<br /> Lee Letter: b415

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Arthur Lee

My dear Brother,

The enclosed letter scal’d with black was this day given to me at the Levy by a gentleman just arrived from England, who said Lord Lansdowne desired him to deliver it to you. The other letter was me by I know not whom at present. You desire information how our representatives voted last year, on the question of Instructions. I have enquired but cannot learn – do you not think however that in canvases like yours, it will be well to apply the Law maxim – That claim should be founded on the strength of your own title, not on the weakness of your adversary’s. It seems to me that this will be the most successful method, and certainly the least exceptionable. You will receive enclosed the Secretary’s estimate of the sufficiency of the funds for paying the Interest of the foreign & domestic debt, if the ways and means bill now under consideration passes, which will probably be the case – provisions for paying the interest of the 21,500,000 assumed for state debts will not be made until the next session – The present being to end the last of this or the middle of next week. I have not received any answer yet from you to my last stating the present price of finals and of their Interest, and desiring to know your ultimatum on the Subject of selling or funding yours – A Broker told me yesterday that finals now sold principle for 1-2/3 and the interest for 7/6 or 8 I forget which – but then they allowed nothing for Interest since the old Congress ceased to make provision for paying interest – a bad reason Since the Congress provides for all the interest, but at 3 per cent only. I have shipped your Demijohn of French Brandy to Mr. Brent at Norfolk desiring him to send it to Alexandria to you – I hope to see you in a fortnight. My love to all – Your affectionate brother.

Richard Henry Lee

No Spanish war the 8 June but likely to be.


Lee PapersUniversity of Virginia Archives

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 537 – 38. A transcript dated “August 5” is in the Lee Papers, Virginia Historical Society.