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?

under construction -- come back later, not ready now --

"Truth is amazing - history is unreliable, kinda depends who's telling it, and why "

Did you know that Lee regularly used bounty hunters?   He paid them well, and wrote instructions to them.

No, you didn't know.  You could not have a clue, because you only know what you are told.

Did you know Lee's bounty hunters sold him women they caught in the North, that were NOT escaped slaves, but had the horrible luck to be black and in the proximity of Lee's hunters?  

That's right Lee bought escaped slaves, but he also bought "others" as Pryor so delicately put it.  

short version of this blog --

1) More "history teachers" know the name of Lee's pet chicken (Pearl) than know he had slave girls whipped, and sold children

2) Repeating myths do not make them true.

Long version of this blog --



  Elizabeth Pryor, author of "Reading the Man" -- a biography about Lee, through his personal papers.

Make no mistake, Pryor tries her best to flatter Lee, to keep his halo upon his head.  She worked for and with the Lee family.  She worked with the Virginia Historical Society.  Her book got good reviews by Journal of Southern History. (Makes me wonder if they actually read it closely, seriously, I doubt they did).

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

Turns out, Lee did NOT free his wife's slaves before the Civil War -- in fact, he had his own slaves too, and ignored repeated orders to free his wife's slaves, per the Custis will.

Pryor reveals this -- but she is very careful how.  And woven around each delicate revelation of brutality or cruelty by Lee, Pryor spun an excuse, and was careful not to make it too clear, too vivid for the reader.  

And also turns out, Lee was a cruel slave master, and proud of it, though he didn't consider himself cruel, he did scream at slave girls as he had them whipped.  Here is a clue, a man who has a slave girl chased for months, pays handsomely for her capture, then personally screams at her during her torture, is NOT, NOT NOT a kind man. 

Too complicated?  Need time?

Take all you need. There is more. 

Lee also sold children away from the mother, and or visa versa.

There was a reason Lee's slaves  said he was the "worst man we ever saw".    They knew him.

While Southern "historians"  tried to tell us Lee's slaves loved him, quite the reverse was true.  Lee's slaves - dozens, perhaps over 100 -- tried to escape, even though Lee was obsessed with escaped slaves -- especially escaped girls.

Lee paid much much higher prices for capture of the girls. 

Lee also had his soldiers, during the Civil War, go North and capture hundreds of blacks there -- he didn't care if they were escaped slaves or not.    They were rounded up, chained, taken South, and sold as slaves.

Lee remains the only person in US history to invade a country, capture women and children, and have them sold as slaves.   Remember that. 


Think history is in "history" books?  


Orwell much?

Lee's slave ledgers show he paid far high prices for slave girls, than boys.   In fact Lee's average price for capture of slave male was 10 dollars.  Capture a 14 year old --get 340 dollars. 

How many of Lee's slave's escaped?  While Pryor won't give us a number, she cleverly says Lee had "epidemics" of slaves trying to escape.  

Epidemics -- how cute.

Remember, she could, if she wanted, tell you how many.  She says that at one time, there were 12 escaped slaves bounty hunters were looking for, including a light skinned girl.

But overall -- how many?  Fifty? Seventy? 

  She has to know -- she saw his papers, he surely did not write "Oh, had epidemics of run away lately".  And Lee kept meticulous papers, Pryor had them.  

Lee's slave ledgers were saved, ironically, along with his other papers, by Union soldiers, who boxed up all Lee family effects and presented them to the family.   Apparently in Lee's life time, he never had the chance to destroy the sexually explicit letters he wrote, and received, nor his slave ledges.

Sexually explicit letters -- to various women, over decades.  Things that make you go  "WTF"? 

What did he write -- show us? She won't.  

But she does tell us things, carefully. Who else even hinted -- ever -- that Lee's slaves hated him, and risked their lives to run away, and were caught, and whipped for it?

No one. No one ever told us that.  

In fact we are told -- by supposed "scholars" -- that Lee didn't even have slaves, and freed his wife's slaves before the Civil War.

Nonsense. Lee's papers show he had his OWN slaves, and he bought more, and, he refused to obey, let me repeat that, he refused to obey court orders to free his wife's slave repeatedly.   Only when the slaves were no in his control, did he free anyone, and they were apparently worthless to him anyway.

Furthermore, Lee's slaves said Lee was "the worst man we ever knew". 

But but but -- scholars told us the "servants" loved him? 


  For a guy who didn't own any slaves -- per the myth -- odd indeed the slave girls would risk their lives to escape. If they werent slaves, why could they be whipped for escaping?

  And by the way, Lee whipped those he caught, including girls about 14 years old.

Pryor is on Lee's side on the whole "torture slaves" thing, though she calls it "discipline".  Lee had "every right"  to "protect" his property.

In case there was any blame left for Lee himself, Pryor insisted Lee's torture (discipline as she called it) was "due to Lee's poor cross cultural communication skills".

She blamed, in other words, the slave girls for trying to escape.  It wasn't Lee's fault. 

In one of the most Orwellian sentences ever written, Pryor writes that the slaves "did not fully appreciate Lee's theory of labor management".

Top that -- go ahead, top slaves did "not fully appreciate" Lee's theory of labor management. I will give you a month. You can't top that. 


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".

Lee's own handwritten slave ledgers and sexually explicit letters may remake our understanding of "Southern Honor."  But the myth of honorable Confederate leaders is part of the culture -- and the status -- of many in the South.    

Factually, given what's in Lee's slave ledgers and letters to and from bounty hunters, eventually Lee's name should be taken off all schools and public places, honoring him.  

Keep the schools up, the names -- if you want. But put his slave ledgers in that school. Show what he did, who he had whipped, who he sold, how he justified torture.   Put the facts out, the name will take care of itself.

Lee tortured -- and torture is exactly the right word -- slave girls. He also sold children  -- sold is the right word.  Lee  screamed at girls as he had them whipped. He killed thousands of United States citizens, and would have killed more, if he could have.

But myths honor those who are despicable. It's  happened before, and will again.

Who knew, who even suspected, that Robert E Lee wrote sexually explicit letters to various women for decades? No one mentioned that for 150 years.

Who knew Lee bought women and children from bounty hunters, that were never slaves, until Lee got his hands on them?

I will tell you how many suspected  -- zero.   Because no one knew what was in Lee's slave ledgers and sexually explicit letters.  Or if they did - they didn't mention it.  

None of us ever heard of, and still have not seen, Lee's actual slave ledgers and sexually explicit letters. What Lee wrote down, about what he did, at the time, is so stunning, you gotta wonder?   

Who the hell got it all wrong?  Didn't anyone bother to check?

Elizabeth Pryor,  a Lee devotee, has seen, and studied, Lee's personal papers, including, amazingly, his slave ledgers and sexually explicit letters.  

On things large and small, the Lee myth does not line up with what Lee wrote down, or his slave ledgers, or his sexually explicit letters, or letters to him.


Ten of Pryor's sentences are valid candidates for Orwellian double speak of the century.   It took some kind of gaul to write, as she did "the slaves did not fully agree with Lee's theory of labor management".

Did not fully agree?  With Lee's THEORY -- of what?  Labor managment.   While Pryor deserves credit for revealing as much as she did,  what kind of lunatic writes crap like that? Fully agree?

We find out -- from Pryor  -- that Lee's biggest problem was escaped slaves. 

But she does so without vivid explanation.

 She does not tell you the slaves were guarded by trained dogs, trained to rip the flesh off anyone, including children, who tried to escape.   

She does not tell you the kind of courage it took to escape.

But at least she told you of the escapes -- who else dared tell that much?

She does not tell you that mothers had to leave their children, when they fled, because the children could not run fast or far enough to get away from the trained dogs.

  •   She reveals that Lee's slaves hated and feared him, and said he was "the worst man we ever saw".   Yet she tells you all this, in a way you hardly notice, amid the narrative of a repeated bs.  She mimics the narratives of old -- never mind that the facts she relates, make a mockery of that narrative.

But she does all this, as carefully as possible.  

Pryor shows Lee didn't just "manage" his wife's slaves, he had his own -- and he bought more.  Yeah, you are told he freed his wife's slaves. Bullshit.  Eventually he had to,  he eventually obeyed the court order, but he resisted it, until apparently the slaves were not in his control anyway, and he had maximized his profit from them all the while.

Lee resisted legal processes that ordered him to free his wife's slaves.  He RESISTED those efforts.  

Pryor reveals much -- but every bit, she reveals carefully.  


For example,  Pryor refuses to even write the words "slave ledgers"  She uses a term "monthly account books" -- but they are monthly account books, in Lee's own script, about his slaves. Sales of, bounty payments for, purchase of. 

That's a slave ledger. His "monthly account books" were about his slaves. Who he paid, how much, how much he got for slaves.  But she won't even call them slave ledgers; if she had, she probably would have been banned from ever looking at them again. 

Why not say slave ledgers? Why not say torture? 

  Pryor is very careful not to schock.   Even when she discusses rapes, torture, and bounty payments, she uses every linguistic trick, including Orwellian double talk, not to make it clear or vivid what she found. She does quite the opposite -- her efforts are to reveal, but simultaneously, gloss over, excuse or minimize.

But no one else -- ever -- even did that much.


Pryor first introduces "sexual relations" between "races"  by using the term "dalliance".   Very much like everything else -- she approaches rapes (yes rapes) at Arlington carefully.

Remember, she adores Lee -- she works with and for his family and Virginia Historical Society, not exactly Lee detractors.   

Pryor slyly mentions that "over half " of Lee's slaves were mulatto -- light skinned.  How many? Over half.  Is that 30? 50? Over 100?>

And how many of those light skinned girls did Lee sell?   She doesn't say. How many escaped? No clue -- she doesn't say.  But she does say that Lee had "epidemics" of slave escapes.

But in a sentence that had to take her days to write -- whites (she was talking about Lee's) were "increasingly enslaving other whites".

Pryor claims Lee's torture of slaves was due to his "poor cross cultural communication skills".   Couln't have been anger, or lust, or cruelty. Having girls tied up, screaming at them (as he did, according to three newspapers at the time) was a communication issue? 


Pryor tries to sell the rapes of slaves, early in her book, as "dalliances between the races".  Only later does she cleverly reveal that forcible rapes were common. 

Why not be specific?   If Lee or his sons raped slaves, if slave rape was common, why the artful dodging?  Why not say it?  


Consider this -- nothing stopped Pryor from being specific, that we know of.  She had the slave ledgers, dirty letters, etc, in her hands.   

She could have listed the slave girls names -- made it clear which ones he bought from hunters, which ones tried to escape.   No where is she specific when discussing those "horrors".

Her style of writing shifts --- when glossing over Lee's cruelties.  Passive voice -- no names, especially not Lee's name -- on that page. But she is writing about Lee.   "Whites were increasingly enslaving other whites".

Where?  At LEE"S slave plantation, thats where.  Lee had the almost unbelievable ration of over half mulatto slaves!   Who fathered them?  Casper?

The letter Pryor found making the "white looking slave girls" an issue, was FROM a woman at Arlington.   You have to study her notes for that.

WHy not show it? Why not say "The slave Besty wrote Lee asking if she could keep her daughter, and mentioned that Lee's son was the father" -- or whatever letter it might be.   Why not just show us?

Pryor is doing her best NOT to show specific horrors.   But no one else mentioned any of this. 

Candor would have likely cost her access to the Lee papers.  How would you handle it?

And she adores Lee -- or did when she started.

Remember, she worked side by side, physically, with Lee family members and Virginia Historical Society.   The amazing thing isnt that she spoke so carefully -- the amazing thing is, she got in as much as she did.

She had the information in her hands.  She says "over half" -- do you think Lee wrote  "I have over  half my slaves lighter skinned"?

Whenever Pryor writes anything, remember this -- she got it from Lee's papers. She saw something in his papers about the tortures, the rapes, the bounties.  It did not fall from the sky, a duck did not tell her.

Pryor was loathe to reveal as much as she did. 

But from other records, its clear Lee had over 200 slaves -- and yes, they were his, legally, and because he decided who got whipped, w who was sold, who kept their children, who lost their children.  He decided -- and he owned outright his own.

When you decide who gets whipped, who gets sold, who is chased and kidnapped by bounty hunters --you are a slaver.  



To exist at all, slavery depended on slave owners Orwellian double speak, and religious fakery.   But at the slave auctions, in the slave barns at night, buying slave girls, these men were not religious. 

Lee is the perfect example.  Lee wrote sexually explicit letters, for decades, and per his actual letters, he had nothing but disdain and anger towards slaves. Though he regularly separated mothers from their children, and had slaves whipped, he was furious that they did not appreciate him.  

But that's how the human mind must work -- he could not blame himself, he blamed the victim. That's not at all unique to Lee, all slave owners did it.

 Jefferson Davis was the master - but Lee came close.  Liberty, claimed Davis, was the right to own slaves.  Can you get more perverse?

But Lee had to use the same lingo, the same nonsense.   It's no accident that every Southern leaders was adept at Orwellian double speak.

Those who cover for them, also must use linquistic slight of hand, misleading and Alice-in-Wonderland BS.

Pryor must avoid simple direct factual statements -- so she does.

She calls Lee a "planter" as if he ever planted a thing.  She tells us Lee planted this crop, and that, and did this to the fields. Really?  Think Lee got out there and toiled the field. Southern leaders were quiet proud that whites were "superior" race and blacks did the menial and difficult work.

Lee didn't plant potatoes, slaves did. Lee didn't build slave shacks, they did. Lee didn't whip slaves -- he even had others do that. 

Lee only wanted -- all his life, Pryor says, "to be a planter".   She meant, but could not say, he wanted to be a plantation owner, like his father. The bigger the plantation, the better.

It was no accident Lee married the rather homely Mary Custis. And no accident either, he wrote sexually explicit letters to others, for decades, though married to her.   Lee got his slaves the old fashioned way -- he married the owner.

One more basic thing Pryor -- nor anyone else -- dares mention candidly.  Lee's cash crop was flesh.  The flesh of others. The forced labor of others.

His income did not come from cotton or peanuts or bacon or sweet potatoes. His income came from flesh, from selling it, and or the labor of flesh.  

Enough bullshit. Enough Orwellian double speak.  

But Pryor opened a door others had nailed shut.


Pryor makes sure we don't get the hard or harsh reality. Yet no one else dared show anything like Pryor revealed, carefully, in doublespeak, or not. 


How many white looking girls did he own?   No such information.   But he owned, apparently, over 100 mulatto slaves, and some were so white looking, they could pass for white.

Guess what -- if you look white, you ARE white. White is a color. Pryor actually wrote a stunning sentence -- "Increasingly, whites were enslaving other whites".

 Where were whites enslaving other whites?  At Arlington. Lee owned the most white looking mulatto slaves. Who  ever dreamed that was even an issue - anywhere?

Instead, biographies of Lee (see below) seem to compete, page after page, to heap accolade after accolade, praise upon praise, noble trait on top of noble trait.

In fact, Lee's main biographer, a Pulitzer Prize winner  no less, announced idiotically, that Lee was "now at the right hand of Christ" and had "no faults to probe".  His thousands of pages about Lee, set about to prove that, never mind that most of it was at best distorted, at worst bullshit.


Douglas Southall Freeman went beyond bending the truth, and ignoring Lee's tortures, the rapes, the dirty letters.  

Freeman insisted Lee's slaves loved him -- and that he freed the slaves "long before the Civil War"  which was utter nonsense. Lee still had slaves during the civil war -- living elsewhere, rented out, and he ignored or resisted orders by Virginia Courts to free the slaves that  belonged, technically, to his wife.

But Lee had his OWN slaves, too, and bought more. His wife's slaves were only a part of his holding of human flesh.

Freeman knew, for example, that Mack Lee was not Lee's slave, nor  his servant, nor anything else.  But there was a black man, a "preacher" in the 1910's and 1920's that went around raising money for his church - she wore a Confederate uniform, thats right. He spoke to Southern churches in a Confederate Uniform, and paised the South,praised white race, and claimed he was Lee's personal slave all through the Civil War.

Nonense.  He didn't even have his facts right.   He claimed he was hit in the head with a cannon ball, for example, while standing next to Lee, and Lee ran to him and said "I aint never seen no Nigger hit by no cannon ball" and laughed.  

Mack Lee -- the "Reverand"  didn't have a book, he had a pamphlet he handed out to drum up business for his preaching. He preached to WHITE audiences in the South, not to black folks.He was always raising money.

Douglas Southall Freeman, of course, knew Lee's whereabouts, and the names of his slaves, especially the slaves Lee kept with him all through the war to help him dress, bathe, and eat. Yes, Lee had slaves to help dress him, no one told you that, did they?

Mack Lee was NOT one of those slaves Lee had in the field.  And Freeman knew that.  Yet Freeman used Mack Lee's hustle to "prove" how Lee's slaves loved him.

Actually, Pryor shows Lee's slaves hated him, and said he "was the worst man we ever saw". 

See the difference?  And remember, Freeman knew this, but wanted to "prove" Lee was loved by his "servants".

Total bullshit. 




Who knew that? Who knew any of these issues? 

Lee "had no faults to probe"  and "sits at the right hand of Christ".



 "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. Did Lee really believe God ordained slavery and torture?
Hard telling -- but he sure could lay down the bullshit saying to, to his wife

Lee insisted slaves were "immeasurably" better off as slaves.   God intended it.

BUt Lee didn''t trust God to get him more slaves -- he had hunters bring him escaped slaves, and women, children his hunters found in the North.    Why didn't God give him the slaves, why did he have to buy them, have them kidnapped?

Any clue? 

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.   Nor was he ever in Africa, nor did he bother to ask the slaves where they were better off. In fact, Lee's biggest problem as slaver -- his slaves continually tried to escape.  

Lee bought FREE people from Pennsylvania. His bounty hunters didn't go to Africa.  Then went to Maryland and Pennsylvania.  So whats this bullshit about "better off than in Africa"?  He got them by force, right here in USA.

Yes, he did.  

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 saying such crap mollified his wife, and that's apparently what he wanted/.

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".
If you are going to teach Lee -- then teach him. Teach his excuses for torture, teach what he did to slave girls, teach what horrors he put them through.

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. 


Your history teachers sure never told you. Instead, lectures on Lee were more like passionate adoration speeches, as they added their own spin -- utterly confident of the facts -- to their students.


 White looking slaves was very much an issue at Arlington, as Lee himself referred to skin tone, and he had letters to him, from Arlington women, complaining of the white looking slaves.

No one told you that, ever, did they?  What to do with children born to women raped by white men?  Pryor could have named her book "The Man Who Owned White Looking Slave Girls"  if she had the candor. It's actually more factual and honest that the title she did use. 

WHy not be specific?   Lee was, in his ledgers, we know because some of the prices Pryor records for bounties.


Thousands of letters to and from Lee -- she mentions 10,000 personal letters.   Letters to and from, apparently, bounty hunters, to and from various women. Lee wrote sexually explicit letters for decades -- to various women. How many women?  She won't say. 

Pryor had dynamite in her hands, but she didn't use it to blow the lid off Lee Myth. 

How sexually explicit? She won't say, other than to write Lee refered to sex tricks, and seemed proud of his son's sexual exploits. 

He did not just do this a few times -- he did it for decades, before, during, and after the Civil War.   Weren't we told he was "the most chaste, the most noble" man in US history?

Yes, were were told that, and much more.

Pryor apparently had information about which slaves Lee sent to auction  houses. She had letters to  and from his wife asking about the whipping of slave girls. 

Pryor had dynamite in her hands, but she didn't use it to blow the lid off Lee Myth.   She had information about slave auctions, and prices paid for certain slaves.   She knows who Lee sold, and who Lee bought.

Pryor knows more than she is telling in a candid way. Her goal is to keep his halo upon his head  --- but the  "details" get in a way, though she does everything she can to reveal the horrors in a measured and even Orwellian, prose.

See her book, "Reading the Man".

Pryor won't even use the term "slave ledgers" -- but that's what she found.  She calls them "monthly account books," but they had the prices he paid for bounties, and lists of sales, and disposition of which slave.  She could tell us, for example, Lee paid drastically higher prices for women, than men. 

Sure -- Pryor and the Lee family should put copies of Lee's slave ledgers in the public domain.  Put his sexually explicit letters there too, his letters to and from bounty hunters, put it all out.

Until then, we will have to rely on Pryor's  very carefully written book.   

Pryor's use of Orwellian and clever prose, starts in her title.  She knows "Portrait" means a flattering rendition.  She paints a nice portrait, but look closely.  

The horrors are carefully  in the details. Yes horrors. 

The Lee family with Elizabeth Pryor.

Those are the two trunks, that held the Lee slave ledgers, and sexually explicit letters. The Union soldiers returned all Lee's papers and private effects to the family-- had Lee known his slave ledgers and sexual letters would survive, he would have destroyed them. 

Facts are stubborn things.


If Pryor could say one thing to Lee, it might be this:

     "Please, General Lee, if you are going to have girls tortured, sell children, pay bounties for run away slaves buy women and children your hunters found illegally  in the North, please don't write it down."


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

Pryor's  narrative is overwhelmingly positive.  She won't shock you if you adore Lee.   One reviewer said she showed Lee "warts and all".   As if torture of girls and sale of children is a wart.   But Pryor made sure nothing she wrote jumped out at you, or made you uncomfortable.

Whenever she admitted some horror -- like rape, torture, sale of children, the purchase of free women and children (see below), she used her Orwellian double speak, together with built in excuses, such as Lee's torture (torture is the right word, though she did not use it) of girls was a result of "poor cross cultural communication skills."    As if Lee could have spoken Ebonics, he wouldnt need to have those girls whipped.

But she does get in the whippings -- see how she does that.

She even gets in the rapes.

She begins the book with a charming letter Lee wrote to his children. The Journal of Southern History even gave Pryor rave reviews -- but you gotta wonder, did they actually read the details in the book, or just skim it? 

In her details, very carefully stated, are horrors, committed by Lee, and written down by Lee.  That's the most astonishing part -- Lee wrote them down.


Pryor had to be conflicted.  She was hired to praise Lee -- to "verify" how wonderful Lee was, using his own papers.  Historians have known about his trunks of papers, but no one was allowed to study them -- not for 145 years.

Pryor was the first scholar who studied them, and she adored Lee, she was a Lee devotee.  She had to assume the papers would confirm all those great things -- after all, who even hinted at rapes, bounty payments, tortures?

No one. Literally no one.  Even when "historians" admitted things, like Lee's capture of hundreds of blacks in the North, during his Maryland campaign, they didn't point out Lee was the only soldier in US history to capture civilians during war, to be sold as slaves.

Pryor found that out, the hard way. And more, found out, he did that before the war, too. Lee paid bounty hunters for women and children they kidnapped illegally, in the North, long before the Civil War. Watch how Pryor carefully gets that "detail" in her book.


Pryor no doubt believed the myth -- was Lee not "the greatest Christian" in US history.   A Pulitzer prize winning "historian" told us Lee was now "on the right hand of Christ" in heaven. 

Not just in heaven, but "on the right hand of Christ".

Pryor, nor any of us, heard anything but praise for Lee.  We were told a thousand times he we against slavery --  even "violently" against slavery, and that he freed his slaves long before the Civil War.


We only know what we are told, and about Lee, we were told universally wonderful things.  Anti slavery (not true). Kind (not true).  Devout husband (not true).  Religous (not true). 

SO where did all that come from. We are told Lee's slaves loved him so much, they refused to leave.  Then we find out, Lee's slaves said he was the worst man they ever saw -- and dozens, perhaps over 50, risked their lives to escape his cruelties (see below).


Lee "had no faults to probe"  said Douglas Southall Freeman.  The greatest Christian --"by far" said Douglas. The bravest, the most chaste, the kindest, the most tidy, yes even the most tidy.  Accolade after accolade.

Lee didn't inflict pain -- no no no, he endured suffering "for the South"  and gave an example of fortitude. 

ABSURDITIES ACCEPTED. We are even told -- in books sold yet today, that Lee and all his officers, dismounted during battle,  took off their hats, as bombs blew up around them, for long silent prayer.  

No one claimed such nonsense then -  in fact, Longstreet wrote that Lee was always "well in the rear".    He certainly never got off his horse with all his officers, as bombs blew up around him, and stood in silent prayer.   


It seems Lee biographies of that era, competed to put out the most goofy made up nonsense.   If the author was of a certain faith, that author tried to make Lee one of his own -- but more, that author would make up the most amazing quotes from or to Lee. Those were written 20-30-40 years after Lee's death.   You can't find such quotes from Lee's life time, just after he died.

Yet idiotically, t hose quotes, and stories, are used now as absolute facts, even by "Historians". 

Pryor does not accept, at face value, the newspaper reports of Lee's specific tortures of specific girls.   Of course "historians" always knew of the overlapping newspapers reports -- but dismissed them as preposterous, and never, or rarely, mentioned them at all.

By this "sorting" of Lee information -- ignore the tortures, pump up the religion BS -- Lee became not just anti slavery, in the legend we have now, but the "Best Christian by far". 

But from his slave ledgers, and letters, we learn Lee had escaped slaves whipped, sent bounty hunters out for months, and personally coordinated their capture. Lee paid drastically higher bounties for certain girls --his highest price for bounties, were for female slaves.

Pryor could have no clue of any of that, from what she had learned, until she opened his slave ledgers and personal letters. 

One of many light skinned slaves at Arlington.
Pryor carefully mentions, as if a trivial detail, "rapes were common" at Arlington.

Yes, Arlington.  Yes common.

How would she get such an idea?  From Lee's own papers, that's where.



Has any text book, or "biography" of Lee ever mention that he owned his own slaves, and managed his wife's?


Have they mentioned Lee owned more light skinned slaves than, likely, anyone else in US history? No.

No "historian" so far has ever been candid about Lee's cash crop.

How about this -- have they even mentioned what Lee's cash crop was at Arlington?  No, not cotton, not even food.

They can tell you all about his horse.  Some can tell you about his pet chicken.   They can tell you -- misleadingly - about his faith.   But they can't seem to mention his cash crop.   Or his purchase and sale of slaves, his bounty hunters, or his sexually explicit letter. 

Pryor claims all Lee ever wanted to be was a "planter".  Quaint, right?   But  thats  Orwellian double speak for "slave owner".

When Lee left the army, as he did several times, to "manage the plantation" - in blunt speak, he went to get rid of troublesome slaves, to organize the discipline and cash flow. To hire the right men to torture the slaves when they did things Lee didn't like. To instill order.

Lee's father had a slave girl hung for knocking down a white man -- bet you didn't know that.  No one even bothered to record why the girl knocked down a white man.  Was he whipping her? Raping her? Rapes were common.   But she fought back, she knocked a white man on his ass, and Lee's father had her hung.

Welcome to real history -- 150 years of bullshit is enough.  

Not Lee's slave ledger. 


Newspapers BEFORE the Civil War reported on the whippings at Arlington. Why?

Not because whipping was rare -- it was common for escaped slaves. It made the paper, because the regular overseer refused to whip the girl.  That was news.  An overseer (a black man, usually a slave) just told Lee -- NO.

Think of that. The overseer, who usually whips the slaves, and did whip other slaves that day, said no,  he would not whip the girl. BECAUSE he was too young. That's what the newspapers reported -- that's why it made the papers.

Let that sink in.  Lee had girls whipped, that the overseer, a cruel man whose job was whip -- refused this time. 

Lee kind to his servants?  How much more bullshit can you kind? Servants? Kind?

That's what three separate newspapers reported at the time, about this incident.  Bet you never heard that.   

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.

Why pay so much higher prices for 14 year old girls?  Did he like their opinion on the structure of bridges?   Their knowledge of water pressure and flood water dynamics?

There was SOME reason Lee paid much higher prices for young girls.  You will figure it out -- take your time.  

Pryor would not show his slave ledgers. Nor much of anything else. Sure, she should have. Hopefully the Lee family won't destroy them now.

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 does what no one  has dared to, in 150 year -- she tells who Lee tortured, why, and how much he paid.  Yes, she is very careful HOW she tells these horrors. 

 She tells us about his sexually explicit that he wrote for decades,  to various women, and that he bragged about sex tricks and his son's sexual abilities. 

Who does that even now?  Do you ever write sexually explicit letters to women you didn't have some sexual interaction with?  Do you brag about your son's sexual abilities?   Lee did. And this was in the 1840s, 1850s, and 1860s. 

This wasn't a one or even ten time habit for Lee -- he wrote such letters for decades. 

No one -- literally no one -- even guessed that Lee's personal letters and ledgers would hold such information.  

It's probably that the Lee family didn't know fully what the letter ledgers and documents would show.  Pryor got them all out, studied them, and correlated the letters to the slave ledgers.  

Pryor writes about the whipping of the slave girl - in that chapter -- as if it were a rare event.    She claims the whipping posts Lee had installed were a "silent testament" to the potential of whipping.

Silent?  No. Unless screams of girls being whipped are silent.

Yet Pryor never uses the term "slave ledger".  She only refers to them once, and even then, calls them "monthly account books"

Pretty clever.  As far opposite as possible, from revealing his slave ledgers, but she does give a glimpse, wrapped, as she does, in excuse. 

Later, coyly, Pryor relates deep in a later chapter, that  whipping was his "prefered" method of torture -- er, as Pryor calls it, "discipline".  Prefered? 

  If he prefered one way, that means, does it not, that he had others? Pryor doesn't list the various methods, but read her words closely, he does indeed have various methods of physical torture -- and psychological torture. Yes, torture is the right word -- if you want Orwellian bullshit, get off this page.

Pryor didn't get that information about Lee's "preference" from a duck -- she got it, from Lee's personal papers.   Remember that.  Pryor is not trying to rat Lee out, she is trying to encase him in excuses and justifications. 

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. 

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



Tellingly, Lee devotees use a few words from his letter to his wife, to "prove" he was against slavery.

Actually,  actions matter more than words -- but even so,  read the entire letter. 

Lee's own letter,  not only defends slavery, it is one of the most velvety smooth defenses of torture ever written.  God knew and intended slaves feel painful discipline.  Pain -- specifically pain -- is necessary for their instruction.

Slaves "must endure painful discipline" because God intended it to be thus.  A common excuse for slavery, bet you never heard this, is that blacks were being punished for biblical sins.  In fact the VP of the Confederacy boasted about that, whites were doing Gods will to punish blacks!


Plus, what "scholars" don't tell you, all of the defense of slavery comes from someone's else's writings, Lee copied it almost word for word, thought for thought,  from a book with letter in it, written by Daniel Webster.  Lee would know which books his wife had. 

Yet books today claim Lee really cared about bringing "souls to Christ" and freed his slaves, didn't believe in slavery -- bullshit.,

 No one said anything like that (that Lee was against slavery, freed his slaves, etc) at the time, during his life.  Books written about Lee sometimes did not even mention slavery, not one word.  

Pryor had in her hands, Lee's sexually explicit letters, to various women, that he wrote over a period of decades.  She had in her hands, Lee's slave ledgers.  She had his own handwritten prices for girls, his own instructions to slave hunters, and his own confirmation of tortures.  (Yes, torture is the right word).

No, she is not blunt, never blunt. Quite the opposite.  

Pryor refuses to even use the word "slave ledger".  She used the term "monthly account books".   The were slave ledgers -- account books so specific, Pryor could tell prices, dates, and who was paid how much for which slave.  Pryor can compare Lee's slave ledgers to his personal letters, and letters women wrote to him about the slaves. 

Pryor is a wordsmith, diplomat, and artist.  When she says her book is a "Portrait" of Lee -- she knows portrait is a deliberately flattering rendering.  And her book does just that.

You can skim through her book, and hardly notice the acne and pockmarks on Lee's skin.


Pryor wraps up the horrors gently - her most common ploy, she reveals what she calls "horrors" but  does not use Lee's name in that page or even in the surrounding pages. 

You can easily assume she is referring to other slave owners, because that is her clever misdirection.   No, read it closely. She is using LEE's slave ledgers, letters to and from Lee. 

 When she discusses the horrors (to Pryor, white looking slave girls were the horror) she is talking specifically about Lee's white looking slave girls. 

But you can easily miss that, glossed over as it is, in careful prose. Lee is the guy who owned the most light skinned slaves -- over 50% of his slaves were mulatto, according to 1860 census.

That's a stunningly high  percentage.  And Lee DID own his own slaves, too, he did not just "manage" his wife's.  

Dalliance -- tea for two?
 Lee was called "King of Spades" early in the Civil War, in Southern newspapers, in jocular reference of the 5,000 or more slaves Lee used in building the massive defenses around Richmond. Pryor does not mention this in her book, but it's an example of what    Southern "historians" have labored to pretend it was a term of endearment from his soldiers. 

Most people assume Lee was in charge of an army immediately. No -- Lee was an engineer, not a fighting soldier. Until John Brown capture -- Lee was not in battle, and even with John Brown, Lee only got their late, after Brown was surrounded.  Lee was in his civilian clothes. 

But your history teacher repeats the bullshit about that too, as if Lee captured Brown. Lee was already surrounded. Lee was in civilian clothes, he had no part in the "capture".  

Nor did Davis use Lee in combat at first -- he used Lee to build the massive earth works that played such a huge role in prolonging the war.   The earth works were massive, row after row of deeply dug ditches, 70 miles long, that were impossible to dislodge by cannon of the day. 

Local papers called Lee "King of Spades" because blacks were used to dig the earth works, and Lee was in charge.   

But Lee "historians" like Freeman sure aren't going to tell you that. Freeman came up with the bullshit excuse about King of Spades. He could  not, of course, mention Lee's massive use of slave labor -- Freeman typically called blacks Lee's "people" or servants.  Rarely would Douglass write slave and Lee in the same sentence, or paragraph, or page.

 While Pryor never says this -- given Lee had girls whipped during peace time, imagine what Lee did in wartime, to male slaves, when Lee's own life would depend on how fast and how well, the slaves dug the defenses.


Only after Pryor established the misleading tone, does he reveal the rapes were common,  and she does that, very carefully, quoting a black man speaking in ebonics.  "Lord chil' dats wuz common".

Do you think Pryor accidently revealed the rapes at Arlington that way?  Think Pryor accidently first posited the rapes as dalliances, and then later, in double speak, got in the "horrors"?  

Pryor's hardest task seems not to be the information itself, but presenting it in a way that doesn't get the Lee family and Virginia Historical Society to ban her from all slave states forever. 


So common were rapes, in fact, that black men did not sleep in the same building as black women, because white men would come and night, like they owned a hareem, and rape whatever women then wanted.  This happened AT ARLINGTON.

The men --no doubt from painful deadly experience - knew they would fight whoever came to rape the women.  What would you do if your wife or daughter was raped?

Do we teach such things in school? Hell no. 

Yes, it would be vile to teach of the rape and sale of slaves to school children.  White men were raping slave girls, then selling the children from those rapes, into slavery.

Yes, they were. And they got wealthy doing it. 

If we don't dare teach the ugly truth, fine. But dont turn facts on their head and teach that men like that were noble, brave, chaste, kind, anti slavery.  Its as vile as Lee was.


 In fact, it seems authors writing from 1890-1920 competed to insert the most preposterous claims -- Lee dismounting during battles, bombs exploding around him, is my favorite -- which idiotically are used now to "prove" how wonderful Lee was. 

That's right, those preposterous books, written after Lee died, are the source -- taken as gospel -- and the basis for the bullshit Lee myth.

It's about that simple -- books glorifying Lee sold very well.  No one even bothered to write books showing the tortures, etc.  The people that knew what happened at Arlington, and survived, spoke about it, but they were not writers.

Most could not write -- they were slaves. 

Text book publishers grabbed the bullshit from such books, and printed them as fact. 

That particular book is sold even today --and many such books never mention the word slave, but page after page of adorational (yes we know adorational is not a word) bullshit.   


Pryor refuses to characterize the "account books"  as slave ledgers.  But that is what they were -- monthly account books, of his slaves. Purchases, sales, rentals (Lee rented slaves out) and discipline.

Discipline Pryor blamed on the slave girls -- not Lee.   They "tested"  Lee, and Lee had "every right" to protect his "property".  

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.

Let's just hope the Lee family doesn't destroy the papers themselves.  It might take another 150 years, but the truth will come out.