5 June 1866
My dear Sir
I have been intending to write you for some weeks, but as I know that what I desired to say would not be pleasing, I have deferred from day to day; in the hope that the necessity for my letter, might be avoided. I think however it is better that you should know what I have to relate.
I fear your son John, has not been as attentive to his studies as he might have been, But however that may be, he certainly has not progressed as I desired him, or as you might wish him. It is true he has been sick, had an attack of mumps, which caused (page 2) him to be absent for a time, & indisposition may have rendered him indisposed to study. I have in a friendly way, called his attention to his apparent neglect of his studies, & the injury he would thereby do himself: which he recd in the same spirit in which it was given; & at the time was no doubt in earnest in his intention to change his course. But as far as I can judge, & unless he should shew some marked improvement before the end of the Session, I would recommend you to withdraw him from the College. Such I may add is the opinion of the faculty.
I do not think it would be to his advantage to continue here, without reaping an adequate (page 3) return for the expenditure of his time & money-
I hope you will excuse the freedom with which I have written, but I have been prompted by a desire to give you such information as would enable you to direct the Course of your son, to his own benefit & your own satisfaction
R E Lee
Col: J. W. Lapsely