George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Lee, 24 March 1791

From Henry Lee

Alex[andri]a 24th March [17]91

My dear General

Permit me to tell you that I have waited to the last moment in my power in the fond hope of seeing you.1

My necessitys force me away this day, or the satisfaction I covet, should not be lost. Deprived of what is so grateful to my feelings, I must use this mode of manifesting my happiness on your second return to our native state, on the confirmed health you enjoy, and on the lasting affection of your fellow citizens.

Let me hope you will not forget the pestilential effects of the southern sun in the hot season and that the month of may will not pass, before you revisit the potomac. I wish you an agreable journey & safe return & beg your acceptance of my most affectionate & respectful regards. I have the honor to be my dear general your most devoted h: servt

Henry Lee


1Henry (Light-Horse Harry) Lee had been recommended for the command of the Virginia contingent of temporary levies to be raised for the planned expedition on the northwestern frontier. See Knox to GW, 14 Mar. 1791, first enclosure. Lee subsequently declined the appointment (see Knox to GW, 27 Mar. 1791). For the failure of Josiah Harmar’s campaign against the Miami and Wabash Indians in the autumn of 1790 and Arthur St. Clair’s subsequent expedition, see GW to Knox, 19 Nov. 1790, n.4, Knox to GW, 22 Feb., 18 Mar. 1791, Knox to Lear, 25 Feb. 1791 and note 1, and 19 Mar. 1791, GW to the U.S. Senate, 4 Mar. 1791 (second letter), and to the Miami Indians, 11 Mar. 1791 and source note.

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