<br /> Lee Letter: b414

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: William Lee

My dear Brother,

I have this day received your two letters by Post with the Certificates, which, though I have not counted, I suppose to be right – The manœuvres concerning funding & assumption have been many and subtil – the latter had been frequently voted out in the H. of R. and a bill sent up for funding the Continental debts proper of the U.S. upon the 3 alternatives of the Secretary’s report – The assumption having been voted against unanimously by our Representatives – In the Senate we rejected the Secretary’s plan, funded the principal of Contl debt 2 thirds immediately at 6 pr Cent & the other third at same interest after 10 years – The whole Interest of this debt amounting to 13 millions was to be at 3 pr cent immediately – and directed the Fund to be kept a sacred deposit for sinking the principal – But – upon this, and in the same Bill, they, the Senate, assumed for State debts 21.500.000 dollars to be funded in fact on terms as good as the Continentals – This bill passed the Senate by a very small majority – say 2 –

It was generally supposed that the Assumption part of our Bill would be rejected by the H.R. but Mssr. R. B. Lee & White from our Country, with Gale & Dan’l Carroll from Maryland, changing sides, the Assumption was agreed to, and the Cont. interest upon interest raised to 4 pr cent – and 7 instead of 10 years proposed for funding the postponed third of the principal of the Continental debt at 6 pr cent – These latter amendments with respect to interest are now before the Senate – It seems probable that the whole will be agreed to, because the contenders (some of them) for low interest, are still greater Contenders for the Assumption; so that ’tis probable they will take the increased interest rather than hazard the loss of Assumption – you contend for 15 Shillings, if the debt is funded – Mr. Wm. Lee will take 12/ – My idea is, altho I give all possible credit to the prevailing & powerful interest of Speculators, yet, with the Assumption of 21,500,000 for State debts, with the other Mass, that more is undertaken than can be accomplished – so that if the certificates were mine I would take 12/ and run no further risk – A large Seller in the Broker way, tells me that finals are now 10/ and that if the bill passes they will be at 12/ but then they who purchase, will not allow anything for interest, since the issuing of indents ceased – Or, since there was any provision for paying interest made by Congress – perhaps they may alter if the bill should pass giving 4 pr. cent on all the interest presently – Thus have told you all that I know about the matter and you will, by return of post, give me your Ultimatum – Bank Stock, I understand is not easily to be purchased here, the regularly paid quarterly interest being 7 pr Cent – How it is at Phila – I do not know – I think it probable that we shall adjourn at the close of next week, i.e. the 6th of Aug., so that I must hear from you before that time – I enclose you a letter for Capt. Chilton whom I forgot, & who is certainly a very influential Man – My love to my friends.

Yours affectionately.

Richard Henry Lee

P.S. I have received 13 dollars for your cow & calf – I shall presently pay for your Pork – the ballance is ready for your order – The little Grocer in Queen Street near the Corner Wall Street, says you paid him for a large Bottle of old F. Brandy that still remains with him – What is to be done with it?

I have just now paid Mr. Henry Haydock ¼ dollars for your Pork, the ballance in your favor for the cow is 4¾ dollars which are at your command.

Will you be so good as to attend a little to Cassius –


Leffingwell CollectionVirginia Historical Society

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 535 – 37.