Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee's Gavel, an Amazing Well-Documented Relic

Civil War: Robert E. Lee's Gavel


A wooden gavel, length 210 mm, length of head 95 mm (8.25" X 3.75"). The handle of the gavel with a late 19th century partial label, lettered in gilt "Home of Gen Lee," and with a mid 19th century dealer's label, "Gavel c.1860 from the house of General Lee," and with painted lot number "260." Some light wear and a few knocks.


A fine gavel purporting to have come from the home of General Lee, namely Arlington House, now the Robert E. Lee memorial in Arlington Cemetery. General Lee's family home had been built in 1802 in Greek revival style by Washington's step-grandson George Washington Parke Custis. Custis acquired the estate after the death of his father who had bought the land in 1778, and renamed the estate Arlington after the Custis family homestead on the eastern shore of Virginia. On George's death in 1857, he left the estate to Mary Custis Lee for her lifetime, and General Lee was the executor of the will. Lee took a 3 year absence from the army to begin the necessary agricultural improvements on the estate, and under the terms of the will freed the slaves within 5 years of George's death ... this he did on December 1862. With the start of the Civil War, Mary left the estate in May 14th 1861, and it was seized and occupied by union forces on the 24th May. It is likely that the contents were seized and stored by the Union. In early 1864 with the growing number of dead in the Civil War, the Arlington National Cemetery was created making it impossible for Lee to return to the estate, graves being put around the flower beds close to the house.


Item: 64588

Price: $6,000.00
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Robert E. Lee
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