<br /> Lee Letter: n296

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: George Washington

Dear Sir,

I am informed that a certain Mr. Eustace, now in New York, but some time
ago with Lord Dunmore, is acquainted with a practise that prevailed of
taking letters out of the Post Office in Virginia and carrying them to
Dunmore for his perusal and then returning them to the Office again. As
it is of the greatest consequence that this nefarious practise be stopt
immediately, I shall be exceedingly obliged to you Sir for getting Mr.
Eustace to give in writing all that he knows about this business, and
inclose the same to me at Williamsburg. I wish to know particularly,
what Post Offices the letters were taken from, by whom, and who carried
them to Lord Dunmore. This day I sett off for
Virginia,1 where, if I can be of any service
to you, it will oblige to command me. It is more than probable that
Congress will order our friend Gates to Canada. His great abilities and
virtue will be absolutely necessary to restore things there, and his
recommendations will always be readily complied with. You will find
that great powers are given to the Commander in that distant
department. The system for Canada, adopted since the arrival of the
Commissioners here, will I hope be of essential service to our affairs.
All good Men pray most heartily for your health, happiness, and
success, and none more than dear Sir

Your affectionate friend and
obedient Servant,
Richard Henry Lee

Notes:

George Washington PapersLibrary of Congress

Printed in Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington, 4:166. Printed also in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 201. Addressed “His Excellency General Washington at Head Quarters New York.”

1 Lee apparently carried with him a letter from John Rogers to Thomas Sim
Lee, which was to be delivered to the latter at his Mellwood estate.
Rogers’ letter was chiefly personal in nature, but it contains the
following comments on public affairs. “The Canada Commissioners are
returned, our affairs there are not in a very promissing scituation,
but I am in great Hopes of their being very speedily put in a better
state. The inclosed paper (if it comes to Hand before the Public
Post) will inform of all the late intelligence in circulation of any
consequence, If the Article respecting the King of France is to be
relied upon I am inclined to think it will have a very considerable
effect upon the Political World in general and upon America in
particular.” John Rogers to Thomas Sim Lee, June 12, 1776. Dreer
Collection, PHi.

George Wythe probably left Philadelphia with Richard Henry Lee. In a June
17 letter to Robert Carter of Nomini Hall, Wythe reported that “Col.
Lee is so obliging as to take with him the stocking-Loom-needles,
with some wire, which I brought for you from Philadelphia to Hooe’s
ferry, where I now am.” Signers Collection, InU. Wythe’s account with
Virginia lists “Wages from 5 September, 1775, to 12 June, 1776, 281
days at 45s” for his services in Congress and indicates that he
attended the Virginia convention “from Wednesday 27 June to the end
of the session.” Jefferson Papers, MHi,