<br /> Lee Letter: n391

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Francis Lightfoot Lee
Recipient: Richard Henry Lee

Dear Brother,

A Letr. from the Genl. of the 10th advises that Genl. Howe after many
manoeuvres in which he gained no advantage & a good deal of
skirmishing, in which he sustained pretty considerable loss, retired
with precipitation on the 9th into Philaa. laying waste every thing
before them.1 We hear that a large party has
since been over Schuilkill towards Lancaster foraging, & have been
attacked but our Accts are very uncertain. Our Comtee is not yet
returned from Camp, & we have no news from the Eastward, except
that a Privateer was arrived from France, which says, all American
Vessels were stoped in the harbours; She cut & run the night after
the order was published. How do you account for it? Conway is made a
Majr. Genl. & Inspector of the Army.2

Inclosed is a Letr. from Your Son Tom covering bill of loading for Goods
purchased for us by our bror. Wm. I suppose your things are in my
packages; cant you contrive to have them landed at Green Spring &
from thence conveyed to the Northern Neck.

We have reason to think that there are many emissaries of the Enemy sent
into the Country & some to the parts of Virga. adjoining this
State, I wish you wou’d urge the Executive power to have some active
spirited whigs in those Counties to keep the most vigilant Eye over
them, especially where there are prisoners of War. We find the people
of Frederick begin to be poisoned. Love to Chantilly & compts. to
all friends,3 especially Monsr. Loyaute.

Francis Lightfoot Lee


Receiver’s copy, University of Virginia Library.

1 Washington’s 10 December letter to President Laurens is in Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington,
10:142 – 45.

2 See JCC, 9:1023 – 26; and James Lovell to Horatio Gates, 27 November 1777,

3 Francis Lightfoot had written a brief letter to his friend Landon Carter on
7 December in which he noted: “The making of Molasses, Sugar, Sc Rum
from Cornstalks has a considerable progress in the Eastern States. An
Acre of the tops yields a hogshead of Molasses. I have seen some of
the rum, very good. They press out the juice with a common apple
mill. My bror. Richard who I make no doubt you will see, can give you
a full account.” Lee-Ludwell Papers, Virginia Historical Society.