<br /> Lee Letter: n277

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Francis Lightfoot Lee
Recipient: Landon Carter

Dear Colonel,

The assurances of friendship in your Letter of the 30 of March, give me
very great pleasure. I hope it will always continue, as a compensation
for the many disquietude unavoidable in this Life. Who in the name of
Heaven, coud tell you, that Independancy had been 3 times thrown out of
Congress? You may be assured, the Question has never been before the
Congress, and it is probable they will wait till the people brings it
before them; which event is not far off, from the best accounts, from
the different parts of the Continent; for your information, with
respect to the disposition of the northern people is as erroneous as
the other. Of this I am very confident, having made it my business to
be informed. It is not improbable but that even the Colony of N. York
will step foremost in this great Question.

It makes me uneasy to find from yr. Let. that licentiousness begins to
prevail in Virga.; tho’ I have always expected it, from the
mismanagement of the Gentlemen. The old Government being dissolved,

& no new one substituted in its stead; Anarchy must be the consequence.
The Congress foresaw this, & therefore recommended it to Virga.
& the Southd. Colonies to establish such Government as wou’d best
secure their peace & happiness.1 I
anxiously hope this will be done, the next convention, or I dread the
consequences.2 Rhode Island &
Connecticut having Governments of ther own everything has been carried
on with order & quiet. New Hampshire & Massachusetts Bay, whose
Governors & other officers were appointed by the Crown, were
getting into the utmost disorder; but upon their assuming Government,
by the advice of Congress, they are restored to perfect harmony &
regularity. The Southern Colonies by delaying the remedy, will I fear,
have violent symptoms to encounter.

I feel myself deeply interested in the security & happiness of America;
compared with which, the interests of Britain, is as a feather in the
scale. Let us my dear friend do the best we can for the good of our
Country, & leave the event to fate. I take it for granted that all
our friends at Sabine Hall & in Richmond are well. God grant they
may long continue so. My better half & myself are well. Col. Tayloe
has the papers. There is very little news. I forgot to tell you that a
Pamphlet written against Common sense3 was
burnt in the temperate City of N. York by a vast majority of its

Farewell my dear Sir,
Francis Lightfoot Lee


Receiver’s copy, Maine Historical Society.

1 l See the resolutions of December 4, 1775. JCC, 3:403 – 4.

2 The Virginia Convention took the initial step in forming a new government
on May 15, 1776, when it appointed a committee to prepare a
declaration of rights and a plan of government. See its proceedings
in Am. Archives, 4th ser. 6:1524.

3 James Chalmers’ Plain Truth.