<br /> Lee Letter: n380

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Thomas Mifflin

My dear General.

I thank you for your obliging favor of the 28th past, and for the
inclosures accompanying it. I assure you Sir that having received such
original impressions of your firm attachment to the cause of America, I
have ever placed you among her first and most valuable friends.1 Trusting
therefore to your patriotism, and my hopes of your returning health, I
had ventured to mention your name for one of the three Commissioners of
the new board of war – A most important department, on which our
righteous warfare eminently depends.2 Some
Gentlemen supposed yr. health would hinder, others observed that the
Continental policy forbid the union of two offices in the same person,
supposing that you might be prevailed on to retain your commission of
M. General could your health permitted action. The spirit of the
Continental policy does forbid double Salaries, but the Generalship
might be continued with the Board of war Salary. Indeed the nature of
the latter business renders rank and knowledge in War necessary. I love
America and venerate its faithful friends, which must render it painful
to be deprived, from whatever cause, of the assistance of its surest
Supports in this crisis of its fate. I still hope however that
returning health will enable you yet to continue your Aid for
establishing the glory of North America on the most lasting
foundations. I am yours dear Sir with sincere affection.

R.H. Lee

Notes:

Lee PapersUniversity of Virginia Archives

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 347 – 48. Endorsed “Ansr: to Gen. Mifflin’s letter of Octr: 28, 1777 Tuesday 30 Septr. Congress met in York 2 mils. of Livres 500 paid & 500 more on the first of April, July & Octr.

“12th March mention of an Officer employed to build 2 Ships of War equal to 64’ what is to become of those 4000 hhds Tobo. Contracted for with Farmers 2 mils. Livres first advance for this tobo. to be paid in April – Dictionnaire Francois & Anglois Par Louis Chambau et Mr. J. B. Robinet.”

1 At this point Lee wrote and struck out: “You may judge then how unhappy I am made by your resignation.”

2 Mifflin’s resignation as quartermaster general for health reasons was accepted on 7 November, but he was appointed immediately to the new Board of War. See JCC, 9:874; and Henry Laurens to Mifflin, 8 November 1777 (1st letter), note. Mifflin’s 12 November reply, in which he indicated that he would accept the board position, is in Richard H. Lee, Memoir of the Life of Richard Henry Lee …, 2 vols.
(Philadelphia: H.C. Carey and I. Lea, 1825), 2:174.