<br /> Lee Letter: n872

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Richard Bland Lee

My dear Sir,

I thank you for the information that thro my brother I have received from
you of the health of my family – but my satisfaction was much allayed by
the account of your fathers illness.1 I hope
however that on your return from Loudon you may have it in your power
to relieve us by intelligence of his recovery.

In my last letter to your brother of Stratford2
I mentioned a request to you that I will here repeat, least that letter
should not have reached him before you left
Westmoreland.3 I requested him to inform you
that when my first quarter ended, which would be on the 13th of
September, I should, thro you, forward my Account to the Treasurer of
that quarters wages, with an account also, of what should be due at the
close of the federal year in November, which will be about £112
our currency – And requesting that you would be so good as make
provision for making me a remittance of that sum when you should
receive my accounts aforesaid. This, I think was the plan proposed to
me by the Treasurer before I left Virginia.

Since the affair of Mr. Morris’s protests, I apprehend that it will not be
easy to get Cash here for bills on Virginia – And therefore it was that
I requested the favor of you to contrive a remittance to me here – and I
suggested the probability of being supplied with a good bill on this
City by Murray & Co. in Alexandria the half of which house resides
in this Town. But this I leave to your judgement, observing always that
a draft payable here will suit me better than on Philadelphia, and the
fewer days sight the better. How did the Crops appear when you left
Westmoreland, or have we, in the Northern Neck been favored with any of
the plentiful rains that have refreshed this part of the world?

You will see all the news that we have, retailed in the publick papers, so
that I need not trouble you with that. For four or 5 weeks after my
first arrival here we were fully employed with business in
Congress – for a few days past a cessation has taken place by the
sickness of some members, the inattention of others, and by some going
to the Convention. In a few days we expect 8 or 9 States. The report of
the Convention is expected in Congress about a fortnight hence, and
great are the public expectations concerning it. Tis expected that a
federal Legisla[ture] of 3 branches will be recommended, with
independe[nt] powers, and supreme for external matters, revenue, & Commerce – With an Executive well toned and of reasonable duration.

I wish you every happiness and am very sincerely your affectionate friend and Kinsman,

Richard Henry Lee


Receiver’s copy, Roberts Autograph Collection, Haverford College.

1 That is, Henry Lee (1729 – 87).

2 Not found. Richard Bland Lee’s “brother of Stratford” was Virginia delegate
Henry Lee (see Henry Lee to Richard Bland Lee, April 4, 1786), who
had returned to Virginia, according to his accounts, in late June.
Continental Congress Papers, Vi. Edmund C. Burnett notes the date of
his return as July 17 (Burnett, Letters, 8:xcviii), but that
supposition is based on erroneous assertions made by the editors of
the modern edition of the journals that Charles Thomson’s listings of
the motions, votes and committee assignments of “Mr. Lee” from July
17 to August 9 meant Henry Lee rather than Richard Henry Lee, who had
presented his credentials on July 9. Cf. JCC, 32:279 – 87, 293, 310,
343, 351, 376 – 77, 33:447 – 48, 450, 463, 467n.2; and PCC, item 190,
fol. 164. In his accounts, Henry Lee claimed a resumption of service
“from the 15th August,” although he is not listed in the journals
again until September 24. See JCC, 33:516, 518 – 20. The first literary
evidence for Lee’s return to New York is Edward Carrington’s
September 23 statement that he had confirmed with “Mr. H. Lee” their
mutual support of the new constitution, for which see Carrington to
James Madison, September 23, note 4.

3 Richard Bland Lee was a Loudon County delegate to the Virginia House of
Delegates at Richmond. DAB.