Two (2) Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) signed documents as President of Washington College, Lexington, VA. 1st item: Signed letter from Lee to Mr. Benjamin L. Willingham, Allendale, S.C., dated June 28, 1870, reading "Dear Sir, I have the pleasure of communicating to you the action of the Faculty of Washington College commending your son Calder B. Willingham for his regular attendance upon his college duties, and for his industry and improvement in his studies during the late se[s]sion. With best wishes for his future welfare, I am, Respy. R E Lee President". 9 1/8" H x 7 7/8" W. 2nd item: Signed note from Lee, dated December 14, 1868, reading "Exercises for the day are suspended R E Lee Washington College". 7 1/2" H x 7 3/4" W. Obituaries for Elizabeth Martha Baynard Willingham (1830-1887), wife of Benjamin d'Ion Lawton Willingham (1829-1898), dated July 18, 1887, and for her mother Martha Sarah Chaplin Baynard (1805-1889), circa April 23, 1889, together with an article titled "Family Reunion", circa May 11, 1892, from the "Atlanta Constitution", attached en verso. Housed under glass in a gilt wood frame. Framed - 20 5/8" H x 14" W. Note: The "Family Reunion" article describes Benjamin L. Willingham, Esq. as a man of "splendid physique and commanding appearance, [he] is as polite as a Chesterfield, and active in business as if he has scarcely attained middle life. This remarkable man has reared nine boys, and yesterday all of them dined at their father's table". The article states that Calder B. Willingham is "a cotton factor and commission merchant in Macon, Ga., and is known as one of the most benevolent men in the state". Provenance: Private Maryville, TN collection. (Additional high-resolution photos are available at www.caseantiques.com.)
Overall good condition. Lee signatures and overall writing in strong, clear condition. Toning and foxing spots, surface of letters. Traces of old tape surrounding perimeter of letters, en verso. Three pieces of white archival tape across top of each letter, original intended to secure letters to matte. Two tears, largest 3/4", left and right edges of 1868 memo.