Washington and Lee University

Sender: Francis Lightfoot Lee
Recipient: Landon Carter

My dear Colonel,

I have the pleasure at last of sending you some directions for making sugar; which I hope will be usefull.

You have my sincere thanks for your agreeable Letter by R.H.L. I am well pleased to find no abatement in your usual flow of good spirits. In spite of the cholic, I hope you will live long enough to see the down fall of this excessive fondness for popularity. It cannot long exist, in any great degree, where there are not many lucrative Offices in the gift of the people, and in Popular Governmts. I think the error is generally on the side of Parsimony. We are kept in great anxiety by the extraordinary manoevre of Genl. Howe, his going to sea with his Army; we can as yet only guess at his intentions. He was seen Last Fryday, about 50 miles to the southward of these capes, & perhaps may be in Chesapeak by the time you receive this, tho we think if he has any wisdom left he shoud go to the northward to cooperate with Burgoyne, whose genius, at present, seems to have the ascendency in his department. Our people there are still in a panic & Burgoyne’s thoughtless activity is well calculated to keep it up. Our only comfort is, that the further he penetrates, the more surely he may be ruined; when they recover their senses. The Enemy have taken one of our finest frigates from us; but I believe we have one of theirs in return.

I have not yet had an opportunity of delivering your present to Doctr. Shippen. I am sure he will make every gratefull return in his power. You may be sure of your Sickles. It is so excessive hot & biting flies so plenty that I can scarce write. Mrs. Lee sends her best respects & wishes to God she coud comply wth. yr. kind invitation, in wch. she is join’d byyr. afft.

F. L. Lee

Notes:

Receiver’s copy, Virginia Historical Society.