<br /> Lee Letter: b126

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: – –

Dear Sir,

I am exceedingly obliged to you for your favor of the 28 Ulto., by the contents of which I have reason to think you have written me a letter that has never come to hand – Indeed I strongly suspect infidelity in the Post-office – It may be possible to discover the certainty of this – I have received since my arrival in Virga. two letters from you, the first came by Post to me three weeks ago, and the last I received today, directed to the care of the Post Master at Leedstown, but mentioned to be by Express – If more than these have been written & sent by Post, the miscarriage is in the Post office – The first of your favors I answered by return of Post, and this acknowledges the last – Profitable as is the game that France now plays, she may probably not wish to change it quickly – Yet I think the greater interest, or necessity, will work a change in our favor e’er long – But my wish is, that we rely not at all upon the aid of others, but trust to our own wise and manly exertions – Wise, in the instant and total discarding of every Tory or suspected Tory from every department, and by securing a vigorous Army and its thorough supply with every necessary – Nothing can prove infamous misconduct more conclusively, than there not being plenty of provisions in a Country abounding extremely in this Article. But we must not only drive the Tories from the State, the Army, and from every office of our appointment; but we must also render it inconvenient as possible for them to find existence in this land of freedom, which they wish to poison with the bane of Tyranny. It is of infinite consequence to the success of our virtuous cause that its friends should have the surest & quickest intelligence, yet these are much worse informed than our enemies are – The latter not only have private riders, but they certainly contrive to corrupt the Post in some places, and make it an instrument of our injury instead of being a useful channel of conveyance – Our Assembly have gone largely into the business of Taxation, and they have shewn much zeal in their plan for strengthening the Army – Their wish for Union is evident from the expedition with which they have unanimously and quickly assented to the Confederation – I pray you Sir to continue your obliging correspondences which shall be carefully returned by dear Sir your most obedient & very humble Servant

Notes:

Waterston CollectionMassachusetts Historical Society

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 378 – 80. Endorsed “From Col. R. H. Lee 15th Janry. 1778. Answer’d 5th. Feb.”