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Lexington VA: 15 Feby 1870

 

My dear Mrs Hay

I am much obliged to Profr Goldwin Smith for the interest he feels in Virginia & wish that the tide of emigration from England could be turned towards the State.  Englishmen need not fear the exhibition of hostility against them in Virginia.  The feeling does not exist.  They would be cordially welcomed.  I believe agriculturists especially would find it to their advantage to make it their homes.  Good land can be had in abundance at reasonable prices & by proper cultivation which Englishmen well understand could be made profitable.  The citizens of no foreign country, than those of (page 2)  Great Britain, would more harmoniously assimilate with the people of Virginia or I believe be more cordially recd.  A State immigration  Society has recently been formed of which Col: Thos: H. Ellis of Richmond is President, with a view of inviting immigrants to Virginia, & providing for those who may be in need on arrival.  That you may have my views on this whole subject I enclose you a copy of a letter I recently wrote him.  Any one addressing him I am sure would obtain all the information he could give & every assistance he could render

Thanking you for your attention to the interests of Virginia

                                                I remain your obtservt

R E Lee

 

Mrs Emily Hay