<br /> Lee Letter: wl204

Washington and Lee University

Sender: John W. Ford
Recipient: Robert E. Lee

Dear Sir

A few months ago there appeared in our city papers an extract from a Northern Journal announcing that you were engaged in writing a Standard History of the late War. I am quite anxious to secure an Agency for your book forth covering War. As I do not know who will publish it – this is the only excuse I can offer for presuming to address you. If it is not unpardonable, I would respectfully request General Lee to forward this application to the publishing party. They will consider it addressed to themselves. All parties interested may rest assured that if incessant application to the business if Industry Energy and indomitable perseverance can do it, Lee’s record of the “great Conflict” will be put into the hands of every one if I am made Agent for the same.

My reason for making a move at this early day is to be the first applicant and to see if possible to get the appointment

The cause which impels me this action justifies me in it. I am the only Son of a “War Widow? and must Support my old Mother. I was appointed Agent for Schinaker’s History of the War published by Zeigler McCurdy’s Co. St. Louis for three counties. When a specimen copy reached me I examined it closely and concluded that it would not sell here. But not willing to trust my own judgment I consulted wiser heads. Several leading men have advised me to give it up at once – which I have done – Among them R. W. Loughery and W. G. Barrett Editors, Texas Republican and Harrison Flag. Professor W. P. Huggins, Dr. Tom Kavanaugh and many others – If you are pleased to select me as Agent, your best interests shall be served.

Yours Respectfully

John W. Ford

Notes:

Robert E. Lee CollectionLeyburn Library, Washington and Lee University

Ford enclosed five letters written to Lee on behalf of Ford’s application, from R. W. Loughery, 1 July 1866; E. M. Marvin, 2 July 1866; Robert Willie, 2 July 1866; William G. Barrett, c.2 July 1866, S. D. Ward, 2 July 1866