<br /> Lee Letter: b269

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Thomas Lee Shippen

My dear Nephew,

Your very obliging attention to my affairs deserves, as it certainly receives, my best thanks. The horses, I find are in a good way of getting back to Virginia, and I best like the Mode of their returning with the good <Gentleman> you mention, as promising less mischief to the <Ho>rses – But, should they not be put to dry food a day or <two> at Mr. Heilkeimers? – Now for the Breeches – Oh the Breeches – I must have a pair of black breeches – they suit my years, my station; and above all, they please my inclination. Plague on the fashion, it will be trenching on the plans of gravity, and disturbing its operations – But tho this same fashion will not suffer me to wear black Net Silk, perhaps it may permit black of some other kind – Consult my friend Mr. De Bartholt upon this point – and since important points should not hastily be determined – that this may have the weight that wise deliberation may give it, I wish that my good brother your father and yourself may supervise Mr. De Bartholt in this business. The question for consideration is shortly this – Will the fashion permit an old grave Member of Congress to wear black breeches; it being remembered always that he means to accompany the black breeches with black Silk Stockings & white Shoe & Knee buckles – If this should be answered in the affirmative (which I very much hope) the next question is, what sort of black – for black Silk Net it cannot, must not be – Remember again, that except black cloth, black plush, or too thin black Silk – Any black Material that is Neat, genteel and warm, and durable will suit me – Must I add, fashionable – Let this last be as shall be t<hou>ght proper in Council – Now my dear Cousin, <when> this weighty matter is determined – I will then thank Mr. De Bartholt for sending me the Material resolved upon, with the apendages for making up as mentioned in my last, by the first safe opportunity – They may be put up in a small, close, & convenient package, so as not to be of inconvenient Carriage – Jocing apart, I realy want the Breeches very much – And will be obliged by your friendly attention to the subject –

My love always attends the family – God bless you,


Richard Henry Lee

P.S. I have sent a letter for my brother Arthur, which please to send only by a very safe & sure Conveyance –


Shippen Collection###

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 302 – 4.