Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: William Lee

Dear Brother,

I beg leave to refer you to my last by the Nelly Frigate in which among other things I inform you that Capt. Roman and myself were just setting out for Frederick. From that journey we returned last night, and this day send my letter over to Manokin in great haste for fear of missing Capt. Brown. The inclosed list of Shippers in the Friendship will shew you our success above, and by it you will see there is little danger of Capt. Romans getting his load; as plenty of room is given for some of the list failing. In general I think it may be relied on. The last of this month we go to the Assembly which meets on the 4th. of May, but before we do go, proper measures will be taken for the Friendship’s load, and I will come up about the time of her sailing to attend her clearing. You will please insure Six hhds for me in Roman, ’tis the best I have shipt for many years. As Colo. Lee’s estate sends you 29 hhds this year, whatever of that number, the Eliza does not bring you, will come in the Friendship and must be insured; this you will know when Brown arrives, but which I cannot at present know, because I gave an order for Brown to take it all if he wanted it, before I went up the Country. I was with your friend Colo. Henry Fitzhugh, he had ordered all his Tobo. to Campbell, but says he does not know what he may do next year. I find Colo. F Thornton is persuadeding him to send you 100 hhds, do you press him by your next Poto. Ship. Mr. Mc. Carty begins with you this year and he is well worth Cultivating. You see how steady Colo. Martin is, but as for the Hites & other consignments there which Rayson mentioned to you, ’tis all a fable. I shall surely continue remitting you as quickly as the scarcity of Cash in this Country will allow my debtors to pay me, for it is by no means my desire to put you in advance. Mr. Potts is desired to furnish me a few things and to value on you. There is all imaginable reason to suppose that the Crop of Tobo. of 1773 will be greatly short of the year before, occasioned by the long continued wet & hot weather in the time of housing, which moulded and rotted abundant and has occasioned great distruction at the Warehouses. At Dumfries, Colchester and Falmouth they had not taken 10 days ago, much above one third of their usual quantity. I know some Planters have kept back their Tobo. and others have been stayed by bad Roads, but both these causes are not sufficient to account for the great falling short that I have mentioned and which you may depend is certain, at the Warehouses I have mentioned. How it is in other parts of the Country I do not know certainly, but I hear generally that the Crop proves Short - I am greatly obliged to you & our kind Sister for agreeing we shall have the Crop - But as it was never my desire to remove her against her own consent, so I fear her connection below will prevent her coming here - This place it is true is not the most healthy, but the difference of numbers being allowed, I will venture to affirm, that you have a very great superiority of Sick & deaths at Green Spring over us here. In fact, I have lost but very few Since I lived at this place. Give my love to the Doctor & tell him that His money from Templeman is in the Sheriffs hands from whence it shall be removed & remitted with all possible expedition. Tell him also, that when a favorable opportunity offers, the Mississippi Company hope that he will push their petition with all possible Vigor - There is plenty of room yet for us on the North side of Ohio between that & Illinois, on the Wabash, the Miamis, and other waters between Illinois and Ohio. ’Tis a much finer Country than any on this side Ohio. I hope soon to hear from you on the subject of Mr. Lawsons Agency. Begging your attention to my former letters & our love to our Sister

Farewell.
R. H. Lee

Notes:

Lee PapersVirginia Historical Society

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 - 1778, pp. 104 - 6. Sent by Captain Brown of the Eliza. Endorsed as received 10 June and answered 3 September 1774.