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1868 Washington College Report Card Signed by Robert E. Lee

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1868 Washington College Report Card Signed by Robert E. Lee

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Despite his dedication and lofty station as patriarch of the defeated Confederacy, Robert E. Lee was universally esteemed in the re-uniting nation of the late 1860s. Following the surrender at Appomattox, Lee was essentially without a means of income. A host of suitors emerged in the form of insurance companies, wealthy railroad companies and such. But the venerable Lee, in his patrician bearing, declined all offers, not deigning to become a compensated figurehead. Shortly, however, he was offered the presidency of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia. To such a position, he believed his promise of contribution was worthy and he accepted the assignment. There he remained until his demise in 1870. And it’s from that brief period that he signed this scholastic report card. The student, one "R. C. Morrison," fared admirably in the winter semester of 1868, as validated by Lee’s signature. Provided are Mr. Morrison’s performances in three courses to indicate his qualitative grades as well as ranking within his classes. 

The all-consuming allure in this piece, though, is the general’s signature which appears in the document’s lower right. The medium, measuring 8" x 9-3/4", is blank-backed and though it is compact-folded with several minor stress punctures at the junctions, none of these handling anomalies detract from the written or printed text.

Like the man who penned it, this writing is a masterpiece. Responsibly scribed, and remaining clean and unblemished, the "R. E. Lee" signature is fully "9" in every respect.

Immediately after Lee’s passing, the school’s trustees adopted the name Washington & Lee University – and not simply in homage to Lee’s mystique in the lore of the South. Instead, he was profoundly instrumental in elevating the quality of the college. By his efforts, great strides were taken to found that academy’s schools of Law and Journalism. Indeed, Robert E. Lee, in his concluding years, was no benign officeholder, but instead a dynamic figure in the advancement of that fine institution.       

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Auction End: 06-Oct-08  Post Views: 2775

500  Price; $0.00 – $2,000.00




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