<br /> Lee Letter: b012

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Landon Carter

Dear Sir,

As I was greatly surprised, and equally disturbed at Mr. Ritchies declaration at Richmond Court, so am I now pleased to hear from you, that he repents of that dangerous step. I make no doubt, but the great resentment of the people will be appeased, when Mr. Ritchie shall shew them in public his real sorrow for having offered so great an injury to the community, and convince them of his determination not to make use of that detestable paper, unless authorized by public consent. I most heartily rejoice with you dear Sir, at every favorable prospect for the restoration of Liberty.

I hope indeed, that the present great Men in power, are friends to the rights of human nature, and that their policy, founded on wisdom and virtue, will produce the entire subversion of Greenvilles corrupt and foolish system.

I have read with pleasure your justification of, and advice to this Country in the affair of not holding Courts. – But tho’ I am most clearly of your opinion, that sound policy will direct us to shut up the Courts of Justice for a time, yet I fear the reason for so doing, being publickly communicated, may defeat the end thereby intended – Indeed I could wish some method were fallen upon, to inform the Northern Colonys, that our not following their example, proceeds from no regard for the Stamp Act, but the very different situation of our affairs from theirs with respect to Great Britain – And that our shutting here, whilst they open there the Courts of Justice, both contribute to the same end (defeating the S. Act) although by different means. Perhaps it might be better to mention it in this short way, than to proceed publickly to mention the manner how; which as I said before, may defeat the end proposed –

However I propose to see you, before I shall probably have an opportunity to [go to] Maryland, and then we may converse more fully on the subject. I am with perfect esteem dear Sir

your affectionate friend.

R. H. Lee

Notes:

Lee PapersVirginia Historical Society

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 14 – 15.