<br /> Lee Letter: n518

Washington and Lee University

Sender: William Whipple
Recipient: Richard Henry Lee

My Dear Sir

When I did myself the Honor of writing to you last, it was my intention to
tarry here till the latter end of next month, but the arrival of a
second Colleague has altered my determination. I shall take my leave of
this City to morrow,1 but I must confess I
shall not do it with the satisfaction I should if Verginia and some
other States that might be mentioned were Representd in the manner I
have known them.

It affords me particular satisfaction to find by your favor of the 4th
inst. that your health is restored.2 I hope
your influence will make some beneficial changes in the politics of
Virginia. I am sure your endeavours will not be wanting, and I am very
sure you are convinced of the necessity of changing men if not
measures. If there is as much Virtue and Integrity in a certain
Assembly as formerly, there certainly is a Languor, a want of
Resolution, to oppose vice, and stem the torrent of corruption that at
this time threatens ruin to America, but I hope that persevering Spirit
which heretofore faced every difficulty and looked all opposition out
of countenance, will again revive and scatter the Cloud that now hangs
over us.

I expect my retirement will afford me a satisfaction impossible to be
enjoyed in Philadelphia but however happy my scituation may be, it will
ever be increased by hearing of the prosperity and Happiness of those
worthy Patriots who first steped forward, braved every danger &
combated the greatest difficulties and by their Virtuous Struggles and
unremitted exertions have thus far rescued their country from the hand
of Tyranny.

Some of your Friends particularly Mr. Laurens & Mr. Lovell will give
you an accot how matters are going on here, these Gentn. I need not
tell you, are real Friends to virtue and consequently to those devoted
to the cause of virtue. I must approve Dr Lee’s intention to come to
this Country when the Spanish business is concluded. I think it
necessary he shod. have a fair opportunity of puting to shame those
base assassins whose malice is wrought up to the highest pitch by a
consciousness of their own inferority. If he lands in NewHampshire I am
confident he will be received with the Respect due; and in some measure
proportioned to his merit. I shall be particularly happy in having an
opporutnity of manifesting my Gratitude for his services to America.

Notwithstanding the great distance between us, I shall flatter myself with
hopes of some times receiving a line from you & You may be assured
I shall omit no opportunity of communicating whatever I think will give
you pleasure. Please to Remember me very affectionately to Coll F. Lee.

I am My Dear Sir with the highest Esteem and Respect Your Sincerely
Affectionate Friend,

Wm. Whipple


Receiver’s copy, Lee Papers, American Philosophical Society.

1 Whipple did not depart until September 25. See Nathaniel Peabody to Josiah
Bartlett, 5 October 1779.

2 Lee’s September 4 letter to Whipple is in Lee, Letters (Ballagh), 2:144 – 46.