<br /> Lee Letter: n417

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: John Page

Dear Sir,

Your favor of the 19th has just come to hand and I thank you for it. In
proportion to my ardent zeal for the prosperity and security of my
country so were my wishes that Monsr. Loyeaute had been able to effect
those valuable purposes for our Country that I own I thought him
capable of doing.1 I was the more intent
upon this, as I well knew the necessity of what he professed to
understand, and our utter ignorance of it. We may spend a great deal of
money in this way, but I much fear it will be very late indeed, before
we shall receive an equivalent in the protection afforded us. We have
fortunately been but little tried yet in Virginia, and God of his
infinite Mercy keep our enemies at a distance until we are better
prepared to meet them.

The enemy, we are told, still continue embarking their Stores, heavy cannon
&c, and the Universal opinion is that they will evacuate
Philadelphia in a few days. It may be so, but they are so full of
guile, it is no easy matter to penetrate their designs. Should a French
war take place, they must go, and quickly too, to guard their W. India
Islands, now quite defenceless. We have an account from Philadelphia
that there has been an engagement between a French & an English
fleet in which the latter has been worsted and lost two frigates sunk.
I shall be much obliged dear Sir if you will get Mr. Maddisons answer
respecting my Nephew and send it by Post to his

Farewell dear Sir, I wish you healthy & happy.

Richard Henry Lee


Receiver’s copy, University of Chicago Library.

1 No doubt John Page had reported Loyeaute’s resignation as inspector general
of Virginia artillery, as had Page’s brother Mann in a 21 May letter
to Lee. “I am sorry we have lost him,” Mann Page commented, “but the
Loss must be attributed to his own Caprice, as he received no Slight
from the Assembly. Indeed the Words of the Resolution appointing him
Inspector General by no means warrant the Claim which he set up for
Command.” Lee Family Papers, University of Virginia Archives. For Governor Henry’s comments on
Loyeaute’s resignation, see Henry, Patrick Henry, 3:174.

2 In his 6 May letter to Richard Henry Lee, John Page had promised to attend
to Lee’s 20 April request respecting his nephew, the son of his
recently deceased brother Thomas Ludwell Lee. Lee Family Papers, University of Virginia Archives.