<br /> Lee Letter: b047

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: William Lee

Dear Brother,

Yesterday at Nomony ferry, in my way with Mrs. Lee to Northumberland, I received your several favors by our Cousin Lancelot, and just catch a moment here to answer them by Capt. New who is expected every hour to clear. In consequence of yours by Steel, I sent immediately for A. Moxley, who came, and received your proposition in his favor. He declines it how ever, with many professions of zeal for your interest, and thanks for your kindness. The truth is, that he is immediately to be married to the young widow. Hoe . . . At present I do not know of any person fit for your business, but, I will shortly consult with London, and you shall have immediate intelligence when we have fixt upon, and agreed with a proper person. I am greatly obliged to you for your kind intentions respecting me. A profitable employment would certainly be very convenient for me, oppressed as I am with a numerous family. Five – children already, another far advanced on the stocks, with a teaming little Wife, are circumstances sufficiently alarming. But I confess, that having never hitherto been favored by fortune, I incline to doubt her future benevolence. I have not time now to overlook your observations on Wilkisons accounts, but I shall attend most exactly to what you write concerning him. It is, as you rightly apprehend, a difficult affair to manage on account of the Treasurer who strongly supports and recommends him. Both Mr. Nicholas and myself had heared the same that you have done concerning the inequality of the division. He wrote to me on the subject, and solemnly declared that he had enquired again and again, but could not, if it were again to do, fix on a more equitable division. It was admitted then, that the immediate profits of Mr. Paradise’s part would exceed yours on account of the wood, his land being so contiguous to the Town, and by reason of the great number of young Negroes that fell in your division. When they were making partition, so far as I knew, I could only object to the very great disp<r>oportion of Negroes they were going to appoint for you, and so far prevailed as to have a larger part of the more permanent estate (the land) alloted you, by taking away some Slaves, and adding that plantation which you now hold near Town, and is the only place from whence you carry any wood to Williamsburg. I should think that greater crops of tobacco might be made, but then it is to be considered that the land with out dung will not do, and that fatal disease among the Cattle absolutely prevents the keeping a sufficient Stock of them. Sheep appear to me a very precarious Stock in this country. Wheat might well be raised on your land, if the wild Onion did not so capitally injure its sale. Indian Corn I fancy would be the most profitable cultivation, and I believe pretty good crops of that are made.

I am very glad to hear that Master Turberville is likely to mend, and I hope for his thorough alteration. I have not told his father the whole, but I have informed him that George has been wild and negligent; have recommended it to him to insist on peremtory and implicit obedience to Dr. Lee and Dr. Wharton, and by all means to withhold money from him, which the youth it seems has been strongly soliciting. All this he promises punctually to perform.

So far as I know, I believe you will not be much oppressed with bills this year. Yesterday I understood from Mr. John Turberville that he had drawn on you for an hundred and odd pounds in consequence of a demand, for which Colo. Tayloe was his security, he has drawn much more largely on Mr. Russell, and it is not quite certain that these bills will go, but if they do, and you can pay the draft on you, I advise you by all means to do it, because it will contribute much to your future advantage.

I am in a great hurry and I have a bad headach so that I can write no more, but beg my love to Mrs. Lee and the Doctor. Tell the latter how I am circumstanced and that I will write him by the next Ship.

Your Ship should by all means be here in all January and I think one in Potomac for this & Rappahannock will do for the present.

Your ever affectionate brother and friend.

R. H. Lee

Rayson cleared at this Office the 22d. of July. I hope long e’er now he is arrived.


Lee PapersVirginia Historical Society

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 77 – 79. Addressed “William Lee esquire Merchant in London By favor of Capt. New Q.D.C.” William Lee endorsed the letter “Recd. 20 Apl. 1773.”