<br /> Lee Letter: n855

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Henry Lee
Recipient: St. George Tucker

Dear sir

I have the pleasure of your ler. from Baltimore on your return from

Your polite communication of my instrumentality to your & your ladys
happiness by introducing you to my old friend Smallwood was highly

Your narrative of the proceedings of the convention at Annapolis was
followed in a few days by a letter from the chairman to the president
of Congress.1 With difficulty the friend[s]
to the system adopted by the convention induced Congress to commit your
report, altho all were truely sensible of the respect manifested by the
convention to this body, and all zealous to accomplish the objects
proposed by the authors of the commercial convention. Indeed their
conviction of the inadequacy of the present fœderal government render
them particularly zealous to amend & strengthen it. But different
opinions prevail as to the mode; some think with the Annapolis meeting,
others consider Congress not only the constitutional but the most
eligible body to originate & propose necessary amendments to the
confederation, and others prefer state conventions for the express
purpose, and a congress of deputys appointed by these conventions with
plenipotentiary powers.

For my own part I am only solicitous to see an accomplishment of the
salutary work and very regardless of the particular mode, so that the
end is answered effectually & quickly.

Since you left us2 a political cloud has risen
in the east & portends much calamity to our infant empire. Present
appearances justify apprehensions of an appeal to the ultima ratio
requm in Massachusetts, or submission to the mob. The Insurgents are
very numerous, inhabitants of a rugged country well united, and firmly
decided in their objects – Abolition of debt & division of lands are
the cardinal points in view, these are masqued by some ostensible
complaints, the redress of which are attainable with ease &
certainty in a constitutional manner, but having very different
intentions they prefer illegal measures.

Back of the Malcontents lyes Vermont – these people are in commercial
connexion with Canada, & are leagued with the insurgents. Thus you
see there is a plain road to British Magazines & munitions of war,
& I beleive no American can entertain any doubt of the conduct
which the British King would pursue, was a civil war to take place
among us.

Mrs. Lee & Mr A Lee unite with me in most affectionate respects to my
cousin &

best wishes for Your health & happiness. Adieu,

H. Lee Junr.


Receiver’s copy, Tucker-Coleman Papers, College of William and Mary.

1 See Rufus King to James Bowdoin, September 17, note 2.

2 Tucker had been in New York on business from July 19 to August 27 before
attending the Annapolis Convention as a Virginia delegate. See
Virginia Delegates to Patrick Henry, July 17, note 5.