Dudley to R.E. Lee: “____you and the horse you rode in on!”

President Dudley is hell-bent on eliminating all references to Robert E. Lee from the campus of W&L.  And now that Lee has been almost completely erased, Dudley is going after Traveller. 

That’s right.  We’re not exaggerating!  Robert E. Lee’s beloved equestrian companion, who served with Lee through some of our nation’s most historic battles, and who gave Lee much-needed comfort through afternoon rides in his post-war years in Lexington, is the latest victim of Dudley’s cancel campaign. 

This is getting ridiculous.  Let’s recap the actions that Dudley has orchestrated in his effort to purge W&L of any association with Lee: 

  • Removed Lee’s portrait from Lee Chapel (along with the famous Charles Wilson Peale portrait of George Washington) 
  • Removed the Lexington Garden Club plaque outside of Lee Chapel due to its reference to Lee 
  • Removed from Lee Chapel all plaques referencing Lee 
  • Initiated the practice of closing the gates in Lee Chapel to block the view of the Recumbent Statue 
  • Supported the movement to remove Lee’s name from Washington & Lee (which failed to pass the Board of Trustees) 
  • Renamed Lee Chapel to “University Chapel 
  • Removed the images of George Washington and Robert E. Lee from graduates’ diplomas 
  • Cancelled Founders’ Day 
  • Ordered the construction of a wall to permanently obscure the Recumbent Statue 
  • Removed two plaques in Payne Hall marking the location of Lee’s first office and the spot where Lee was sworn in as president of Washington College 
  • Removed the plaque from Traveller’s stall adjacent to the President’s house 

As if that’s not enough, Dudley now seeks to remove Traveller’s grave marker outside of Lee Chapel.  For decades, this simple marker has been visited by children bearing apples for Lee’s horse, while other well-wishers have placed pennies on the site in recognition of the storied role that Traveller played in our nation’s history. 

If Dudley’s goal is to rid W&L of Robert E. Lee once and for all, he should at least have the decency to be honest about it.  Instead, he has conducted a mostly covert offensive, rarely inviting the input of alumni or other stakeholders. 

We call upon the Board of Trustees to stop the insanity.  Robert E. Lee’s place of honor on campus must be restored.  The same goes for the horse he rode in on. 

For more information, we encourage you to read the following story from today’s special edition of The W&L Spectator:  http://www.wluspectator.com/home/2023/7/12/traveller-plaque-on-stables-removed-grave-marker-to-be-replaced 

Thank you for your support. 

The Generals Redoubt 

“Everything faded into mist.  The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth.”  George Orwell,1984 

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