<br /> Lee Letter: n537

Washington and Lee University

Sender: James Lovell
Recipient: Richard Henry Lee

Dear Sir

Yr Favr. of Novr. 30th1 reached me too late on
Tuesday the 14th to permit a Line in Return. I now find what you asked
for and some french Vouchers intended originally for You. I add some
Letters recd. last Evening.

I am now to surprise you more than heretofore by telling that Thursday last
being fixed upon for the Election of a Secretary to Doctr. Franklin or
rather the Embassy which Lt. Col. Laurens had not accepted, the Day
passed without even a Nomination. But Yesterday Mr. Mathews named G
Morris who is making all Smooth to obtain it. I had intended to name
Col. Hamilton. Ellery however was beforehand & put me up. I pursued
my Intention & Mr. Plater named a Col Steuart of Maryland. I
mentioned to Congress that I should not as some time ago desire my name
to be withdrawn as I had not the Opinion of a Self denying Ordinance
which I then had, and was fortified in my Change of Sentiments by the
late Proceedings of Congress. I declared that my Wish was not implyd
but my meer Consent if the Ballots should not happily be general for
another. I am pained at my present
Situation.2

You must be free in yr. Opinion upon this Conduct, let the Event be what it
may.

Yrs. affectionately,

James Lovell

[P.S.] I shall attend very particularly to yr. Memoranda formerly sent if I
should be under the necessity of leaving this City soon.

I have detained an open Address of Doctr. Lee dated July 12, 1779
3 supposing you have published what I sent
before. It begins “in 1775” & ends “made them.”

I will fix a Cypher with you.

Notes:

Receiver’s copy, Lee Family Papers, University of Virginia Archives.

1 Not found.

2 For Lovell’s “Situation” with regard to the selection of a secretary to the
minister plenipotentiary to France, see Lovell to Henry Laurens,
December 15 and 17, 1779,

3 Not found.