Robert E. Lee

Mrs. Arthur

U.S. Military Academy West Point.

6 May 1853

It would give me much pleasure to grant your application of this date, for a leave of absence of a few days, for your son, Cadet Arthur, could I with propriety do so. But I am not at liberty to relax the Regulations of the Academy, for such a purpose. Cadets are placed here by Government for their instruction, with a view of entering the service of the Country. The devotion of their whole time & attention is necessary for their preparation. You can readily see that their course of studies would be seriously interrupted & the object of the Academy interfered with, were they liable to be called off on other business. For if granted to one it must be granted to all.

I hope therefore that the business you wish your son to transact, can be satisfactorily accomplished by some other agent, & that you may experience no inconvenience by his adherence to his regular duty.

I remain very resply. your obedt Servt(Signed) R. E. Lee Br. Col:
Supt: Mil: Acady.

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. 25. Addressed “Mrs. Arthur Sing Sing. N.Y.”