<br /> Lee Letter: n255

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Francis Lightfoot Lee
Recipient: Landon Carter

My dear Colonel,

Before you receive this, Mr. Colston will have given you all the news of
this place when he left it, since which one of our little men of war,
called the Lee, capt. Manly, has taken a Store ship, loaded with 2000
stand of arms, a great deal of artillery, 30 tons of shot, a quantity
of shells & shott for the bombs & Cannon; and a very great
quantity of all kinds of Artillery stores, to the amount of 20,000£ Str., as tis thott. We make no doubt but Quebeck Carleton with
his powder are in our possession by this time. If we are supply’d with
powder from that or any other quarter this winter we shall certainly
make Boston too hot for Howe, as the Ministry has kindly supplied us
plentifully with Artillery. These successes to the Northward, and the
former reputation of Virga. make the present proceedings with you
appear in a very odd light. The real friends of liberty are under great
concern, & your delegates are mortified with the sneers &
reflections of the lukewarm but that is trifling to the uneasiness we
suffer, from the apprehension of the consequences that may follow from
Ld. Dunmore’s being allow’d to get to such a
head.1

It does not appear to me that Woodford’s force is sufficient to effect any
thing decisive. In my opinion, our safety depends upon an immediate,
& effectual stop being put to that infernal Demon, & his tory
associates at Norfolk. The Congress are giving the greatest attention
to a Navy, & I hope we shall have ships enough by the spring to
oblige the Ministerial fleet to consult their safety by keeping close
together, & of course will not be able to do us much injury. I am
surprised at not receiving Letters from my friends in Richmond by the
Constl. post. The Postmaster assures me there is a post establishecl
from Fredericksburg to Portroyal, Hobb’s Hole, & Urbanna; And the
County Comtees were to direct where the offices shou’d be kept. I wish
it was inquired into & the obstruction mentioned; that they may be
removed, if in the Postmaster’s power. I hope the County chose a Comtee
to your liking, & that every thing is quiet. Is it not necessary
that the Convention should establish some kind of Government as Ld. D.
by his proclamation has utterly demolished the whole civil Government.
I believe the Congress will adjourn before Christmas, but whether long
enough to allow me to see Virga. is uncertain. ln the mean time my best
wishes attend my friends in Richmond.

I am Dear Col. yr. afft. hble
Sevt.
Francis Lightfoot Lee

Notes:

Receiver’s copy, Virginia Historical Society.

1 For Congress’ response to the threat to Virginia posed by Dunmore’s
operations, see JCC, 3:403 – 4; and Francis Lightfoot Lee to Robert W.
Carter, December 2,1775, note 1.