<br /> Lee Letter: n521

Washington and Lee University

Sender: James Lovell
Recipient: Arthur Lee

Dear Sir

I thought it best not to have any Irregularity in the Delivery of the
Dispatches to the Doctr., and have therefore copied the most material
Parts for answering the Purpose hinted to you in my Letter of the
17th.1

It is only within 5 days that I learnt Mr. Smith was taken; I had been told
of his safe arrival. I am not certain whether I ever sent Copies of
what he carried; and I find no roughs by me except of that to Doctr
F – – tho I find a Memdum. of what I committed to Mr. Smith – as follows
April 30th.2

4 plicate 7 > Hopkinson

3 plicate 8 >

my own To J Adams 28th

To A Lee 28th

To Doctr. Franklin 29th

To Jona. Williams 29th

Mr Jays To Dr. Franklin

To Marqs. Fayette

Pamphlets & Gazettes to the Doctr.

I expect in a few hours to be able to show you whether yr honor is properly
regarded here or not. If the Decision in regard to the Floridas &
Mississ. are to be conveyed to Doctr. F or to a third person, your
replicatory & defensive Letters have been in vain laid before Men
willfully blind. But I hope better Things. I have Papers so arranged as
to enlighten new Members and make the old sin against conviction, if
they do sin.

De la Luzerne arrived last Evening in this City.

If De Vergennes did write on the 29th of Octr. “Je crains Mr. Lee et ses
Entours,” yet after the Testimony of such a Man as he says both he
& the King think Mr. J. Adams, was laid before him on Feb. 11, I
judge the Minister will prove by his actions what he asserts on the
13th of that Month.

Si nous avons pu etre instruits de vos contestations nous n’y sommes entres
pour rien, et L Estime personelle que nous avons cherche a fair
remarque a chacun de Messrs. Les Commissaires fait preuve que nous
n’avons point adopte’ les preventions qu’on semble vouloir inspirer a
l’Amerique, et dont le fondement nous est inconnu
ici.3

J.L.

Notes:

Receiver’s copy, Lee Family Papers, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

1 Because Lovell “hinted” so many subjects in his letter of September 17, the
“Purpose” he had in mind here cannot be conjectured.

2 For Lovell’s conveyance of a packet of letters to France by Samuel Smith in
April, see Lovell to Benjamin Franklin, 29 April 1779, note 1.

3 This quotation is from a letter from the comte de Vergennes to John Adams
of 13 February 1779, written in reply to one from Adams of 11 February defending Arthur and William Lee. For the context of this
exchange, see also Lovell to Samuel Adams, 21 September 1779, notes
3 and 4.