Dear Sir

This day I am favored with yours of 13th Inst1 in which I hoped to find a confirmation of our very good News from the Southward. I am pleased with the effectual measures taken by your State to raise so much by Taxation, it shows a Spirit worthy of imitation, youl see by the inclosed Papers how the reformation Plan begun in this City before you left us is spreading through this & several other
States. I hope it will produce great good. I wish I could give a good prospect of some valuable conclusion on our finances, but so long as the power of evading, perplexing & delaying the most patriotic
propositions is allowed to a certain few, we shall do nothing timely that is fit & proper to be done. We have spent two finance days already without passing one resolution to purpose – & for this reason
only, (if I am not too Suspicious that certain Words containing or that may be construed to contain) what may answer the designs of a particular junto cannot be carried. I find your absence does not
entirely free you from a Squib now & then such as, if that Gentleman was or had been as well known in Virginia as I know him he would not have been continued a Delegate so long. By the enclosed
resolutions you’l see how very little has been done, no Stop put to the Commissions of Quarter Masters & Commissarys &c than which nothing has or possibly can occasion the depreciation of our Money more
rapidly, only think of a two penny Jack who never in his life was capable by any business he had been engaged in, of making a Shilling more than maintained his family & that but in a very so so manner,
shall now be making 40 or 50,000 per annum & that by lowring the value of our Money & raising the prices of every article he purchases, a truth acknowledged by all & yet the mischief suffered to go on & encrease, as though some were afraid to Stop it least they themselves may be injured in their connexions. W Paca has moved several times to have a report respecting J Mitchel considered,2 which he had delivered into Congress long ago & when at last it was agreed to be taken up in order to determine upon it Mr Secretary turned over all the Papers in the box & could not find the report & so went upon other business.

The only apology I shall make for filling up my paper with Notices of Small things is that I have none great & important – but be assured upon the first hint you give me that such trifles are tiresome, I will desist until I have more interesting Matters to communicate, in the interim believe me to be with proper
Salutation to your Lady & Family,
Yours Sincerely,

Wm Shippen

Notes, Lee Family Papers, University of Virginia Archives

1 Not found, but for Lee’s correspondence with various delegates after he left Congress in May, including two other letters of 13 June, to Henry Laurens and William Whipple, see Richard Henry Lee to Laurens, 27 May 1779, note 6.

2 Apparently the report “respecting Col. Mitchell’s obliterating and expunging certain Entries contained in one of his office Books,” which is printed in JCC, 13:345, under the date 20 March 1779. The report was one of the products of a committee chaired by Paca that had been appointed to investigate charges lodged by the state of Pennsylvania against Benedict Arnold, who had obtained from deputy
quartermaster John Mitchell the wagons that Arnold was accused of having used for his personal profit. See Daniel Roberdeau to Timothy Matlack, 6 February; and William Paca to Joseph Reed, 3 March 1779, note.