DescriptionRobert E. Lee Autograph Letter Signed "R E Lee." One page, 6.75" x 4.5" (sight), Lexington [Virginia], April 18, 1869. Sent to an unknown recipient, General Lee, at the time president of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), writes, in full: "Your dispatch recd. If my health will permit I will accompany the delegation of the Valley R.R. Compy to Baltimore." Smoothed folds. Ink bleedthrough from the verso. Small adhesive stain in the middle of the last line of text. Matted with a portrait of Lee in uniform and framed to an overall size of 19" x 17".
Lee left for Baltimore two days later at the head of a delegation to seek out investors for a line to Lexington. The following year, Col. Michael G. Harman, who had served under Lee in the 52nd Virginia Regiment, stepped down as the Valley Railroad president. The company was in need of additional funding and Harman convinced Lee to become the new president in an attempt to entice investors and to provide credibility. Lee accepted, but his tenure was short-lived. He died less than three months later.
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