Monday, May 1, 2017

Another welcome home for Lee, Traveler

Via Billy
The men in white robes at the 1924 dedication of the General Lee statue were the Richmond Light Infantry Blues, a Virginia state militia. 

I understand that Charlottesville City Council might give away the Robert E. Lee statue if there is no buyer. Please put my name on the list in that event.        

As a resident of Chesterfield County, I’m not aware of any statues in Chesterfield — certainly nothing as imposing as the magnificent portrayal of Lee and Traveler.

Our front yard in Bon Air, a Richmond suburb, will nicely accommodate the statue.

The decision to remove and even get rid of the statue is absolutely baffling to me. What if, nearly 100 years from now, Virginians look at Richmond statues and decide they are an embarrassment? Would statues of our recent Richmond tennis star Arthur Ashe, famed tap dancer Bill Robinson and the planned statue of Maggie Walker, history-making banker, be offered for sale? Given away?
Like the council members, I am embarrassed by our history of slavery. But I grew up with a grandmother whose mother’s first husband was killed in the Civil War. We proudly have his diploma from the University of Virginia’s medical school hanging in our home, because that is a touch of history in our family.

I am named for our only family Civil War hero, Molly Tynes. Our granddaughter in Waynesboro, Molly Tynes, is named for her also. There are a monument and a highway marker to Molly in Tazewell.

Molly, a young woman, is remembered and honored for riding by horseback 44 miles and over five mountains at night — a 12-hour ride — to warn Wytheville that Northern forces were on the way to destroy the railroad. Molly saved Wytheville from the Yankees. After many years of bragging that my great-great-aunt bravely helped save Southwest Virginia, am I to go to Tazewell and insist that the monument and sign honoring her be removed?

Are we to be the Taliban of Virginia, destroying art works of history just because, now, we don’t like the history?

Robert E. Lee and Traveler are welcome in our front yard.

Nancy Tynes St. Clair Finch, Chesterfield County


  1. What makes the author believe that her front yard would be a safe haven for the General and Traveler? Once the American Taliban exhaust our public monuments they will certainly seek a new supply of inanimate objects that enrage them. A small detail like "Private Property" wouldn't bother them at all.

  2. Bravo, Nancy Tynes.
    - Charlie