<br /> Lee Letter: n829

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Samuel Adams

My dear Sir

I am well satisfied that your friendship has long since suggested an
apology for my not sooner answering the letter that you did me the
honor to write to me on the 7th of August
last,1 because you will have been informed
that my ill state of health compelled me to quit business and Congress,
to seek for remedy in the medical waters lately discoverd in
Pennsylvania. I thank God that my health has been so restored as to
enable me to return to my duty here, and I hope with a stock sufficient
at least to carry me thro my Presidential year with some comfort to
myself. The Governors letter concerning Capt. Stanhopes misconduct was
immediately laid before Congress, and yours to me communicated to your
delegates.2 In my absence Congress
determined to send the papers to Mr Adams in order to place the matter
before Capt. Stanhopes Superiors. It is certainly very difficult to
judge of Courts & Courtiers, because hypocrisy, simulation, and
dissimulation reign throughout – but so far as we may judge from the
civilities shewn to Mr. Adams, and the professions made to him, we may
suppose that the behavior of Capt. Stanhope (which seems to have been a
complication of folly & insolence) will not be approved at St.
James’s. We do not find however, that the civil appearances about the
Court of London have as yet produced any solid good effects – for still
they hold the Posts, still they encroach on our Eastern boundary, and
still their Commercial regulations continue crabbed, and hurtful to
themselves & to us. Perhaps time may heal the wound that yet
rankles in the National breast. I fear it is too true that the
Algarines, these Hostes humani generis, have commenced war upon our
Commerce, and if we are not lucky enough to purchase a peace from these
Barbarians before they taste the sweets of plundering our Commerce, it
may be long before we can quiet them, and be most difficult to
accomplish. As for warring with them, as some propose, thro choice I
say that it is a very crude & strange opinion. In such a War we
shall have every thing to loose and nothing to gain. Is it possible
that G.B. can have been so wicked as to have stimulated this War for
Commercial purposes, and in revenge for our separation? If it were not
that all things are possible with the corrupt Politicians of this day,
I should say that they could not be so base. I think it seems probable
that Ireland will not receive the British regulation of their Commerce,
and if they reject the propositions with proper spirit, it may
terminate not only in relieving Ireland, but also in disposing the
haughty Britons to be more reasonable in the Commercial system with us.

I beg that my respectful compliments may be acceptable to Mrs. Adams, and
that you may be assured of the perfect esteem and regard with which I
am your friend and affectionate Servant

Richard Henry Lee

My compliments, if you please, to Gen. Warren. I shall write to him soon.

R.H.L.

Notes:

Receiver’s copy, Samuel Adams Papers, Library of Congress.

1 Adams’ letter is in the Lee Family Papers, ViU, and on the Lee Family
microfilm.

2 For Capt. Henry Stanhope’s “misconduct,” see Charles Thomson to James
Bowdoin, August 20, note.