My dear Emily

I have been here six weeks alone with Rob – & leave tomorrow with a heavy heart – for I always hate to leave him in his solitary home. Not for long however – as I spend a few days in Richmond, & then he joins me & we go to Ravensworth, Burkes Station – Fairfax Co, where you must write to me. How are you? And what are you doing! Flirting I fear with some of yr old admirers!

Our letters crossed Xmas – & I have been counting on your generosity to write again! I have been living in the nubia all winter! To Washington – to balls, & dinners, & receptions – here in country drives, when the wind is blowing. I had a lovely time in Washington – courted & feted by the Swells! But no heart episodes, as in dear darling New Orleans – city of love & roses! I saw the Misses Davis there, & was invited to one of thier handsome entertainments. Mrs Cleveland was very polite – named her pet cat after me! Rose Elizabeth Cleveland honored one wish with her friendship! Friends abounded but no loves alas! Is their season over for me – for me! God forbid! I am going to Europe in May! Yes – I am off at last – but will return I hope soon.

I have been busy here – setting to rights as usual – & trying to teach these wretched darkies to be clean, & not filthy! Hopeless – futile task! As well turn the stars from thier orbits! I have made up beds – scoured floors, washed windows with them – but when my back is turned – they return to thier old way! Rob has a sweet place – & everything but a wife – to drill & take care of his menage. Write me all yr news. Fitzhugh & Tabb have been on a visit to Custis

My love to Nat & yr amie


Robert E. Lee Papers (064 collection), Leyburn Library

The final paragraph was written in the upper left margin of the letter’s opening page.