<br /> Lee Letter: n256

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Francis Lightfoot Lee
Recipient: Richard Henry Lee

. . .2 being so full as other ways I shou’d. You
have seen the Kings speech, which you wou’d suppose must convince
everybody of the bloody intentions of the King EL ministry, but it is
far from being the case in this City; for there is a certain Ld.
Drummond who persuades the tools who are gaping after a reconciliation,
that he is in the secrets of the inner Cabinet, that the sincere wish
is to make up with America, upon her own terms, that even Ld. Mansfield
is a warm friend to our Cause. All this is so absurd, that you will say
none but rank tories can pretend to beleive it & so shoud I did I
not find the contrary, for you may be assured that many friends &
well meaning people are taken in & wish loudly for Congress to send
deputies home. Indeed I am not without my fears, that Congress may be
somewhat affected.3 This day a motion was
made to [. . .]4 from this measure, by
myself & some others. You shoud be here as soon as
possible,5 I mean with tolerable convenience
to yourself, for I see no prospect of the Congress adjourning. Nine
batallions are order’d for Canada to march as quickly as they can be
raised. Bull’s & Maxwell’s are two of them who go off
directly.6 Montgomeries last Letter informs
us of his being before Quebec, & confident of success. We have
recd. 57 tons of saltpetre & 30 tons of powder; & have
intelligence of a vessell with 15 tons & 2000 stand of arms which
is every day expected. Yr. fleet is not yet out of the River but I
believe they have Now No obstruction, Tho Virga. I believe will not
receive any benefit as the pilots are sent
home.7 Norfolk we hear is destroyd, but we
are anxious to know the fate of the troops
there.8

God bless you. Farewell,
F. L. Lee

Notes:

Receiver’s copy, University of Virginia Library.

1 The date and the recipient of this letter have been conjectured from the
content of Lee’s remarks.

2 The top portion of this letter is missing.

3 See Lord Drummond’s Notes, January 3 – 9? 1776, note 1.

4 MS damaged; several lines missing.

5 Richard Henry Lee, the probable recipient of this letter, did not return to
Congress until early March. See JCC, 4:196; and Richard Henry Lee to
George Washington, March 13, 1776.

6 See the resolutions of January 8, 1776, JCC, 4:39.

7 See Benjamin Harrison to Wilson Miles Cary, December 10, 1775.

8 On January I Norfolk was cannonaded by Dunmore’s ships, and a landing party
set fire to the warehouses along the wharf. The heaviest destruction,
however, was apparently the result of fires set by Virginia troops.
See Clark, Naval Documents 3:563 – 65, 579 – 80, 617 – 18; and Thomas J.
Wertenbaker, Norfolk, Historic Southern Port (Durham, N.C.: Duke
University Press, 1931), pp. 67 – 68.