<br /> Lee Letter: v024

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Charles Carter Lee

My dear Carter

I have been waiting & waiting and hoping each week to be able to give a more favourable report of the Sundry Commissions Committed to my Charge. But I can now wait no longer for I yesterday received orders to repair at once to the Northern Boundary Line of Ohio for the purpose of assisting Captain Talcott in adjusting it & I Set off day after tomorrow to meet the Captain in Albany on Thursday next. While I am on the subject I may as well say that I do not expect to be absent more than 2 months. In the first place I have not been able to sell your Lots. The prices offered are entirely too Low, & in fact there is no such thing as selling property in the District at all; The Corporations are all Broke. Taxes are enormous, & People have no Money. Persons whom I have consulted, have Strongly advised me not to sell, They hope that Congress will do something for them next year & that Property will take a rise – Mrs Sally Diggs (alias Massi) declines accepting your offer, & prefers remaining where she is, with many thanks for your attention. I went prepared to use all the persuasion I was master of, well knowing that if she left a town for the Country, of her own accord, she would be the first of her race. I gave her a most glowing description of your Homestead, of the delights she would find there in more ways than one; of the Ardour of the Nut Brown Benj. etc etc – but to no purpose. She wanted no more pleasures, no more happiness, no more husbands, than were to be found in her “little yellow Frame” opposite Carrisi’s Dancing room – She said she had lately got a letter from her Mrs & that you had something for her, But if it was a Husband she didn’t want it. The Silk Rabbits have not yet been heard of in Geotown – I went to the Colledge myself but was afraid to venture to the Nunnery, and could learn of no other kind than the English, I thought I had them once, but they turned out to be the Red eyes – Nor has any one I have met with, Peters, Masons etc etc known anything of the long eared rye – I have asked several persons that knew old Mr Threilkitt, but nothing of his Rye – I take it for Granted you have received the Life of Napoleon, for no copies have come for you to Washington. I have asked Major Lewis over & over again, He says he has never received any, nor has he had any intimation concerning them – I got a copy on their first arrival in W – – & read it with great interest. It is most ably written but to my taste, the criticism on Sir Walter Savouy too much of severity or indeed borders somewhat on acrimony. It Labours to make Napoleon too perfect & Squints towards Jacksonism, which however pleasing to the Friends & admirers of these Heros, ought to be lost sight of in a true & impartial History – I believe it has met with a good Sale, & I have heard persons speak highly of it to me of course they would say nothing in its dispraise – If your copies were not sent direct from Ph – a or N – – Y – – write to Mary for this of Mine – & Perhaps Smith can continue it to you – I saw Smith to day in Alex – a & made an arrangement with him to do what he could about your Lots if an opportunity offered – He has their nos: etc – I have been waiting for the return of Genl G – – from a short tour of Inspection, to ask for a leave of Absence for a month, to go & Pay you a visit & intended to endeavour to take Smith along, & indeed he had promised to go, if I could get off This order which the Genl gave me on his return, has knocked that trip in the head – If I am here, I will try & get out in the Fall – The Summer the Genl is generally absent himself on tours of Insp – in different parts of the Country – You will be distressed to hear of the death of Cousin Anne Jones, She died very unexpectedly on the 15th Inst. & is to be buried on the 20th – What will her family do? We are all well, Smith & Nanie talk of going to Niagara this Summer. I exceedingly regret that Mary cannot go on with me, I do not know when she could have a better opportunity. The Boo has grown very much & frequently speaks of his uncle Carter – Nancy McKenna is to be married on the 21st. I suppose Mr Childe wrote to you that Mildred had another Son Arthur, and that they were going to France They sailed on the 1st Inst: Uncle Bernard is to sail for E – – on the 20th The Potestads [or Polestads] have broken up in W – – & are going to Spain in the Fall – Bella is still unwell, sometimes better, sometimes worse – Mary, Mrs. C – – & C send a great deal of Love – Cousin Anna is going on the E – S. next month

Yours etc –

R E Lee

Notes:

Lee PapersUniversity of Virginia Archives

This letter is addressed “C. C. Lee Esqr, Counsellor at Law, Spring Camp, Stoney Fork P.O., Floyd County, VA.” The postmark is “City of Washington May 19.” Written in pencil and perpendicularly to the address is the notation, “R.E. Lee, May 17 – 1835.”