Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    A signed Brady image

    Robert E. Lee Photograph Signed "R E Lee" with a Mary Custis Lee autograph letter and letter of provenance. Oval albumen print, 5.25" x 7.25", mounted to a backing board to an overall 8" x 10". The Confederate general is pictured in profile, still wearing his cadet gray uniform. Below the image Lee has place his bold signature, as witnessed by Captain R. Prosper Landry, who makes mention of it in his letter (which is also included in this lot). This classic image was taken by famed photographer Matthew Brady shortly after Lee's surrender at Appomattox and is rarely seen this large. The photograph is spotted in places, but does not detract from the image or the signature. The mounting board is heavily toned along the edges with cut corners.

    Also, a letter from Lee's daughter, Mary Custis Lee, to R. Prosper Landry. Renaud Jacques Prosper Landry was captain of the Donaldsonville Battery Volunteer Artillery and was present at Second Manassas, Antietam, Gettysburg, the siege of Petersburg, and Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House. Four pages, 5" x 8", Romancoke [Virginia], May 11, 1902, regarding a letter that he had written about her and her family. It reads, in full:

    "When I left Mrs. Behan's after my very pleasant, though too short visit to her, she gave me a large package of cards & letters to read at my leisure; which leisure was very slow in coming! I was only a week in 'New Orleans,' with every moment of my time mapped out for me, & then travelled slowly northward, stopping at 'Montgomery,' 'Savannah,' 'Charleston,' 'Richmond'; until only just now, in the quiet of my Brother's country home [Romancoke Plantation], do I find time to look over, & attend, to a very large correspondence. I was so much interested in your letter to Mrs. Behan, that though I have not the pleasure of your acquaintance, I determined to write to you, & tell you how deeply I was touched by your kind expressions, & wishes about myself, but far more so by your love and reverence for my dear Father. It is no news to me that all who followed him, adored & idolized him, but the reiteration of their devotion is always most grateful, & I cannot hear it too often. Your recollections of beautiful 'Arlington,' & of my dear old grandfather, whom I also remember as a child, interested me deeply, & I suppose there are not many living now who do remember him. The green hill overlooking the blue Potomac, & the bubbling spring at its foot, are still there, but alas! all else is changed! It is many years since I have mustered up courage to go there, though both grandfather & grandmother are buried under its oaks, & I feel that I must sometimes go & look at their graves - all I can do. And now, my dear Mr. Landry, hoping that you will be as glad to receive my letter, as I was to read yours, believe most cordially, to my Father's old soldier, very truly yours. Mary Custis Lee" The letter is toned and was formerly detached along its main vertical fold, but has since been archivally repaired. The remaining folds are weakened and separating in places along the edges.

    In addition, the response letter to Mary from Mr. Landry, which references the above photo, is also included. Two pages, 8" x 10", Donaldsonville [Louisiana], May 21, 1902. Landry writes, in full:

    "Your beautiful letter pleased me so much that I can find no words good enough to thank you for it. And yet no less could have been expected from the daughter of such a father. I need not say that my wife and daughter are as proud of it as I am. I took the liberty of showing it to such of my old comrades as I thought could appreciate its merit. It would have pleased you to hear how they admired it. I shall certainly keep it with as much care as I have kept your illustrious father's photograph, which bears his name written before my eyes with his own dear hand. I must confess that the thought of writing to you intimidated me. But after reading your letter again, I felt that you were not a stranger, but a friend - a dear friend I have never seen, and whom, alas! I may never see. For your late visit here precludes the hope of an early return on your part, while on mine, I have no right to count on the return of many months, having already outlived six years the allotted period of three score & ten. But let me assure you that I am not too old to pray that God will continue to bless you; and to know that you are happy will always rejoice the heart of your unknown friend." Weakened folds have separated slightly in places, with no loss of paper or text.

    With a clipped newspaper article, circa 1971, regarding the possible reinstatement of Lee's citizenship as voted on by Congress.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    11th-12th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,031

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 September 14 - 15 Americana & Political.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thanks a million for getting approval to sell my Civil War Hospital Death Ledger! You made them AND ME , a nice profit. You are the best!
    Ed W.,
    Mount Vernon, OH
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 November 14-16 Space Exploration Auction Featuring The Armstrong Family Collection Part IV - Dallas
    2019 November 14-16 Space Exploration Auction Featuring The Armstrong Family Collection Part IV - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $2,568,288