Arlington National Cemetery

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Arlington National Cemetery

Postby Niner » Mon May 29, 2017 12:17 pm

It being Memorial day, here is a story about the penultimate National Cemetery. And perhaps the first thing to note...it being the property of Robert E. Lee's wife in 1862 when the US Government decided it wanted it, the US Government acquired it in a strange way.


Authorities levied a tax of $92.07 on the Lees' estate that year. Mary Lee, stuck in Richmond because of the fighting and her deteriorating health, dispatched her cousin Philip R. Fendall to pay the bill. But when Fendall presented himself before the commissioners in Alexandria, they said they would accept money only from Mary Lee herself. Declaring the property in default, they put it up for sale.

The auction took place on January 11, 1864, a day so cold that blocks of ice stopped boat traffic on the Potomac. The sole bid came from the federal government, which offered $26,800, well under the estate's assessed value of $34,100. According to the certificate of sale, Arlington's new owner intended to reserve the property "for Government use, for war, military, charitable and educational purposes."


However, after the war the US was forced to pay up for what it had "appropriated" by a property tax sale.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/h ... 145147007/

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