<br /> Lee Letter: b377

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Theodoric Bland

Dear Sir,

Long acquaintance and friendship, with very similar opinions, will apologize for my troubling you with my wishes that amendments may be procured to the new constitution, by means of the new Congress; and that I am willing to exert my faculties for obtaining such amendments in the senate of the new legislature, if it shall please the Assembly to send me there; and this information to my friends is the more necessary, because I know it is a common art, in these times, to prevent elections by asserting that persons proposed will not serve if elected. That amendments are necessary to this system, cannot, I think, be doubted by any sensible and dispassionate man. The thing itself, the judgment of many respectable states, and great numbers of individuals, all proclaim it. Nor will amendments, probably, fail to be made, unless the legislatures should choose men so zealously and blindly devoted as to prevent them from seeing defects that all other men do see. As the subject has been very fully considered, and a majority have received it, professedly under the idea of expected amendments, I should think that, as good citizens, it now becomes us to exert our faculties so to conduct the business as that a wise, energetic, and free government, may result from properly amending the present form. Should this fortunately be your opinion, the community will have the aid of your knowledge and experience in the new legislature. I have the honour to be, with the truest esteem and regard, dear Sir,

Your affectionate friend and obedient servant,

Richard Henry Lee

Notes:

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Printed in R. H. Lee, Memoir of Richard Henry Lee, 2:95. Printed also in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 477 – 78.