My Dear Brother [Richard Henry Lee],

I have conferred with T. Mason, W. Brent and C. Bullett, upon the subject of your letter, and we have concluded that the most effectual, and in all respects, the most advisable method will be to pay Mr. R. a visit; and to insist on a declaration from him in writing, expressing the deepest sorrow for having formed so execrable a design, and promising in the most solemn manner, never to use the Stamp Paper unless authorized by the Assembly of Virginia. The two gentlemen first mentioned are gone this day to Prince William, Fairfax and Loudon, to engage a band of choice spirits. I shall send an express tomorrow to T. Bullett in Fauquier, and will besides, communicate the plan to such others in this county as I think worthy to be employed in so noble a business. We propose to be in Leedstown in the afternoon of the 27th inst., where we expect to meet those who will come from your way. R’s profligacy is rather to be esteemed fortunate. The genius of liberty requires to be awakened; and this wretched Scotchman has afforded the sons of freedom a just occasion to rouse that generous fire, which is thought to be extinguished among us. Something too should be done with eclat, to restore us the esteem of our brother on the continent. Another advantage will arise from it. Every infamous favorer of the Stamp Act, must know, that active minds are not wanting, who watch over their country’s safety; and that every attempt, every declaration of the abandoned purpose, will surely expose to danger and disgrace. In short, nothing contributes more than achievements of this kind, well timed and prudently conducted, to animate the virtuous and deter the profligate.

It is proposed that all who have swords and pistols shall ride with them; and those who choose it, a firelock. Some precaution of this kind may be necessary, as R., should he get intelligence, may, if surrounded by his fierce North-Britons, sustained by the crews of some vessels, with arms in their hands, reduce us to the necessity of a shameful retreat. This is not very probable; but the infant struggles of freedom should not be exposed to the possibility of a defeat.

This will be a fine opportunity to effect the scheme of an association, and I should be glad [if] you would think of a plan.

The boy will bring you the grafts and check reel. We are all well here, and have the kindest wishes for you and Mrs. Lee, not forgetting my little blue-eyed Amy, Ludwell, and Bess.

I am, my dear brother’s,

most affectionately,

THOMAS L. LEE

Thursday night

NOTES: Charles Carter Lee, “The American Revolution,” in Southern Literary Messenger, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Richmond: Thomas Willis White, 1842), 257-261.