Lexington Oct 12th
My dear Ned
I see that the cares of a family have not added to yr dignity – nor lessened yr frivolity! Now that you have a daughter’s future before you, I advise you to let mine alone – it being past redemption. See that she marries at 18 a well-to-do man like Mr Phillips, not a broken down scion of an effete aristocracy! As to my “wrappers” I have added to my store & now appear morning noon & night in the most seductive négligés. I still wear the old red in the sanctity of my chamber. I shall not forget to look in upon you, when I pass thro yr village, & whenever you care for gay society – come here. I took a long ride yesterday – David Moore my cavalier! To such extremes am I reduced! To day is Dr Bartim’s wedding day! It seems that I alone among the mortals am unable to wed.
I send you the autographs & wish it was a charm one – but it is all I have.
Kiss the baby for me & give my kindest remembrances & congratulations to his Mama.
Yrs always Sincerely-
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 6, M2009.432
Transcribed by Caitlin Connelly, 2016 June 2