<br /> Lee Letter: n406

Washington and Lee University

Sender: James Lovell
Recipient: Arthur Lee

Dear Sir

Your Favour of Novr. 241 was Yesterday delivered
to me; and I feel myself greatly obliged by the affectionate and
honorary Terms in which you speak of my Sufferings, my regained Liberty
and my Engagement in the Service of my Country.

In the month of October 1775 I used the Freedom of writing to you from
Boston Prison by a Mr. William Powel who had also in Charge some Papers
to enable you to stigmatize the mean Cruelties of Gage who was then
quitting his Command. But the Papers which I afterwards sent to you
from Halifax Jail by an amiable Lady afforded proofs of scientific
Barbarity in Howe which tended to obliterate the Memory of what I had
endured under his Predicessor. I had the Imagination, at that Time, of
pursuing those Men personally to Europe, but when I heard my Countrymen
had wisely declared Independency, I felt myself instantly repaid for
all my Losses & bodily Injuries. I will not endeavour to
cons[…] that I am governed, at this Day, by […] Motives
of the most laudible Patriotism. I am not anxious to disavow a Degree
of the Spirit of Retaliation which our Enemies seem to have been
industrious to excite in us. It would be false affectation of universal
Benevolence to say I lament the present Disgrace of Britain. Whether
she mends upon it or not, I must rejoice at it, though upon different
Principles.

As your worthy Brothers will be particular to you in Addition to
public Letters, I will only add my Congratulations upon the
present Alliance with France, and close by assuring you of my
most sincere Wishes for your personal Felicity, being, Sir, your
obliged, humble Servant,

James Lovell

Notes:

Receiver’s copy, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

1 Lee’s November 24, 1777, letter has not been found, but for his July 28,
1778, response to Lovell, see Richard Henry Lee, Life of Arthur Lee,
LL.D. 2 vols. (Boston: Wells and Lilly, 1829), 2:143