From Major General Charles Lee
N. York Febry the 9th 1777
My Dr Sir
As Lord and General Howe have given me permission to send the inclosd to the Congress, and as the contents are of the last importance to me and perhaps not less to the Community, I most earnestly entreat, My Dr General, that You will despatch it immediately and order the Express to be as expeditious as possible1—They have likewise indulgd me with the permission of sending for one of my Aid de Camps—I must therefore, request that You will consent to either Bradford or Eustace returning with the flag of Truce—He will have leave to stay here for one day—and a safe conduct back—my reason for this request is that I have many things material with respect to my private affairs which can be settled better by conference than letter—I am likewise extremely desirous that My Dogs should be brought as I never stood in greater need of their Company than at present. God bless you, My Dr Sir, and send You long life and happiness. Yours Most affectionately
ALS, DLC:GW; copy, enclosed in GW to Hancock, 14 Feb. 1777, DNA:PCC, item 158; copy, NHi: Gates Papers. A docket on the copy in DNA:PCC indicates that the Continental Congress ordered it to lie on the table with Lee’s letter to Hancock of 10 Feb. (see also JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 7:134).
1. Lee enclosed his letter to Hancock of 10 Feb., located in DNA:PCC, item 158, which GW forwarded to Hancock on 14 February. Lee requested that Congress “permit two or three gentlemen to repair to New York to whom I may communicate what so deeply interests myself & in my opinion The Community,” but on 20 Feb. Congress, instead of acting on his request, ordered the letter to lie on the table (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 7:134). Lee renewed his request on 19 Mar., when he wrote Hancock again, and after receiving that letter Congress resolved on 29 Mar. that “Congress still judge it improper to send any of their members to confer with General Lee upon the subjects mentioned in his letter” (ibid., 207). GW informed Lee of Congress’s decision when he wrote him on 1 April 1777 (Df, DLC:GW).