<br /> Lee Letter: b259

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Arthur Lee

My dear Brother,

When the first Continental ships of war were fitted out at Philadelphia under the command of Commodore Hopkins in the last of 1775 & the first of 1776, the first object was, to surprise and take Lord Dunmore with his Associates then at Norfolk – To affect this purpose, the then Marine Committee desired me to write to Colo. Harrison, then a Member of Congress sent to Baltimore for the purpose of executing some business relative to this naval expedition, to desire that he would procure and send to Philadelphia from Virginia two pilots well acquainted with the navigation of the Chesapeake, and men who could be relied upon for their attachment to our cause – Colo. Harrison (the now Governor) made application to Virginia accordingly, in consequence of which two of our best Bay pilots came up to Phila. soon after christmas 1775 – Edward Cooper and Wm. Ballard were the men – After waiting some time in Phila. for our fleet to get in readiness, the arrival of the Liverpoole & the Roebuck into Chesapeak put an end to that expedition, and the Pilots were discharged, as they now say, without any pay – And they do at this time demand pay from the present Governor – We wish you to have enquiry made concerning this matter, and to get the men paid if they have not already been so – Mr. Matlack was at that time Clerk of the Marine Committee, and can inform where the books of that committee are, which will show the circumstance of these men being sent for & whether they were paid upon being discharged – It is not improbable that Mr. Timothy Matlack gave all these papers to his Successor Clerk of the Marine Committee – He was a Mr. Brown in my time, and being a man of business, he can readily search into this matter & see what was done – The pilots waited some time in Phila. & as they say suffered in other respects by this journey – At all events, if they have not been paid, they ought to [be] reasonably compensated. I am not yet recovered from my Richmond indisposition but I am better, and hope that a proper attention to medicine and re men will restore me quick. I am

your Affectionate brother and friend.

Richard Henry Lee


Lee PapersUniversity of Virginia Archives

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 285 – 86.