Monday, August 14, 2023

Washington And Lee University Beats A Dead Horse


Traveller, the horse which dutifully served Confederate General Robert E. Lee, has long been an integral part of campus culture at Washington and Lee University. In fact, the famous steed, known for his remarkable courage and stamina, is buried on the school’s grounds. He is literally part of the campus. And well he should be. The brilliant general, son of Light-horse Harry Lee (himself an accomplished cavalry officer in the Revolutionary War), was president of the school from 1865 until his death in 1871. Coincidentally or not, Traveller died just a few months later.

Nonetheless, Traveller’s perceived connections to the Confederacy recently led university officials to remove two markers erected in his honor-- his gravestone, and a plaque honoring Lee’s beloved companion. These actions understandably didn’t sit well with many students, donors, and alumni. (I might say to those who made the decision to remove the markers: “Bleep you and the horse you rode in on.”)

Kamron Spivey, president of Students for Historical Preservation, stated in an email to The College Fix: “Traveller was a beloved part of the campus story. People like to hear tales about animals because they do no wrong. That is how Traveller has been immortalized in campus history. He was a faithful horse whose beauty and loyalty Robert E. Lee said would inspire poets. Until this month, very few people seemed bothered by the horse.” (Most things didn’t bother most folks until recently.)

Traveller,” or “Trav,” is even the name of the bus the university uses to safely shuttle students who have been partying around the campus. And the endeavor is called the “Traveller Safe Ride Program.”

School officials say they will eventually replace both markers, though with modifications that distance the school from the “Lost Cause.” The officials should get off their high horse—and stop beating a dead horse…especially Traveller. No one on Washington & Lee’s campus today—or anywhere else in America-- had/has anything to do with slavery or the Civil War.

Traveller was not a slaveholder. I doubt he was even in favor of secession. My sources tell me he didn’t like grits.

So, let’s stop blaming such a majestic and magnificent animal for the sins of its master.

Anyone who does so is a horse’s ass.




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