<br /> Lee Letter: n271

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Samuel Purviance, Jr.

Dear Sir,

I received your account of the retaking Husdons
ship1 and the flight of the enemy with great
pleasure. I hope you will make wise use of the opportunity to render
the avenews to yr. flourishing Town inaccessible to the enemy. I think
you have the means of doing this most effectually, and sure it ought
not to be neglected. I suppose the Defence and her Tender will now be
employed in keeping your Bay Coast as far as Potomac clear of Sloops
and Tenders from our Enemies. I am sure Capt. Squires will not
interrupt your Trade so long as he knows Capt. Nicholson is with you,
and as for larger Ships, if they should come, which is not very
probable, it will be no diflficult matter to get out of their way by
retiring to shallow waters. I expect this will be delivered you by
General Lee who is on his way to his Southern command. I am in no doubt
of the worthy General meeting with those civilities from you that prove
so agreable to every body else. It is of great importance that Gen. Lee
should quickly get to the place of his destination, and therefore, if
he should want either horses or Guides for this purpose, I know your
patriotic Committee will furnish them. I need not trouble you with
news, as the General can give you any that prevails here.

I am, with much esteem, Sir your obliged and obedient servt.

Richard Henry Lee


Receiver’s copy, Maryland Historical Society.

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, p. 170. Addressed “Samuel Purveyance Jun Esqr. Chairman of the Committee of Baltimore. Favored by General Lee.”

1 A reference to the prize taken by the British sloop Otter, Capt. Matthew
Squire on March 6, which was retaken by the Maryland ship Defence,
Capt. James Nicholson, on March 9. Clark, Naval Documents, 4:286.