<br /> Lee Letter: b199

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Jonathan Trumbull


Altho I am fully satisfied that your wisdom and goodness were incapable of being imposed on by the Libel published at Philadelphia on the 5th of december 1778, yet you may not have imagined that it was so completely groundless, nay, that the Libellers (for there were more than one concerned in this wicked business) were themselves practicing the very vices that they charged upon others. When your leisure permits you to read the pamphlet which I have the honor to enclose you, you will be surprised and concerned that such principles should have found their way into the breasts of our young Republicans, where Virtue as the great Essential, should be the prime Mover! And your wonder will increase when I assure you that these materials more dilated, and full to the purpose, with most authentic documents to vouch every part of them, were all in the possession of Congress at the moment that they rewarded the Libeller and dishonored as much as they could the Man whose fame had been already injured by a cabal for diligently adhering to the honest duties of his station! These things should satisfy every State how very considerate they ought to be in their choice of Members of Congress – When once the Great Council of America shall dwindle into a factious herd, and become the Abettors of Vice, it will be time to look seriously into our affairs.

The printer of this little work has made many mistakes which your good sense will correct as you read.

It will give me pleasure to know that this letter with its enclosure hath got safely to your hand; for which purpose a line directed to the care of the Post Master at Leeds Town in Westmoreland County Virginia will come safely. I have the honor to be with the highest respect and esteem

Sir your most obedient and very humble Servant.

Richard Henry Lee


Letters and Papers, 1777 – 1780, Governor of Connecticut.Massachusetts Historical Society

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 172 – 73.