<br /> Lee Letter: w304

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Charles Carter Lee

My dear brother Carter

I have been intending to write to you on some points in which I am not clear, & have not the proper books to which to refer. In the biography of our father, in speaking of the men who were distinguished in advocating the adoption of the Federal Constitution & the election of President Washington & of their sentiments of the duty they owed to the state & Ind Governments etc, it is stated Mr Madison’s authorship of the Viga resolutions of 98 & 99 leaves no doubt of his views on the subject, but Gov Lee zealously approved them etc. In what way did he approve them? I know he opposed the Democrats in the Legislature of that session, but was he ever opposed to Madison – So he opposed the financial measures of Hamilton, which were advocated by the Federalists, I do not wish to revive any partizan feelings or to incite party criticism against the book or to stir up sectional animosity – I would rather allay such feelings & cause the memoirs to be kindly welcomed, rather than be angrily recd. I do not think it is the proper vehicle by which to disseminate political opinions or to discuss controversial questions, & therefore think it best to say no more than to express our father’s sentiments on the occasion & to explain his cause.

I see no similarity in the cause or course of the Whiskey Insurrection, with the seccesion of the South; & am unwilling to recognize a parallel, I have therefore modified a great deal on that question.

To what authority can I refer, for Washington’s having nominated our father to the rank of Major Genl when he was appointed to the Command of a provisional army in the disputes between this Country & France during the administration of Pres: Adams, in case either of the officers named to that rank declined to serve, & otherwise placing him first in the list of Brigadiers?

I am daily expecting from Henry B. Dawson of Morrisania N.Y. Editor of the Historical Magazine in relation to Antguilus History & Biography his volume on the capture of Stoney point, & if it contains what I am told it does, will rewrite the account of that battle. You did not say in what year you visited Pres: Monroe. I have recd nothing more on the subject of Champl.

George is well & doing very well. I do not think he has yet acquired sufficient preciseness in learning a subject. He is satisfied with too general knowledge. He thinks he understands it, but when tested finds he does not, & is consequently surprized. Encourage him to closer examination, & advise your other boys to do the same. It may be the fault of these bushwhacking schools as Genl Long terms them. All unite with me in much love to you & yours, &

I am always affy yours

R E Lee

C C Lee


R. E. Lee CollectionLeyburn Library