<br /> Lee Letter: n315

Washington and Lee University

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

Dear Sir,

Among the inconveniences of this busy scene, I esteem it not the least, to
be so often prevented from acknowledging the favors of my friends
sooner than I do. It has been owing to much business that your letter
of the 27th has not received an answer before now. I have the pleasure
to acquaint you that in ranking the Captains of our Continental Ships,
the Congress have placed Captain Nicholson at the head, he being the
first Captain.1 I wish it were in my power
to give you a satisfactory answer about the building another
Frigate.2 Hitherto nothing has been
determined on this subject, the Committee having been prevented by an
infinite multiplicity of other business; and to the same cause has it
owing that no orders have been sent concerning the Frigate Virginia. I
have no doubt but that another Frigate will soon be directed, and that
the Builder of greatest merit will be prefer’d. It would give me the
greatest pleasure to hear that the Virginia was ready for Sea, and I am
happy in being satisfied that the Managers of this business in
Baltimore will not loose a moment in effecting so salutary a work. I
suppose a want of Anchors will be the greatest obstruction, as I take
it for granted no time will be lost in getting the guns down from Mr.
Hughes’s works, and having the Carriages made. I shall be glad to have
an exact state of the Frigate & what she wants to complete her.

I refer you to the papers for news and am Sir Your most
obedient Servant,

Richard Henry Lee


Receiver’s copy, Maryland Historical Society.

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 219 – 20. Addressed to Purviance, “Merchant in Baltimore.”

1 See JCC, 6:861.

2 See Lee to Purviance, November 24, 1776.