1821. Novr 24.
From Mrs. Lee to Mrs. Rose (fr: Copy)
24th Novr 1821.
By the last mail I recd a letter from Dr Mayo to yourself, which he earnestly requests me to deliver or convey to you. With the sincerest tenderness & humility I beg leave to communicate this fact; and upon mature reflection I think it my duty to ask your instruction in the case: promising implicit obedience to them, whether it may be your pleasure that I forward the letter to you or return it to the Author.
I trust this conduct will be considered not only respectful to you, but consistent with politeness to Dr Mayo, with whose acquaintance I was pleased & of whose character I entertain favorable preposessions.
Answer of Mrs. Rose (fr: Copy)
My dear Ann,
Your note is this moment handed me informing me of Dr Mayo’s letter to me. With Betsey’s permission I beg leave to reject the receipt of it, & request you will return it from whence it came; as I am well convinced no man of character would make such proposals to Betsey as I suppose it contains, & I hope my dear ann when you consider this piece of strange conduct in a total stranger to your unfortunate sister, who has only heard of her as a poor ruined girl who has a comfortable fortune at her own command and I suppose thinks her friends would be glad to get her off on any terms – but so long as she will permit me to advise her, she shall never risk her temporal and eternal welfare by throwing herself into the arms of an adventurer.
I am happy to hear you are well. May God grant you health of body and peace of mind in this world and in the world to come life everlasting.
At the foot of this is a letter of Miss McCarty to Mrs. Lee of which the following is a copy so far as it relates to this subject.
My dear Sister,
I have seen your letter to grandmamma and approve of what she has said in answer to it. I believe it would be madness in me to marry anyone.
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 7, M2009.151
Transcribed by Caitlin Connelly