George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Lee, 2 May 1793

From Henry Lee

Richmond May 2d 1793


The very defenceless Situation of the town of Norfolk and its proximity to the Sea invites the insult and injury of any adventuring pirate who may find it convenient to make the attempt.1

I cannot therefore forbear Suggesting the propriety of placing that town and post in a state of defence fitted to protect it from those injuries to which alone it can be exposed So long as the wise policy declared in your late proclamation be adhered to.2

On this subject I beg to be favoured with your Sentiments as soon as convenience will permit,3 and have the honor &c.

Henry Lee

LB, Vi: Executive Letter Book, 1792–94.

1For continued efforts by Governor Lee to fortify Norfolk, see Lee to Thomas Jefferson, 8 May, Jefferson to Lee, 21 May, in Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends 25:688, 26:76–77; JPP, description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends 132, 140, 146. For Norfolk’s current defensive state, see Thomas Newton, Jr., and William Lindsay to GW, 5 May.

3GW had Henry Knox reply to Lee (Knox to GW, 10 May, and note 2).

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