Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: John Fothergill
Chantilly, Va. May, 1769Sir,
Your general humanity deserves the esteem of all; but permit me to say, sir, that your particular kindness to Americans claims their reverence and gratitude. When, therefore, my brother, Dr. Lee, informed me that you wished to have some wine from our native grape, I lost no time in procuring the best for you. Captain Johnson will deliver you a small cask, together with a few bottles of older wine. The first is of last year’s vintage, and that in bottles is several years old. This wine is, at present, of the true flavour of our grape, and is very gently acid, a quality natural to this fruit. I wish the season, and the heat of the tobacco load, may not injure it. I am, with very singular esteem, sir,
your most humble and obedient servant.
R. H. Lee
Dr. Fothergill, London.
Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 - 1778, pp. 35 - 36. Original transcription taken from R. H. Lee, Memoir of the Life of Richard Henry Lee and his Correspondence, 1:80.
London physician John Fothergill (1712 - 1780) advocated repeal of the Stamp Act in his pamphlet Considerations Relative to the North American Colonies (London, 1765). In 1774 he and Benjamin Franklin together drafted a plan of reconciliation between Great Britain and the American colonies.