Primary Resource

Letter from Robert E. Lee to Captain Wagner (May 4, 1868)

In this letter to a man identified only as Captain Wagner, Robert E. Lee, president of Washington College, writes that rumors of a potential lynching are groundless.

Transcription from Original

"Washington College,

"Lexington, Virginia, May 4, 1868.

"Captain Wagner, Commissioner District,

"Lexington, Virginia.

"Sir: Upon investigation of reports which you communicated to me yesterday afternoon, I can find no foundation for the apprehension that the students of

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Washington College contemplate any attack upon the man confined in jail for shooting Mr. — Friday night. On the contrary, I have been assured by members of the faculty and individual students that they have heard no suggestion of the kind, and they believe that no such intention has been entertained or now exists. I think, therefore, the reports made to you are groundless.

"Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

"R. E. Lee."