<br /> Lee Letter: n809

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Thomas Lee Shippen

My dear Nephew,

Your favor of June the 11th has been just now put into my hands, and had it
come sooner would have renderd unnecessary some parts of my letter to
you of yesterday,1 which, with this will be
delivered by Mr. Joseph Harrison. I am very sure that without incurring
the smallest danger of being charged with self applause, I can safely
appeal to all those acquainted with my political progress, for a full
testimonial that neither indolence, inattention or neglect have marked
my proceedings – And most certainly I should not have first commenced
such practice with so respectable a character as Doctor Franklin. When
Congress determined to indulge the Doctor, upon his request, with leave
to retire, the business of communicating that determination was
expressly assigned to the Secretary for foreign Affairs among the other
duties of his Office2 – And did not enter at
all into my business. In me it would have been a work of Supererogation
and I think myself warranted in doing justice to the honorable
Secretary for foreign Affairs by assuring you that his information was
sent by the earliest good opportunity that offered after the Act of
Congress passed.3 I thank you for your
obliging attention to my affairs – but you say nothing about the
covering for my Charriot – is it gone, or in what State is that affair?
The Gout shoes are come & I believe will answer well. God bless


Richard Henry Lee


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

1 Not found.

2 See JCC, 28:13 – 14, 122, 189 – 90.

3 In a postscript to a June 22 letter to Shippen, Lee confirmed that “I have
spoken with Mr. Secretary Jay and he assures me that he sent by the
first Packet that sailed after the Act of Congress passed a
Notification to Dr. Franklin that he had leave to retire – How
causeless then, & how improper was a censure placed on me in
whose department it was not, and when he in whose line it was, had
actually done it?!” Shippen Family Papers, DLC. Lee, Letters
(Ballagh), 2:375.