<br /> Lee Letter: n786

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: George Washington

Dear Sir,

In reply to your favor of December the 14th I had the honor to write to you
from Trenton,1 and I mentioned an enclosed
letter from you for the Marquis Fayette, which coming to hand after the
Marquis had sailed, I wished to know your pleasure, whether I should
forward it to France or return it to you. I have not been honored with
your commands upon that point. Soon after my arrival in this city, I
sent you one of the few pamphlets addressed to the President of
Congress by Doctor Price – it will give me pleasure to know that you have received it.2 The commissioners for
treating with the western Indians did yesterday present to Congress the
Treaty that they have made with the Wyandots, Delawares &c. A copy
of the Treaty I have now the honor to enclose
you.3 The Shawanese, you observe, are not
there – it seems that persons, disaffected to us, prevented them from meeting the Commissioners. The Wyandots being stated as their superiors may perhaps prevent any mischief from the Shawanese not being included
in this Treaty. Another Treaty will be held with the more Southern
Indians in the spring or first of the
summer.4 The policy seems to be a good one,
of enclosing as it were, the Indian nations within our acknowledged
territory. It will probably tend to civilize them sooner, and by
preventing intrigues with them, render them more certainly our friends.

The Court of Spain has appointed Mr. Gardoqui their Chargé des affairs to
the United States, and we have reason soon to expect his
arrival.5 We are to apprehend a very firm
ostensible demand from him, of the exclusive navigation of the
Mississippi. His secret orders touching an ulterior agreement may be
another thing.

Time and wise negotiation will unfold this very important matter, and I
hope may secure to the U. S. and those Individual states concerned, the
great advantages that will be derived from a free navigation of that

My respects, if you please, to your Lady, whose health I hope is perfectly

I have the honor to be, with the truest respect and esteem, Sir, your most
obedient and very humble servant,

Richard Henry Lee.

P.S. I was honored with your favor of the 8th of Feby. with its enclosures
after the above letter was written. I will shortly reply to its
contents, and your letter for the Marquis shall be forwarded to France.

R. H. Lee


Receiver’s copy, Washington Papers, Library of Congress.

1 See Lee to Washington, December 26, 1784.

2 See Lee to Washington, January 16, note 2.

3 See the preceding entry, note 4.

4 See South Carolina Delegates to Benjamin Guerard, January 25, note 8.

5 See the preceding entry, note 3.