<br /> Lee Letter: n775

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Elbridge Gerry
Recipient: Arthur Lee

My dear sir,

I arrived here the 6th & soon after recd your agreable Favour of Novr
15th – by the Appearance of the Cover, it had been opened, but if We
have any political Secrets, they were not committed to this Letter. I
am much obliged to You for your Communications respecting Indian
Affairs; shall I be indulged in enquiring when your Negotiations will
be finished, & how soon after may We expect the pleasure of seeing
You at N York?1 This is the place on which
Congress have fixed for their temporary Residence, untill their
f¬úderal Town shall be ready to receive them. It is ordained by
Congress that three Commissioners shall be appointed to lay out a
District in the Neighbourhood of this place, erect all the Build[in]gs,
for the Use of Congress, except Houses for the respective Delegates,
draw on the Treasury for a Sum not exceedg 100,000 Dollars &c
&c &c. Mr. Jay accepts his Appointment & has taken the oath
of Office. The Commrs of the Treasury first appointed have all
declined, & You are in Nomination for the Office. Mr Russel of
Boston desired me to inform You, that he should with great pleasure
have attended to your landed Concerns in the province of
Main,2 but the Business is such as he is
entirely unacquainted with, & he therefore wishes You would commit
it to some of your Friends who are better able to promote your
Interest. Will You be so kind as to inform Mr Wythe, who is appointed
one of the Judges in the New York & Massachusetts Dispute respectg
Territory, that it will be a great Disapointment to the parties, if he
or the other Gentlemen, in whom the Agents of both States have united
should refuse to accept, as the Matter is important in its Nature,
& requires Adepts in the Law to determine it. You know that in
behalf of Massachusetts We desire nothing but [a] candid hearing &
Decision, & I wish You would use your Influence to obtain Mr
Wythe’s answer in the affirmative – the Members are Mr Smith & Mr
Patterson of this State, Mr Reed of Delaware, Governor Johnson &
Judge Harrison of Maryland, Messrs Wythe, Grason & Monroe of
Virginia & Governor Rutledge of So
Carolina.3 You know my Wishes that You might
be one of this Court, but in Matters of this Kind We are often
disapointed in our preferences.

Adieu my dear sir & be assured I am
yours sincerely,

E Gerry

P.S. I wrote You from Boston, did You receive the Letter? Nothing done yet
respectg Your Salary.


Receiver’s copy, Signers of the Declaration Collection, Lilly Library,
Indiana University.

1 For the recent negotiation of the treaty with the Indians at Fort Stanwix
by commissioners Richard Butler, Oliver Wolcott, and Lee, see Richard
Henry Lee to James Madison, November 20, note 1.

2 For Lee’s land interests in Massachusetts, see these Letters, 18:442n.2.

3 For the selection of judges to hear the claim of Massachusetts to lands in
New York – Isaac Smith and William Paterson of New Jersey, George
Read, Thomas Johnson, Robert Hanson Harrison, George Wythe, William
Grayson, James Monroe, and John Rutledge, see JCC, 27:709 – 10.