Thread Closed 
Mr. Lee
04-18-2014, 09:25 AM
Post: #1
Mr. Lee
A new bio on Robert E. Lee to be released in May:

New York Times bestselling author Michael Korda's fresh, contemporary single volume historical biography of General Robert E. Lee—perhaps the most famous and least understood legend in American history and one of our most admired heroes.

Michael Korda, author of Ulysses S. Grant and the bestsellers Ike and Hero, paints a vivid and admiring portrait of Lee as a brilliant general, a devoted family man, and principled gentleman who disliked slavery and disagreed with secession, yet who refused command of the Union Army in 1861 because he could not "draw his sword" against his beloved Virginia.

Well-rounded and realistic, Clouds of Glory analyzes Lee's command during the Civil War and explores his responsibility for the fatal stalemate at Antietam, his defeat at Gettysburg (as well the many troubling controversies still surrounding it) and ultimately, his failed strategy for winning the war. As Korda shows, Lee's dignity, courage, leadership, and modesty made him a hero on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line and a revered American icon who is recognized today as the nation's preeminent military leader.

Clouds of Glory features dozens of stunning illustrations, some never before seen, including twelve pages of color, twenty-four pages of black-and-white, and nearly fifty in-text battle maps.
Find all posts by this user
04-18-2014, 09:51 AM
Post: #2
RE: Mr. Lee
Laurie, This looks like it might be a good read. Thanks for posting this. I have always wondered if the Civil War might not have been as long if Lee had decided to accept the President's offer to command.

Craig
Find all posts by this user
04-18-2014, 11:18 AM (This post was last modified: 04-18-2014 11:20 AM by J. Beckert.)
Post: #3
RE: Mr. Lee
It's interesting you posted this now, as I've just looked at this this morning. Lee's views on slavery in 1856:

http://www.civilwarhome.com/leepierce.htm

I am starting to believe Lee would have made a better President than Lincoln. Slavery was going to be abolished in due time no matter who was in the White House. I think Lee's views show it could have ended without the loss of 600,000 lives.

"There are few subjects that ignite more casual, uninformed bigotry and condescension from elites in this nation more than Dixie - Jonah Goldberg"
Find all posts by this user
04-18-2014, 12:17 PM
Post: #4
RE: Mr. Lee
(04-18-2014 11:18 AM)J. Beckert Wrote:  It's interesting you posted this now, as I've just looked at this this morning. Lee's views on slavery in 1856:

http://www.civilwarhome.com/leepierce.htm

I am starting to believe Lee would have made a better President than Lincoln. Slavery was going to be abolished in due time no matter who was in the White House. I think Lee's views show it could have ended without the loss of 600,000 lives.

As somewhat of a tie-in to this, I recently read another group's newsletter which featured a short excerpt from the book A Southern Odyssey, Travelers in the Antebellum North written by John Hope Franklin and published by LSU in 1976. I'm sure that most of you recognize the name of the late-Mr. Franklin as one of the leading black historians of the modern age. On pages 151-152, he quotes from author J.C. Myers, who wrote in 1849 that the fanatic New England abolitionists were so perfectly mad on the subject of slavery that their whole soul was filled with burning gall, and they were ever seeking an opportunity to spit...venom on the South, for the purpose of withering down her institution, even at the very hazard of shivering into fragments, our glorious Union."

John Hope Franklin goes on to quote from that period: "All the social advantages, all the respectable employments, all the honors, and even the pleasures of life are denied free Negroes of the North, by pious Abolitionists full of sympathy for the downtrodden African, " Parson Brownlow told his Philadelphia audience in 1858. Daniel R. Hunley....[heard] Henry Ward Beecher describe the condition of free Negroes more graphically and authoritatively than any Southerner could have done: 'They are refused the common rights of citizenship which the [Northern] white enjoy...They are snuffed at even in the House of God, or tolerated with ill-disguised disgust... We heap upon them moral obloquy more atrocious than that which the master heaps upon the slave.'"

In 1828 a Southern visitor to New York was served by "an intelligent young man of colour" who indicated that he was seriously considering returning South to his master who had taken him and his wife North to manumit them. He had rejected the idea of going to Liberia, because the reports from there were that it was 'the most miserable place in the world. I had rather remain here.' When the white man then pointed out that if he returned South he could not know into whose hands he might fall in the event of his master's death, he replied that he would prefer to take that chance than to remain where he was.

When a former slave went to Cincinnati to live, his difficulties were numerous; and when there were no work opportunities, he was accused of stealing. In his plea of guilty, he made a statement that...'Since I came here,' he said, 'I have been kicked out and abused by all classes of white men; can't get work from no one; and to borrow money...that is out of the question.' He concluded by saying that as soon as he served his time on the chain gang he would return South and become a slave."

I guess I'm posting this to remind readers to consider all available evidence when learning history -- both sides of the story, if you will.
Find all posts by this user
04-18-2014, 03:32 PM
Post: #5
RE: Mr. Lee
(04-18-2014 11:18 AM)J. Beckert Wrote:  It's interesting you posted this now, as I've just looked at this this morning. Lee's views on slavery in 1856:

http://www.civilwarhome.com/leepierce.htm

I am starting to believe Lee would have made a better President than Lincoln. Slavery was going to be abolished in due time no matter who was in the White House. I think Lee's views show it could have ended without the loss of 600,000 lives.

Excellent post, Joe. I am with you on this. It is also interesting to note that General Lee freed all of his slaves by December 1862 after educating them so that they would be prepared for life as free people.

He was the great emancipator.
Find all posts by this user
04-18-2014, 04:14 PM
Post: #6
RE: Mr. Lee
Can't say I agree with you two on this, but your both inteligent people and I respect your opinion.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
Find all posts by this user
04-18-2014, 04:30 PM
Post: #7
RE: Mr. Lee
Lee did an honorable (and illegal at the time) thing by making sure his slaves had at least a rudimentary form of education before he freed them. I think that is most benevolent as compared to Lincoln's two choices - colonization or the "root hog or die" plan.

I think Laurie made an excellent point here :
Quote: the fanatic New England abolitionists were so perfectly mad on the subject of slavery that their whole soul was filled with burning gall, and they were ever seeking an opportunity to spit...venom on the South, for the purpose of withering down her institution, even at the very hazard of shivering into fragments, our glorious Union

Slavery always provokes an emotional response. It's always better to know all the facts and come up with a long range plan. I think that's the gist of Lee's 1856 letter.

The Abolitionist's emotional fervor and foaming at the mouth over this subject caused 600,000 Americans to perish in a vicious war. All other cultures that abolished slavery did it without a drop of blood. There's something very wrong with that.

"There are few subjects that ignite more casual, uninformed bigotry and condescension from elites in this nation more than Dixie - Jonah Goldberg"
Find all posts by this user
04-18-2014, 05:47 PM
Post: #8
RE: Mr. Lee
(04-18-2014 04:30 PM)J. Beckert Wrote:  Lee did an honorable (and illegal at the time) thing by making sure his slaves had at least a rudimentary form of education before he freed them. I think that is most benevolent as compared to Lincoln's two choices - colonization or the "root hog or die" plan.

Joe, Lincoln was talking about both Southern blacks and whites.

"'Root, hog, or die' is a common American catch-phrase dating from well before 1834.[1] Coming from the early colonial practice of turning pigs loose in the woods to fend for themselves, the term is an idiomatic expression for self-reliance."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Root_hog,_or_die

Francis Carpenter wrote in Six Months at the White House,

"The famous "peace" conference, on board the River Queen, in Hampton Roads, between President Lincoln and Secretary Seward, and the Rebel commissioners Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, took place the 3d of February, 1865. A few days afterward I asked the President if it was true, as reported by the New York "Herald," that he told a 'little story' on that occasion? - 'Why,' said he, 'has it leaked out? I was in hopes nothing would be said about that, lest some oversensitive people should imagine there was a degree of levity in the intercourse between us.' He then went on to relate the circumstances which called it out. 'You see,' said he, 'we had reached and were discussing the slavery question. Mr. Hunter said, substantially, that the slaves, always accustomed to an overseer, and to work upon compulsion, and suddenly freed, as they would be if the South should consent to peace on the basis of the 'Emancipation Proclamation,' would precipitate not only themselves but the entire Southern society into irremediable ruin. No work would be done, nothing would be cultivated, and both black and whites would starve!' Said the President, 'I waited for Seward to answer that argument, but as he was silent, I at length said: 'Mr. Hunter, you ought to know a great deal better about this matter than I, for you have always lived under the slave system. I can only say, in reply to your statement of the case, that it reminds me of a man out in Illinois by the name of Case, who undertook, a few years ago, to raise a very large herd of hogs. At length he hit on the plan of planting an immense field of potatoes, and, when they were sufficiently grown, he turned the whole herd into the field, and let them have full swing, thus saving not only the labor of feeding the hogs, but also that of digging the potatoes. Charmed with his sagacity, he stood one day leaning against the fence, counting his hogs, when a neighbor came along. 'Well, well,' said he. 'Mr. Case, this is all very fine. Your hogs are doing very well just now, but you know out here in Illinois the frost comes early, and the ground freezes a foot deep. Then what are they going to do?' This was a view of the matter Mr. Case had not taken into account. Butchering-time for hogs was 'way on in December or January. He scratched his head, and at length stammered, 'Well, it may come pretty hard on their snouts, but I don't see that it will be, 'root, hog, or die!'"
Find all posts by this user
04-18-2014, 08:12 PM (This post was last modified: 04-18-2014 08:15 PM by J. Beckert.)
Post: #9
RE: Mr. Lee
That may be Linda, but what I find most telling are Lincoln's remarks - 'Why,' said he, 'has it leaked out? I was in hopes nothing would be said about that, lest some oversensitive people should imagine there was a degree of levity in the intercourse between us.'

I think there's more levity in Lincoln's statement to Stephens than actually taking the reins, preparing the slaves for freedom and giving them a hand by affording them a very basic education. I don't see that in any of Lincoln's plans.

As stated earlier, the rabid fervor to get this done is in stark contrast to Lee's ideas - the ideas of a man who knew the inner workings of slavery better than any Northern Abolitionist. He said it was a great evil and knew the end was coming. Having a well prepared plan always beats an emotional "I want it now" demand.

"There are few subjects that ignite more casual, uninformed bigotry and condescension from elites in this nation more than Dixie - Jonah Goldberg"
Find all posts by this user
04-18-2014, 08:50 PM
Post: #10
RE: Mr. Lee
(04-18-2014 08:12 PM)J. Beckert Wrote:  I think there's more levity in Lincoln's statement to Stephens than actually taking the reins, preparing the slaves for freedom and giving them a hand by affording them a very basic education. I don't see that in any of Lincoln's plans.

I don't understand that, Joe. When was Lincoln supposed to prepare them for freedom by affording them a very basic education? In the midst of that terrible war? Who knows what plans Lincoln had for his second term. Booth put an end to that.

And maybe most slaves would rather "root, hog, or die" than to spend one more day as a slave.
Find all posts by this user
04-18-2014, 09:54 PM (This post was last modified: 04-18-2014 10:21 PM by J. Beckert.)
Post: #11
RE: Mr. Lee
(04-18-2014 08:50 PM)Linda Anderson Wrote:  I don't understand that, Joe. When was Lincoln supposed to prepare them for freedom by affording them a very basic education? In the midst of that terrible war? Who knows what plans Lincoln had for his second term. Booth put an end to that.

And maybe most slaves would rather "root, hog, or die" than to spend one more day as a slave.

That's my point, Linda. Before sacrificing 600,000 lives, Lincoln had no plans to prepare them for anything but a freedom that cost that many American lives. We can't say "He might have" when Lee's words show he understood the slavery issue far better than Lincoln did five years before the war came. Lincoln's last thoughts were to give "the very intelligent" the right to vote. He had no plans to integrate them into our society as Lee had. The Abolitionist movement had a full head of steam in the 1850's. Most of it was fueled by emotion. A worst case scenario (and embarrassing for the country) would have been that slavery would have eventually died by becoming cost prohibitive due to industrial progress and ended that way. It was dying one way or another. I like Lee's ideas better.

Earlier in the thread, a few good examples of how free slaves "enjoyed" their new freedom prove that the melodramatic notions that slaves were whipped all day and raped all night are creations by those who attatch themselves emotionally to this issue and lose sight of the realities of the plight the freed slave faced with being unequipped to be released in a hostile country where true equality is still being debated 150 years later.

"There are few subjects that ignite more casual, uninformed bigotry and condescension from elites in this nation more than Dixie - Jonah Goldberg"
Find all posts by this user
04-18-2014, 10:23 PM
Post: #12
RE: Mr. Lee
Interesting thread.

Lee would have made a better President of the United States than Abraham Lincoln. Lee was the Great Emancipator, and Northern Abolitionist were BAD people (and the cause of the Civil War). Slavery was eventually going to end in due time, maybe 5, 10, 15, 20 years later so why not come up with a long range plan. Why the rush? I think those who happened to be part enslaved race at the time would have disagreed with that philosophy.


I found this great website Smile that had several of Abraham Lincoln quotes on slavery, This is my favorite:

"Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VIII, "Speech to One Hundred Fortieth Indiana Regiment" (March 17, 1865), p. 361.
Find all posts by this user
04-18-2014, 10:47 PM
Post: #13
RE: Mr. Lee
Your points are well taken, Dan, but I think you're missing the point. Can you argue that Lincoln's plans (none) were better than Lee's?

Slavery was an endangered institution here in the 1860's. Wouldn't a plan to enable those subjected to it be better than "root hog or die"?

I don't agree that those that were part of the enslaved race liked the treatment they received from their "liberators" during the push through the South. Rape, enforced labor, death, beatings...

While Lincoln's words that you quoted about slavery should resonate with everone, they really don't belie his plans to make a smooth transition, do they?

This thread is about Lee and his views on slavery. We should focus on that. Not what 21st. century views are.

"There are few subjects that ignite more casual, uninformed bigotry and condescension from elites in this nation more than Dixie - Jonah Goldberg"
Find all posts by this user
04-18-2014, 10:58 PM
Post: #14
RE: Mr. Lee
Mr. Lincoln's stance on slavery is confusing.

Early on in his political career, he is not bothered by it, but later, seemingly to advance himself politically, he seems not to care for it.

His statements regarding blacks and his plans to solve the "Negro Question," as it was called, included such brilliant ideas as the re-colonization of Africa. That worked out pretty well, with scores dying on the journey there and then more being slaughtered by indigenous Africans.

Oh, yes, let's not forget the Emancipation Proclamation, designed to set all slaves free? Wrong. Designed to keep Great Britain from entering the War on the side of the Confederacy.

Another of his ideas was to give the vote to blacks; fine, no problem in that; but only to those who fought for the Union cause and the very intelligent. Who decides who the very intelligent are? Shouldn't all free people have the vote? Enfranchise some, keep others disenfranchised. Sounds like more big government control in action.

The best illustration as to how Mr. Lincoln felt about African Americans are the negro jokes he delighted in telling his pals.

Sounds like typical politics to me.
Find all posts by this user
04-18-2014, 11:30 PM
Post: #15
RE: Mr. Lee
You've made some good points, Rick. The Church of Lincoln conveniently forgets the crude, racially themed jokes that appalled his contemporaries when he was President and the fact that when he spoke of black folks, the word he sometimes used to describe them started with an "n".

The broad brush has been used in this story for too long.

"There are few subjects that ignite more casual, uninformed bigotry and condescension from elites in this nation more than Dixie - Jonah Goldberg"
Find all posts by this user
Thread Closed 


Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 4 Guest(s)