From William Aylett Lee
frederixbg [Va.] January 28th 95
to My great Mortification & surprise I find by a letter from the S. of W. of the 14th Inst. that the senate have refused to ratify your late appointment of Me.1
Cruel as I consider their decision and greatly as it affects My happiness I must submit & have two consolations only left—both of which are truely solacing—My consciousness that I merit a better fate and the honor of your approbation.
I shall try to releive My distress by retirement & shall never cease to pray for your health happiness & glory. I am your much Obliged and faithful
W. A. Lee
ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters. A notation on the cover indicates that this letter was sent in care of the secretary of war.
1. The letter from Secretary of War Timothy Pickering to Lee has not been identified. Formerly a cavalry captain, Lee was cashiered by a court-martial in February 1794. For his efforts to obtain reinstatement and GW’s decision to appoint him as an officer in the new corps of artillery and engineers, see Henry Knox to GW, 18 June 1794, and n.1; Knox to GW, 12 July 1794 (first letter), and n.1; and GW to Knox, 14 July 1794, and n.3. For his nomination and the Senate refusal to confirm, see GW to U.S. Senate, 29 Dec. 1794, and source note.