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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Lexington VA 19 Oct ‘65


My dear Son

I did not receive till yesterday your letter of the 8th Inst: I regret very much having missed seeing you, & still more to hear that you have been Suffering with intermittent fever. I think the best thing you can do is to eradicate the disease from your System, & unless there is some necessity for your returning to the W. H., you had better accompy your mother here. I have thought very earnestly as to your future. I do not know to what stage your education has been carried. Or whether it would be advantageous for you to pursue it farther. Of that you can judge. If you do, & will apply yourself so as to get the worth of your money, I can advance it to you for this year at least. If you do not, & wish to take possession of your farm, I can assist you a little in that. As matters now stand, you Could only raise money on your land by mortgaging it, which would put you in debt at the beginning of life & I fear in the end would swallow up all your property. As soon as I am restored to civil rights, if I ever am, I will settle up your Grd fathers Estate, & put you in possession of your share. The land may be responsible for some portion of his debts or legacies. If so you will have to assume it. If not, it will be yours clear. In the meantime I think it will be better for you, if you determine to farm your land, to go down there as you propose & begin on a moderate scale, rather than to mortgage your property. I can furnish you means to buy a team, wagon, implements &c. What will it cost? If you cannot wait to accompy your mother here, come up to see me & we can talk it over. You could come up in the packet & return again. If you do Come, ask Agnes for my box of private papers I left with her & bring it with you, but do not lose it for your life; or we are all ruined. Wrap it up with your clothes & put it in a carpet bag, or valise, so that you Can keep it with you or within your sight, & do not call attention to it. I am glad to hear that F__ keeps so well & that he is progressing in his farming operations. Give him a great deal of love for me. The first thing you must do is to keep well.

Your affate father

R E Lee




Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 601, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 September 18

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