<br /> Lee Letter: b189

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: William Whipple

My Dear Sir,

I am infinitely obliged to you for your very friendly letter of the 3rd last, and I assure you that while I live I shall never fail to retain the most affectionate remembrance of you. My health I thank you is well restored, and my spirits not a little enlivened by the discomfiture of those wicked ones whose detestable arts have prevailed much too long for the interest of that cause which we have labored so much to promote and secure. I believe the Confederacies frieght will be a very guilty one, and the Sooner we are quit of it the better. I think the Companion of Mr Adams to be the very worthy one he describes him, and such an one, will honor his Country & not distract this, I can feel with force the satisfaction that good men must have received and the chagrin that bad ones felt when Dr Lee’s papers were read. But how my dear Friend will the honor of Congress stand if they allow that wicked insulter and injurer of America – Silas Deane, to go on uncensured.

Already you find by his memorial that your silence is constructed into approbation of his conduct, and this idea will be pushed thro the world to his plaudit, and the indelible dishonor and disgrace of Congress. Yet it is most certain upon the estimation with which mankind regard Congress does the future interest and success of the United States depend most essentially, Biddle is the most Contemptible wretch in the world. and if he takes the oath and remains in Congress I am much misinformed if he will not have deep cause to rue it. You have certainly been exonerated of abundance of filth lately from Congress – does not an Augean Stable yet remain. I hope however that it will be cleansed at last. If you do not get a wise and very firm friend to negotiate the fishery, it is my clear opinion that it will be lost, and upon this principal, that it is the interest of every European power to weaken us and strengthen themselves. Mr. Ford is one to Williamsburg to demand a public hearing before the Governor & Council that he may, as he says he can clearly do refute to the charges brought against him in his absence – Long ere now I suppose you have received the Dispatch he brought, which I forwarded by Express, I believe they contained more proofs of the wickedness of faction. Dr Lee informs us that he will return to America as soon as the treaty with Spain is accomplished. I submit my opinion concerning his resignation to the wise judgment of his and American Friends. It gives me pleasure to hear that you do not mean to quit Congress soon – It is very agreeable to me to hear that our little fleet has fallen in successfully with the Jamaica fleet, I am always rejoiced to hear that our Navy is fortunate. I am dear Sir

your most sincere affectionate friend.

Richard Henry Lee


Langdon CollectionPennsylania Historical Society

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 144 – 46. Whipple replied to Lee on 18 September.