Re: "Lee connection"
Re: Lee museum disputes slave connection
What is the point here? Might Lee’s father have fathered an illegitimate child by ANY woman? Certainly. Lee was NOT his father and, in fact, like James Ewell Brown Stuart, the differences between the character of the father and the son were considerable. But what is the point anyway. That he fathered the child on a slave woman? That did happen and, indeed, depending upon the situation, it often brought considerable respect to the woman who birthed her master’s child. No one suggests that slavery was a moral system!
But even so, are we supposed to think less of ROBERT Lee because of HARRY Lee? Perhaps if Harry had been Robert’s son, there might be a point made that Robert had failed to inculcate in his progeny his own stated moral standards. But one can hard ly chastise the son for the sins of the father!
What I believe that we see from this is a certain pride on the part of the supposed progeny’s descendants that their ancestor was also the ancestor of Robert E. Lee. If that is the case, then the whole matter becomes considerably confusing. Do then condemn old Harry for his wicked ways? We have no reason to believe if the scenario is true that rape or even coercion was involved! Any such relationship might well have been "consensual" albeit the nature of the institution of slavery certainly did not lead to chastity on the part of either master or slave. Furthermore, there seems to be not a little pride by those claiming a relationship to the Lees that must preclude any claim that foul play resulted in their ancestor.
Finally, a great many slaves took the last names of their white owners without having any blood ties to them. An especially well cherished slave might even consider himself "part of the family" so to speak and bear that family’s name with pride. Look at how many blacks bear the last name Lee and Jackson (and one or two bear both albeit hyphenated). During my recent research into appearances by Col. John S. Mosby in newspapers during and considerably after the War, I discovered many accounts of blacks named Mosby. One must assume that their "family names" are the result of, at one time or another, belonging to a family named Mosby just as the ancestors of  Mosby’s slave, Aaron Burton must have belonged to a family named Burton.
Frankly, I am confused. Is this sort of sto ry is intended to make whites look bad for fathering offspring by a slave woman? And, if so, what does it say about the child that is the fruit of that relationship? It certainly cannot be considered a positive thing for him or her. Again, I must ask, what is the point?