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The Lee Family Digital Archive is the largest online source for primary source materials concerning the Lee family of Virginia. It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online. We are always looking for new letters, diaries, and books to add to our website. Do you have a rare item that you would like to donate or share with us? If so, please contact our editor, Colin Woodward, at  (804) 493-1940, about how you can contribute to this historic project.


 

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My dear Ann                                                               Montrose 26th Sep 1825

 

 

Your letter of 12 Inst: didn’t come to hand until the 22d or you would sooner have heard from me in answer to it. I am grieved my dear child to receive so melancholy a letter from you, and from my heart lament the gloom which appears to oppress you with such force as to incapacitate you for the least exertion. My dear Ann I ought not thus be. You are sinning against God and your own soul, in giving your self up to despair, and making no exertion to be delivered from the bondage in which you are held. I cannot immagine what can effect your nerves in so violent a degree unless you have again resorted to the baneful, the sinful practice of taking opium.  You I hope will pardon me for being thus plain with you, I would not for the world wound your feelings by an unjust suspicion, but if I am right in this conjecture I must implore you as you value your present comfort and future happenings to desist forever from so pernicious a practice, it must incapacitate you for your every duty and ruin your soul & body forever if you do. We are all here in great anxiety about you we love you more tenderly in your affection that when you were an inmate with us and all our days were spent in peace, and we had nothing to disquiet us. It is, only consider what anguish of heart you are giving to your aged Grandmother who has been a parent to you ever since you lost your own. This consideration along ought to stimulate you to that exertion, without which nothing can restore you to yourself, your friends & to society, in which you are entitled to hold a high station, and enable you to employ your time and talents to the benevolent and useful purposes for which your Creator intended you, it is offensive to him to despair of his mercy, he has commanded us to seek it & his promises are sure to all who realy & truly endeavor to do so. Let me conjure you then my beloved Ann my dear departed sister child to be resolved to exert every faculty to overcome the enervating practice which ruins your health & renders your life a burden to you—you mention having some thought of visiting us. Your Grandmama & sister unite with me in entreating you to do so, it will I am sure be of service to you to have a little change and to see your friends; you can’t have the excuse of wanting a convey since when the steamboat is continually running within 6 miles of Montrose, pray let us entreat you again and again, to come to us & spend some time & that without lots of time, mama begs that you will immediately on the receit of this write to her or me & say what day her carriage shall meet you at Bluff point ahold Mr. Berrymans, or if you can set of [sic] immediately on the receit of this before you have the opportunity to write do so & Mr B. will either send you over or let us know that you are there, that mama may send. We can take no denial because we think it will benefit you. You must come & that directly. Betsy sends her best love to you & begs that you will bring your mothers minature with you she wishes to have it copied & to see it. All here unite in sincere love & good wishes for your restoration to health & happiness with you ever affec

Aunt

Ann Rose

 

I cannot express to you my beloved Child how much I am distressed at the receipt of your Melancholy letter, let me entreat you to make one exertion & come to me without delay, you will be received with all the affection & attention I am capable of showing you. Come then my dearest Ann & spend with me some months, & let me hope that the tender attention of your dear Friend, together with the Chang of all & scene may restore you, I can take no denial set of [sic] immediately on the receipt of this—your Aunt has mentioned to you the usual landing where Old Mr. Berr[y]man lives you will be kindly accommodated there & I will meet you the moment I hear of your arrival, I pray you my Ann once more not to disappoint me

 

I am my dear Child as ever your

 

affectionate Mother M Rose[1]

 

 

Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 3, M2009. 170, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall

 

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2015 November 19

 

 

     

 

[1] Ann was born in 1798. Her father, Colonel Daniel McCarty, died when Ann was young. Her mother, Margaret McCarty remarried, to Richard Stuart, in 1802. Margaret Stuart died in 1808 while giving birth to Richard Henry Stuart. In Margaret’s will, she named Richard the executor of her estate and the guardian of her two daughters. Ann and her sister Elizabeth went to live with her grandmother, Mildred Williamson Robinson, who married John Rose of Mount Rose plantation in Westmoreland County. 

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