<br /> Lee Letter: n503

Washington and Lee University

Sender: James Searle
Recipient: Richard Henry Lee

Dear Sir

I was highly gratified with the rect. of your obliging letter of the 27th
of last month.

To deserve the esteem of all good men is the Supreme object of my Soul;
Judge then Sir what my feelings must be when my conduct is approved by
Colo. Lee, a Gentleman to whom (as a grateful American) I look up with
Veneration & high respect for the many, the important services he
has done my Country.

I think it a great misfortune that at this critical moment we are deprived
of your advice & assistance in our Councils. We feel our loss in
you the more as we are also deprived of that great Statesman &
honest Man Mr. Adams who has left us Struggling with a set of men some
of whom on my conscience I believe mean not the good of America. As to
the important point under debate when you left us, the
F – – 1 The honest Men have hitherto kept its
opposers at bay, & I am not without hopes its Friends will finally
succeed in supporting it.

I have great satisfaction in acquainting you that the Dean & Boston
sailed from our Capes the 5th of this month fully & well manned,
with orders to Scour your Bay of the little Picaroons, & I persuade
myself you will have heard of them before this can reach you.

The Confederacy is now at Chester having met with some damage to her main
trussle trees by lightning; I hope however she will be at sea in a few
days unless Monsieur – – 2 Should Stop her,
but I am of opinion this will not be the case as he does not seem so
very anxious to be gone as he was, & he is mending in his health
daily.

We are hourly expecting the Alliance as we hear She was ready to sail
having on board a great number of our poor fellows who had been
Prisoner in England.

The Marine Committee have sent forward a list of Materials & Stores for
the 74 Gun Ship & Eight new Frigates hereafter to be built. We have
reason to hope these things will be sent us from France by order of his
most Christian Majesty together with a very large supply for our army
of every necessary for Fifty thousand men from a Brass Cannon to a
Shoebuckle.

The Minister has inform’d us that he had reason to beleive all those things
woud be sent us imediately if applied for by Congress, to be paid for
when Peace was established, in the manner most

convenient & agreable to us. It is in consequence of his
information that the application is made3
& I have no doubt of the success of it.

Pray do me the honor good Sir to continue – your kind correspondence as often
as your more important concerns will permit
you.4 When you have an oppo. of seeing your
excellent Brother Coll. F. L. Lee pray assure him of my sincerest
regard & Veneration. I am very truly, Dr. Sir, Your Devoted Friend
& Servt.

James Searle

Notes:

Lee Family PapersUniversity of Virginia Archives

1 Fisheries.

2 That is, the French minister, Conrad Alexandre Gérard.

3 See John Jay to the King of France, this date.

4 For Lee’s letter to Searle of 7 August 1779, see James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, 104 – 6.