• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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.



No 249 Mountain Terrace

Mountain Street Montreal

June 3d, 1867

Col W. H. Taylor

            My dear Friend,

                        Your kind letter of May 2nd reached me two days ago, and I waited a day in the hope of sending you a message from Mr Davis directly. But he has not arrived. And therefore I must tell you of our humble history in my own language. We arrived here safely and found the children quite well. And all assembled to meet us when we came. Maggie and Jeff have grown greatly, and Jeff is quite the plainest boy it was ever my fortune to see. But he is good and affectionate, and studies pretty well. Billy our youngest is a beauty, and his Father seemed quite astonished to find his baby boy whom he parted from to go prison a stout boy of five, able to play quite boisterously. We are established here for the time in a plain house in which we found my Mother who had rented it for us until September. Mr Davis has gone to pay a visit to Mr James M. Mason at Niagara, and I hope he may employ himself, and thus grow stronger for the life before him however, and whatever that may be. He is I think a little stronger, but very homesick for our own people. Nothing but the conviction that his return at present would be prejudicial to our own people prevents him from returning to bear with them what he cannot avert. You have no idea how glad I should be to see you again. The people here have called in numbers to see us, and been very kind in their offers of civility. It is lovely here now, just warm enough, and just cool enough for comfort. The enclosure came safely to hand, for which please receive my thanks. Do remember me kindly to your good Brother, and all your family and believe me dear friend

Yours most sincerely,

Varina Davis.


Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 8, M2009.350

Transcribed by Caitlin Connelly, 2016 July 13

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