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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



1822. March 15.

Fr: Mayo to Lee (fr: original)

New York, March 15. 1822

Dear Sir,

            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.

yrs. sincerely,

R. Mayo.


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

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