Monday, September 10, 2012


under construction 
not really ready -- but ...

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

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

"Lee's lack of cross cultural communication skills"
                                        (excuse for whippings)

"Coercion was used in those situations"
                                       (regarding rape )


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

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


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

Yet Lee's slave ledgers, bounty hunter letters, and even sexually explicit letters to various women for decades, show Lee was a cruel, even sadistic man.

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

Yet "historians"  have fraudulently (yes, fraudulently) insisted things like Lee's had no slaves, and that his wife's slaves loved him so much they refused to leave when he freed then..... every goofy thing imaginable.

Bizzaro world.
How did this happen?


Elizabeth Pryor is the author of another Lee biography.

But it is not like the others.   

  The Lee family allowed  Pryor to study, at length, Lee's slave ledgers.  These ledgers were in two trunks of personal papers that historians knew existed for 100 years, but no one was allowed to study them.



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

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

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

Lee was "the most kind"?   



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

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

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

Why not show one page of his slave ledgers?

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

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

But she got them in.



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

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

Pryor was able to to connect a given letter, for example, from or to a bounty hunter, to payments Lee  himself entered in the slave ledgers.

Then she could validate newspaper accounts of Lee's tortures -- connecting the names, and dates, in his ledgers.

But how candid could she be?  What about the white looking slave girls -- yes, he owned at least one white looking slave girl, and she escaped.

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

Pryor would not say.  But she did say white looking slave girl, she did say the girl escaped.  But she never told us -- did the girl get away?   Did Lee's entries show her return?  Did it show any payment for her capture?

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

She only told us what she wanted to tell.

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

Who the hell were the others?

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

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


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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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


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

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

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



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

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


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

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

She was talking about rape.

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

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers
had a "dalliance".

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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




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

How do we know that?

Lee wrote it down, that's  how.


More people know the name of Lee's pet chicken, than know the names of the slave girls he had tortured.  This is Lee's chicken.   It's name was Pearl.   According to stories at the time -- and so likely to be true -- it was no "pet"  it was just a chicken around Lee's tent. The cook fed Lee and the officers chicken, and only afterwards did they tell Lee it was Pearl.  It was a joke, everyone laughed.  

 (Lee had four black slaves with him during the war, personal servants, so likely it was a slave that cooked Pearl) 


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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




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

Not one. 

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


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

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



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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What kind of madness must this book be?  


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

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

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

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

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

Wrong. All wrong.

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

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

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




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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lee had her whipped anyway.

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

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

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

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

Over and over, Lee yelled the same thing.

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

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

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

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

And her crime?  Her horrible crime?

She tried to escape.

Abolitionists, Lee insisted "are on an evil course"

Slaves "must endure" painful discipline.

Pain is "necessary for their instruction".

Slavery, insisted Lee, was a "spiritual liberty"


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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

She knocked down the man beating her.

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

Lee's father had her hung.

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

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

So how the hell did these myths get started? 

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

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

Knelt during battle, in silent prayer!   

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

Not so much

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

She was not about to blame Lee.

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


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

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


White looking slave girls a BFD.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She simply said "monthly account books".

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

Is any of that true, whatsoever?

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

But you need the facts, first.


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Pain, Lee wrote, is necessary for their instruction.

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



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

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

More about Mack Lee  and Douglas Southall Freeman, later.

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

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

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


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

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

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

Did Lee free them because they were white?

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

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

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

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

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


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



Lee anti-slavery?

Lee freed his wife's slaves?

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

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

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

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


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

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

Yes, NORTH.  



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

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

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



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.  


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

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

But Pryor tries to explain that away.

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

See if you can beat that Orwellian double speak. 

Lee. Wrote. It. Down.



Pryor  had to say something.  

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

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

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


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

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

Think that over. 

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Labor management theory?  Hilarious. Was she drunk?


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

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

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

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

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

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

Lee an especially cruel slave owner.

Lee used slave auctions.

Lee bought his own slaves.

Lee screamed at slave girls as he had them tortured.

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

But she did not. 




Over half mulatto. 

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

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

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

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

Why? How?     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Don't dare teach the truth.

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

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

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

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

Lee's slaves "loved him most of all"



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.


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.



Lee "only wanted to bring souls to Christ".

Lee "Simply wanted to be a planter"

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

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

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

Planter?  Say it plain -- a slave owner, a big time slave owner.   Lee did not plant anything, his crop was not veggies. His crop was flesh -- the sale of, and rental of, and breeding of, slaves. 



Still -- give Pryor all the credit possible. 

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

Welcome to Lee's world.  





"Coercion was used  in those situations. "

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

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

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

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

We have no clue.  


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

2)  Repeating myths do not make them true.

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

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




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.


  1. You post the picture of the mulatto boy baby several times, but you never show us any of Lee's mulatto slave girls. Why is this?

  2. How do you know the child is a male? He had white looking slave girls of various ages, and Pryor tells us that "increasingly" whites (meaning Lee) were enslaving other whites.

    You have no idea if the child is male or female. You apparently hope that by enslaving white males, instead of females, that Lee seems less of a vile POS he is. Lee had slaves, FROM BIRTH, that looked white. Too complicated? If he did not own them from birth, he would have had to buy the white looking females at auction.

    This whole notion of Lee's ownership of whites --as worse than owning blacks -- shows a basic misunderstanding of pain. Do you not think enslaving, torturing, raping, and selling the children of black women is equally as vile as enslaving torturing raping and selling the children of white women?

    Clearly you do not know that enslaving of whites was a "growing thing" in the South as the rapes of slave women by white men progressed. And as we know, from Pryor herself, rape was common.

    Common. Rape. Was. Common.

    Those rapes -- then when that female child is old enough, they raped her. This is clearly the case not only because of written evidence at the time, but the growing number of white looking slaves. White looking FEMALE slaves, we know, were prized and priced higher. I bet you did not know that?

    Do you think men who tortured slaves, raped them, bought women at auction, etc etc, suddenly stopped their actions and said "Oh my God, this child is white looking -- let us hurry to get her to a white woman for her care and upbringing"

    Hell no. ANd remember we have evidence that white looking women were valued at auctions, and went to men for sex slaves, and to whore houses, often in New Orleans.

    Why would white looking, or light skinned women, be sold to whore houses? Because whore houses found -- according to written evidence at the time --that white men preferred to use a whore that was not dark, with negroid nose. They were taught, since birth, that black was a vile color for a human. But lighter skinned women, with white features -- they could make those women be prostitutes, without pay, until they died.

    Lee was part of that.