Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Michel Faubion

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Waite

Third Advisor

Dr. Thomas Knight


Most historians would agree that it is an anomaly in history how Robert E. Lee became an American icon. General Lee was the commander of a rebel army that was trying to split the country he had once loyally served into two. Even after being defeated at the Battle of Appomattox, instead of Lee suffering the normal fate of all failed revolutionaries, he was pardoned and allowed to continue to live in his native Virginia. Over a short amount of time after General Lee’s death he was elevated from rebel to hero. The origins of this can be traced back to the Civil War when General Lee was given accolades in the country’s newspapers he was fighting against. Due to the way the Northern Press regarded Lee this must be considered the base for understanding how the people of the North came to view General Lee not as a traitor, but as an American icon.


Copyright 2017 Steven D. Sheller. All Rights Reserved.

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