Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: - -

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I hear it is objected to me that I have a brother already in the council. It is very true, I have; but candidly considered, how unimportant is this objection, nay, how invidious is it, since the only force it can possibly have, must be derived from a previously established want of virtue in the brothers, which may lead them to coalesce in schemes destructive of their country. For if honesty mark their character, no leagues of vice will ever be entered on, and an union in virtue can never be improper. But a vicious person should never be preferred, whatever may be his relation to, or disunion with the rest of his companions in office. If this strange objection should be urged, how easily could your genius and penetration thoroughly overcome it.   *   *   *

Notes:

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume I, 1762 - 1778, p. 4. Original transcription taken from R. H. Lee, Memoir of the Life of Richard Henry Lee and his Correspondence, 1:15.