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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Richmond, April 3d 1816


My dear Major


It is most true I have been very negligent in not answering your letters – but I must plead as an excuse – my – almost detestation of writing – (save when congratulating our friend Paulding:) You ask (in a postscript of a letter which came to hand a few days ago which had been in the Post office in New York) whether I received a long letter from you while in Gibralter; I did so and answered that letter as soon as I arrived in New Port in November last – and then wrote you two or three letters from New York – now I hope this will satisfy you – on that head.

I have been here about six weeks among my friends and am ordered on to Philadelphia as a witness on the trial of Thorn – how long I shall remain there is doubtful. I will if possible again visit our friends in New York – although in their great affliction – I have long ago learned to look upon their great charms and perfections without presuming to wish they were mine. Serena was all loveliness when I left New York, but she is not for a Virginian: You mistake, I did not ever dare to look upon her but as a friend, I was not your rival. If you had possessed ten thousand a year – she would long ere this been Mrs Lee – of this enough.

If I can in my travels manage matters I will not fail to come to your part of the country. I shall return to Virginia, but I shall be happy to hear from you in Philadelphia. I have much to talk to you about when it may be our good fortune to meet, which I hope it may be shortly; But I hope you will get married, to some fine woman. It is much better than remain as we are – I only wish I was.

Will Carter has resigned – and I am &c


Yours Sincerely

J B Nicolson




Source: Typescript carbon copy, Stratford Hall vertical files


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 January 3

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