Sender: Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee
Recipient: "little Mildred"
Lexington October 1stDear little Mildred
Though I suppose you are no longer little Mildred <illegible>, but I shall remember you as the little girl whom I used to bathe, & make take pills! Your cousin Custis is writing to your mother, so I write to you, I urge you to make your preparations at once & start for school just as soon as you can possibly get off. The session commenced the 22d of Sept., though Aunt Bernice could not receive you then, the 1st of October is today, and had we heard sooner from Aunt Lucy, we should have made arrangements to have you in Alexandria by this time. It has very <illegible> to be willing to give up your advantages to Carter, but I am very anxious for you to have at least another year of school, & I hope my dear Mildred, you will strain every nerve to make the most of your advantages, as even when a woman is sick she cuts a poor figure in the house if she is uneducated, & if she is poor she often is obliged to make her livelihood in that way, the more she knows, the better, & more respectable living she makes. Your Mother is such a beautiful musician that I am sure you must inherit some of her talent, & no accomplishment pays so well as music. You are old enough now to feel all this, & how important it is that you should strain every nerve & learn all you can this last year. I should have preferred you going to Miss Powell as a boarder, because you would have had less distractions, but it would cost twice as much & so we have decided to accept Aunt Nannie's offer, & as you will have every opportunity for study with her, whether you do so or not will depend on yourself, & we will all be very much disappointed if we do not hear good accounts of you. Your expenses, even as a day scholar, will be about $250, as I want you to have a good session in music, too.
I am glad to hear that Rob is hard at work, & hope he is taking good care of his brother. Am sorry that Henry is doing nothing. Why did he give up his appointment on the R. Road? Your cousin Mildred sends much love. Ever affy, yours
Robert E. Lee Papers (064 collection)Leyburn Library
The postscript is written across other text on the letter's opening page.