View single post by ole
 Posted: Wed Dec 10th, 2008 02:28 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Posts: 2031

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I'm convinced that Lee, personally, didn't much care for slavery as a moral right. But, like many others of his time, he worried that the black man was not ready for American Civilization. In other words, he was torn between what he considered to be a moral wrong and charitable concern for the sub-human for whom he bore a responsibility.

He had owned slaves and got rid of them. Then he was given another batch in his father-in-law's will do free within five years -- after he had met the terms of the will paying off debts and passing on some monetary grants. It had to have been tough. He didn't quite get to complying exactly with the will, but he tried.

So, in effect, Lee was a slaveowner, however reluctant. The debts to be paid were largely paid by renting out the slaves in his charge (Note: not owned; in his charge.)

If he hadn't been so busy with the war, I figure he would have discharged his obligation and there would never again have been a slave on his property.

Can we say he was a reluctant slaveowner? Kinda the same as Jefferson: lost the justification, but couldn't get past the "what to do." A quandary for many more than just them.


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