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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



“Romancoke” Feb 8th/66

Fitzhugh brought me your letter dear Agnes, & bringing himself at the same time, it was almost more joy than I could bear. Here I had been for over two weeks all by myself, just from the midst of society the most agreable, expecting F_ every day, until I gave up in despair & became used to my own tediousness so well, that I got along finely & now I don’t mind being alone at all, comparatively speaking. I am very sorry I could not have been at Miss S_’s w[eddin]g both on account of seeing the last of Miss -S- & also of seeing more of you; but I only arrived here the Sat before the wedding & the chills & the terrible weather put my being present out of the question.  I don’t suppose I was missed by anyone except my sister so I regret it most on her account. Were the diamonds presented or from the home firm? I suppose Abe was in his glory, talking to every one on every subject at a fearful rate; and the “Blockader” I can see in my minds eye, rising above every one & looking with a contemptuous pity upon the whole.

You say you must see me before you return to the mountains. I would just like to know how it is to be accomplished. If you come somewhere with in reach of this place & make a visit I may be able to see you, & there is no place to come except, by the way, the Braxtons. That you had better do if you can’t survive a couple of years absence, for other-wise I am afraid you’ll not see me for nearly that time, unless things turn out different from what I expect. I am getting along very well for one starting under such disadvantageous circumstances & am very content & happy as far as my farm & farming is concerned. I am a first rate housekeeper & only wish my home was large enough & fit enough to bring you here. A bachelor of a very long standing could not take better care of himself than I do. I make up my own bed sweep & clean my room, set my table, & cook my eggs & oysters, an ancient female black woman performing under my close directions the rest of my cooking & washing. So you see I am almost entirely independent of help. F staid with me a week & he was very much pleased with every thing except his washing; the “Old Coon” pet name for the aforesaid female being one whole week at his clothes & then sending them in rough dried being unable to get the “wrinkles out” as she said. He has gone now to King George, to be back in three weeks from last Sat, I miss him very much. Can you send me sister Mary’s direction. I don’t know anything you can do for me except to write very often & if you get this in Norfolk send me up some good book on market or kitchen gardening “Our Mutual Friend” & “Vanity Fair” if you can stand it direct your letter & parcel to West Point care E.F. Anderson &c Ra Yorktown.

Remember me to all the Miss Seldens & tell them I haven’t forgotten either them or the nice bread & butter also the Dr & Lady & love me

your bro




Source: Photocopy of original, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 g, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Hall, 2018 June 21


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