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    Description

    Robert E. Lee Autograph Letter Signed "R E Lee". One page, 7" x 9.25", Lexington, Virginia; March 28, 1866. A letter of introduction for former Confederate Provost Marshal Cornelius Boyle, addressed to former Confederate Captain Matthew Fontaine Maury: "Dr. Cornelius Boyle formerly of Washington City proposes to visit Mexico. You are no doubt acquainted with Dr. Boyle by reputation, if not personally. He entered the Confederate Service at the beginning of the war, & was appointed to the command of a Battn, comprised of companies from the Dis of Columbia, with the rank of Major. He was subsequently selected by Genl. J.E. Johnston as the Provost Marshal Genl of the Army of N. Virg., & acted in that capacity to the end of the war with intelligence, firmness, & discretion. I regret the necessity he feels under of leaving the Country, but his property in Washington having been taken, he thinks it necessary to seek a new home."

    Boyle had been barred entry in to Washington because he had conducted espionage during the war. His land had been confiscated, and he was denied the opportunity to pay taxes in order to regain ownership. He turned to Mexico for an opportunity to regain his fortunes. Emperor Maximilian gave encouragement to such ventures, and suggested slavery would be accepted. Boyle set sail from New York in 1866 with Robert E. Lee's letter of introduction. After the war, Maury had gone to Mexico and was serving as the Imperial Commissioner of Immigration for Emperor Maximilian. It is unclear if Boyle ever used Lee's letter of introduction, since it remained with Boyle's papers. Ex. Boyle Family Papers.

    Condition: Lightly toned with foxing along left side, and with usual mail folds. Ink remains bold, throughout.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2017
    19th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
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