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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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




20 June ‘65

I cannot leave Richmond dear Markie without thanking your for your kind note of the 4th Inst. You must not be so sorrowful. We all have much to be thankful for, & you who Can do so much good, & make yourself useful to others, have great cause for joy. I can do but little but am resigned to what is ordered by our Merciful God, who will I know do all that is good for us. I shall next week take your Cousin M. to Cumberland Co. about six miles from Cartersville on the Canal. She can only travel by water without pain, & I have therefore selected a house in that region for her benefit, otherwise I should have preferred Orange Co – That you may see how time has dealt with me since we parted, I send you the last photograph of me. I am glad to hear that you like the white beard, as that is so prominent in the picture. It would indeed be a great gratification to me to visit Europe. But there is much to detain me here, & at present at least it is my duty to remain. I shall avoid no prosecution the Govt thinks proper to institute. I am aware of having done nothing wrong & cannot flee. There is nothing my dear Markie that I want, except to see you, & nothing that you can do for me, except to think of & love me. It would require you to become a Fairy & turn what you touched to Gold to take me to Europe, but I would not desire you to change your nature for my benefit. I prefer your remaining as you are. All are as well as usual & all unite in much love. Give mine to Lum

Truly & affy yours

R E Lee




Source: Scan of original letter, Letters of Robert E. Lee to Martha Custis Williams, 1844-1870, Huntington Library, San Marino, California              

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 September 26

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