Lincoln’s Election, Southern Secession: 1860 to April 1861

John Brown’s Failure

Who was Robert E. Lee, and why was he chosen?

Born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, in 1807, Lee was fifty-two when he received the call to stamp out John Brown’s rebellion. Lee came from one of the most distinguished families of the Virginia plantation aristocracy: the Lees had been active in Virginia politics for almost a century and a half. This does not necessarily mean that his road had been easy, however.


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