• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 us about how you can contribute to this historic project.



1822 Jany 29.

Fr: Mayo to Lee (fr: original)

Dear Sir,

            The critical period of three weeks since my last letter to Mrs. Rose has now elapsed, during hopes & fears have alternated their influence upon my mind. I have supposed that if Mrs. R’s objections did not yield to the honorable & conciliatory character of that letter, she wd. probably return it, with a positive interdiction of my proposed visit. In that case, I do not positively say I shd. have lost all hope of convincing her of the erroneous views she has taken of my motives & character, but as I have not heard of the fate of my letter I now feel rather more bouyant with hope than depressed with fear. Yet this silence leaves me in some degree divided between two conjectures, whether it proceeds from a disdainful contempt, or a resignation to consider the merits of my causes on my arrival in Westmoreland. My departure for Stratford, however will be unavoidably suspended a few days at least by an unlucky catarrhal indisposition, in the form of a sore throat with great hoarseness, severe cough & consequent pain in the breast & head, which I attribute partly to the sudden relenting of the weather & partly to the negligence of my servant in leaving my chamber door open on me a few nights ago. But console myself of the delay in some degree by the pleasure the occasion affords me of writing to you again to inform you of the cause. Thus too you see the happy facility I possess of extracting pleasure from the envenomed current of misfortune. As I am much better I may authorize you to “look for me day after day (not to say “week after week”) till you see me.

            I shall gather up all of your letters to bring with me but shall regret to part with them.*

            (In the margin) *For this Mr. K. can assign a reason

            Important business will put it out of my power to tarry with you more than two or three days; but shd. the momentous object of my visit assume a kindly aspect I shall make a very speedy return to you again.

            I have declined communicating this subject to Bishop Moore & others as I do not feel myself authorized to do so till I ascertain that it wd. be agreeable to the other parties. But upon that condition I wd. encounter every thing to which human powers are adequate.

            Please present my respectful compliments to Mrs. Lee & for yourself accept the warmest regard of

yr. sincere


Robt. Mayo.


Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 7, M2009.162

Transcribed by Caitlin Connelly, 2016 July 6

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