<br /> Lee Letter: n827

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: George Washington

Dear Sir,

I make no doubt but that you have seen in the public papers that my ill
state of health had compelled me to quit this City and Congress to seek
relief from leisure and the Chalybeate springs near Philadelphia. It is
that circumstance that has prevented me from the pleasure of replying
sooner to your favor of August the 22d,1
which I now do with many thanks for its obliging contents. The
advantage that I received to my health from relaxation and the medical
power of the springs I visited, has been very flattering, and will I
hope furnish me with a stock of health sufficient to finish my
Presidential year with some degree of comfort. I hear with singular
pleasure that the very important business of opening the navigation of
Potomac goes on so well. I well know how much the community will be
obliged for success in this useful work to your exertions. By a letter
lately received from the hon. Colo. Monroe,2
who is at Pittsburg and intends to be at the Indian Treaty this month
at the mouth of Great Miami; we learn that the temper of the Indian
Nation as nations, is not unfriendly to the U. States, and promising
success, as well to the coming Treaty, as to the execution of the plan
for surveying and disposing of territory beyond the Ohio for payment of
the public debt. Colo. Monroe represents the Intruding Settlers N.W.
of Ohio to be very few in number and they disposed to obey quickly the
orders of Congress. The negotiation with Mr. Gardoque proceeds so
slowly, and as yet so ineffectually, that I fancy the free navigation
of Mississippi is a point that we may take it for granted will not
hastily be concluded upon. So that mischiefs from that source are
probably postponed to a distant day. In G. Britain, they have been so
engrossed with Irish affairs, that as yet Mr. Adams has done nothing at
that Court. He represents the Ministry, or a majority of them, as
seemingly well disposed to us; but fearing to do any thing decisive
because of the discontent and irritability of the National mind, which
he thinks only wants money to recommence the War with us – On which
account he recommends careful, steady, & moderate conduct on our
part. The dispute between the Emperor & Holland is not yet settled
that we know of. But a formidable league of Prussia, Saxony, &
Hanover; with some other powers, is actually signed to preserve
inviolate the present State of the Empire against the intrigues of the
Emperor who is stated as being much alarmed at this League.

My brother A. Lee, who will have the honor of delivering you this letter
will also supply any defect of intelligence that may have happened on
my part.

I pray you Sir to present my respectful compliments to your Lady with my
wishes for her health.

I have the honor to be, with the most perfect esteem, respect, and regard;
dear Sir your most affectionate and obedient servant,

Richard Henry Lee.


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

1 See Washington, Writings (Fitzpatrick), 28:230 – 32.

2 Not found, but see Lee to Unknown, October 10, note 3; and to Monroe,
October 17, note 1.