1821. Decr. 24
Fr: Mayo to Lee (fr: original)
Richmd. Dec: 24. 1821
My dear Sir,
It is with extreme pain I have endured the disappointment of intelligence from you for the last two weeks. But I feel not confident that your not writing is attributable to yr expecting me over to yr neighborhood daily, notwithstanding the very inclement weather, & my request to hear the result of my proposition to submit the contents of my rejected letter to Mrs. Lee’s confidence & disposal, before my departure from Richmd. And I assure you with a full confidence of yr constant & undeviating friendship, I should have put a period to all further suspense, but that the weather has been absolutely insupportable for such a trip, while there could be a hope of its being better. It may however now be prudent to suspend my visit till I do hear from you, since it is possible that the prejudices on the other side may assume a more repulsive, if not an unsurmountable, attitude, & thereby under the consequences of farther efforts more deplorable than if the subject were dropped at its present stage. But there cd be no possible casualty that cd befall me, for which I shd feel so poignant a regret, as I shd upon this occasion, were such a determination to be deemed seriously adviseable.
Having once ventured to write to Miss McC. I have supposed that some advantage might arise from a repetition of letters, inasmuch as they may familiarize to a subject of which the first shock might have proved too revolting to her feelings, had I pursued a different course. With this view I inclose her a letter that she returned by Mrs. Rose, in another of the present date.
All that now seems desireable to discover is, whether Miss McC. concurs with Mrs. R. in of absolute & unequivocal repugnance to any further communication? If so, I may infer that she will not consent to see me under any circumstances whatever. If however, she manifests no decided aversion to consider my proposal, & let the issue rest upon their merits, I could desire more, personally unknown as I am to her but if I am absolutely refused the favor of an interview, all hope of conquest must be inevitably lost.
Whatever you may learn, therefore, my dear Major, whether of a decisive or indifferent character, either favorable or inimical to the further prosecution of the subject, I entreat you to communicate to me without delay.
Please present my best regards to Mrs. Lee, to whose charge I beg leave to confide the enclosed packet. With anxious expectations of hearing from you by the return mail, I remain
Your sincere friend &
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 7, M2009.158
Transcribed by Caitlin Connelly, 2016 June 27