<br /> Lee Letter: n830

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: James Monroe

Dear Sir,

I have received the letter that you did me the honor to write to me from
Pittsburg,1 and I am much pleased to find by
it that the Indian nations, as nations, are not indisposed to us. I
think it augurs well to our treaty at Miami, and for the survey &
sale of western territory. I am very unhappy to inform you of the death
of our most worthy friend Mr. Hardy. He has been sick almost ever since
you left this place and early this morning he departed this life,
greatly reduced, and without much apparent pain. His loss to the public
is great. I wish sincerely that the Assembly may be both able &
willing to fill his vacancy with equal ability & virtue – but
unfortunately for the good of society, such characters as poor Hardy
are rarely to be found, and too frequently bad men are ready to oppose
merit & to thrust themselves forward into places that should be
filled alone by sense & virtue. Colo. Grayson proposes to sell the
horses that you & Mr. Hardy had in partnership, as they will soon
eat their heads off here, and where no Owner wants their use. We have
too much reason to apprehend that the Algerines have declared war
against our Commerce. These pirates having lately made a profitable
peace with Spain, they have now (to the shame of Europe be it said)
almost the whole of Europe their Tributaries, so that having little
plunder now to get from that quarter, the Arm of rapine is sketched out
against us. It is most clear to me from Mr. Adams’s account of what
passed between him & the Secretary of State concerning the British
debts, that if our Assemblies do not irritate by throwing obstructions
in the way of the Treaty of peace we shall obtain every reasonable wish
concerning time for payment. He seems to be apprehensive of
Violence – for he says “It cannot be too strongly recommended to let
persons & property be held sacred.”2 You
will find that the business of Facilities,3
insultive as it is to us who have few or none, has been forced upon us
as contended for when you were here. It is to me most plainly proper,
that our Assembly should Tax our people, only for Federal purposes,
what will suffice to pay our Quota of the foreign interest, and the
expences of the federal government; and not admit any facilities to be
received in discharge of the Taxes but such as have originated with our
own Citizens. This last will disappoint the plan of purchasing our
produce with the certificates of those Northern States which will pay
the domestic Creditors in these States whilst our own go unpaid. And
thus we shall realy give a bribe to prevent the settlement of our
Accounts and consequently prevent the payment of our own Citizens who
are at least as large Creditors of the U. States as the Citizens of any
other State.

I shall be very happy to see you at Chantilly before you leave Virginia to
return to Congress.

I am dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Richard Henry Lee

P.S. Poor Hardy is to be buried in the evening of tomorrow under the
directions and Auspices of Congress – for his funeral we are adjourned
two days.4

R. H. Lee


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

1 Not found, but see Lee to Unknown, October 10, note 4.

2 For John Adams’ letter of July 15, see ibid., note 6.

3 For which see James McHenry’s Committee Report, ante March 31, note.

4 See Virginia Delegates to Patrick Henry, October 24, note 1.