<br /> Lee Letter: n800

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: George Washington

Dear Sir,

This will be delivered to you by the honorable Mr. Sitgreaves a very worthy
delegate to Congress from N. Carolina;1 who
has been long detained by his desire to see the Land Ordinance passed,
but he is obliged at last to quit us before it is finally so. The
reasons he can give you. I had some time ago written a letter for you
in answer to your last favor & kept it to go by this Gentleman,
whose detention has been so long as to render a new letter more fit. I
have now the honor to enclose you the Ordinance above attended to,
which meets the assent of nine States & every member of these Nine
States, except one Man, who keeps the Ordinance from passing by the
joint causes, as he alleges, of indisposition &
dislike.2 I incline to think, however, that
it will pass in the form you now receive it, with very little
alteration, if any. I think there is no doubt of the agreement having
been made for change of dominions between the Elector of Bavaria &
the Emperor as mentioned in my last, yet, altho we have letters from
our Ministers in Europe of the 9th of
February,3 we are yet in the dark upon the
question whether there will be war between the Emperor & the Dutch,
or whether it will settle finally between the former & the King of
Prussia. The public papers, as you will see by the inclosed, make War
very certain. I had lately the honor of writing to you by Mr. Graham,
& his Lady Mrs. Macauley Graham the celebrated Historian of
England, who go to Virginia, I believe solely to pay their respects to
you.4 I beg leave to refer you to Mr.
Sitgreaves for our foreign and domestic news, which indeed is not much.

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

I am, with the truest respect, esteem, and regard, dear Sir
Your most obedient and very humble servant,

Richard Henry Lee.


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

1 See William Grayson to Washington, May [5?], note 6.

2 Lee enclosed the approved second reading of the land ordinance, for which
see ibid., note 1. The “one Man” was undoubtedly Rufus King, the
principal advocate of the New England system of land distribution.
See King to Elbridge Gerry, April 26 and May 8, and to Timothy
Pickering, May 8.

3 See William Grayson to James Madison, May 1, note 2.

4 See Grayson to Washington, May 3, note 3 (not in current volume).

Lee also mentioned the Grahams’ impending visit to Washington in a letter
he wrote the following day to his brother-in-law, William Shippen, a
letter devoted chiefly to how Henry Lee was to be paid for the
purchase of a slave, and to matters affecting Shippen’s daughter and
son, Ann Home Shippen Livingston and Thomas Lee Shippen. Lee, Letters
(Ballagh), 2:355 – 56.