<br /> Lee Letter: n18

Washington and Lee University

Sender: George Washington
Recipient: Richard Henry Lee

Dear Sir:

In great haste I write you a few lines to cover the enclosed,
1 they came in the manner you see them, and
as explained in Captain Langdon’s letter to me. I hesitated some time
in determining whether I could, with propriety, select them from the
rest, considering in what manner they came to my hands; but as there
are some things in each which may serve to irritate, I concluded it
best to send not only the one directed to you, but the other also, (to
Doctor Franklin) under cover to you, as you may communicate and secrete
such parts as you like. I have no time to add the necessity of vigorous
exertions; they are too obvious to need any stimulus from me.

Adieu, my dear Sir.2

P.S. Upon second thought, knowing that Doctor Franklin is in Canada, I send
you a copy only of a letter to him, (which I take to be from Doctor
Lee) and the original to the Doctor.

Notes:

1 These inclosures were letters brought by George Merchant, captured at
Quebec and taken a prisoner to England. He had escaped and reported
to John Langdon, who forwarded the papers Merchant brought to
Washington. These letters included two from Arthur Lee, dated
February 13 and 14, which Burnett, in Letters of
Members of the Continental Congress
, calls mysterious. Merchant
had brought copies of the treaties with the German princes. (See
following letter of Washington to the President of Congress.)

2 Text is from Memoirs of the Lite of Richard Henry Lee and
His Correspondence
.