There is a quote from R E Lee which goes "If I owned all the slaves in the South, I would free them all to avoid the war which is surely coming ". This quote is from a year before the Civil War began. R E Lee owned no slaves. Maybe that quote should be placed on a plaque below his statue instead of removing the statue.
All statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest (founder of the KKK) should be melted down and used to make toilets.
"R E Lee owned no slaves."
FALSE. That's a popular historical myth.
No American here so far has seemed able to notice it.
It's true that Robert E Lee owned no slaves AFTER the Civil War, but no one owned any slaves then.
Caissad4's comment wrongly implies that Robert E Lee never owned any slaves
or, at least, that he owned no slaves when the Civil War began.
After they lost the Civil War, white Southerners needed to embrace Robert E. Lee
(though not Jefferson Davis) as a tragic fallen hero (somewhat like Germans used
to embrace Erwin Rommel). There's ample mythology about Robert E. Lee,
including exaggerating or lying about his supposed opposition to slavery.
_Lee Considered: General Robert E. Lee and Civil War History_
by Alan Nolan is a good place to start unlearning what you assume you know.
Alan Nolan points out that Robert E. Lee did NOT free his last slave until well into the Civil War.
(I don't recall the exact year, most likely 1863 or 1864.)
"Five myths about Robert E. Lee"
"Myth NO. 1 Lee was opposed to slavery
After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee attempted to present himself as always having been opposed to slavery...
The historical record, alas, doesn’t support his claim. Lee owned or managed slaves f
or over thirty years — in April 1861, he oversaw roughly 200 slaves — and always
sought to maximize the value of his human property. Lee may have complained
about the “peculiar institution,” but he and his family benefited from it tremendously.
Before the war, Lee held two somewhat different ideas about slavery in his mind at the same time.
He conceded that slavery “was a moral and political evil in any country,” but also
believed that slavery was ordained by God, and was part of the necessary historical
development of African Americans. In January 1865, several months before the
end of the war, Lee wrote that he believed “the relation of master and slave,
controlled by humane laws and influenced by Christianity and an enlightened
public sentiment [was] the best that can exist between the white and black races…”
To sum up, Robert E Lee was a slave owner, whose wealth came largely from his slaves.
After the Civil War, he misrepresented (at best) or lied about his earlier support for slavery.