1822. March 15.
Fr: Mayo to Lee (fr: original)
New York, March 15. 1822
My business having brought me as far as this Emporium of American commerce, before I cd. complete my arrangements respecting my publications, (which are now accomplished to my satisfaction) the delay that is thereby occasioned to my return, & the events which transpired shortly after I left you, render me impatient to impart to you intelligence of all without further delay – for it will be at least a fortnight yet before I shall see you. After I had passed Mattox Bridge I began to regret that I did not call at Montrose, supposing that my letters to Mr. Clapham & Cl. Stewart wd. serve as an indirect apology particularly as the former was supposed to reside there by the Bishop & fearing I shd. not be able shortly to bring so good an excuse to bear again. But it was too late to turn about; so I trusted the rest to the directing hand of Providence. Accordingly when I arrived at Hoe’s ferry that evening, where I put up for the night, I found my very man a companion of my bedchamber in company with a brother divine, Mr. Reynolds of Tappahannock. Hearing Mr. Clapham’s name I asked him if he was acquainted with the Bishop to which, when he replied in the affirmative, I added that I had a letter from him for a Mr. Clapham & presumed he was the gentleman, though the Bishop was under the impression he resided at Montrose. After reading the letter he introduced me to Mr. Reynolds & enquired if I had called at Montrose. To which I replied that having learnt that he did not reside there I had abandoned the hope of seeing him & was continuing my ride to Baltime. without seeing him. He seemed to have recd. a favorable impression & made several offers of civility, but as his friend was apparently a man of more years, & probably of greater influence, with whom I shd. travel some distance the next day into Maryland I kept on the polite reserve with Mr. C. And just as I premeditated on our ride, when I called up the subject of the Bishop, I regretted I had been defeated in the opportunity I had counted on, through his friendship of seeing Mrs. Rose. The hint took effect & Mr. R. immediately proffered a letter. He invited me into the house he was visiting near the road & wrote me the commendation in terms of the warmest friendship. Is not this bravely done?
Be so good as to express my best regards to Mrs. Lee; & tell her I have selected a bundle of music for her which [I] hope she will be pleased with.
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 7, M2009.163
Transcribed by Caitlin Connelly, 2016 July 6