Washington and Lee University

100 Years Ago


Robert E. Lee Centennial Celebration, 1907


Note: Governor Claude Augustus Swanson (1862–1939) of Swansonville, Virginia, served as governor of his home state from 1906 to 1910. As governor he was known for his dramatic efforts at improving Virginia's systems of education, transportation, and health. Swanson also served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1893–1906), the U.S. Senate (19109–1933), and U.S. Secretary of the Navy (1933–1939). He is buried in Richmond's famous Hollywood Cemetery. Governor Swanson's wife, Elizabeth Lyons Swanson (d. 1920), often received at the Executive Mansion widows and daughters of Confederate veterans, including Mary Custis Lee and her sister-in-law Mary Tab Bolling Lee, the widow of Rooney Lee. Governor Swanson issued the following proclamation on the centennial anniversary of the birth of Robert E. Lee.


[Cover of Proclamation]
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Governor's Proclamation

1807   January 19th   1907

A Proclamation on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of General Robert E. Lee, by Claude A. Swanson, Governor of Virginia.


Commonwealth of Virginia,
Governor's Office.




The nineteenth of January, nineteen hundred and seven, will be the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of General Robert E. Lee, Virginia's foremost and most favored son. C. Courteous and kindly in all his acts; brave and resolute of heart; exemplifying all Christian and kingly virtues; lofty and patriotic in purpose; heroic in achievement; endowed with a superb intellect, and an amazing genius he made his life a grand, glorious light that will illumine forever the pathway of human endeavor.

Recognizing that this great event should be properly celebrated, therefore, I, Claude A. Swanson, Governor of Virginia, do direct that all the State offices be closed on Saturday, January nineteenth, nineteen hundred and seven, and that the day be observed throughout the State as a general holiday as fixed by law, in order that just and deserved tribute may be paid to the memory of this illustrious son of Virginia.

I do further request that the Camps of Confederate Veterans, Camps of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Chapters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Patriotic and Fraternal Organizations, and the Public Schools of this State hold proper exercises commemorative of this event.

[Seal]

Given under my hand and under the Lesser Seal of the Commonwealth, at Richmond, this twelfth day of December, in the year of our Lord, one thousand nine hundred and six, and in the one hundred and thirty-first year of the Commonwealth.

Claude A. Swanson,


By the Governor:
D. L. Eggleston,
Secretary of the Commonwealth.



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