The Forged Letter of General Robert E. Lee

Charles A. Graves

Note: Charles Alfred Graves (1850–1928) was a legal scholar and law professor at Washington and Lee University and the University of Virginia. He entered Washington College during the presidency of Robert E. Lee and took his bachelor’s, master’s, and law degrees from the school. He became dean of W&L’s law school in 1897, but left in 1899 to become professor of law at the University of Virginia. Graves became one of the charter members of The Virginia Bar Association in 1890, and it was to the VBA that he read these two papers exploring the validity of Robert E. Lee’s letter about duty that contained the famous quote, “Duty, then, is the sublimest word in our language.” Graves also presented an address, “General Lee at Lexington,” at the centennial celebration of General Lee’s birth, held at the University of Virginia, on 19 January 1907.

Charles A. Graves

The Forged Letter of General Robert E. Lee

Part 1 1914

Part 2 (Supplentary Paper) 1915