<br /> Lee Letter: n340_0202

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: John Page

Dear Sir,

Nothing material having occured since I wrote you last in the military way,
this serves chiefly to inclose you the Tyrants speech, which is a
curious crafty piece of business. Curious it certainly is to find a Man
on so public a situation anouncing to the world his utter disregard of
truth. Crafty it may be called, because of the mode taken to prove our
good usage. He would have the world conclude that this good usage has
been of his shewing, and therefore our ingratitude great in proceeding
as we have done. The Court Logic seems clearly this-The American
improvement in Arts & Arms shews they have been well used, it shews
I have used them well, and therefore they are wicked in deposing me. Or
in other words-George the second used the Americans well. George the 3d
has abused them extremely. Therefore they are criminal in opposing
George the 3d. The visit paid us by the British Ships, and, as we hear,
the number of small craft they have seized in our narrow waters, prove
incontestibly the disadvantage we shall forever be exposed to while we
are in want of Marine force. Had our Gallies been in good order and fit
for business, the Barges and small Craft of the enemy would never have
dared to attempt the Capture of Vessels in our shallow, narrow waters.
And I will venture to affirm that if we had 8 or 10 such Gallies as
Congress have built in the Delaware, to carry 4 thirty two pounders
each with 10, 6-pounders & 100 men Not less than a Squadron of Line of
Battle Ships would venture up our Bay.

Yours affectionately,

Richard Henry Lee

Notes:

Receiver’s copy, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 254 – 55. Addressed “To the Honorable John Page esquire at Williamsburg, Va.”