10 responses... add one

It would be better to flog Neo-Cons with it if they were direct from Marse Robert.
Light Horse Harry was a ne’er do well and that he visited the slave quarters after hours in hardly shocking.
He did do good work in the Revolution but beyond that there is little about the man to laud.

We look to the past for inspiration as much as for dry facts.
you yourself have often put people forward as examples to inspire and to emulate and honor.
If we didn’t feel the need to laud past people we’d never bother to build statues to them.

This sort of situation is probably far more common than many Americans, black or white, recognize today. The Custis men were somewhat infamous in their day for their close, er, relations with female slaves, and George W. P. Custis, Lee’s father-in-law, was even the subject of a bad pun made about it that reportedly found its way into the Congressional Record.

As you suggest, these revelations are really only troublesome for folks who choose to see historical figures as pure and unblemished heroes — or villains, as is sometimes the case. For the rest of us, who understand that people 150 years ago were just as complex as people are today, it doesn’t cause nearly as much indigestion.

A friend of mine did research on his Irish ancestry and found out that he was descended from someone who was a collaborator with the British who participated in the eviction of poor tenant farmers during the Famine, some of whom may have starved to death. He told me some of the people in the village his ancestor was from still were angry at the collaborator, although not at my friend.

I wonder how it might feel to be the African American descendant of a slave owner or defender of the slave republic.

My family tree consists entirely of petty criminals, alcoholics, an occasional suicide and a few mental patients. It’s colorful! But if I thought heredity was destiny I wouldn’t get up in the morning.

Back in the Kennedy years when genealogy was all the rage among Irish Americans tracing their heritage back to the High Kings, my mom used to laugh and say “If we weren’t bogtrotters, rebels and horse thieves why would we have bothered to come over to America?”

People still try to hide that fact as if someone is a pure race in america , the land of the free, and most amalglamated nation in the world . The first spoil of any war is the women . I, am a direct descendant of Robert e. Lee and a slave named Sarah. My greatgrandmother , Bertha Ward of Altivista Va, is the daughter of a slave Named Sarah , who was a daughter , or herself had children by Lee. I know it was a part of my families heritage , and still remember my family being sued by the smithsonian for the last authentic dress uniform owned by Lee in the 60/s MS.bertha could pass as white and had 12 children by James Ward . My grandfather Sam , his brothers William Raymond sisters that I can remember Pilot Gracie Joiuce, Mary , Mildred, . I cant remember them all , but it will come to me soon.Grandma bertha owned the laundryma, general store and more in Altivista , and we nerver worried about the whites , because , the woman could pass as my greatgrandmother could for white. People feel ashamed that there descendants took part in the rapes a pillage of the original europeans that had come here . you must check history and see they openly admit they could not deal with the new enviroments , and the rich originally didnt do no work in Europe no way . As a matter of fact , white women did not come to the new lands for close to 15-20- yrs after the men set foot here. So what do you conceive that the next step was . Please read G.M. James 3- novels on sex and race , and see the laws Virginia , the first colony started. Check out how the quadroon, a mulatoe repregnated by another european as to increase the chances of passing white was the most sought after slave . Don,y be ashamed as people hope you are of your heritage . Just remember , we are descendants of the ONLY people that never asked to come here. Never forget that .Remember I,m Allen Ward , descendants of James ,and Bertha Ward of Altivista Virginia . Ms, Bertha was a direct descendant of Robert E. Lee. Oh yeah another great aunt was Sarah , she died very youngPlease feel free to contact me as I can find out lost relatives . Been 30 yrs since ,I,ve been to Altivista Virginia.

Mr. Ward,

I stumbled across your post this morning as I became curious about the subject of Robert E. Lee and black descendants. You see, I too was told by my family researcher cousin Sheila that I am a direct descendant of the General through my great-grandmother Sarah Virginia whose grandmother was also named Sarah. My great-grand mother who was probably a octaroon or quadrooon, bears a striking resemblance to the General. I remember reading that the Gordons of Scotland and the Lees were cousins. I’m not exactly sure but I believe my great-great-grandmother was of Gordon descent as well. I would love to hear more about your connection to the General. If you still receive correspondences via this link, please contact me at trackula70@yahoo.com.

Looking forward to the exchange,


Join the Conversation