• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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., 6 April, 1867.

Rev. John W. Brown

Rev. & dear Sir:

I beg leave to present my thanks to you and your congregation for their generous contribution to relieve the suffering of the South, and to express my willingness, in compliance with your request, to apply in their name the $50.00 you propose to send me.

From what I learn, the destitution which prevails in many of the Southern States exists in an equal degree in portions of Virginia, though it is borne in silence. I have a letter before me from a well known gentlemen residing not five miles from Richmond, saying that unless bread be furnished them, hundreds must perish from hunger; that he, though better off than many of his neighbors, has been merely able to drag from day to day a miserable subsistence, and none but his own family know the straits to which he has been reduced.

I am with great esteem,

your obdt. Svt.

(sgd) R. E. Lee



Source: Photocopy of letterbook copy, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 738, pp. 31-32, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Hall, 2018 June 6

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