<br /> Lee Letter: b433

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Otho Williams

Sir,

Having found it very difficult to dispose of our grain and furnish our family supplies in this retired part of the Northern Neck, my friends, neighbors, and Sons in Law, Colo. Wm. Augustine Washington & Corbin Washington; & myself determined to purchase a small Vessel in partnership for the above purposes. And lately we bought the Schooner Betsey, of Vienna in your State, from Mr. Henry Lake. And it happening that the Skipper whom we intended for her Commander was under inoculation for the Small pox, we were constrained to employ a protempore Skipper to carry a load of Corn & pease to Baltimore before harvest. Intending, immediately on her return, to put our proper Commander on board, and take out a New Register with his Name therein – For this Trip therefore she still goes under her former Register, with her unexpired years Licence. We have none of us, the present Owners, been ever before concerned with Craft, so that it may be possible that some undesigned, unknowing mistake may have been made in her sailing papers. We hope however, that should it be so, we may not suffer for our want of knowledge in this line of business – We intended to new christen her, when we got a New Register, and name her “The Three Friends,” but we are told that she must continue in her Old Name. I shall thank you Sir for information on this point, and what sailing papers it may be necessary for her to carry in her usual trips from State to State, or the Same State, or an adjoining State. I am sure your goodness will excuse this trouble from one [who] will at all times be happy to serve you. I am with particular esteem and regard, Sir

Your most obedient Servant.

Richard Henry Lee

Notes:

Etting CollectionHistorical Society of Pennsylvania

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 559 – 60.