• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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., 21 March, 1867.

Mr. Wm. B. Reed

Philadelphia, Pa.

My Dear Sir:

I have read with much gratification your pamphlet in defense of your distinguished ancestor Genl. Reed. Having always looked up to him as one of the great men of the Republic, whose devotion and patriotism materially aided in the achievement of its independence, I considered the reports circulated to his prejudice at the close of the revolution of ’76 as the result of the heated party politics which prevailed at the time, and that they had died with the passions in which they originated. I trust the able and candid manner in which you have vindicated his memory may silence them forever and leave nothing to diminish the reputation he enjoyed among the noble men with whom he acted.

I noticed on page 9 of your pamphlet that among the letters which you had introduced in the life of your Grd. father were some from “Henry Lee”. May I ask whether they were any of those which you kindly sent me. I have inserted extracts from some of them in the life of my father, thinking they had never been published. I would not trouble you to answer the question, but I can not procure here a copy of your biography of President Reed.

Very respectfully, truly yrs.

(sgd) R. E. Lee



Source: Photocopy of letterbook copy, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 738, pp. 26-27, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Hall, 2018 June 4

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