<br /> Lee Letter: wl115

Washington and Lee University

Sender: William H. Hope
Recipient: Robert E.Lee

Dear Sir

I find the following in the proceedings of Congress of yesterday:

The Arlington Heights Property

Mr. Ward, (rep) of N.Y., made a statement to the House that he had received numerous letters from friends and relatives of deceased soldiers buried in the cemetery of Arlington Heights as to the title the government had to the property, fearing that the bones of the soldiers there might revert to the heirs of the arch-traitors. He had addressed a communication to the Secretary of War on the subject, and had received an answer which he deemed of sufficient public importance to read.

The letter from the Secretary of War was read, stating that at a sale of lands for unpaid taxes on the 11th of January, 1864, the Arlington estate, including the grounds referred to, had been bidden for the United States for $26,860 and afterwards and turned over to the military authorities. The certificate of sale was in the hands of the of the United Sates Tax Commissioner at Alexandria, but would soon be placed on file in the Treasury department.

Probably it is unnecessary for me to inform you that according to the laws of your State any property sold for taxes can be redeemed by the owner upon the payment of the taxes and cost of sale any time within three years from the day on which it was sold.

There is yet time to redeem the noble estate of Arlington, and save it from the disgrace of becoming a grave yard and asylum for lazy negroes. Can your friends here assist you in any way?

Respy.

Wm. H. Hope
11 Broad Street Room 14

Notes:

Robert E. Lee CollectionLeyburn Library, Washington and Lee University

Endorsed by Lee: “Wm H. Hope In relation to Arlington Ansd: 5 Apl.”