From the 30 January 1904 issue of The New York Times.


Contest Over Relic Between Philadelphia Man and Lee Family.
Special to The New York Times.

PHILADELPHIA, Penn., Jan. 29.—Martha Washington’s Bible, which had been in the Custis family for generations and which was lost by the family of Gen. Robert E. Lee forty-three years ago, is now the subject of a dispute which may be carried into the courts.

The present owner, who is George W. Kendrick, Jr., of this city, Vice President of the Union Surety and Guaranty Company, refuses to turn it over to the Lees and does not recognize their claim to it. An attorney has been consulted by a member of the family with a view to finding out whether legal proceedings can be instituted. Mr. Kendrick to-day said:

While I have had the Bible for over twenty years, I am perfectly willing to give it either to the ladies of the Mount Vernon Society or to the Smithsonian Institution at Washington. But I do not admit that Gen. Custis Lee is entitled to it any more than any other descendant of Martha Washington, and hence am unwilling to turn it over to him.

Mr. Kendrick said he bought the Bible twenty-two years ago from a man named Stearn, now dead.