• The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia

The Lee Family Digital Archive is the largest online source for primary source materials concerning the Lee family of Virginia. It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online. We are always looking for new letters, diaries, and books to add to our website. Do you have a rare item that you would like to donate or share with us? If so, please contact our curator, Colin Woodward, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



                                                       Lexington VA 9 Feby 1867

My dear Sir,

I am very much obliged to you for your letter of the 5 Inst: & your attention to the petition & interests of Washington College. The application for a portion of the land fund was based upon the supposition that the Legislature might prefer making use of the buildings, apparatus & property of certain endowed Colleges, for applying this fund in several parts of the State, rather than confining the whole to any Single portion, thereby distributing its benefits & bringing it nearer the homes of the agriculturists & mechanics for whom it Seemed principally designed. If however they should prefer giving the whole to a single institution, I think Washington College would apply it as advantageously as any other, with as little tax upon the State.

I hope the bill which you have introduced into the Senate for the payment of interest to in operated colleges will be favorably acted on. Their claim has the sacredness of a preferred debt, united to the wise opinion for the intellectual & moral culture of the youth of the State, upon whom its future prosperity depends, I can See neither justice or prosperity, in setting aside such a claim, & then appropriating more than sufficient to satisfy it, to the University & Institute. Surely the former in every aspect in which it can be viewed, should have the preference.

                Hoping to renew next summer the pleasurable acquaintance commenced the last.

                             I am with great respect

                                       Yours obdt servt

                                                 R E Lee

The Honble David S.G. Cabell


Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 4, M2009.121, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 May 26

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