<br /> Lee Letter: b165

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Samuel Adams

My dear Friend

Since writing to you yesterday we have had the oportunity of examining a Man that left the enemy whilst they were burning our Warehouses. He is an Eastern Man, was captured sometime ago and detained. He says, the Vessels now in our Bay consist of the Otter 18 guns, the Harlem 12 guns, both Kings Vessels, the Dunmore 16, Hammond Schooner 14, Lord North 12, Fincastle 2, three pounders. The 4 last, are Gutridges fleet – Besides the Warehouses, they plundered and burned five private houses – They have about 80 Men that they use as Marines, and with these they land at unguarded places, plunder & destroy.

Were the Confederacy disengaged, she alone would demolish this whole band of pirates.

If the Boston is recovered, she, with the Dean, can in a fortnight capture all these Vessels and relieve the numerous water settlements on Chesapeak and its dependencies. Our Militia cannot be everywhere, and where they are not, these plunderers land and destroy. I recollect, that some weeks ago, the Merchants of Philadelphia offered to assist in getting men for the Continental Ships, in order to clear the Bay of Chsapeak of obstructions to their commerce – The present enemy may be removed without much difficulty, and whilst they continue in our Bay, they obstruct the trade as effectually as the largest ships could do. If the Marine Committee can relieve us I am sure it will be done. May heaven preserve you in health and happiness.

Your friend.

Richard Henry Lee


Samuel Adams PapersLenox Foundation

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 75. Addressed to Adams “Member of Congress Philadelphia.”