July 6th 1868
Col Walter Taylor,
My dear Friend,
Mr Davis is dreadfully enfeebled by a severe fall which broke two or more of his ribs, and is unable to write. That he desires me to do so, and to ask your assistance in getting promises of shipments of cotton from Norfolk from the trading merchants, there. Upon these depends a partnership with an Englishman of good character, high standing, and large business connections who has offered to enter into it if Mr Davis insisted of capital will bring such promises from our country as will justify a beginning in such a business. Cotton and tobacco will be the chief staples on which the business of the house will be made. The business will be strictly a commission house, so that there will be no risks.
Will you make inquiries and find out what of this your shipments he can secure – and write to him to Quebec so that the letter may reach him there on the 23rd or fourth of this month as we take passage for Liverpool on the 25th on the Austrian. It is very necessary to us that he should obtain something to do and we look forward very anxiously to your letter for encouragement. With kind regards to Mrs. Taylor and your Brothers, and to our friends I am
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 8, M2009.360
Transcribed by Caitlin Connelly, 2016 July 11