George Town March 24th 1829
I thought, when I parted with you my dear Smith, that your contemplated voyage was not to be objected to, inasmuch as you would be absent but a short time, and it would probably prevent your being sent out soon again, but I have been very uneasy all day, from reading in the paper last night, that the pirates were sometimes secreted in parts of the Islands, into which, ships of war could not go, and that boats were sent to apprehend them. Now my dear Smith, these expeditions in boats, must be attended with great danger, and I trust in God you will avoid as much as possible placing yourself in much perilous situations. I entreat you to write to me from N. York, & let one know all the plans respecting your cruise as far as you have been made acquainted with them. You left us Saturday, & this is Tuesday evening, so that I cannot have much to tell you. Nanny, & Matilda visited us on Sunday after church, to condole with us on your loss. They say they are truly sorry, they shall have no more hay rides, no more pretty flowers, no more music presented them, no kind beau to escort them in their walks this spring, but insist on your coming back here when you return from Cuba, and positively forbid you going to Colombia with the new minister. Catharine Mason came yesterday to beg for your profile, and Carter insists on being allowed to carry her one this evening, which he says he shall sell for a high price. He wishes he had thought of it before you went, he says, and he would have made master Rank & cut many, & would have sold them to your favourites, by way of getting a little money. My dear Smith, I am very unhappy, about you since I read that paragraph in the paper respecting the pirates. If you can, give one some comfort on the subject. Ann wept often in the course of the day you left us, and is still grieved about you. I beg you will not go to Colombia without coming home first. I pray to God! So protect & bless you my dear Son.
Ann H Lee
P.S.: Mildred is downstairs, & does not know I am writing to you, or would beg to be tenderly presented to you. Ann sends more love than my paper could hold. God! bless you. God! bless you.
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, M2009.174, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 March 13