<br /> Lee Letter: n348

Washington and Lee University

Great Expence to procure the Commissioners or they must be all appointed
<here>. The evils of appointing <all> here. How long will it be ’ere
the appointments are made known <to> the persons met here and they
agree on their Agents &c.2

Department expencive. Great abuses have happened but the present plan of
Regulation calculated to prevent One Gentleman has purchased
extensively why then appoint more. Speculatists have appeared as
contending Bidders. Fault in <owing> Commission. Members of
<Congressgt; inform of the price of Commodities.


Manuscript, University of Virginia Library. Written by Lee in pencil on the
cover of a 18 May letter from Edmund Pendleton, Caroline County, Va.

1 Lee probably wrote these cryptic notes between 23 May and June 10 in
connection with his work on a committee charged with drafting new
regulations for the commissary’s department. The committee’s initial
report, which had been read and tabled on 14 May, was debated in
Congress and recommitted on 23 May. Thus the 23d seems the earliest
time that Lee could have addressed himself to this subject after he
had received the 18 May Pendleton letter on which he penciled these
notes. During the following two and a half weeks, the report on
commissary regulations was debated in Congress on eight occasions and
recommitted three times before a revised report, which divided the
work of the department among nine salaried officials and their
assistants, was approved on 10 June. See JCC, 7:266 – 67, 280 – 81, 292,
354; 8:384, 386, 394, 405, 406, 409, 410, 414 – 15, 427, 433 – 48.

2 In the margin next to this paragraph Lee wrote: “Board may do many good
things why not a single person.”