<br /> Lee Letter: n784

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: William Shippen, Jr.

My dear Sir,

I am very happy to in[form] you that your friend Dr. Cuttin[g] settled his
affair with Congress t[o his] entire
satisfaction.1 My Love […] please, to
my excellent Nephew. [Tell] him that altho my finances, for want of
remittances in this severe Season, prevents me from presently remitting
to Mr. De Barthold his money, that it shall not be neglected when my
remittances shall come. My love to you all – God bless you


Richard Henry Lee2


Receiver’s copy, Shippen Family Papers, Library of Congress.

1 Former Apothecary General John Brown Cutting had attempted the preceding
September to settle his accounts with Edward Fox, commissioner for
the Hospital Department, but in the process a box containing his
vouchers fell overboard while being transported across the Delaware
River damaging all and rendering some “absolutely illegible.” When
Fox first appealed to Congress in December for special instructions
in handling the case, a committee chaired by Dr. Hugh Williamson
recommended that Cutting’s claims be denied because to settle
accounts without adequate documentation “would deprive the U.S. of
any kind of security against impositions.” Cutting renewed his
appeal, however, in a January 20 memorial to Congress and a second
committee, chaired again by Williamson, took the more lenient
position “that Mr. Cutting’s general character is not only
unimpeached, but … he does not appear to have improved his
estate, while he was charged with public property.” Congress ordered
this day that Cutting’s cash account of $2,474 be settled. See JCC,
27:699, 28:14n, 42 – 44; and PCC, item 78, 6:251 – 75.

2 This day Lee also wrote a letter to an unidentified recipient, an extract
of which was published in Robert F. Batchelder Autographs, catalog 13
(April 1976) item 126: “That [news] which is foreign is entirely
confined to the quarrel between the Emperor and Holland. Blows had
certainly been exchanged, but the winter intervening the better
opinion is, that the negotiations in that season of inactivity in the
field, will terminate the dispute amicably. For the sake of humanity
it is to be wished. [Congress has been prevented] … from going
into the consideration of revenue matters – indeed there being no
Treasury Officers since the resignation of Mr. Morris has been one
cause of delay in this most important of all our concerns …The
trade between Great Britain & their W. Indies – the Territorial
dispute about St. Croix, the detention of the Western Posts, and some
other subjects of doubt will render it indispensable that we should
send an Able, Honest, Conciliating Minister to the Court of London
… American refugees and Tories … will keep the two
Countries in perpetual hot water and prevent any amicable settlement
between us. The presence of such a Minister as I have described will
banish a Myriad of those Miscreants. When the Commissioners who are
now treating with the Western Indians shall have finished … we
shall proceed in Congress to [sell] some part of that … region
that has been yielded to the U.S. by Virginia.”