Lexington Va: 27 Nov 1869


My dearest Markie

I recd this morg your letter of 24th Inst: & as you do not refer to the painful results of your journey I hope that they have all vanished. I told Agnes to tell you that notwithstanding your hardships, I rejoiced that you were alive, which might not have been the case had you taken the other route. I suppose she told you of Blanche’s sufferings. He had to go to bed on her arrival at Richmond, & only left it to resume it at the White House & retained it till she took her departure for Boston. She had not recovered from its effects on the 22nd when preparing to go to New York to embark on the 24th. I am better than when you left & able to attend generally to my duties, though still in the hands of the Drs. You must not think that you were unable to do anything for me while here. You did a great deal & were of the greatest service. You gave me pleasant thoughts & pleasant reflections, & did a thousand things besides. I took one of your prescriptions last night. I am glad that you found all well at Tudor & that Cousin Britt liked the Rockbridge apple. Tell [her] if she come & see us I will give her one every day. I presume Mrs de Potestad did not recieve [sic] my letter addressed to her in Fauquier, informing her of the time of Edwards expected arrival. It is so cold in the mountains now & travelling so uncomfortable that I fear she would have a disagreable time.

I am sure that you will have a pleasant visit to Mrs Lawrence & that you will be indemnified for your trials in our rude mountains. I think that you had better make your arrangements to go to Europe in the spring. You would enjoy yourself so much in your favourite pursuit, & it would do more to give you new pleasures, new ideas, new strength & permanent health than anything I know of. You have been so long confined to one constant & pressing routine, that a change is necessary. We are all as you left us & doing about the same things as when you were here. One great sadness has come over us; the death of Mr Frank Preston, to whom we were all much attached. All unite in much love & I am truly & sincerely your Cousin

R E Lee       




Source: 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 3