• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 editor, Colin Woodward, at  (804) 493-1940, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



Lexington, Va., 28 Nov. 1866

Mrs E. S. Sayre1

Monticello, Lewis Co., Mo.


Your letter of the 10th ult. would have been sooner answered; but such young men as were considered suitable teachers, are engaged in business necessary for their support, which they can neither relinquish nor signify a willingness to do so, until certain of more advantageous positions, we have been unable to state the size of your school, whether public or private, the amount of compensation, labor &c; all of which are interesting to applicants.

Mr W. G. Williamson, a graduate of Washington College and well known to the Faculty, can be confidently recommended to you as a man and teacher. He is by profession a civil engineer, though has had some experience in teaching. He is engaged at present on the repair of the levees near New Orleans; but it is understood that he has nearly completed his work, and in that event might be willing to accept the position you offer. His address is, “care of B. H. Greene, Chief Engr. 1st Division, Louisiana Levees, New Orleans.”

very respectfully, yr. obdt. Svt.

R. E. Lee


P.S. Since writing the foregoing, I have learned that Mr Saml. C. Smith, a graduate of Washington College, who has now a small school in this place, Lexington, Va., might be willing to take charge of a large school elsewhere. He is a young man of excellent character, sound knowledge, and several years experience in teaching.

R. E. Lee   




Source: Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L 51 c 738, pp. 2-3, Section 43, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 January 10     


1. Elizabeth Stanford Pierson Sayre (1823-1896).

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