<br /> Lee Letter: n694

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Arthur Lee
Recipient: James Warren

Dear Sir,

I venture so far to trespass on your goodness as to beg the favor of you to
get the interest from your Treasury, due for two years upon the inclosd
629 Dolls. of the one for forty emission of your
State,1 & transmit the money to me by
the first safe opportunity. I must also trouble you with keeping the
Bills themselves for me; that they may be ready to be disposd of, or to
draw the interest as hereafter may appear most beneficial.

You will oblige me much, by letting me know, whether, the grant made me by
your Assembly has been located, or in what state it
rests.2

It gave me great pleasure to hear, that you & Mrs. Warren were settled
so near Boston, & at so beautiful a Seat as that of the late Govr.
Hutchinson. It has not always happend in like manner, that the
forfeited Seats of the wicked, has been filld with men of virtue. But
in this corrupt world, it is sufficient that we have some examples of
it for our consolation.

The detection of Mr. Deane, seems not to have drawn any punishment nor even
odium on those who countenancd & profited by his wickedness. Among
these Dr. Franklin & Mr. R. Morris, are the most conspicuous. The
latter was obligd to acknowlege in the Newspapers that he was in
partnership with Mr. D. but pretended he thought him a man of honor.
The Doctor by Letters of the strongest recommendation endeavord to
deceive Congress into a renewal of their confidence in him, with a new
& important appointment. There are Letters in town from Mr. Searle,
late member of Congress, declaring that he has been repeatedly
scandalizd by hearing Mr. Deane utter the abuse against America &
France, which is containd in his intercepted Letters, at Dr. F’s
table, without any reprehension from the Doctr. Under all these
suspicions, Dr. Franklin is appointed one of the Commissioners to
negociate a peace, because France wills it; & Congress are
complaisant enough to say – they trust in his zeal & integrity, God
forgive them!

The Fishery, I am afraid, is the object & will be the sacrifice of this
appointment. This question will come on in Congress, & I think your
ablest members shoud be here. But Instructions from Congress will avail
little, if a corrupt Commissioner is entrusted with them, who certainly
never meaning to return to this Country, will feel himself very easy
about our reproaches, while he is enjoying in France the reward of his
treachery. I know from what passd at the treaties we concluded, that to
monopolize the Fishery is the object of France, & I am most sure
that Dr. Franklin will be the instrument of effecting it.

The members from your State, & from Connecticut, seem desirous of
admitting Vermont into the Confederation; but it appears very doubtful,
whether this can be done agreable to the Confederation or consistent
with true policy. The small States, upon this precedent, may dismember
the great ones; or as they have an equal voice in proportioning the
Quotas, may combine together to burthen the larger States with the
whole expence. To acknowlege their independence without giving them a
voice in Congress woud answer I conceive every purpose of attaching
them to our cause, without hazarding our union by admitting them a
member of the confederation.

Please to remember me to Mrs. Warren who I hope feels the benefit to her
health & spirits, of better Society & a more healthy situation.

I have not time to write to our friend Mr. S. Adams, but be so good as to
assure him that I remember him with unalterable respect &
affection. Genl Ward, Mr. Otis, & all our worthy friends have my
best wishes.

I am, with the truest esteem, Dear Sir, yr. most Obedt Servt,

A. Lee

Notes:

Receiver’s copy, Warren-Adams Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

1 Lee also sent Warren a list of these bills on April 15 with the following
brief explanation: “This is only to inform you, that I wrote you
fully by Mr. Oliver Phellps of Boston, & enclosd 629 Dollars of
the Emission of your State on which I begd the favor of you to get
the Interest from your Treasury.” Warren-Adams Papers, MHi.

2 In his July 1 acknowledgement Warren informed Lee that the Maine land
granted to him in compensation for his pre-war services as
Massachusetts agent had “not been located,” but that a new
legislative committee had been appointed to investigate the matter.
See Richard Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, LL.D., 2 vols. (Boston: Wells and
Lilly, 1829), 2:277 – 78; and these Letters, 10:4n.3.