<br /> Lee Letter: v027

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Charles Carter Lee

Your last letter, My dear Carter, has bothered me considerably and caused me much consideration. I of course refer to that part relating to our affairs in Hardy. And I find it impossible to undertake the management of the business, unless I was about to go in person to the land, ascertain the most advantageous manner of acting, and then act accordingly. Of all matters relating to law, I am entirely unacquainted and this affair seems to be in such a snarl, which is more and more developed every day, but only more completely to show its entire entanglement, that I should be working in the dark. I have refrained answering your letter until this time to see if I could make any arrangement by which I could render assistance. Upon its first reception, I had a consultation with Smith; and wished him to make a tour around there to see what could be done. But he also has a million – of difficulties, though consented to accompany me. Genl Gratiot left here the 19th of last month on his visit, to the West, which of course ties me here till his return, and which he did not expect would to be till about the end of June. I see no person so qualified as yourself to settle this matter if your other business will permit, as you have full authority from all parties concerned to act, and that promptly, and you are also competent to understand the case, and know what is best and proper to be done. If however your other business will not allow, then you had better make such arrangements with some Agt. on the spot, as will enable you to do, all you can, and with that, all must be satisfied – I expect Some of those younger Lawyers in Winch – would perhaps have more time etc to attend to the business than James Mason Dr Baldwin for instance – or if after having settled your affairs at home, you could ride down, Smith might meet you there. I have not forgotten your lots in the Metropolis, and the 17th of May is fast approaching. I have been trying to sell them, but it is impossible as yet, the Bill for the payment of the City’s debt has passed the Senate, and it is thought it will also pass the House, provided they ever take it up. I wrote to Uncle Wms the middle of last month, explained to him the case, and told him what you said. I have not yet heard from him. I shall at any rate make arrangements to redeem them, unless perhaps the one on which Brown has a lien – He may if he chooses take that for the debt – I am glad to hear that every thing at the Camp was doing well, and that you got out safely. We were all quite anxious to hear from you, both on account of your bad cold, and the worse roads etc. I have been looking at the returns of the Elections in VA. but have Seen nothing from Floyd as yet. From after what you said I shall not be disappointed if you lose your election, and except that you wish it, think it but of little consequence. We are all as usual in this Section of Country, Nothing has been heard from Mildred or Uncle Bernard since you left us. Anne and her flock are quite Smart. Cousin Anna, Smith, etc are all well, the two first are on a visit to Arkandale, and Sis Nannie and her little pledge, are at Clermont, I rode down yesterday Eve – to see them. The Major is busy farming. His Corn field is not yet enclosed or ploughed, but he “is rushing on all he knows.” “Montgomerie” failed, The “big Picture” has been exhibited in the Capitol, and attracted some severe anemadversions from the Critics, which he says were leveled at his Politics!! – Mary has improved a little in health since the mild weather has commenced, and she has been enabled to take regular exercise. The Boo has the Whooping Cough, God bless him, But does not mind, Whoops, falls down (not literally) gets up, and whoops again! The woman we think is taken it, Mrs. Gurley’s little boy, who is staying there with her, has it, and all the little Ebony bipeds on the hill are barking as if in emulation of each other – The Country looks most beautiful now, all covered with verdure and flowers – I suppose spring has not commenced with you yet – I am writing in the office, and am so much hurried, interrupted etc that I must – Stop – All join me in much love

Yours very truly & sincerely

R E Lee

Notes:

Lee PapersUniversity of Virginia Archives

This letter is addressed “To/ C. C. Lee Esqr, Counsellor at Law, Spring Camp, Near Meadows of Dan, Floyd County VA.” It is postmarked “City of Washington May 3.” With this letter in the repository is an accompanying note by University Archivist Francis L. Berkeley, Jr., that reads as follows: “1836 May 2 R. E. Lee to C. C. Lee This letter was exchanged us [University of Virginia Archives] by David Wagstaff of Tuxedo Park, NY; in return for the letter of R E Lee to Henry A. du Bois, 1853, Feb. 9. The ‘big picture’ to which Lee refers in this letter was a painting by Geo. Wash. Parke Custis, Lee’s father-in-law, of Geo. Washington on his war horse watching the Battle of Princeton. For an account of the sad fate of the picture, see G W P Custis to Maj. Wm. Noland, 1836, Apr. 25, in the Berkeley Mss, Alderman Library. F.L.B. Jr.”