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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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




Jan 23rd 1871

My darling “Mim”

Your letter enclosed in one from Mildred reached me Friday. I have to thank you & her for the pleasure it gave me. About my home I am ready & anxious to commence to work on it but as I am entirely dependent on your generosity as regards funds I can’t decide on my plan until I know what I will have. So if you can tell me as to that or approximately I’ll endeavor to get up a home accordingly. It is truly time I was commencing on it and as soon as I hear from you on the above subject I’ll begin. Any funds that you may have for me now if placed to my credit in R-d would enable me to commence on the making of bricks provided it is perfectly convenient for you so to do.

Fitzhugh has very kindly offered to saw me all the lumber & let me pay for it when I am able. That is very kind & generous in him & will help me very much. Indeed you all are as kind & thoughtful as can be & it makes me very happy to know that you all think of me so much & it helps me to strive always to be worthy of your affection.

I have sent sister some ideas of mine about plans &c but I intend to fulfill entirely within the means I may have. Indeed I think a perfectly plain farm house is what I want, as that is my profession & likely to be, & I have no use for any thing more extended. I’ll be perfectly satisfied with any thing that will enable me to get married & if I know my wife that is to be so will she. I will have also to move my old barns & stables & put up new ones for the present situation is a very unbecoming one to the rest of my proposed grounds & they, the buildings are in the very last stage of tumbling down. I think I can put up new ones for about $500.00

Any plan or suggestion any of you all can send me will be a great help to me. I am very well & so they are at the White House when I last saw them, which was last Sunday. Hoping you are all well & that I may hear from you as fully as possible in these subjects & with my best love to all

I am as always

Your loving son




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

Transcribed by Katie Hall, 2018 July 23

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