10 dollars for the capture of male slaves.   But he paid 342 dollars for the capture and punishment of a certain 14 year old girl.

Why?  He was supposedly against slavery, why not let her go?


Lee even refused to obey Virginia Court orders to free the inherited slaves. Lee had his OWN slaves too, and "managed" his wife's.  

Pryor shows that by the time  Lee obeyed the court orders, the Civil War had already started -- she cleverly avoids telling us what he did with all the slaves in the meantime.

But she does admit Lee resisted court orders to free the slaves.  And he paid bounty hunters to capture escaped slaves, especially, it seems, the female sales.

The largest bas relief sculpture on earth,  honors a man who had slave girls whipped and sold.

Pryor does not say who sued Lee to force him to free the slaves  -- why not tell us?   Very basic. She has the papers in her hands.  The papers would show who sued him, and for exactly what.  Why the mystery, why gloss over.

It's been 150 years -- you have the papers in your hands. Give us the information.

She could have made that clear, but her goal is to NOT make such things clear, so she does  not.


But it's not just slave ledgers ---Lee wrote so many letters, Pryor mentioned "10,000" letters to or from Lee. 

  With his slave ledgers, meticulously dated and detailed, Pryor was able to correlate his letters, to his slave ledgers. Short of walking around his slave quarters, ordering this slave whipped, or that one sold, with a video camera, it's hard to imagine a more complete picture of Lee's life with slaves.  He wrote the damn things. 

And it's all FROM Lee's own handwriting -- his outgoing letters, and his slave ledgers. early on Lee's side.  
 Pryor excuses Lee's whipping of slave girls as
due to "his failure to communicate".  No, we aren't kidding.

In another page, equally as bizarre  she claims Lee's slaves "did not fully agree with Lee's theory of labor management." 

  Is she writing for a comedy journal?  Seriously, did she laugh her ass off when she wrote this? They did not fully agree with his theory of labor management?  WTF.  Seriously, WTHF.

They risked their lives to escape, they were chased, and whipped.  

But her editorial comment -- they did not "fully agree"  with his "theory" of labor management?  

Orwellian double speak.  Shame on her.

Lee's "theory" of labor managment (makes me puke every time I read her crap like that) included whipping and other tortures.  That was his "theory" as proven by what he did.


She claims Lee had every right to pursue and discipline the slaves.   

Oh, you mean those slaves he didn't have, according to myths?  From what others tell us, he didn't even own any. So how is he whipping slaves, selling slaves, having bounty hunters chase slaves, if he doesn't have any?

Lee had slaves whipped, -- not disciplined.   Lee's "discipline" was whipping, and more.  Why not say that truth.  

Actually, Lee's papers show just the opposite -- Lee not only didn't free them, he resisted repeated court orders to free the slaves from his father in law's will, and still made money off his slaves during the Civil War.

By the time Lee did free those slaves, they were worthless to him anyway, he had no effective control.   But the way Southern myth makers insisted for 150 years, Lee didn't even own any, and was against slavery.


She is clearly on Lee's side.   Every time she reveals a cruelty or horror, she does so carefully, and minimizes or excuses it.

While Pryor adores Lee, and defends him, she does what no other Lee biographer ever did -- she told, as carefully and as euphamistically as possible  -- the horrors that Lee inflicted upon his slaves. It was more that whips, more that salt brine, Pryor reports on the rapes at Arlington  which were common, though she claims "there is no evidence" Lee took part.


Weren't we all told Lee hated slavery?  Wasn't he religious, devout, kind, and honorable?

  That was the story anyway, and no one bothered to say otherwise.    SO how can Pryor report, euphamistically or otherwise, about tortures, rapes, salt brine, whipping post, huge bounties for 14 year old girls, ect?

Paper Weight sold at Museum of Confederacy.


There  simply is no tale about Lee too goofy to spread as truth.  Lee now sits "at the right hand of Christ"  insists Douglas Freeman, his main biographer.    

Lee was so religious, he got off his horse during battle, and had all his officers do the same, as bombs exploded around them, in silent prayer.

A Southern best seller, written 20 years after Lee's death, said Lee overheard a prayer during battle -- and did this....

Yes, Lee and all his officers dismounted in silent prayer, as bombs exploded around him.   Every lunatic who wanted to sell books would add their own nonsense, and amazingly, that nonsense is now taught as fact.

Lee was the greatest soldier -- ever -- but more, much more, he was a "far better Christian".  No word about Lee's habit of writing sexually explicit letters to various women, whipping slave girls, or saying God intended he administer pain, because "pain is necessary for their instruction".

   According to Lee's slave ledgers -- studied at long last by Elizabeth Pryor  --  Lee paid drastically higher bounties for the capture and punishment of young female slaves.

Why?   Who even knew Lee owned slaves?  Was he not against slavery?   Did he not write a sentence that said slavery was evil?

Clearly Lee valued the 14 year old girl drastically more than the average slave male.  Financially, she was worth much more to him.
Maybe that has something to do with fact, Lee own very light skinned slave girls.   See the girl in the picture above?  She is one of 50 or so mulatto slaves -- not dark skinned.  In fact, Lee had slave girls that he wrote could pass for white.


Of the many surprising sentences in Pryor's otherwise flattering book about Lee, maybe the most shocking is that Lee's preference for discipline was the whip (he had other ways to cause them pain too), and that "increasingly, whites were enslaving other whites".

Lee wrote many sentences -- 10,000 letters, and monthly slave ledgers. Pryor won't let us actually see but a minuscule percentage of what he wrote.  Why?   When she writes that Lee's "preference" for discipline was the whip, no doubt she read dozens of his letters about that exact topic.  Why not let us see those?



For about 80 years the South has insisted Lee "hated" slavery because of one sentence in a letter to his wife.   But that part of the Lee was not even Lee's own words, he copied that part word for word from a book available to him at the time, of Daniel Webster's letters.   For a wordsmith like Lee to deliberately plagarize someone else's words is surprising.

But read the FULL letter -- the part that is NOT plagiarized, is Lee's own words.  And they are the most amazing defenses of slavery -- and the pain inflicted on slaves -- ever written

God "knew and intended" slaves "must endure painful discipline". You often heard slave masters claim slavery was ordained-- Lee went on and on about the PAIN slaves must endure.

  Apparently Lee is trying to pacify his wife on his torture (and it was torture) of slaves, as we know his own slave ledgers.  God knew and intended slaves endure pain --  he wrote they "must endure" it,  and "pain is necessary for their instruction."

Pain was ordained by God -- not just slavery, is Lee's basic narrative to his wife.  Slaves MUST endure it, pain is necessary. We, mankind, can not question God's wisdom.  The slaves are better off here  has slaves, than free in Africa, though Lee was never in Africa,  and by that logic, and nation that wanted to take Lee women as slaves, should be able to, if they say they are better off as slaves.

Lee used the South's ever present blame game of blaming the "abolitionist" who "dissatisfy" slaves.  Never mind that the slaves never met an abolitionist, and it was against the law for WHITES to own anti-slavery books or pamphlets, let alone blacks. In the South, it was a crime even for preachers to preach anything other than slaves owed Godly obedience to their master.

Man, Lee wrote, can only "pray" for an end to slavery, perhaps in 2000 years, he suggests.  We must leave the timing of  that up to the Lord. Men who try to end slavery against God's time are on an "evil course".  In another letter he tells her Abolitionist are "trying to destroy the American Church".

Lee tries to convince his wife (and apparently he does convince her) that all the problems with rebellious slaves, run away slaves,  are from the abolitionist.   As Jeff Davis said, "The evil serpent of the abolitionist have whispered the lie of freedom in the ear of the slave".

We could know much more if Pryor and the Lee family actually showed the 10,000 letters and slave ledgers.  We only get a very edited, and very "cleaned up" view -- but Pryor reveals stunning things even so.


Who knew Lee wrote dirty letters? Yes, he did. Or as Pryor tactfully calls it  - sexually suggestive. Lee reminded various women of his sexual tricks, and bragged about his son's sexual ability. That's all Pryor mentions, but it had to be much more. She puts things, as you will see, very carefully.

She "desensationalizes" everything.  Lee did not torture slaves, he "disciplined" them.  And the way Pryor writes, 

Although she tries to keep the "Lee Myth" alive,  essentially she shows that, at least on slavery, Lee is nothing at all like the contrived and deliberately fraudulent myth about him.

In fact, Lee was remarkably cruel, even for slave masters.

Lee hired out the whippings.
 He said  pain was "necessary for their instruction"


No one reported anything like what Pryor does -- she uses his own slave ledgers and letters.   More, she tries to minimize, explain away, or excuse Lee's tortures.

She claims Lee was "required" to have slaves whipped who tried to escape -- not true.   But certainly he was no "required" to spend huge bounties for the girls especially, nor was he required to taunt them before their whipping, and scream at them during the whipping, as the newspaper reports from before the Civil War showed.

Yes --  you heard right.



Newspapers BEFORE the Civil War reported on the whippings at Arlington, not because whipping was rare -- it was common for escaped slaves --  but because the regular overseer refused to whip the girl.  That was news.  An overseer (a black man, usually a slave) just told Lee -- NO.

The overseer whipped the other slaves Lee caught, but refused to whip her, because she was too young, said a witness.  That was stunning. An overseer saying no.  We don't know if Lee had him whipped, in retaliation, or whatever happened to him. 

Lee found someone else to whip the girl, and screamed at her during her torture. THATS why it made the papers. He yelled all through her torture "Hit her harder, hit her harder" -- or in the vernacular of slave masters and whips  "Lay it on, Lay it on".

Lee was excited. He had paid 342 dollars for her capture, and he wanted his money's worth, apparently.


How do we know those newspaper reports were true?  That's the amazing part.

Lee's slave ledgers show many of the names, dates, and other particulars mentioned in the newspapers.  Lee wrote things down which verify those reports.   As Pryor says, the whipping and torture of the girl was "unquestionably" predicated on facts Lee wrote down.

Strange indeed if reports at that time -- by people who would never see Lee's slave ledgers --  had details that matched up substantially.


Why did Lee offer so much more money for the capture of the girl?

 Could the young girls pick more cotton?  Actually, Lee didn't grow cotton.   Lee grew slaves -- his product was not food or cotton, it was SLAVES and slave labor.   

How do you think Lee made money?  He made it by renting or selling slaves.  When "scholars" talk about Lee "managing" Arlington, they hope you don't realize, that meant maxamizing his profit from the sale and or rental of slaves. 

And Lee did both -- he sold slaves and he rented them.  Pryor is very careful how she addresses that, and the other horrors.


(under construction)


Why would Lee pay 30 times as much bounty for the capture and discipline (whipping) of a 14 year old girl, than for an adult male slave?

To those who though Lee did not even own slaves (or any other factual nonsense), this might be a surprise.  But you only know what you are told; what we have been told, even by "experts" about Lee was largely myth.



Pryor shows that contrary to the myth, Lee's slaves hated him.  With reason.  She quotes slaves as saying Lee was "the meanest man we ever saw".

Was Pryor lying? Actually she is trying very very hard to excuse minimize or gloss over the horrors she found, as you will see.  Ironically her zeal to excuse Lee, adds credibility when she shows facts, even though her facts or often revealed in euphemism or Orwellian double talk.

Meanest?  Yes.   Lee had slave girls whipped, sold or rented out children, and insisted God "intended and knew" slaves should feel pain -- physical pain.  "Pain," Lee wrote, "is necessary for their instruction."   And he seemed a very eager instructor.

Actually, dozens of slaves tried to escape -- perhaps more than 60, Pryor wont's say, though she surely could give a number.  Lee's slave account books were no doubt as detailed as his other financial matters.   Pryor tactfully says  Lee had "epidemics" of escaped slaves.   Like everything cruel or contrary to Lee myth, Pryor is vague  at best, and Orwellian, at worst, but she does say things no one ever dared say.

So why did Lee give so much extra for girls? Young girls?  

Who knows?  IF we could see the actual letters, or how Lee phrased the bounties, or see ads he might have placed, we would know much more about his reasons.  But Pryor refuses to use the term "slave ledgers" -- just calling them monthly "account books".   Her job is not to trash Lee -- her job is to keep the halo upon his  combed over head (Lee had a comb over, he was bald, said people who knew  him well).

Pryor adores Lee -- make no mistake.

 Even when she admits things like his torture of slave girls (it was torture)  she tries to minimize it or explain it away.   She admits  Lee had slaves whipped, but only because "his poor cross cultural communication skills" to slaves.

Poor cross cultural communication skills?  That's why he had slave's whipped?   If Pryor were not talking about the torture of young teenage girls, it might be funny. Elsewhere, using Orwellian double talk, she wrote "The slaves did not fully agree with Lee's theory of labor management".   You can't make this up!  Lee's theory of labor "management"?  

  But Lee had "nothing but contempt" for slaves, he wished slave children would "die quickly" when they got sick.   

  Lee sold or rented out mothers or children, forever separating the child from the mother.  Lee had no apparent feeling whatsoever for the mothers or children, he would separate them for his financial benefit, and that caused a violent and ongoing struggle -- slaves would escape,  probably 50 or 60 tried  -- even though it meant certain whipping and other tortures.   

  Lee was apparently obsessed with getting certain girls back.   Why? Pryor doesn't say -- she probably knows, it was likely in his letters or bounty lists. 

So if you read her book -- and we suggest you do -- remember that. Every page, every paragraph, she is excusing, minimizing, and doing her best to gloss over the horrors she found in his slave ledgers and letters.   Still  -- the admits them, in Orwellian double talk at times, in euphamism, at other times, but she does what no one else dared do- - show what a cruel, even sadistic, man Lee really was.

Elizabeth Pryor was allowed to study Lee's personal papers, kept in trunks by the Lee family, all these years.

   Lee's slave ledgers still exists -- ironically his papers were saved by Union Army and returned to his family.   

We know of no other Confederate leader whose slave ledgers survived -- but Lee's family kept them tucked away for 150 years.   

Even now, they only let one person study them (you will soon find out why),  and they  had to pick that person very very carefully.

Elizabeth Pryor, a Lee devotee, and diplomat, studied 10,000 Lee letters -- and the slave ledgers.    She apparently was not allowed to show us any, and how she reveals the facts in them, well, they chose her because she is a diplomat.  She is very careful how she reveals anything.

 Elizabeth Pryor only mentions such facts as payments for slave girls very carefully, in fact, she gets the math wrong, she claims Lee paid "six times" the bounty for one girl. Actually he paid 30 times as much for one specific girl.  Why?

If we could see his actual slave ledgers, and the 10,000 personal letters Pryor said the family kept,  maybe Lee said it bluntly and candidly at one point -- perhaps in a letter to bounty hunters.   Pryor only shows us what she wants to, and that, carefully.


 Pryor idolized Lee before she read his slave ledgers.  She tries to keep the halo upon his head,  but it's clear: Lee the person was drastically different than the myth about him.  



If Elizabeth Pryor could tell Robert E Lee one thing -- it might be this: "Please, General, if you are going to whip girls, buy women from bounty hunters that were free and legal residents of the North, allow rapes of numerous slave women, please don't write it down".

Note to slave owners --burn your letters and slave ledgers. 


 "Pain is necessary for a slaves instruction", Lee told his wife. And he writes all kinds of religious excuses.

But did Lee believe any of it?   Remember, Lee bought free people -- free girls, free men -- from bounty hunters who caught them living free in the NORTH.

Yet Lee claimed he was involved in slavery because the slaves were "better off here than in Africa".    What the hell?  Africa? Lee never had an African slave.   He bought FREE people from Pennsylvania. His bounty hunters didn't go to Africa.  Then went to Maryland and Pennsylvania.   

So did  he believe Jesus wanted him to capture free people -- of mixed race no less -- in USA, and turn them into slaves?   Hell no

But the BS about Jesus and Africa fooled his wife, stupid as she was about the rapes, stupid as she was about where Lee got the girls from.   And like many wives, she probably didn't want to know too much about her husbands hobbies, what he did in the barn with the slave girls.

Lee told her, it's  not our role to question the wisdom of "Divine Providence" that ordains slavery or the "painful discipline they must endure".

Lee told her abolitionist are on an "evil course".  

Lee fed her with the same bullshit your school text books probably tell you. 

Lee also told his wife, only God can end slavery, man can not, and man is evil to try to end slavery before God choses!  Slavery is a political evil, but it is not for us to judge God

Those who wanted slavery to end -- in man's time, not God's time -- are on an "evil course".   That is what Lee said -- clearly to fool his wife, who believed that kind of crap.


We are told Robert E Lee was not only the best military commander in US history, but he was "an ever greater Christian".  Bullshit to both, neither were true. 

Douglass Southall Freeman, the "definitive" scholar on Lee,  insisted Lee's slaves knew him best, and the fact that they loved Lee, shows what kind of man he was. He also said Lee is "now at the right hand of Christ".

Lee's Freeman had the balls to claim Lee's "servants" loved him, when nothing could be further from the truth -- nothing. According to Pryor's book, Lee's papers show his slaves said he was "the worse man we ever saw".   They hated and feared him, even his "favorites" tried to escape, which pissed him off to no end.  Lee felt he was the one suffering, not slaves. He had no clue that when he sold children, or whipped slave girls, that would horrify the slaves.   Lee was clueless. 

Yes, Freeman was right -- the slaves really did know Lee best.  One little problem. Lee's slaves  hated him -- 

Elizabeth Pryor adores Lee, and wrote as flattering as she could about him.  She is the only person we know of, outside the Lee family, to see his slave ledgers and 10,000 unpublished letters to and from  him -- many about his slaves.


Lee paid 10 dollars for the capture of male slaves, Pryor tells us.  But he paid 342 dollars for the capture and "discipline" of a 14 year old girl Lee seemed obsessed about. 

Why was a 14 year old girl worth 3,400% more than his male slaves?  Could she pick 3400% more cotton?  Lee seemed to take her escape personally, because he made sure he was there for her return, taunted her before her torture, and screamed at her the entire time she was whipped,

What did he scream? 

According to overlapping newspaper reports, at the time,  he yelled  "Hit her harder, hit her harder" over and over, the entire time.  In the vernacular of slave masters, it was actually "Lay it on, lay it on"

Pryor is lying about the Virginia law -- there was no such requirement. If there were such a law, Lee regularly broke the  law on slaves, just by buying them from bounty hunters. 

Yet what else COULD Pryor say?  She could  not just reveal he had slaves whipped, she had to do it that way --blame the slave girls, use Orwellian double speak, and finally say he had to.  All bullshit, of course, but seriously, if she was going to reveal the whippings and other horrors, she had to also include cover and excuses. 

Pryor had to cover for Lee somehow.  How would you include such information, without causing an uproar?

 Still, even Pryor does not claim the law required him to pay far more for her capture, and scream at her during her torture.  She just claimed (falsely) he had to whip his escaped slaves.  No, he did not.  He could have let them go, he could have freed them, like the myth says he did. 


Other biographers glorified Lee with religious accolades,  but in that one sentence, Freeman ended the game.  Christ sits at the right hand of God. And Lee sits at the right hand of Christ.Game over. No one can top that.

Freeman is the source for much of our "knowledge" about Lee.   Who dared suggest otherwise?  Even the book that questioned some of the "Lee scholarship" seemed to praise Lee for ten pages, before they would suggest  in one sentence that reality might be anything different.
to be continued