<br /> Lee Letter: b055

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: William Lee

Dear Brother,

I must beg leave to refer you to my last letters 9th Aug. 26th July & by Rayson, where you will find many of my opinions and desires both with respect to your own business and mine. Since writing the last I have received yours by Mitchell, and shall give your new Steward the direction you desire with respect to the kind and the prizing your Tobo. About 6 weeks ago, Cary Wilkeson told me that Mr. Treasurer intended to quit all cononcern with your business, but the inclosed seems to imply the contrary. This letter I received and answer’d the other day at York Court. Twice I have been obliged to attend that distant Court, to compel justice from the brother and heir of Will Templeman for Doct. Lee. The last time, judgement in favor of the latter was obtained for £16.18 Sterl. being principal, interest, and the cost of suit in P. Court, where the suit was brought previous to W. Templeman’s death, & which I paid. Give my love to the Doctor and tell him this, and that the money shall be forwarded as soon as I receive it, tho’ I yet expect all the delay that knavery can procure, or the law warrant. We have never been able to get a Charter, or liberty that would by any means suit. Capt. Robinson is full and wants liberty for 2 or 300 hhds more to his Owner. Capt. Dutchman cannot carry on liberty to you, because Mr. Watson, Bells Agen<t> says, you are not an Acquaintance of Mr. Bells. At this late Season we are unwilling to part with what Tobo. we have or could get, because we expect a small Ship from you into Rappahanock this Fall according to our former desire. Mr. Nash got your letter immediately Mr. Mer. Smith agrees to your terms of sending goods with this alteration only, that he be at liberty to make his remittances in the time stipulated, either in good bills of exchange or Tobo., which he choses. This seems reasonable. But before he writes for his Cargo, he says he must settle his affairs with Perkins & Brown. I have not been able since my last to get any further authentic intelligence about the Trents company. Loudon will attend at the Merchants meeting in Octr., and inform you fully of that. In general I lean they have got largely dipped with former connections. Cary, & Perkins in London, besides their Liverpool concerns. I believe Mr. Edward Carters estate is not entailed, and it is considerable in Lands & Slaves. One of the Trents I understand has a large landed estate. But again I repeat it, that how large soever their possessions here may be, a want of punctuality may ruin and disgrace you, and leave you to seek redress in our tediously dilatory Courts of law here. As they have I believe, sound bottom and your terms oblige to punctualy under forfeiture of heavy penalties, if the wealthy Tradesmen, who can afford to lay out of their money some time, for the great advantages offered, would run the venture, it would in that case be a very eligible plan, as you might without risk, gain the comission on the consigned Tobo. To conclude this subject, on which I have written so often and so much, Your own experience of the punctuality with which those that have been supplied by you make remittances ma determine you about shipping them future Cargoes. They surely can have no pretence to future supplies, if they comply not with their first promises. I do not know how it may seem to you, but it appears to me much the better scheme to take bonds from Gentlemen of good fortune here, and advance moderately on their Tobo. shipt, by which method a large consignment may be procured without a very great advance, and with no final risk. The inclosed for you came to hand two days ago, with a request for me to enforce its contents, but I can not do it, if they are as I am informed. That Adam Mitchel of London has shipt you in the Hibemia 6 hhdd Tobo. weighg. near 8000, and draws for £90 Sterlg. with a promise of his next years Crop which may be perhaps, as much more. The terms are so inadequate to the advance considering the low price of Tobo., that I cant pretend to recommend them. You know the Man as well as I do. Indeed, I think, I should only pay so much as the real value of his Tobo., and apologize for protesting the rest.

I congratulate my dear Brother on the good opinions entertained of him by his fellow Citizens, expressed by their choice of him to the important Office of Sheriff of London. I wish the expence may not injure, and the business interfere with your Mercantile plan. Much good advice, and singular circumspection are necessary to carry you with honor thro this arduous Office, rendered much more difficult by the particular character of the times. The eyes of multitudes are upon you, which makes it necessary that every the most minute action should be well considered, and when a wise and proper resolution is taken, let it be executed with firmness and Manly strength. The Law is the grand and glorious Lum<inar>y that will, closely attended to guide you with honor and applause to the end of your office.

I go up the Country in a few days to meet my Collector and to be furnished with the means of filling your hands, against my bill in favor of Mr. Russell comes due. You may be assured no care on my pan shall be wanting for this. We expect your annual Ship here at the time recommended in my former letter, about the first of February

Pray do not forget my Gardener. Our best love to our Sister and the Doctor.

Your ever affectionate brother.

R. H. Lee


Lee PapersVirginia Historical Society

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 96 – 99. Addressed to Lee in London and sent by Capt. Robinson. Endorsed as received December 1773 and answered 24 December 1773.