1821. Novr 13
Fr: Mayo to Lee (fr: original)
Richmd Nov. 13. 1821
It is possible this may come to hand by the same mail with one I wrote you on the 10th Inst:. Since that date, I have concluded, upon mature deliberation that it wd be more disreputable to abandon my purpose of seeking an acquaintance with Miss McCarty even under the most violent prejudices that might be innocently excited in the minds of her protecting friends, than frankly & boldly to encounter those prejudices by an open avowal of my object to her grandmother with a delicate appeal to the possession. I have long since entertained in Miss McCarty’s behalf, and other circumstances of the case, as some palliation for so gross a departure from general usage. At the same time proffering to substantiate my honorable professions by the most irrefragable testimonials from Bishop Moore, Parson Blair, & Parson Buckannon &c &c provided an interview with Miss McC should prove agreeable to both parties & justify such a measure. Till I procure her approbation, however, I shd feel myself perfectly unauthorized to take that step & thereby proclaim to the world intentions that may be repulsed with disdain not only incurring her scorn but the additional sting of public derision. But I cd even hazard all thus, for so worthy an object, were it not the more delicate & respectful course, first to solicit the sanction of the parties concerned.
I beg leave to entreat the favor of Mrs. Lee to facilitate the delivery of the enclosed. I shall possibly be in Westmoreld early in Decr if in the meantime I shd not receive an interdiction of the visit, as such, I fear, may be the inexorable determination, so common a thing is it for mankind to frustrate their own food by difficulties of their own creation. Make my best respects to Mrs. Lee & esteem me
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 7, M2009.148
Transcribed by Caitlin Connelly, 2016 June 22