<br /> Lee Letter: b147

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Gerard

Sir

I have heard with great pleasure of the dispersion of Admiral Byron’s fleet, the loss of the Somerset and the sailing of M. Le Count d’Estaing On all which happy events, I beg leave to have the honor of congratulating you.

These things present to my hopes two good consequences the future success of the Count and the reduction of that proud power which has so long and so injuriously triumphed at sea. I assure you, Sir, that I shall always revere his M. C. My. and esteem the trench nation for the wise and generous aid we have received for the security of our independence and the happiness of my country.

France has now the honor Sir, to lead other nations in philosophy, and to be far above all in the best branch of it, the philosophy of humanity. Such wisdom and generosity cannot fail to be attended with correspondent effects, preeminent greatness.

The late last supply of provisions sent to Antigua denotes the enemies opinion that the West Indies will in future be the seat of war: I hope the aid of his C.M.I. will be an additional means of frustrating every plan of defence that our enemies may form in that quarter.

As my wishes for your health are very sincere so it will give me pleasure to hear that you are perfectly recovered from the indisposition that afflicted you when I left Philadelphia I have the honor to be with sentiments of the highest esteem and regard, Sir,

your most obedient and humble servant.

Richard Henry Lee

Notes:

Ministère des Affaires Éstrangères, Correspondences Politiques, Etâts-UnisParis

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 455 – 56.