<br /> Lee Letter: b388

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Charles Lee

My Dear Sir,

Mr Musket delivered me your letter of the 19th. instant, and with it £30. sent for me by Mr Corbin Washington – this latter came timeously as the Scotchmen say – All else upon this subject I refer to your attentive consideration as stated in my letter to you by last post – Mr Musket was totally disappointed in the views that brought him here and therefore he could not & did not pay me any money on Ludwell’s account, which you will please communicate to the latter – The Memorials concerning Potomac have been presented & referred to a Committee of the H. of R. I attended that Committee, and found the Chairman (a Gentleman from the Eastward) to be sensible, liberal and accommodating – He admitted the validity of the argument urged and agreed that a conformable report should be made – Last evening I waited on our Madison, but I found him more unpracticable – he thought that you were all too hasty, that time would remove your objections, and he had been informed from Gentlemen below who wished well to the revenues that the present mode would prevent much contraband between the neighboring States & Virginia – I can judge from whom this information came, & so perhaps you may, by reasoning from effects to causes – Kinsale and its friends – However, their objections were combatted by me, and I incline to think that he will, at least, not oppose our wishes – I confess to you, that I fear success in the Senate, even if the other House sent up a bill of relief – And I judge from what has happened there – We, as I have told them, are in a revenue delirium – Tis realy the fact, and consequent determinations are to be expected – I shall do my best to procure the desired relief – The enclosed paper will shew you the amendments passed the H. of R. to the Constitution – They are short of some essentials, as Election interference & Standing Army &c, yet I was surprised to find in the Senate that it was proposed we should postpone the consideration of Amendments until Experience had shewn the necessity of any – As if experience were now necessary to prove the propriety of those great principles of Civil liberty which the wisdom of Ages has found to be necessary barriers against the encroachments of power in the hand of frail Man! My Colleague was sick & absent – The laboring oar was with me – A Majority of 2 thirds however agreed to take the Amendments under consideration next Monday – I hope that if we cannot gain the whole loaf, we shall at least have some bread – A bill of federal crime & punishments has passed the Senate. I think pretty high toned – And now the H. of R. are agitating the question about the place for the permanent Seat of Government: Intrigue is very busy – Potomac or Trenton is the question – how it will issue is not easy to tell – but I have some suspicion that one or the other of the two great Towns of N.Y. or C. will so manage as to procure the final issue to be different from what is right. A resolve has passed both houses to adjourn 22d of September – Should it be so I shall be at Alexa early in Octr and if you could so manage it that our dear Nancy could be at Chantilly whilst you were at Richmd it will be most grateful to her Mother and myself. I am yours dear Sir

with much affection.

Richard Henry Lee

Notes:

Washburn CollectionMassachusetts Historical Society

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 498 – 99.