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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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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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City of Mexico

21 May 1848

Miss Markie Williams

            Tudor Place

                        Georgetown D.C.

                                    U.S. America

City of Mexico 21 May 1848

My dearest Markie

            Your very Kind letter of the 10th April reached me a few nights since, by the last mail from Vera Cruz. I was very glad to learn that the belt had reached you in Safety & that you recognized it for your fathers. I know it will be a prised relic to you, of one who loved you So dearly & whose fond affection you so truly returned. I was also delighted to hear that Lawrence had recd an appointment to West Point. Do impress upon him the necessity of application & strict attention to duty & the regulations. It will be a great distress to us all if his fathers son does not acquit himself worthy of the expectations we are entitled to form of him, & do credit to the Institution he so much loved. I shall watch his course with much anxiety. I feel almost prompted to scold you for saying that the reason you had not written to me before, was because you thought I would not care to receive your letters. You know better Markie. I have but little time to devote to writing. Now I must content myself with telling you the good news of the morg & rest the interest of these few lines on that.

            The mail from Cuernavaca last night brought letters from reliable persons, one of which I saw, stating that on the 18th Inst: a vote was taken in the chamber of deputies on the passage of the Treaty & that it was decided in the affirmative by a vote of 48 to 36. That it would come up on its final passage next day, & after being passed, be sent to the Senate where it would no doubt be confirmed by an increased majority. So certain was this considered that the President Peña y Peña had determined on its final passage by the Deputies to invite our commissioners to Q[uerétaro]1 to be ready to make the interchange &c. This morg at 2 A.M. a courier arrived from Q[uerétaro] with the information of the final passage of the treaty of the Chamber of Deputies, with all the modifications by our Senate by a vote of 51 to 35, & that it would probably pass the Senate by the 24th Inst. It therefore only wants the confirmation of the Senate. We are all much exhilarated at the prospect of getting home again. So tell your Sweetheart you will keep him waiting no longer but are ready to give him “indemnification for the past & security for the future.” The Sweet violets you enclosed arrived safely – Give much love to cousin Britt, your GrdMother, Miss Lumb & Kate & do not let Bunnie2 forget me. Capt Chandler is well & all friends –

                                                                                                            Believe me always your

                                                                                                                        Cousin

                                                                                                                                    R E Lee

Source: Photocopy of original, Letters of Robert E. Lee to Martha Custis Williams, mssHM8814, Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California

Transcribed by Caitlin Connelly, 2016 May 24


1.Santiago de Querétaro was declared the temporary capital of Mexico when United States troops invaded and captured Mexico City in 1847. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed here in 1848 and ended the Mexican-American War.

2. "Bunnie" or "Bunny" was a pet name for Markie's brother Orton Williams.

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