<br /> Lee Letter: n484

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: John Page

Dear Sir,

I have the honor to inclose you an extract of a letter from my brother
William to my brother Frank1dated October
the 15th 1778, by which it seems Very clear that the Stores you
apprehend to have been shipped in September and taken, were not shipped
so soon, and therefore I hope may yet be
safe.2 It will be a very unfortunate loss
indeed, if the enemy have got them. But if this event has not already
taken place, there will be less danger of it hereafter, as I expect
that the measures we have taken will remove the enemies privateers from
our coast. We have been informed that the Roderigue (Beaumarchais Ship)
was to sail in company with three or four large ships for Virginia. I
expect that our Stores will come by some of them. It seems that Ford
3arrived in France from England and applied
to the Commissioners representing that he had been made prisoner by the
enemy in Virginia and carried to England, he shewed them his
appointment of Chaplain to a Continental regiment, and being in
distress he prayed their help to get back to Virginia. They assisted
him, and he went to Nantes where he took his passage for America. He
was taken by a Jersey privateer and made his escape a second time and
got to Paris. Then it was that my brother seeing a person whom he had
every reason to suppose a good Whig and a persecuted American, and at
the same time wanting a Secretary, he employed this person whose
abilities he found compitent to the business. But I am very certain
that Dr. Lee will not continue Ford an hour in his employment after he
shall be informed that suspicion has justly fallen upon his character.
Information on this subject was sent by the first opportunity after the
Governors letter came to Congress.

A report prevails in New York that the Count D’Estaing has beaten Gen.
Grant in St. Lucia and that the British Troops to the southward are
very sickly. Gen. Clinton lately undertook an expedition in the Sound,
supposed against New London, but he has returned disapointed to N.
York. The late violent Snow Storm, we hear wrecked 14 of his Transports
on Fishers Island. May the Arm of Providence be thus always stretched
out against the foes of freedom.

If Spain should join in the war of which there seems the greatest
probability, England must submit or expose herself to almost certain

I am dear Sir your most affect and obedient Servant,

Richard Henry Lee


Emmet CollectionNew York Public Library

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 41 – 43.

1 That is, Francis Lightfoot Lee.

2 See Lee to Page, 29 March 1779, note 4.

3 For further information on Hezekiah Ford, see the Committee for Foreign
Affairs to Arthur Lee, 26 January 1779, note 1.