<br /> Lee Letter: n569

Washington and Lee University

Sender: John Henry
Recipient: Thomas Sim Lee

Dear Sir

A letter was yesterday received from Mr. Jay dated the 23d of May at
Madrid.1 He has had several communications
with the Spanish Minister, but has never been received in his public
character. Many important questions has been put to him; such as the
Number of regular Troops, the manner of arming, paying, cloathing and
feeding them. The Constitution of Congress and the several States, the
Debt of each of them, the continental Loans and emissions &c &c
&c. The Court seems to have acted towards him with great caution.
Money they inform him might have been had last year, but now there own
expences are so great as to lay them under the necessity of borrowing
themselves. From the Complexion of the whole letter I believe they will
not suffer the Bills that have already been drawn on Mr. Jay to return
protested. This is a happy circumstance and I hope when they fully
understand our necessities they will not withhold further support. The
navigation of the Mississippi for a considerable distance up it is a
great object with them and should we agree to give it up to their sole
use and jurisdiction, together with a guaranttee for their other
Dominions in its neighbourhood we might almost demand with a certainty
of success any thing in their power to grant. You will remember that I
am at present writing from information and not from my own knowledge of
this letter. I was not present in Congress owing to my indisposition,
when it was read. I shall inform my self of its contents, and will give
you satisfactory extracts by the next post. Our Countryman Mr.
Carmichael was well.

Our Army is increasing fast and men in abundance I believe may be had if we
can support them: upon this head I have the most alarming fears. Col
Blain writes that he has but a weeks provision before hand and no flour
at Trenton where a considerable quantity was expected.

The militia from this City will march to day. The Holker and Fair American
has put into this port a packet from England bound to N. York; she had
on board a number of officers who are now in this City.

My Compliments to Mrs. Lee and believe me to be with sincerity and

J. Henry


Receiver’s copy, Lee, Horsey, and Carroll Papers deposit (1985), Maryland
Historical Society.

1 John Jay’s letter was actually dated May 26. See Roger Sherman to Oliver
Wolcott, August 14, 1780, note 2.