George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Lee, Jr., 26 August 1798

From Henry Lee, Jr.

Stratford 26h Aug. [1798]

My dear Genl

I had prepared to set out for mt vernon & alexa. last week but I am obliged to stay till after our district court which happens early next month.

Then our citizens will fix on an opponent to our present representative—much as many of us approve of our govt, we find it very difficult to obtain the consent of a proper character for Congress.1 The present crisis imperiously commands our attention to this high duty, or I would not be detained from my promised visit—you want an annual supply of corn—you want good property annually producing revenue—these things I can furnish & together with the payment I expect to receive I shall be able to close my contract—this is an object I have much at heart, & which if Judge Wilson had not treated me very illy would have long ago have been compleated.2 I am with affec: respect & regard yr most ob. h: se[rvan]t

Henry Lee


1Henry Lee himself ran against Dr. Walter Jones (1745–1815), who represented the district in Congress, and Lee won.

2Lee had fallen behind in his payments for the Dismal Swamp Company land that he had purchased from GW in 1795. For the purchase and Lee’s payments, see GW to Lee, 2 April 1797, n.1, and Jesse Simms to GW, 8 Jan. 1798, n.1; see also GW to Lee, 29 Sept. 1798, n.1. James Wilson, the Supreme Court justice, had died five days before. For Wilson’s involvement, see Lee to GW, 27 Aug. 1797, n.1.

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