<br /> Lee Letter: b158

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Samuel Adams

My dear Friend

There seems to be something ungenerous in wishing you may continue in a situation where I well know that your fine patriotic (I dont say feelings because Penn has vulgarized the word) sense receives repeated wounds from the – – and the – – of many of those you are confined to converse and to do business with. Yet I am not unreasonable. If I had to draw with such as you have, I would encounter the rest with all imaginable patience and vigor. But too much has been done; and with too much pains, risk, and perseverance, to let the whole be lost by a few Spoilers. The author of this Revolution will not suffer the good it was intended to produce to be lost for the wickedness of a few individuals – I trust therefore, that sufficient influence will operate on good men, to have enough always collected to stem the torrent of wickedness and perversity. Should the news prevailing here of Gen. Lincolns having entirely defeated the enemy prove true, we may hope, as this was done by our own countrymen, that our full share in the fishery and the navigation of Mississippi may yet be obtained notwithstanding the excellent and honorable expositions that our really excellent friend Mr. Lovell furnished us with a translation of, dated A Philadelphie le 22 May 1779. It is very amusing to see a Man undertake to condemn, what he supposes, a partial and unfair explanation of Treaty, and proceed to give one himself that is infi<nitely m>ore scholastic than generous, more labored <than> just. However I hope our good Ally entertains no such sentiments, as will lead to yieldings by which our future safety, strength, and prosperity will be put on doubtful ground. The enemy have plundered and left us – If tempted thereby to come again, I hope their fortune will be less, and their punishment greater. Our Assembly have chosen Jefferson Governor, this augurs wisdom in the new Delegates, and promises a good choice of their other Servants – I hope it will prove so. America may have wise and honest Counsellors, and having such, they would not be treated like children as now they are. I shall be happy to hear from you, and well pleased indeed to know that wisdom and diligence guided Congress – My best respects to the patriotic Inhabitants of Liberty Hall, and to my esteemed friends Gen. Whipple, Mr. Sherman, Gen. Spencer & Mr. Ellery – I am,

and shall be whilst I live your friend.

Richard Henry Lee

Notes:

Samuel Adams PapersLenox Library

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 59 – 61. Addressed to Adams “Member of Congress at Philadelphia.”