• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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., 11 April, 1867.

Mrs Mary Randolph

My Dear Mrs Randolph:

The letter I received this morning from your niece affords me an opportunity of writing to you on a subject over which I deeply mourn. But it is the survivors of the sad event whom I commiserate, and not him whom a Gracious God has called to himself; and whose tender heart and domestic virtues make the pang of parting the more bitter to those who are left behind. I deferred writing, for knew the hopelessness of offering you consolation; and yet for what purpose can a righteous man be summoned to the presence of a merciful God than to receive his reward. However then we lament, we ought not to deplore him or wish him back from his peaceful, happy home. I had hoped to have seen him once more in this world, and have been pleasing myself with the prospect of paying him a special visit this summer. But God in mercy to him has ordered otherwise, and I submit. The recollection of his esteem and friendship will always be dear to me, and his kind remembrance in his long and painful illness will be gratefully cherished. His worth and truth, his unselfish devotion to right, and exalted patriotism, will cause all good men to mourn the country’s loss in his death; while his gentle manly courtesy, dignified conduct, and Christian charity, must intensely endear him to those who knew him.

Mrs Lee and my daughters, while they join in unfeigned sorrow for your bereavement, unite with me in sincere regards and fervent prayers to Him, who can alone afford relief, for His gracious support and continued protection to you. May His abundant blessings be showered upon you, and may His almighty arms guide and uphold you.

Please thank Miss Randolph for writing to me with great respect and true affection,

yr. most obedient Svt.

(sgd) R. E. Lee



Source: Photocopy of letterbook copy, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 738, pp. 33-34, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Hall, 2018 June 6

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