“Romancoke”

August 11th/67

Your letter of the 29th Ulto My dear Mildred has remained sometime confronting me every night as I come in from work; but I have not hastened to answer it, nor do I feel any reminders from my conscience on the subject; for you have treated your brother so shamefully that any thing he could do to you would be but a slight punishment. Your excuses too are all very weak. When the house is full & you are busy with people, is the very time to write to me—for if you tell about what you & your company do & say—I can imagine my self with you all & enjoy a little society in that ay—which is the only method by which I am kept from going entirely to seed. I suppose you are having a jolly time writing. How I should like to be with you! What a time we might have!

I have heard from Ma Pa & Agnes since their arrival at the “White.” The waters seemed to have awakened with-in them any regard they might have had for me & they show it by writing—something that Pa & Agnes rarely do. The “Mim” though is a “bird” she always thinks of her youngest & writes to him constantly. Georges is in the wrong place he ought to have come down & see me. Fitz & I are the only ones of the family who appreciate & respect him. Pennaroyal (which is as good a way as any to spel [sic] it) does’nt grow about these parts—there are so many varmints obnoxious to it, that it does not flourish.

I wish indeed you were here, I don’t know whether I could allow you to anoint me with hartshorn—but I could find you any quantity of more graceful occupations. Love to Baxter & my earnest sympathies for his afflictions. The idea of your not knowing F’s direction–& Sister not knowing mine you all are a nice set! I am proud of you. Tunstall station New Kent Co. Va or New Kent C. H. Va is F’s & mine is West Point King Wm Co. Va. Set em both down. What is young Peter doing writing to you? I must enquire into that.

I’ll never give my consent. I could’nt come to see you under those circumstances for Y. P. would destroy me by his tremendous ascents transpositions &c that he indulges in so freely. Give him up & remember your family when you enter into any such arrangements.

I don’t preserve [sic] in my household am waiting until my wife comes. But I am eating now the finest melons water & musk you ever saw & the greatest quantity. They are the only fruits of the soil, that I succeed with.

Tell sister I wrote to her the day before her letter reached me. I was very much surprised to hear from her thought she was too always too busy to write & take it as a great compliment & am very much obliged. I missed seeing Winfield Jones all to gether owing to the slowness of my mails. Did you all see him? I am now in the midst of thrashing wheat which is a great bore especially when the wheat is so poor. But I live in the hopes of doing better after ten or twelve more years application. When will they get back from the springs? I may be able to run up & see you all. There is no excitement among white folks in this country at all. Freedmen seem to be a little stirred up by baptising & politics. Church & State you know never did succeed & I am afraid that the success of that theory would never be demonstrated by Cuffee. Please write some times & tell me any thing. I am so homesick I don’t know what to do. Best love to sister & say to her that as soon as I get another stamp I will write to her

Every [sic] your loving brother

R E Lee     

 

 

Source: Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 g 116-122, Section 13, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Hall, 2018 July 17