<br /> Lee Letter: n807

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Unknown

My dear Friend,

By Mr. Alexander White of Frederick, I had the honor of writing to you from
Trenton before Christmas last,1 but I have
not had the pleasure of hearing from you in return, which causes me to
doubt your having received that letter. Our intelligence from Europe is
not very interesting. The Ministry & Parliament of G. Britain seem
to be absorbed in the dispute about the Commerce of Ireland, a subject
of important discussion, & which will probably produce great
discontent whichever way determined. Congress has sent Mr. John Adams
Plenipotentiary to the Court of London for the settlement of our
remaining disputes. Upon the Continent of Europe their differences
appear to be settling without bloodshed – The Emperor having yielded (so
far as we are informed), his claims upon the Scheld. A Plenipotentiary
from Spain has arrived at Philadelphia and is daily expected here. We
shall soon learn from him whether or not his Master is disposed to
consent to our free use of the navigation of Mississippi with Spain.
You will see in the public papers the Congressional ordinance for
selling the lands lately purchased of the Indians Northwest of Ohio for
the pay[men]t of our public debt. This will offer 10 millions of Acres
for Sale at a dollar pr. Acre of liquidated Certificates for debt due
from the U. States. This, with the Lands to be sold hereafter between
the Southern bounds of the present Sale and the Mississippi, will I
hope, discharge the great burthen of debt created by the late war – And
make us realy a free & independent people. We have an American
Coinage in view, and a better regulation of the Post Office, with such
further Treaties with the Indians as will secure peace with them, and
extinguish all their claims to Land within the limits of the U. States.
Having thus given you a detail of affairs here, will you permit me to
enquire of you how all things do with you – does the Wheat, Oats, rye,
Barley &c, &c, &c grow kindly – Are the people healthy,
sociable, & happy – And above all, is my esteemed old friend General
Stephen happy & in good health? If you please, remember me
affectionately to Colo. Martin, Mr. White, & Colo.

I am dear Sir yours with the
sincerest esteem & affection,

Richard Henry Lee


Receiver’s copy, Miscellaneous Manuscripts, New York Historical Society.

1 Not found. White (1738 – 91) was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from Frederick Co.

2 That is, Gen. Adam Stephen (1730 – 91) of Berkeley Co., Thomas Bryan Martin
(1731 – 98) of Frederick Co., and Charles Mynn Thruston (1738 – 1812) of
Frederick Co.