New York March 22. 1866

 

Dear Sir

                        I find the following in the proceedings of Congress of yesterday:

 

                   The Arlington Heights Property

            Mr. Ward, (rep) of N. Y., made a statement to the

            House that he had received numerous letters from friends

            and relatives of deceased soldiers buried in the cemetery

            of Arlington Heights as to the title the government had

            to the property, fearing that the bones of the soldiers

            there might revert to the heirs of the arch-traitors.  He

            had addressed a communication to the Secretary of War

            on the subject, and had received an answer which he

            deemed of sufficient public importance to read.

                        The letter from the Secretary of War was read, stating

            that at a sale of lands for unpaid taxes on the 11th of Jan-

            uary, 1864, the Arlington estate, including the grounds

            referred to, had been bidden for the United States for

            $26,860 and afterwards and turned over to the military au-

            thorities.  The certificate of sale was in the hands of the

            of the United Sates Tax Commissioner at Alexandria, but

            would soon be placed on file in the Treasury department.

 

            Probably it is unnecessary for me to inform you that according to the laws of your State any property sold for taxes can be redeemed by the owner upon the payment of the taxes and cost of sale any time within three years from the day on which it was sold.

            There is yet time to redeem the noble estate of Arlington, and save it from the disgrace of becoming a grave yard and asylum for lazy negroes.  Can your friends here assist you in any way?

                                                                                    Respy.

                                                                                                Wm. H. Hope

                                                                        11 Broad Street Room 14

 

Notation on envelope in General Lee’s handwriting:

Wm H. Hope

In relation to Arlington

 

Ansd: 5 Apl