Dear sir.

Since my last of the 8th Inst. I am become debtor for your favors of the 6th & 13th.1 I am mortified by my
inability to make proper returns by the present Mail – but circumstances render it impracticable, I shall seek for a private hand, or perhaps a public Messenger in a day or two may offer, by whom I may pay my respects & be almost as early with you as this will be.

We have not yet gained an hairs breadth up the Hill of appreciation, nor shall we be able to roll that Stone without the immediate interposition of those for whom we have been long labouring in vain. I shall take the liberty of enlarging on this head in my next.

I believe as you do, referring to an intended Publication,2 you may remember I intimated the apprehension while you were here & told you Whence it sprung. As to the hearing & open Door I beleive it would be a proper means
had we the proper Men – but alas! One may almost now say with Elijah, & Lord I alone of all thy Prophets am left. If the conduct of the Man had been clear he would have demonstrated his purity long since – his publications cannot make a clean thing come forth of an unclean – Remember his own Criterion for the Character of a Public Minister – but
there’s the Remora to my process, Colo. Knaublauch & two bran new  foreigners both recommended to me by particular friends.

Dunlap’s Paper will accompany this to which I beg leave to refer & to conclude by repeating that I remain, Dear sir, With very great Esteem & affection, Your obedient & most humble servant,

Henry Laurens.
NOTES:

Lee Papers, American Philosophical Society

1 Lee’s letters of 6 and 13 June, which were written from “Chantilly in Virginia,” are in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 2:61 – 64, 70 – 72.

2 In his June 13 letter to Laurens, Lee had asserted: “It has been very obvious to me for some months past that Deane and his party were planning a second publication, or why those repeated letters to Congress boldly demanding trial when he knew the public business and his faction were ready to prevent it?” Ibid., p. 71.