What Robert E. Lee Wrote to The Times About Slavery in 1858

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tags: slavery, Robert E Lee



One day in January, a few years before the Civil War, Robert E. Leewrote to The New York Times, seeking a correction.

The man who would become the top Confederate general was trying to set the record straight about the slaves on his wife’s estate in Virginia, and about the last wishes of a dying slave owner.

He wrote that the people enslaved on his family’s property, in what was then known as Alexandria County, were not “being sold South,” as had been reported. And he implied that he would free them within five years.




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