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    Robert E. Lee places no blame when the name of Washington College is omitted from a literary publication

    Robert E. Lee Autograph Letter Signed "R E Lee" as president of Washington College. One page, 7.75" x 9.75", Lexington, Virginia, January 21, 1869. In this letter, the former beloved Southern general and current president of Washington College notifies W. R. Abbot, the secretary and treasurer of the Educational Society at Charlottesville, Virginia, that his organizations omission of Washington College's name from "the list of the Literary Institutions, of Virginia: published in the Minutes & Reports of the Educational Association" was of no great concern. Lee, a true gentleman, deftly handles the "purely accidental" omission by writing in part:

    "I have just recd. your letter of the 18 Inst: explaining how the omission of the name of Washington College occurred, in the list of the Literary Institutions, of Virginia: published in the Minutes & Reports of the Educational Association.

    I had not noticed the omission until my attention was called to it, but was convinced at the time that it was purely accidental, knowing full well how readily such mistakes arise notwithstanding the precautions taken to prevent them. I hope therefore that you will give yourself no concern about the matter & I exceedingly regret the annoyance & trouble it has occasioned you. I shall take the earliest occasion to present your letter to the Faculty of Washington College

    Less than two years after surrendering his Confederate Army to U. S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Robert E. Lee began serving as Washington College's president, a position he enjoyed and continued doing until his death in October 1870. Following his death, the college changed its name to Washington and Lee College (Washington and Lee University today). Accompanied by the original transmittal envelope which is addressed to Abbot by Lee. The envelope exhibits the Washington College watermark, along with an oval likeness of George Washington. The letter is written on lined paper which has age-toned. Minor bleedthrough.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    8th-9th Friday-Saturday
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