<br /> Lee Letter: wl015

Washington and Lee University

Sender: S. D. Stuart
Recipient: Robert E.Lee

Dear Gen:

On yesterday I sent some account of my migration to Baltimore – directed to Col. McLaughlin There are some matters to which I wish to call your attention before I set out on my trip to N. York But first I must allude to a matter to which Col. Marshall seems to have called to your attention He informed me indeed that he intended to write to you in reference to an interview between himself & me on the subject of my mission; or rather the manner of discharging it. I did not see the necessity of this, as we substantially agreed except on the question whether you would sanction an effort to endow an institution under present circumstances He thought you wouldn’t, – I understood that to be the sole object of my visit to Baltimore On accomplishing this we both agreed that your connection with the college would be the main consideration that would induce a general & liberal subscription, only he thought that this might be attended to in conversation with the parties & I saw no reason why, as this was strictly a private application & presented only to those who were our warm friends & your special admirers, it might not be alluded to in the heading of the subscription I desired to do is with the utmost delicacy for I assure I should be the last to do anything that would compromise the feelings of one for whom I have the profound veneration The object of my call upon him was to ensure – as to a proper heading, & get him to write one, but I found him so busy that he could not attend to it – as I had been much delayed I concluded to write one myself & have it printed This I submitted to him & upon his suggesting that it might not be agreeable to you, although he said it would enable us to raise much more money – I immediately withdrew it – I wish you to feel perfectly assured that all to whom I have presented this subject are your friends & that while they have given with freedom & <illegible> because it would gratify & assist you in your labors for the good of your country – they will understand that it is no charity to you & that your delicacy is no wise compromised – The whole subscription is an expression of sincere confidence in you & earnest desire that you may be enabled to make Washington College one of the most useful institution of the country. Indeed I am satisfied that much more would have been subscribed had not the feeling been so general that you only contemplated a temporary connection with the college & if I can authoritatively assure our friends that it is a position to your taste & one which you desire to continue that you may carry out important plans for Adaptive Education to the wants of our condition, I feel sure that I shall be much assisted in my future application. Will you not favor me before I leave or by the time I shall reach N.Y. – say the 7th of Jan with a brief statement of your views & plan on this whole matter?

I also found it to be a matter of great gratification to many in Baltimore that you were taking an interest as I understood you to express yourself to me in a rail road connection through the valley. Mr. Garret especially who is President of the Baltimore & Ohio RR asked me to tender to you his best wishes & expresses his peculiar gratification

On the strength of it he gave me a subscription of five hundred dollars & the benefit of his influence – He is a man of great force & influence in Baltimore – especially in monied circles & if you will allude to this subject in a letter to me in such a form as that – I can use it in that quarter – I think it will get us subscriptions that could not be otherwise obtained By the way I learned that Mr. Garret who has easy access to the Cabinet at Washington & much influence has embraced an important occasion to interpose on your behalf, by which I would like when I see you to speak more in detail

And now my Dear Sir I wish in concluding to ask some small favor besides

1st That you furnish me an introduction to Mr Corcoran the Banker at Washington if you know him or to some one in Washington who does

Also a letter or letters of introduction to N. York – Your letters are of unspeakable advantages to me in Baltimore They served to introduce me most favorably when I had no one to visit with me & were in some case indispensable

2 That you furnish me a number of your autographs in such form as will so to be cut-off & pasted under a likeness of you Many of your friends are greatly desirous of having them in this form & I trust you will not esteem too small a troublesome a matter to allow me to furnish them this gratification –

I expect tp leave home about next Wednesday & shall be pleased to hear from you before that time – My purpose is to stop a day in Washington, several days in Baltimore & then proceed to N. York – If you have heard anything further from Kentucky please inform me I wrote to Mrs Chase & another party in Louisville but have had no reply – My work is not yet completed in B – The subscription there is up to this period about 8500 dollars – With kindest regards to Mrs Lee I am dear sir

Yours truly

S. D. Stuart


Robert E. Lee CollectionLeyburn Library, Washington and Lee University

Endorsed by Lee: “27 Dec – ’65 Rev S. D. Stuart gives an account of his mission in Baltimore Ansd 1 Jany ’66.”