Leave a comment

I have fought against the people of the North because I believed they were seeking to wrest from the South its dearest rights. But I have never cherished toward them bitter or vindictive feelings, and have never seen the day when I did not pray for them… Robert E. Lee

Lee at Manassas 150 years ago fatefully stopping the union and encouraging Lincoln to abandon all semblance of constitutional government in his quest to destroy the South

The Lees of Virginia : seven generations of an American family    New York : Oxford University Press, 1990 Paul C. Nagel Lee, Robert E. (Robert Edward), 1807-1870 Family Hardcover. xiv, 332 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.  Includes bibliographical references (p. 307-317) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Whether opposing Nathaniel Bacon and his Rebels in 1676, or condemning English colonial policy in 1776, or turning back the Union Army at the Seven Days’ battles of 1862, the descendants of Richard and Anne Lee have occupied a preeminent place in American history. They were among the first families of Virginia. Two were signers of the Declaration of Independence and several others distinguished themselves during the Revolutionary War. And one, Robert E. Lee, remains widely admired for his lofty character and military success.

In The Lees of Virginia, Paul Nagel chronicles seven generations of Lees, from the family founder Richard to General Robert E. Lee, covering over two hundred years of American history. We meet Thomas Lee, who dreamed of America as a continental empire. His daughter was Hannah Lee Corbin, a non-conformist in lifestyle and religion, while his son, Richard Henry Lee, was a tempestuous figure who wore black silk over a disfigured hand when he made the motion in Congress for Independence. Another of Thomas’ sons, Arthur Lee, created a political storm by his accusations against Benjamin Franklin. Arthur’s cousin was Light-Horse Harry Lee, a controversial cavalry officer in the Revolutionary War, whose wild real estate speculation led to imprisonment for debt and finally self-exile in the Caribbean. One of Harry’s sons, Henry Lee, further disgraced the family by seducing his sister-in-law and frittering away Stratford, the Lees’ ancestral home.

The family’s most famous son and their greatest gift to the American Republic was Robert E. Lee, a brilliant tactician whose ruling motto was self-denial and who saw God’s hand in all things. In these and numerous other portraits, Nagel discloses how, from 1640 to 1870, a family spirit united the Lees, making them a force in Virginian and American affairs.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: