Sep. 19. 1806.
Conformable to request, I herewith recite a conversation which past between us (at some time I cannot recollect) neither do I think it important on the present occasion, relative to Genl. Lee. I do this the more willingly (as I think) I have a perfect recollection of the conversation, which was this. after some cursory observations respecting Genl Lee, either by you or myself, which I cannot recollect, nor what respecting, you observed that you had lately been at a mr Strode’s, that he mr Strode observed that a mr Washington had lately been there & had asked him to shew him his farm, saying he had bought it of Genl Lee. mr Strode observed that the farm was his, that no one but himself had a right to sell it & none but himself could make a right to it. mr Washington replied he had bought it of Genl. Lee, that he looked to him alone for a title, & that he (Genl Lee) was obliged to make him a title thereto.
This, Sir, I concieve to be the amount of the relation respecting Genl. thus much I took the liberty to relate to Genl Porterfield, which no doubt has given rise to this enquiry. more I could not have said. but however unexpected or disagreeable the report may be to Genl. Lee, he may be assured that it is in general circulation, & may be traced (in some instances) to the same source from whence this has arisen. if he has recieved an injury, he need not be at a loss where to apply for a remedy.
With assurances of cordial esteem accept the best wishes of Your hble servt
[signed] J. P. Cocke
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.