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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Lexington Va: 6 March ‘66


My dear Son

I have recd your letter of the 19th Ulto: in reference to the mill, & am Sorry to hear that it is in such bad condition. I agree with you in thinking that it had better be repaired as far as practicable before it breaks down. Can you get a good man to undertake it, who knows what to do & how to do it, for as yet you are inexperienced in work of that sort, & may make mistakes? Everything depends on that. If you can, see what is best to be done & ascertain the expense. Then see to the means. I can probably lend you $1000. (one thousand) which if I can, will be without interest, & that will enable you to Commence & see farther, I will write to Mr Caskie to see if he can collect some interest due & he can inform you. But you must repay me, for I must make some provision for your mother & sisters. As to saw mill, you & Fitzhugh must decide. I do not know either about the timber, or the facilities for disposing of it. If those things are favourable a saw mill, under good management would be advantageous, & would also enable you to build @. If you cannot get a good man, you will have to manage yourself, & take charge of the mill too, I think the saw guard I attached to the Arlington mill cost me $300. It was Pages mill circular saw. Prices are higher now, I am clear for your doing every thing to improve your property & make it remunerative as far as you Can. You know my objection to increasing debt. I cannot overcome it. You would be safe with me.

I hope you will overcome your chills &c, By next winter you must patch up your house & get a sweet wife. You will be more comfortable, & not so lonesome, if you get the right one. Let her bring a cow & a churn. That will be all you will want. Mildred will keep the cake. She has some hens, but no cow, & can only give us fresh eggs without butter.

Give my love to Fitzhugh. I wish he was regularly established. He cannot afford to be idle. He will be miserable. Remember me to all your neighbours. We are tolerably well Agnes has reached Richmond. I do not know where she goes next. Your mother & Mildred Send much love & I am as ever your father

R E Lee




Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c, Section 31, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2019 February 7



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