02 December 2015

Lee Chapel - Shrine of the South & Dedicated to the Service of Almighty God

Lee’s burial site was not intended to be a *Lost Cause shrine to the Confederacy and the flags that adorned the space, before they were removed last year, only arrived in the 1930s. ~ *Kevin Levin at Civil War Memory
Well, not exactly. Actually, one might make an argument that Lee's burial site was indeed intended, at least in the mind of many, "to be a Lost Cause shrine to the Confederacy."And one does not have to look to "Lost Cause apologists" to support that argument. Simply examining the historical evidence objectively will suffice.

Per the Encyclopedia Virginia:
Lee Chapel, whose spired clock tower rises above the tree-shaded campus of Washington and Lee University (formerly Washington College) in Lexington, Virginia, is the final resting place of Confederate general Robert E. Lee and is popularly known as "The Shrine of the South." 
And, as history clearly shows, there most definitely was a connection to the "Lost Cause." Again, per the Encyclopedia Virginia:
A ceremony at the chapel on January 19, 1872—Lee's birthday—featured an address by Jubal A. Early in which the former Confederate general argued for Lee's "marvelous ability and boldness as a military commander." The speech was delivered in the context of arguments among former Confederates over who was to blame for Confederate defeat in the Civil War (and especially the defeat at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863) and was a landmark event in the creation of the so-called Lost Cause view of the war.
And there's more from the same source:
Lee's tomb and statue were venerated from the moment of their creation—in line with Lee's status as the ultimate hero in the Lost Cause interpretation of the Civil War . . .  the chapel and its grounds continue to serve as a site for important collegiate and civic events, and to honor the legacy of its namesake.
And yet more:
1928 - The United Daughters of the Confederacy, in conjunction with Washington and Lee University, open a museum in the Lee Chapel basement.
And, moreover, were it not for the fine ladies of the UDC, Lee Chapel as we know it today would not even exist. And don't many who are on the cleansing crusade consider the UDC one of the guardians of "the Lost Cause?" 

All this being said, if one is really concerned about the original intention for the Chapel, then I would have to assume one would be all for supporting Lee's original motivations, which he expressed in his 1868 President's report:
“The completion of the new chapel, which has recently been dedicated to the service of Almighty God, is a pleasing as well as useful addition to the College buildings.” ~ Robert E. Lee
So, take your pick about the intended use of Lee Chapel - a Shrine to the South, the Confederacy and the Lost Cause or, a building dedicated to the service of Almighty God. 

*I inserted that link for context. It was not part of the original quote.


Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

And, quite frankly, I have to wonder if Levin's ever been to Lee Chapel. He made the following remark in his comments section:

"there are no explicit symbols of the Confederacy beyond Lee."

Is that so? No, it's not. As soon as you enter the double doors to the Chapel, this is the first thing you see:


Anonymous said...

Well, maybe it is a shrine to the Victorious Cause of the Republic, you reckon?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Support your reckonin' partner.

jessie sanford said...

Anonymous says "Victorious Cause of the Republic" and what cause would that be, murder, invasion destruction of our Constitution is that the cause you are referring to?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Jessie - I would hasten to add that many soldiers in the Union Army were fighting for one thing and one thing only, the maintenance of the Union. Most of them served honorably and should be remembered with honor. I don't like the broad brush treatment of Union soldiers any more than I do that of Southern soldiers. They were all Americans and, after the WBTS, came together and became the greatest nation in the history of mankind.

Champ Livingston said...

When was the Constitution destroyed?

ropelight said...

When the federal government started ignoring the 10th amendment, Chump.

Champ said...

When did they start ignoring the 10th?

ropelight said...

Chump asked, "When did they start ignoring the 10th?"

In the instant before they began usurping the rights of the states and the people. The 10th amendment reads:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

The Founding Fathers were well aware of the arbitrary power a central authority could and would inflict on subordinate governments, especially representative ones like the English Colonies which had to fight a Revolutionary War to escape the tyranny of an hereditary monarch and gain their independence. The Founders were also keenly aware of the almost irresistible tendency of organized bureaucracies -governments especially - to expand at the expense of those they were created to serve.

Attempts had been made from the outset to limit the power of an American central authority and appeared prominently in the Articles of Confederation:

"Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled."

The US Constitution is in large measure an attempt by the states to create an effective central government but to limit its grasp and size to specific powers and responsibilities which would never threaten the rights of the states or the freedoms of the American people. The Founders intended their new federal government to be ever the servant of the states and the people, never their master.

When the federal government first exceeded its legitimate authority the Constitution ceased to be the inviolate law of the land and became a cloudy mirror upon which successive tyrants reflected their own priorities at the expense of those it was created to serve and protect.

Anonymous said...

Practically every Southern Capitol was captured, occupied, and garrisoned by Lincoln's orders, and he installed puppet governments, creating Vassal states. If a state is not sovereign, then it must be subjugated to another government, which is called a Vassal state. The legally elected government officials were in exile or incarcerated.

During Reconstruction, the police and courts were suspended, some elected officials were not allowed to hold office, elected Congressmen were not allowed a seat in Washington, and the states were ruled by a military dictator. Residents were taxed out of their homes.

June 13, 1861. Jefferson City, Missouri, occupied.
Sep. 17, 1861. Arrest of Legislators in Annapolis, Maryland.
Feb. 25, 1862. Nashville, Tennessee, occupied.
Aug. 5, 1862. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, occupied.
July 3, 1863. Martial Law in Delaware.
July 17, 1863. Jackson, Mississippi, occupied.
Sept. 10, 1863. Little Rock, Arkansas, occupied.
July 5, 1864. Habeas Corpus Suspended in Kentucky.
Sept. 2, 1864. Atlanta, Georgia, occupied.
Feb. 17, 1865. Columbia, South Carolina, occupied.
April 3, 1865. Richmond, Virginia, occupied.
April 12, 1865. Montgomery, Alabama, occupied.
April 13, 1865. Raleigh, North Carolina, occupied.
June 25, 1865. Austin, Texas, occupied.
Tallahassee, Florida, not captured

Champ Livingston said...

Why yes those capitols were occupied since they were in rebellion against the authority of the US Government when those states refused the outcome of the election of 1860 which was Constitutional.

Also could you expand on your idea that people were taxed out of their homes. I have never heard of that before...could you explain more...or provide some additional resources for this claim.

ropelight said...

OK, Chump, ever stop to think it was the US Government which violated the Constitution and illegally raised an invasion army to war against some of the states which created it, states which retained their sovereignty and which sought only to voluntarily withdraw from a union they had voluntarily joined? I'll bet the notion never crossed your mind.

There was nothing illegal about secession, the illegal act was the suppression of it by military force.

Additionally, the Confederate States did not "refuse" the outcome of the 1860 election, they just refused to remain part of a union so thoroughly corrupt as to elect the leader of a mob of hysterical abolitionists to the presidency, as was their right.

Rather than ask someone else to educate you, why don't you make the effort to inform yourself on the peculiar economic restrictions and political limitations inflicted on citizens of the defeated Confederate states, like the imposed necessity of paying a fee to the federally appointed military governor for the privilege of continuing to live in your home, or to run a family business which had been in operation for several generations. Or preventing previous office holders from seeking elected office, or denying citizens the right to vote, own land, or speak out on community issues.

Burning homes, farms, bridges and mills are another topic you might look into. Or the kidnapping and holding for ransom the children of Confederate soldiers.

For starters you might check out the infamous career of Beast Butler, also know as 'Spoons' for his habit of pinching the silverware as he passed by Confederate homes.

Anonymous said...

The land tax was called the "Direct Tax" - look under Direct Tax Act for 1861 and 1862, Direct Tax sale, Direct Tax Commissioners, and 2nd Confiscation Act of 1862.

The following is on the American Bar Assoc. website - titled

An 1861 direct tax on each state and subsequent acts of forfeiture for the non-payment of the Federal tax led to 76,775 acres on Port Royal and St. Helena Island being place for sale due to delinquent taxes. Through the Direct Tax Sale Commission, the Federal government itself made claim to over 60,296 acres, but individuals bought the remaining 16,479 acres. Half of this acreage was purchased on St. Helena Island by Edward S. Philbrick, a missionary from Brookline, Massachusetts. Freedmen were able to pool resources and purchase 2,000 acres... Though later challenged, these tax sale titles were upheld.

In 1865 former Gov. Henry Wise was unable to reclaim Rolleston, his plantation outside Norfolk. He was told that he had abandoned that residence when he moved his family to another plantation.

More details in an article called "Henry Wise, The Final Years"

It took much longer for Henry Wise to get Rolleston back. The issue of ownership was complicated by the fact that he and his brother jointly owned the property. John had gladly taken the oath and started ... to make his claim. He died in 1866... and brother Henry quickly put his claim forward. The Bureau stalled his effort for another two years and then gave up. An outbreak of small pox on the farm helped convince the federal authorities that the plantation wasn't worth keeping. Henry reclaimed the property on December 15, 1868, and promptly sold it.

The full title of the Freedmen's Bureau was "The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands." When the Federal tax, not the state tax, wasn't paid, then the Federal government seized it. Arlington House and the Freedmen's Village is one example of this. Search "Abandoned lands" for 1865 and 1866. The Bureau issued Circulars regarding policies when large numbers of land owners tried to reclaim their lands.

Champ Livingston said...

First off those lands were forfeited by those owners when the sided with the seceding states and abandoned those lands when the Union army arrived in the area out of fear. That is simply the price one pays for secession. They didn't pay their taxes which is a Constitutional right of the government to collect...as was the tariff. However, under Pres. Johnson, those ex-confederates were able to petition him for a pardon of sorts and reclaim their lands...usually at the expense of blacks who then occupied it.

I suppose if these people didn't want this problem they should have not voted for secession.

Champ Livingston said...

So refusing to remain in a corrupt Union is the same thing as refusing the outcome of the election. Had Breckenridge won for the southern democrats, could the North have claimed the same thing? I bet the south would have cried foul like they did when the North touted states rights to not enforce the new FSA in 1850 which, in part, forced individual citizens to help slave catchers obtain runaway slaves.

The Federal Government didn't raise an army for invasion, it raised an army to put down a rebellion against its constitutional authority in SC...which it had the right to do.

You said the following: " like the imposed necessity of paying a fee to the federally appointed military governor for the privilege of continuing to live in your home, or to run a family business which had been in operation for several generations. Or preventing previous office holders from seeking elected office, or denying citizens the right to vote, own land, or speak out on community issues."

Sounds like what the white south did to ex-slaves for nearly a century following the war...with the obvious few tweaks to the language.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Champ - one may debate the wisdom of secession in 1861, but the historical record is quite clear that the original colonies viewed the Union as voluntary and more than a few would never have agreed to the constitution if they'd believed this was not so.

Therefore this was not exactly a "price paid". Rather, it would be a more accurate assessment to say it was a "punishment exacted."

That's an important distinction.

ropelight said...

RGW, don't confuse Chump with facts. His mind is closed, he's abandoned reason and continues to spout ignorance and prejudice as though they were revealed wisdom. He's no more likely to see beyond the standard Yankee excuses for their illegal and barbaric war than he is to study the topics at issue.

Champ Livingston said...

George Washington, president of the Constitutional Convention did not view the Union as voluntary in a letter to Hancock in 1783.

I am sure you are familiar with that document.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Washington's influence and opinion were obviously important. However, Virginia's ratifying document states:

"the People of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will"

Other states included similar proclamations.

Jefferson's first inaugural:

"If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it."

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them . . . " ~ The Declaration of Ind.

And when New England threatened to secede over the Louisiana purchase, Jefferson responded:

“God bless them both & keep them in the union if it be for their good, but separate them, if it be better.”

I could go on, but suffice it to day the idea of a voluntary union has a very early genesis.

Champ Livingston said...

So then the question must be asked as to what the Federal Government did to injure any state in the south prior to secession?

ropelight said...

Street gangs and the Cosa Nostra are 2 examples of organizations which refuse on pain of death to allow members who voluntarily joined to leave any other way than in a coffin.

The States never envisioned the federal government they approved would ever turn against it's creators and subjugate them by force of arms.

Abraham Lincoln's War Against Southern Independence was nothing less than a American Coup d'etat dressed up in false feathers and sold to the victors as a benevolent crusade worthy of their sacrifice (which was rather minimal compared to what the South had to endure during the war and after during so-called Reconstruction, which was actually the wholesale looting and exploitation of an exhausted and conquered people.

Anonymous said...

Opinion of U. S. Attorney-General Black upon the Powers of the President.
November 20, 1860.

Whether Congress has the constitutional right to make war against one or more States, and require the Executive of the Federal Government to carry it on by means of force to be drawn from the other States, is a question for Congress Itself to consider. It must be admitted that no such power is expressly given; nor are there any words in the Constitution which imply it...

All these provisions are made to protect the States, not to authorize an attack by one part of the country upon another; to preserve their peace, and not to plunge them into civil war.

Our forefathers do not seem to have thought that war was calculated "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." There was undoubtedly a strong and universal conviction among the men who framed and ratified the Constitution, that military force would not only be useless, but pernicious as a means of holding the States together.

If it be true that war cannot be declared, nor a system of general hostilities carried on by the central government against a State, then it seems to follow that an attempt to do so would be ipso facto an expulsion of such State from the Union. Being treated as an alien and an enemy, she would be compelled to act accordingly. And if Congress shall break up the present Union by unconstitutionally putting strife and enmity, and armed hostility, between different sections of the country, instead of the "domestic tranquility" which the Constitution was meant to insure, will not all the States be absolved from their Federal obligations? Is any portion of the people bound to contribute their money or their blood to carry on a contest like that?

The right of the General Government to preserve itself in its whole constitutional vigor by repelling a direct and positive aggression upon its property or its officers, cannot be denied. But this is a totally different thing from an offensive war to punish the people for the political misdeeds of their State governments, or to prevent a threatened violation of the Constitution, or to enforce an acknowledgment that the government of the United States is supreme. The States are colleagues of one another, and if some of them shall conquer the rest and hold them as subjugated provinces, it would totally destroy the whole theory upon which they are now connected.