<br /> Lee Letter: n561

Washington and Lee University

Sender: John Henry
Recipient: Thomas Sim Lee

Dear Sir

I had the honour of your Excellys. favour by the last
post.1 All the influence that I have shall
be exerted in favour of the Gentleman recommended in your Letter, tho
at present I see very little prospect of an appointment of that sort
taking place, if it should you may rely that my attention shall not be

The Acts of the General Assembly have been received, and we shall have it
in our power in a few Days to send one half of them by Mr. Laurens to
Europe. The remainder we shall forward by some other

The English Fleet sailed from New York on Wednesday last at 4 o’Clock
in the afternoon; the whole consisted of sixty sail. Among them was
twenty one ships of War, of what force the intelligence does not say.
Light Troops it is said are on board; what Number is very doubtful. The
conjectures respecting their destination are very various. One is, and
it comes from New York, that an action has taken place in the West
Indies in which the English have lost one 74 sunk in the Action and
three of lesser force taken, and that the remainder of the Fleet is
blocked up in St. Lucia and that this Fleet has sailed to their
assistance. A Nother report is that they have sailed for Rhode Island,
but both can be only conjecture.

The French Fleet consists of eight sail of the line, three Frigates and two
bomb ketches commanded by Mr. Terney. The Land forces amount to five
thousand; fifteen hundred of them are at present unfit for Duty but
will be able in three weeks to join their Regiments.

Mr. J. Adams in his Letter of 23 March observes that the Committee and
other public meetings in England are likely to give Administration much
trouble.3 He speaks of a Congress among them
and hopes they will soon have the powers of one. He is not particular
on this subject. He dwels much on the late vote in the House of Commons
abolishing the board of Trade as to America, which is a tacit
declaration of the Sense of the Nation and is so received by the World,
that America is lost forever. There was a Majority of eight on the
vote, for the affirmative.

Give my Compts. to Mrs. Lee and believe me to be with Sincerity & the
most perfect Attachment, Yrs.

J. Henry.


Receiver’s copy, Emmet Collection, New York Public Library.

1 Not identified; but from Henry’s description it is clear that it was not
the July 19 letter cited in the following note.

2 The Maryland Assembly had adopted an act “empowering the Treasurer of the
Western Shore to draw and sell Bills of Exchange” which would be
negotiated in Europe, and the council had instructed its delegates on
July 19 to send 12 copies of the act to persons in France and Great
Britain “as you may think proper . . . in Order that those who may
be affected by the said Act, may have Sufficient Notice thereof.” Md
Archives, 43:223.

3 This letter is in PCC, item 84 1 345 – 48; and Wharton, Diplomatic
3:568 – 70. It was read in Congress July 24. JCC. 17:654.