<br /> Lee Letter: n167

Washington and Lee University

Sender: George Washington
Recipient: Richard Henry Lee

Dear Sir: Unsollicited by, and unknown to Mr. Paine, I take the liberty of
hinting the services, and distressed (for so I think it may be called)
situation of that Gentleman. That his Commonsense, and many of his
Crisis’s, were well timed, and had a happy affect upon the public mind,
none I believe who will recur to the epochas at which they were
published, will deny: that his services hither to have passed off
unnoticed, is obvious to all; and that he is chagrined and necessitous,
I will undertake to aver. Does not common justice then point to some
compensation? He is not in circumstances to refuse the public bounty.
New York, not the least distressed, or most able State in the Union
have set the example. He prefers the benevolence of the States
individually, to an allowance from Congress, for reasons which are
conclusive in his own mind, and such as I think may be approved by
others; his views are moderate; a decent independency is, I believe,
the height of his ambition; and if you view his services in the
American cause in the same important light that I do, I am sure you
will have pleasure in obtaining it for him.

I am,
etc.1

Notes:

1 From the “Letter Book” copy in the Washington
Papers
.