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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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




August 11th/67

Your letter of the 29th Ulto My dear Mildred has remained sometime confronting me every night as I come in from work; but I have not hastened to answer it, nor do I feel any reminders from my conscience on the subject; for you have treated your brother so shamefully that any thing he could do to you would be but a slight punishment. Your excuses too are all very weak. When the house is full & you are busy with people, is the very time to write to me—for if you tell about what you & your company do & say—I can imagine my self with you all & enjoy a little society in that ay—which is the only method by which I am kept from going entirely to seed. I suppose you are having a jolly time writing. How I should like to be with you! What a time we might have!

I have heard from Ma Pa & Agnes since their arrival at the “White.” The waters seemed to have awakened with-in them any regard they might have had for me & they show it by writing—something that Pa & Agnes rarely do. The “Mim” though is a “bird” she always thinks of her youngest & writes to him constantly. Georges is in the wrong place he ought to have come down & see me. Fitz & I are the only ones of the family who appreciate & respect him. Pennaroyal (which is as good a way as any to spel [sic] it) does’nt grow about these parts—there are so many varmints obnoxious to it, that it does not flourish.

I wish indeed you were here, I don’t know whether I could allow you to anoint me with hartshorn—but I could find you any quantity of more graceful occupations. Love to Baxter & my earnest sympathies for his afflictions. The idea of your not knowing F’s direction--& Sister not knowing mine you all are a nice set! I am proud of you. Tunstall station New Kent Co. Va or New Kent C. H. Va is F’s & mine is West Point King Wm Co. Va. Set em both down. What is young Peter doing writing to you? I must enquire into that.

I’ll never give my consent. I could’nt come to see you under those circumstances for Y. P. would destroy me by his tremendous ascents transpositions &c that he indulges in so freely. Give him up & remember your family when you enter into any such arrangements.

I don’t preserve [sic] in my household am waiting until my wife comes. But I am eating now the finest melons water & musk you ever saw & the greatest quantity. They are the only fruits of the soil, that I succeed with.

Tell sister I wrote to her the day before her letter reached me. I was very much surprised to hear from her thought she was too always too busy to write & take it as a great compliment & am very much obliged. I missed seeing Winfield Jones all to gether owing to the slowness of my mails. Did you all see him? I am now in the midst of thrashing wheat which is a great bore especially when the wheat is so poor. But I live in the hopes of doing better after ten or twelve more years application. When will they get back from the springs? I may be able to run up & see you all. There is no excitement among white folks in this country at all. Freedmen seem to be a little stirred up by baptising & politics. Church & State you know never did succeed & I am afraid that the success of that theory would never be demonstrated by Cuffee. Please write some times & tell me any thing. I am so homesick I don’t know what to do. Best love to sister & say to her that as soon as I get another stamp I will write to her

Every [sic] your loving brother

R E Lee     



Source: Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 g 116-122, Section 13, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Hall, 2018 July 17

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