ERIC Number: ED444917
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
General Robert E. Lee (1807-70) and Philanthropist George Peabody (1795-1869) at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, July 23-Aug. 30, 1869.
Parker, Franklin; Parker, Betty J.
This paper discusses the chance meeting at White Sulphur Springs (West Virginia) of two important public figures, Robert E. Lee and George Peabody, whose rare encounter marked a symbolic turn from Civil War bitterness toward reconciliation and the lifting power of education. The paper presents an overview of Lee's life and professional and military career followed by an overview of Peabody's life and career as a banker, an educational philanthropist, and one who endowed seven Peabody Institute libraries. Both men were in ill health when they visited the Greenbrier Hotel in the summer of 1869, but Peabody had not long to live and spent his time confined to a cottage where he received many visitors. Peabody received a resolution of praise from southern dignitaries which read, in part: "On behalf of the southern people we tender thanks to Mr. Peabody for his aid to the cause of education...and hail him benefactor." A photograph survives that shows Lee, Peabody, and William Wilson Corcoran sitting together at the Greenbrier. Reporting that Lee's own illness kept him from attending Peabody's funeral, the paper describes the impressive and prolonged international services in 1870. It also discusses historic events around the time of Peabody's death, especially the "Trent Affair," and Prime Minister Gladstone and Queen Victoria's gratefulness to Peabody for his housing gift in relieving the conditions of the poor of London. Author research information and a list of publications on Peabody are included. (BT)
Publication Type: Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A