<br /> Lee Letter: b357

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Thomas Lee Shippen

My dear Cousin,

Having recover’d my health much better than I ever expected to have done, I have again taken my Seat in Congress – I arrived in this City a fortnight ago, having stayed a week in Philadela. where I saw your friends all in good health and your father, as usual, in high spirits. I was extremely happy to find that you were so well placed for improvement and to see, under your own hand, such strong proof that you had greatly profited by your situation. The federal convention at Phila. proceeding slowly, but I hope surely in a practical improvement of our federal Constitution. Experience seems to have proved that our governments have not Tone enough for the unruly passions of men, and so far as I can judge, the general wish is for a ballanced government where the powers shall be placed independently as in England; and of duration somewhat longer than the present. Congress is proceeding with the ordinary business until the Convention shall report their plan for consideration and recommendation to the different States – I suppose it will be recommended to the States to call Conventions for the special purpose of approving the new System, that it may rest on the broad base of the peoples choice rather than on the more feeble opinion of the ordinary Legislatures – In my last to you from Virga. I requested you to send me a few of the newest books, if there were any published of high Characters and to apply to Mr. Thos. Blane Merchant in London for the Cash to pay for them, and to deliver them to him that they might be forwarded to me. If you have not already complied with this request, you need not now trouble yourself about it, because I have written to Mr. Blane for as many books as my finances will allow me to devote in one year to that article. But you will very much oblige me by getting for me one of the most improved Modern Lamps of polished Tin, such as Doctor Franklin brought over with him for giving peat splendor of light to a Parlour where company sit – If, in order to use this Lamp, any explanation is necessary, let such explanation accompany it. Mr. Blane will receive and forward the Lamp with my other Goods that he sends me the ensuing Fall – And he will on our application, supply the money necessary to pay for it, as I have directed him. I pray you to remember me affectionately to Mr. Adams and inform him that I will shortly write to him. Congress have not yet determined on complying with his request to be permitted to return home, but when they shall do so, I will certainly do my endeavor to have Colo. Smith appointed Chargé des Affairs at the Court of London if such shd. be the plan fixt on. My compliments if you please to Colo. Smith – I hope to hear from you e’er long, because I am always happy to do so, being with the most unfeigned affection and the Truest regard My dear Cousin

Yours for ever.

Richard Henry Lee

P.S. July 30. The want of 9 states prevents a determination on My Adams’s business by this packet, so that we do not know the future arrangement – I enclose you my dear Cousin a letter [for] our Relation the Bishop of Chester – It may bring you acquainted with a Learned and worthy Man – farewell –

Remember me to Dr. Cutting

Mr. Blane may be met with on the Royal Exchange – Virginia walk – Seal the Bishops letter before delivery –


Shippen Collection###

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 427 – 29.