<br /> Lee Letter: n477

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Thomas Jefferson

Dear Sir,

I have not been unmindful of the small commission you gave me to procure
the song and receipt for you. I once had these, but they are mislaid so
that I could not find them when I returned home from Williamsburg, or
they should have been sent from thence. I have here applied to Mr.
Peters for the one, and to Mrs. Shippen for the other and I have hopes
of getting them both. I send you herewith a small pamphlet containing a
collection of such papers and proceedings as clearly defeats the
calumny of the British Commissioners charging this war to our
ambition,1when the Tyranny and avarice of
the British Court most indubitably produced and has continued it.

That our enemies will not get aid from any power in Europe to carry on the
war against us is very certain, and the probability is great that Spain
will speedily join in the war with France against England. Yet such is
the temper of the British Court that it seems clear to me that nothing
but the severest gripes of adversity and the last necessity can inspire
wisdom and moderation. They certainly mean another campaign, a last
effort; and

Georgia and South Carolina, with the frontiers and sea coasts appear to be
their objects at present. Whether Gen. Clinton will take the field or
not must depend on the succors he shall receive and the strength of our
army. The flattering royal visits that are industriously made to the
Nobility and gentry of England may possibly give such energy to the
militia as to enable the sending a small reenforcement from their
national troops to Gen. Clinton. With our present prospects every nerve
should be strained to make our Army strong. By being prepared we shall
have a moral certainty of defeating the designs of our enemies the next
campaign, which will in my opinion put a glorious period to the war.

I am, with much esteem and affection yours,

Richard Henry Lee


Thomas Jefferson PapersLibrary of Congress

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 38 – 39.

1 For Gouverneur Morris’ Observations on the American Revolution, see William
Whipple to Josiah Bartlett, February 7, 1779, note 4.