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|Lee once wrote that Slavery was a "moral & political evil." Though his views on race, like 99% of 19th century Americans (South and North), would be considered racist by 21st century standards, I don't believe there is any question that Lee was opposed to the institution of slavery. Lee would never have supported something he viewed as morally evil. He, like many Southerners, felt trapped by a system no one really wanted. Lee would likely have agreed with the words of Thomas Jefferson: “We have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is on one scale, and self-preservation in the other.” He would have also agreed with his father-in-law, whose slaves he inherted, when he wrote that slavery was “a curse upon their section by the folly of their ancestors.” This, of course, does not excuse the blight of slavery, but we must be careful of "presentism" - judging 19th century men by 21st century standards.