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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Lee, Robert E. (1807-1870) to Sidney Smith Lee

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09257 Author/Creator: Lee, Robert E. (1807-1870) Place Written: s.l. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 30 June 1848 Pagination: 4 p.

Having returned from service in the Mexican War just a day before, Lee writes to his brother Sidney Smith Lee of his homecoming and other family news. "Here I am once again, my dear Smith, perfectly surrounded by this Mama & her precious children, who seem to devote themselves to staring at the furrows in my face and the white hairs in my head. It is not surprising that I am hardly recognizable to the young eyes around me perfectly unknown to the youngest. But some of the older ones gaze with astonishment & wonder & seem at a loss to reconcile what they see , to what was pictured in their imaginations - I find them too much grown & all well, & I have much cause for thankfulness & gratitude to that Good God, who has once more united us."

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