<br /> Lee Letter: n414

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Arthur Lee

My dear brother,

Your several favors by the Vessel from Spain with duplicates of the
treaties with France are arrived and shall have my most particular
attention. In Virginia we have determined to retain in our practical
jurisprudence the Common law of England excepting such parts as relate
to royalty and prerogative. Also some of the Statutes that are of a
nature the most general. These, with our own Acts of Assembly
constitute our Code of Laws. You see therefore that Ludwell may be
fully employed with you in reading the Common law and the Statutes,
leaving the Municipal law of Virginia until he comes home. But I wish
him much to have the groundwork of the law of Nature & Nations with
the Civil law and Eloquence. I have not got the Virga. Acts of Assembly
here, & it would be difficult to send them if I had. I am
astonished at the {impudence}1 and
{jugglery} of {Deane} and his {associates}. You may depend upon their
being {carefully attended} to, and as I have found during the progress
of this {contest} that the {offenders} have been uniformly
{discredited} and {punished}, so I have no doubt will it happen now.
Persevere in {honest patriotism} and all will be well. {Patience} you
know is one of the Cardinal virtues, and in this case {we} must soon
give you {relief} since the late {recall} has broken the
{faction}.2 The Members of Congress are so
perpetually changing that it is of little use to give you their
Names.3 From Massachusetts now come Messrs.
Hancock Sam Adams, Payne, Elbridge Guerry, Mr. Dana & Mr. James
Lovell. Connecticut Messrs. Roger Sherman & Huntington, Dyer,
Woolcot & Williams. N. York Duane, Governeer Morris, Duer your
Acquaintance, Livingston, Francis Lewis. Rhode Island Messrs. Merchant
& Ellery. Pennsylva. R. Morris, Read, two Smiths & Roberdeau.
Jersey Dr. Witherspoon &c. Maryland Chace, Colo. Plater, Carrol,
Henry, Stone. Virga. R. H. Lee, F. L. Lee, Harvey, Bannister, John Adams.
So. Carolina Messrs. Laurens, Wm. H. Drayton, Hayward & 2 new ones.
Tis not worthwhile to mention others, you know them not & they are
new Men.

The Express is going so God bless you & farewell,

Richard Henry Lee

[P.S.] Campaign not begun. Love to the Alderman &c & to my Son
Ludwell.

Notes:

Lee PapersUniversity of Virginia Archves

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 408 – 9.

1 Words in braces, here and below, are in cipher in the RC. For the cipher
used by the Lees, see Richard Henry Lee to Arthur Lee, 12 May 1778,
note 2.

2 For a contrasting view from the Deane camp, see Benjamin Harrison’s
assessment of Lee’s involvement in a “cabal” against Silas Deane in
his 8 June 1778, letter to Robert Morris. Wharton, Diplomatic
Correspondence,
2:607 – 8.

3 At least fifteen of the delegates Lee listed below were not currently
attending Congress, although they were members of their state
delegations. William Williams, on the other hand, was not in the
Connecticut delegation at this time; and Thomas Adams, not John, was
attending for Virginia.