Richmond 29 June 61


My Precious Life


I have recd your letter of the 8th Inst: & also your note of the 18th announcing your arrival at Mr Delangs I was very glad to receive both & am now pleased to learn by a letter from your mother that you are with her. You have finished your first year at school, & I hope have derived much benefit in every way. Whether you will be able to resume your studies or when, no one can now say. I am glad that you have had even a partial opportunity to improve yourself, & what ever may happen, hope that you will not consider your education, which has hardly been begun, completed. But that you will continue your studies, alone if necessary & commence with them a system of reading which will be very beneficial. If you will also connect with it a system of work, you will acquire a fund of useful knowledge, which will make you useful & happy all your life. These are calamitous times & we must conform to them & make the most of the opportunities afforded us, I hope you will find pleasure in assisting your mother, seeing your friends & aiding your neighbours. By so doing you will promote your own welfare.

I sent your letter to Agnes. They have left the White House now. Charlotte & Annie are in Hanover at Mr Wickhams & Agnes is staying in Richd at Mrs Warwicks. She seems to be merry & content, though looks thin. Uncle Smith, Nannie, Chudie, John & Robert C[arter]. are also here, so with Custis we make quite a family party. Fitzhugh is with his compy at Ashland & Henry has joined an Arty Compy at Yorktown. You little nephew looked very sweet as he passed through Richd but he would have little to do with his Grd Pa’a. Indeed I only saw him once. Col: Washington brought his daughter Louisa down with him the other day, who is staying at a Mrs Myers. I think she & Agnes might enter into partnership & take care of their Papas. I saw a beautiful yellow cat at Mr Lyons the other evg that reminded me of Tom. The latter no doubt lords it in a high manner over the British at Arlington. He will have stranger things to tell when you next see him.

Give much love to your sister. Tell her I heard of her Aunt Anne the other day. She was at her own house & as well as usual. Kiss your mother for me, & believe me always your affectionate father

R E Lee




Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 301, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 April 3