Robert E. Lee

Gouverneur Kemble

U.S. Mil: Academy West Point.

14 March 1853

Dear Sir.

I have recd. your note of the 7th Inst: in reference to the proposition of some of the inhabitants of Coldspring to build a proper steamer to run between that place & West Point, provided they can be assured of the ferry on both sides of the river.

I shall have no objection to accord them that privilege, as far as West Point is concerned, subject to such regulations, as the discipline, order & convenience of the Post may require, & I consider the interest you will have in the matter, a sufficient assurance, that the management of the boat & ferry will only be entrusted to proper persons.

I think it right however that the interests of the ferryman on this side of the river should be so far regarded, as to allow him the privilege of taking an interest in the proposed boat, or that he should be indemnified in some other way, for the outfit in boats &c he may have already made.

I must also inform you that an appn. has been made at the recent session of Congress to build a new wharf, which it is proposed to place on the south side of the Point, & which will be more accessible to Passenger Steamboats & more convenient for communicating with the R.R. Station at Garrisons, than the present wharf. This I have thought might reduce the profits of the ferry to Coldspring, & it was proper that you should know.

I remain, Very truly yours.(Signed) R E Lee
Br. Col: Supt: Mil: Acady.

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, pp. 8–9. Addressed “Honble. Gouverneur Kemble Coldspring. N.Y.”