<br /> Lee Letter: n656

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Thomas McKean
Recipient: Richard Henry Lee

Dear Sir,

My friends will, I know, excuse me from writing long letters during my
present employment, but I cannot excuse myself for omitting this
favorable opportunity by Doctor Arthur Lee of paying my devoirs to you.
The Doctor’s affairs are terminated; as far as relates to Accounts,
nearly satisfactorily, with this exception that he has not received any
part of the sum due to him.1 For the rest I
must refer you to himself, assuring you that those members of Congress,
who know you, Sir and your worthy brother Francis, and your strenuous
exertions in the cause of America, from the commencement of the
contest, still retain the warmest & most disinterested friendship
for each of you.

Virginia, I find, has not yet experienced all the calamities of war. Lord
Cornwallis appears to be determined on still greater mischief. I pray
God to give you patience & fortitude in this severe trial, and to
enable you to work out your deliverance. The Enemy must become weaker
every day, and we shall certainly grow stronger; we are at present very
low, with respect to finance, but it is with infinite pleasure I can
inform you, that we have very fair prospects on that head from abroad
as well as at home. France has lately given further proof, that she is
a faithfull Ally: I cannot be more particular. Spain continues to act
an interested and mysterious part, but must in the end close with us.
The United Provinces of the Netherlands appear to be very friendly, but
they are tedious in their deliberation & slow in execution. The
Doctor will give you all the News; I shall therefore only beg you will
make my best compliments acceptable to your Brother Francis, and
believe me to be, with the most respectful attachment, Dear Sir,

most obedient humble servant.2


File copy, Thomas McKean Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. In the
hand of Thomas McKean.

1 For Congress’ adoption on August 6 of a Board of Treasury report settling
Arthur Lee’s accounts for his expenses as a commissioner in Europe,
See JCC, 21:832 – 34.

2 Lee’s August 25 reply to this letter is in Lee, letters (Ballagh), 2:246 – 48.