Hattip to Michael W. Lively. It has become fashionable to denigrate Robert E. Lee and to call for the removal of all statues honoring him. 57 years ago President Dwight Eisenhower answered such an attack:
August 1, 1960
Mr. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dear Mr. President:
At the Republication Convention I heard you mention that you have the pictures of four (4) great Americans in your office, and that included in these is a picture of Robert E. Lee.
I do not understand how any American can include Robert E. Lee as a person to be emulated, and why the President of the United States of America should do so is certainly beyond me.
The most outstanding thing that Robert E. Lee did, was to devote his best efforts to the destruction of the United States Government, and I am sure that you do not say that a person who tries to destroy our Government is worthy of being held as one of our heroes.
Will you please tell me just why you hold him in such high esteem?
Leon W. Scott