<br /> Lee Letter: n290

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Francis Lightfoot Lee
Recipient: Landon Carter

My dear Col.

I have received your very acceptable Letter of the 30 Apl. I wish it was in
my power to make better return, but my situation here will not admit of
it. Perhaps it wou’d be well if Congress was allowed to form a
Governmt. for the Colonies; but it does not pretend nor will ever be
allowed, to interfere with their internal policy. All it can do is to
recommend it to them to establish such governmts. as will best
contribute to their happiness, & this is done. However as I find
there are many good men in the Convention I hope they will make such an
establishment, as will put a stop to the rising disorders with you,
& secure internal quiet for the future. The violent struggle we
have to go thro’ this summer, the hardships we must suffer, make it
necessary to cultivate the utmost harmony among ourselves.

This & the adjoining Colonies are going fast into Independency &
constituting new Governmts. convinced of the necessity of it, both for
the security of internal peace & good order; and for the vigorous
exertion of their whole force against the common Enemy. I agree with
you that the arbitrary & cruel proceedings of the British Court And
The slavish indolence of the people of England, has made more
independants, than Common sense, for however plausible in theory, the
prospect of wealth & grandeur, old habits & prejudices, and
fears, of what we know not, will ever be great obstructions to changes
of Governmts Tyranny & oppression often effect it. Letters &
intelligence from London recd. yesterday,1
leave no room to doubt of the diabolical intentions of Administration
against us & their people are so plunged in Curruption, &
willing slavery that nothing is to be expected from them so that we
must stand entirely upon our own legs for the future. Indeed if we had
our choice, I think any further connection with them, wou’d be infamy
& pollution. We have the treaties with Hesse, Brunswick &
Waldeck. They are curious, if they are printed here I will send you a
copy. We have been unfortunate at Quebec. Genl. Wooster, an old woman,
suffer’d himself to be surprised by a reinforcemt. that arrived there
[the 6th] inst. & lost his Cannon, [500] stand of arms, a good deal
of powder, & his sick men.2 Bad weather
had prevented better officers from joining the Army. We are 10,000
strong there now with good Genls. & can throw in aid at pleasure,
therefore we fear them not. Colo. Tayloe has the papers, I beg my afft.
compts. may be accepted at Sabine Hall. Mrs. Lee joins in the request.

Believe me Dear Col. ever Yours,
Francis Lightfoot Lee

Notes:

Receiver’s copy, Lilly Library, Indiana University.

1 See JCC, 4:369; and Josiah Bartlett to John Langdon, May 21, 1776, note 2.

2 See Commissioners to Canada to John Hancock, May 10, 1776.