<br /> Lee Letter: b174

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: James Searle

Dear Sir,

An event that seldom happens to me, good fortune, is likely to give my friend some trouble. I see by Dunlaps paper of july the 27th. last, that one of my daughters and myself have, each of us, drawn a prize of 500 dollars in the late class of Continental Lottery – the fortunate numbers are 91,315 and 89,638. You will see by the inclosed list that we had 11 tickets in that class, but we cannot tell the fate of any but the above two. The favor I mean to ask of you dear Sir, is as follows. That you enquire and let me know the fate of our nine other tickets, and that you dispose of the two prizes 500 dollars each in purchasing as many tickets forthwith in the third class as they will fetch, agreeable to the inclosed list. I find that in order to get the number of tickets proposed in the list, that it will be necessary to add 20 dollars to the prize money, which 20 dollars my good friend doctor Shippen Senr will furnish you with on demand. If any of the other numbers are prizes, be so kind as continue them in the third class independent of the inclosed list. I am not aware of any objection to my plan, but if I cannot get the new tickets upon the strength of our two 500 dollar prizes, I suppose Loan Office certificates may be had for the prizes, and these last sold for money to purchase the tickets with. But the former will be the shortest and least troublesome mode. – I do not suppose that it will be necessary for me to take any steps here to verify that I have the tickets which are numbered in the inclosed list, since I received nine of them from the office in Philadelphia where they are entered in the book for the persons stated in the list; and the other two, vidct. Nos. 20,710 S 20,714 were 20 dollar prizes in the first class, which I continued of course. I have all the 11 tickets here, and if it is necessary that I should deliver them up to, and take a certificate from the distributor here previous to my getting new tickets or the certificates, I will do so on your information that it is necessary.

When you have got the new tickets be so kind as deliver them to Dr. Shippen senr to be contrived by a safe hand to me, and let me know the several numbers by letter in case of miscarriage. Thus you see my dear Sir that my good fortune is likely to occasion you some trouble, but I know your goodness too well to doubt your willingness to undertake it for me. We wait with much impatience here to know the fate of the manœuvres upon North river, and what is become of the ravaging party that was in Connecticut.

I understand that the Deneans have been very sensibly touched lately by Dr. Lees proofs of their friends atrocious misconduct. But, is it possible Sir, that Congress can be so inconsiderate about what belongs to their own honor, and so inattentive to what the public good demands, as to let Deane go off without giving ample security for accounting fairly for the large sum of public money that he has had the direction of. Is it supposed that the public will rest satisfied with the secretion of Dr. Lees vindication and his proofs, after the infamous libel published on the 5th. of december last, to deceive and mislead the community for purposes most abominable? We have had a fine supply of military stores arrived here lately from France (and what is wonderful Silas Deane was not there to send them, nor did Beaumerchais or Montheiu, or Chaumont furnish them) for the use of this State, which will put us into a good posture of defence. With my compliments to your good Lady, I am dear Sir

your friend and fellowcitizen.

Richard Henry Lee


Conarroe CollectionHistorical Society of Pennsylvania

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 104 – 6. Addressed to Searle “Member of Congress Philadelphia.” Endorsed “Rd. 17. Aug.”