• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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: 11 Feby 1869


My dear Sir1

I have been very remiss in acknowledging the copy of your Geography & a number of the ‘Library Magazine’ which you Kindly sent me two months ago. My excess is that my correspondence is so large that I am unable to keep pace with it; & in this case I wanted to look over the books before putting them into the hands of others for their examination. I am very much obliged to you for having dedicated the former to me, which I did not deserve, & as far as I could judge from the cursory examination I could give it, I was much pleased with its general arrangement & plan. There are however so many similar books of the kind, that it requires a long time to bring them to the notice of the public.

You are mistaken if you think that I am unable to appreciate the labours, hardships & suffering of a soldier. I can realize all their feelings & sympathize in all their distresses. They are however spared the burden of responsibility & their path though narrow is very straight. In this they are to be envied.

I hope that your sojourn at Norfolk has proved beneficial to the health of yourself & family, & that you all have enjoyed in abundance other blessings that are needful & beneficial.

We must not be cast down by what we may consider misfortunes, but by patient submission & active fortitude endeavour to convert into benefits, what might otherwise result in injuries. We have much to be thankful for, much to hope for & everything to trust to from a merciful God.

You must remember me most Kindly to my cousin H & your daughter, in which I Know Mrs Lee & my family would join did they Know I was writing. We are all in the enjoyment of reasonable health. Mrs Lee is always a sufferer, but has so far progressed through the winter in comfort, & I am glad to say that my daughter Mildred who was very sick last Summer & Fall seems to have entirely recovered.

Wishing you every happiness

I am very truly yours

R E Lee     




1. Reverend Kensey Johns Stewart (1817-1902) was a native of Delaware who was educated at the Virginia Theological Seminary. He wrote several books about religion as well as A Geography for Beginners, which was published in Richmond in 1864. He died in Richmond, but he is buried in Delaware.



Source: Digital scan of original letter, Robert E. Lee Collection, 1835-1869, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript Archives & Rare Book Library, Emory University

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 November 5

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