<br /> Lee Letter: w383

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: William Henry Ruffner

My dear Dr

I learn from Col: Allan that Frank Smyth is a correspondent of the New York World who has visited Lexington several times & has written letters to that paper, giving accounts of Washington College, the Institute etc, which you may have seen. He was here during the last Commencement, is from somewhere at the South he thinks, is friendly in his sentiments, & writes only such things as he picks up from conversation or gets from catalogues etc. He says he has no idea that he had reference to your fathers history, but does not think that what he writes will do harm, though he should prefer an able man to write the history of the College –

It is surprizing to me that so valuable a history to the College as that of your fathers should be lost. I do not think that any one would venture to destroy it; it must therefore be in existence & ought to be found – Please leave no stone unturned to discover it. It contains facts that no body else could give nor with the same effect or authority –

I return the letters of F & M – very truly

R E Lee

Revd W. H. Ruffner


R. E. Lee CollectionLeyburn Library

Ruffner’s father, Henry Ruffner, president of Washington College, wrote a history of the school, “Early History of Washington College,” that was published in 1890 in the Washington and Lee University Historical Papers, No. 1.