March 17th 1857


Altho’ I have written so recently dearest Robert yet I cannot refrain from communicating to you at once the joyful news that has filled my heart with thankfulness & my lips with praises. I yesterday received letters from both our dear little girls at Staunton one from Anne telling me she had for some months been in a state of deep anxiety about her eternal state & had suffered much from a sense of sin & unworthiness but had found comfort & peace in believing. I wish I could send you her letter but fear it might be lost & will keep them both till you come. Annie says “I am so feeble weak & wavering but has not God said my grace is sufficient for Thee oh sweet & glorious promise to me, It is my comforter pray for me, pray that I may not waiver, that I may be kept from coldness, lukewarmness & an unthankful heart, my prayer is search thee oh God & know my heart see if there be any wicked way in me & lead me in the way everlasting, surely any one who can say that prayer from the heart must be a Christian.” Agnes has not arrived at the same decision but seems most earnest & anxious, yet fearful that her impressions are only transient. I pray that God may strengthen them & perfect the good work he has begun I feel confident that He will. This is a compensation for all my pains. I must not now complain of any thing but pray more earnestly that the rest of my children may be brought early into the fold of God. He is so much easier to begin early before the heart becomes hardened & occupied with the cares & pleasures of the world. Mary arrived safely in Phila. but Mr Child had not reached there. They were expecting him every day. I gave her 50 dollars have paid all debts & have now $100.00 left. Smith wrote me he expected soon to receive the rent for the Nation which had delayed his writing to me before & then you know there will be some little to be paid in Washington in April & I have 3 coupons & Mr Marshalls bond due in July so that I shall have a plenty for all my purposes. I have almost made up my mind to go to Bath first as Carter does not recommend his Spring for rheumatism but to get there afterwards I can get to Bath so easily & I think the cool bathing will be best for me as cold water always affords me transient releif [sic] & you knew how fine the Bathing is there much improved since our visit. And what are you going to do all the summer stay at Camp Cooper. It must be a forlorn place especially in Summer. I do not like to think of you there. Father is well as usual but just now much for want of a little excitement. He has not heard from Mr Winston for some time but is constantly receiving bills from persons about the White House for different things & saw in the paper that one of his servants there named Austin had been sentenced by the Court to be transported out of the country for an attack with intent to kill on the new steward, named Taliaferro. This is the first intimation he has had of his name no one seems to know any thing of Mr. Nelson even where he is. Everything is going on here as usual that is not going on at all. We have taken young Robert in the stable so he is added to the number up here who have but little occupation. The carraige [sic] has now gone to Mr Prettyman to be put in order before brother Childe’s visit. It has cost already nearly a hundred dollars in repairs. Dear Robert I have nothing of any further interest to tell you. The weather is still unpleasant so that little can be done out doors, the late snow has melted & left all the earth wet again but we must hope soon for some fairer weather. This will no doubt be the best for the fruit. I am giving out the servants clothes to be made so as to have all domestic affairs arranged before I am obliged to leave house. I hope the next mail may bring me some news of you. It is now about 2 weeks since I have heard. Father & Markie desire much love & Milly is very anxious you must see Tommy who she thinks must charm all beholders.

I believe I wrote you Genl Scott was in Washington.

I pray that we both unite in praise & thanksgiving to God for all his mercies & this last crowning mercy of all & that our dear girls may be enabled to persevere in their Christian course

Ever yrs M C Lee



Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51c 191, Section 10, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 November 10