Lexington Va 1 Decr 1866


My dearest Markie

I have just enclosed to Mr Shepherd the Erie R R bonds in compliance with your & his kind suggestion. I fear it will give him much trouble, as stocks are not in his line of business; but I hope he will excuse me & you must make my apology for the liberty I have taken, acceptable to him. The amt though Small is of some moment to me now, though if lost I must do without, so you must tell him not to trouble himself unnecessarily – Should he be able to collect the money, a check on the Phila or New York Banks will answer my purpose. Please ask him to deduct from the amount any charges or cost he may incur in the transaction.

Your account of your interview with Mrs Bigelow Lawrence was deeply interesting to me. My own grief at one subject referred to, is as poignant now as on the day of its occurrence, & my blood boils at the thought of the atrocious outrage, against every manly & Christian sentiment, which the Great God alone is able to forgive. I Cannot trust my pen or tongue to utter my feelings. He alone can give us resignation.

I am glad that Mr Shepherd is so near you & is so unceasing in his kind offices. In my younger days I have roamed over the country now the site of West Phila. I recollect when a schoolboy visiting “woodlands” with my mother in her carriage in which she had travelled on from Virginia – It was then a beautiful place, & I have never forgotten it. I am very glad that you are established in so delightful a location, with such agreable inmates & neighbours.

Remember me to the children, we talk of them & you very often, & wish you every happiness.

We are pretty much as you left us. Our family is reduced to Mary & Agnes, Custis, Robert & George. Mildred I presume is with the Goldsboroughs, though we have not yet heard of her arrival on the E. S. When she last wrote she was about leaving Lynwood. We have commenced our winter routine. My evg rides are frequently interrupted by bad weather, to the sad disappointment of traveller & myself, & our communication with the world beyond the Mountains is reduced to one stage a day & the triweekly packet boat. The Express runs no nearer to us than Staunton on the one side & Lynchburg on the other. But parcels sent to either point reach Lexington by stage or packet.

Your Cousin M. is about the same as you saw her & engaged in her usual occupations – I am afraid she will be a prisoner to the house till spring. I must leave her & the girls to fill up all details. All the household unite in much love & I am your affectionate

R E Lee





Source: Transcribed from scan of original letter, Letters of Robert E. Lee to Martha Custis Williams, 1844-1870, Huntington Library, San Marino, California              

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 October 5