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Happy holidays from the VHS

A Christmas card for women.

Pasted into a scrapbook, this Christmas card gives some indication about the struggle for woman's rights.

This little gem of a Christmas card is pasted in a scrapbook made by Mary Custis Lee, one of General Robert E. Lee’s daughters (Mss1 L51 b 64).  Possessed with an indomitable spirit, General Lee’s eldest daughter was a seasoned world traveler.  Mary was the guest of European nobility, sailed up the Nile in Egypt, and gazed at Asian landscapes.

Given her remarkable experiences, I feel fortunate that she saved this Yuletide call-to-arms.  Because it was adhered to a page in her scrapbook, it is not possible to determine when it was made or from whom it was sent.  However, I suspect this postcard was made in England around the 1880s or 1890s.  The verse on the card reads as follows:

Down-trodden women now arise

No more let men thus tyrannize

Let’s push the tyrant from his throne

And have a Christmas of our own.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 12/20/2010 11:31 am

    What a remarkable little treasure with a great big message! I have to say it does surprise me, coming from R.E. Lee’s daughter– Clearly I have a lot to learn! Thanks for a start on what will be a long learning curve.

    Nancy Noel
    Archives Associate |Canisius College Buffalo NY 14208


  2. Susan Vogel permalink
    12/20/2010 11:48 pm

    I am fairly sure she thought this was amusing – not a real political agenda!


    • 12/21/2010 9:45 am

      Hi Susan, I bet you are right! And I should add that Mary saved a lot of her Christmas cards. This one just happened to stand out to me. Another neat card in the Mary Custis Lee collection (Mss1 L5144 a) is a pop up card, also from the U.K. When the card is opened colorful soldiers pop out in formation ready to shoot the enemy. To read more about this and other Christmas cards, visit our Take A Closer Look feature:


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