Lexington Va: 17 Nov ’69
My dear Nephew
I hope that the weather where you have been has been more propitious for travelling than it has been here. The Storm that has been hanging over us so long seems to have at last cleared away. The Sun is shining bright this mng, the fields are smiling, though the distant mountains are covered with Snow. I have thought much of you & my dear niece since your diparture, & have regretted more than ever that I was so indisposed while you were here as to prevent me from doing anything for your Comfort or to show how I appreciated your kindness in coming so far to see us & in giving us the happiness of becoming more intimately acquainted with our much loved niece. I hope that she has not suffered from her visit to our wild country, or been disturbed by our rough ways, & will be reconciled to all that she has undergone by flood & field, by the thought of the pleasure & happiness she has afforded us & by the pleasing remembrances she has left behind. I hope that your journey back may be Smooth & agreeable & that you may both find on your return to France that all things have gone well during your absence. You must remember your promise to return some day, & do not let it be distant, or you may find many missing.
We are all about the same as you left us, & you can imagine us all at our several avocations. I am better than I was at your departure, am again able to attend to my duties at the College, & hope that I may continue to improve so as at least to enjoy Comfortable health.
Present my affectionate love to my niece, in which your Aunt & Cousins heartily join & with our united loves to yourself,
I am most truly, your Uncle,
R E Lee
Mr Edwd Lee Childe
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 4, M2009.382, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2015 October 2