St. Louis 15th Aug. 1837 

My dear Carter   

                I recd a few days since a letter from Mr Robt Garnett which was forwarded to me from Wash – in which among other things he asked your address. He went on to say that many years ago when on a visit to Stratford, Mrs. Lee placed in his hands her sealed will which she requested him to preserve and which he then had in his possession. Of its contents he was totally ignorant, but had but little doubt that she in the first instance devised her property to her husband, and in the event of his death to his brothers and sister – He mentioned besides that he had written to Mrs. Lee through Maj. Lewis. I told him where you now are and that any communications enclosed to Maj. Lewis would reach you. You will learn from Mary all the events of my journey out and that I got here in perfect safety – I have been busy since my arrival in making preparations to commence the examinations of the Harbor at this place.  I have been here ten days and not a single thing ordered, simple as they are, and consisting of leveling Staics, measuring rods, tin cones for signals etc etc are yet done – They are powerful at a promise, but don’t mention the fulfillment – They will undertake anything and every thing, whether they understand it or whether they can do it or not – In the main they are very civil and kind and as I have seen several pretty girls here I will say nothing against the Country but that it is a “bloody humbug” – The Steam Boat that I directed to be built in the spring at Lousiville is very pretty in shape and model – She was not entirely completed as I came through, though

I expect her here every day – I wrote to Mary that if She would ‘persuade Miss Betty to’ join my party, now that Miss Matilda had left her and joined yours, and go with us up to the

rapids, I would name her Betty Mason – I can only promise her Mr. Meigs but he is a host in himself – I am very glad that Cousin ‘Anna’ has agreed to go to Bath and that you have among you such a pleasant party –  It will be of the greatest benefit to her and I hope her system will be so invigorated that she will escape the colds she is so liable to

be afflicted with in the winter – Your must remember me in the kindest manner to her,  All the Goldsboroughs, Rose Sis-Nanie the Children [ — ] and believe me

                Your brother and in haste

                                         R E Lee


[This letter is addressed to C. C. Lee Esqr, Ravensworth, Near Alexandria, D.C.  The postmark is Aug 26 Washington D.C.  Written where a return address might appear is M. C. Lee- Augt 15th 1837.  Also on the envelope are 15 rows of figures with a total of 557.87 ½.]


Source: Alderman Library, University of Virginia


Transcribed by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards, 2001. Uploaded by Colin Woodward, 2015 December 28