<br /> Lee Letter: b279

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Thomas Lee Shippen

My dear Cousin

Your very kind congratulations on my appointment have, as they deserve, my cordial thanks; and it is the more grateful to me, since I find that my success operates on your mind as an incentive to still greater exertions on your part to fit yourself for great employments. That will to me be a more valuable good than any other that I expect to derive from my present honorable post. I am happy even in the contemplation of the satisfaction that I shall receive from seeing your father & yourself here in the course of the winter – Suffer me now to turn your attention to the affair of my Horses, and permit me to request your friendly aid in the disposal of them – Whether it be to sell them in Phila. or to send them to Virginia – At Alexandria the two will sell for £35, or 40 pounds our money – but how to get them there is the question. I believe from what you write, that the Stage will not do – Is it then possible, by the favor of the Post Master General to get them on by the Post upon my paying for their feeding as they go, and to the persons who convey them for their trouble in carrying them & taking care of them? If that plan fails, would it do to send the Presidents Coachman who is now at Philadelphia S who will not be wanting here probably in 10 or 12 days, at my private expence to carry them to Mr Fendalls near Alexandria, and return in the Stage after delivering them – the propriety of this last mode depends much on calculation – the expence of his going with the two horses to Alexandria & returning by Stage will be at least £6 – or £7 which, supposing the horses to sell afterwards for £35 will reduce their value to £28 –

Then the question will be, wont the two sell even at auction in Phila. for £28 – if they will the trouble of sending may be avoided. In fact I had rather take £25 our money for the two than be at any further trouble & expence about them – If it should be thought advisable to send them to Virginia under all the difficulties attending the business – You are already in possession of a letter from me to Mr. Fendall to be carried with the horses. Whichever way you determine will please me, but of all the Modes I like that plan the least which proposes to send the Coachman with them – If Mr. Hazard, or the next principal Manager of the post would send a ticket to the different postmasters, they would impress on each Postrider the propriety of taking care of the horses.

It will give me much content to know that this business is well settled. Mr. Heilkeimer is a very knowing man in these affairs, he can advise well, and I should suppose that if he would take a little pains might sell them reasonably – I will readily pay him & thank him for his trouble – My best love to the family, and my sincerest wishes for your health and prosperity – God bless you,


Richard Henry Lee

Late at night & in much haste.


Shippen Collection###

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 312 – 14.