July 23rd 1870

My dear Mother

George gave me your little note & the papers for both of which except [sic] my thanks. This is the first time since you returned to Lex you have condescended to send me any thing in the shape of a letter. I don’t beleive [sic]. However that I have written to you because I have been waiting for you to commence

However I write to you to night to tell you of a piece of news about myself

You have heard it very often I have no doubt passed around as a rumor but it never has been true until the last two weeks.

In fact Mim “I have done gone done & done it” for I am engaged to Miss Charlotte Haxall with her Father & Mother’s consent. I have’nt done it hastily or without thinking after knowing her for nearly three years & for nearly them very well. I find in her all that I can hope to find in my wife & I love her & she loves me, so she says & I beleive her. And that accounts for it. It is what all young folk you know have been doing since the world began. And I am very glad I am not an exception. When we will be married I ca’nt say—but I hope to be ready on my part by this fall a year at any rate shall try. As to the young lady I suppose if she ever does marry me she can bring her self to it by that time. If I knew where to write to Pa I would tell him of my changed prospects. You must tell him when you write & let me know where a letter from me will find him. Like most of your sex Mim when this event happens to you—Miss Lottie desires that no one except my Family viz father mother brothers & sisters should be told why I do’nt know but you know they are monstrous anxious but awfully sweet. So please tell the girls & ask them for my sake & their future sister’s sake to hold on to the news until this young person gets a little used to it & then I don’t suppose there will be any objection. And you too dear Mim I know you can keep a secret so I don’t fear you, but the girls you know will talk unless strictly enjoined to silence. Also caution my papa. I hope you all will be pleased & I wish you all could be as happy as I am about it.

Tell Mildred that Miss Lottie says, that she has taken her advice, viz “to take the first man that comes along.” For I was the first fellow who was so fortunate as to come along after she gave vent to that airi remark. And my advice to my sister is to go & do likewise or as F__ says don’t put it off, too late.

I have seen very little of George for I have been so busy here threshing my wheat that I can only spend Sunday with him. I am going up there tomorrow. My wheat is turning out very poorly, but I beleive [sic] as good as any of my neighbors, so I don’t complain but only regret that it is not better. It has been terribly hot, more intense & more prolonged than I have ever known it here. I had two cantalopes for breakfast this morning the first I have seen any where tomatoes are ripening slowly have had a few very fine ones. I think of you Mim whenever I eat them you must write me a nice letter of approval if you can, if you can’t say out what you think I’ll never think hard of it. Above all remember outside of your husband & children it is a secret

love to all

 your loving son




Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 g 16-23, Section 6, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Hall, 2018 July 23