<br /> Lee Letter: n396

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Francis Lightfoot Lee
Recipient: Arthur Lee

My dear Brother,

As the Committee for foreign affairs write fully on public matters, by this
opportunity, I need not trouble you on that
score.1 I will only observe that I think
America stronger than ever; but as we began the war empty handed, &
have ever been put to this shift; we have never been able to establish
any system in the different war departments in consequence of which our
expence has been much greater than it otherways need to have been. This
has occasioned our paper money greatly to depreciate, & of course
the expence is greatly encreased. It is therefore essential to have a
fund in Europe, to enable us to support the credit of our paper. Our
bror. Richard, who is now in Virginia, desires me to inform you that he
has received the pocket dictionary which you sent him. I fear our
Enemies will receive great advantages from the intelligence in the
Packet by Folger, which they have rob’d us of. Are you sure you have no
traitor about your persons? Our Enemies are so adroit in the Arts of
corruption, & so powerfull in the means; that it requires the
utmost circumspection. I am sorry we are still to support the whole
weight of British power; I hope we shall be able to bear the burthen,
but cou’d wish France wou’d ease us of part; her not doing it cools
the zeal of America for a connection with her. It gives me uneasyness
that we have not been able to profit from the abilities of many French
Officers who have offer’d their service. Being overstocked with
Officers, before their arrival, & their not speaking our language,
have been great impediments. Many of them are returning, I fear
disgusted. I hope you have made Europe acquainted with the real
importance of Philadelphia. We really suffer little by its loss, except
being deprived of many valuable Artists; however we have still enough.

I do not perceive by the London Papers you sent us by Folger that the
People of England are much distressed by the War; I fear they were so
replete with riches, that it will take a long time to exhaust them.

Your brors & Sisters, and their families are all well. My love to the
Alderman, tell him I have recd. the goods he sent by Barron & thank
him. Col. Tayloe recd. his packets, I beleive by the same opportunity.

God bless you both.

Francis Lightfoot Lee


Receiver’s copy, New York State Library, Albany.

1 See the January 12 and 21 letters of the Committee for Foreign Affairs to
the Commissioners at Paris.