Washington College 23 Jany >66
The letter of the Revd S. D. Stuart of the 13th Inst is respy returned to Judge John W. Brockenbrough.
I am deeply sensible of my obligations to the Honble B. Wood for his good opinion, his interest for the country, and for the repetition of his conditional offer of aid to Washington College. Upon giving the subject additional reflection, I cannot reach the conclusion, that my acceptance of his proposition would be beneficial. The College would gain the sum of money he generously proposes to give, but it would lose a greater amount in other respects. I am not in a position to make it proper for me to take a public part in the affairs of the Country. I have done, & continue to do, in my private capacity, all in my power to encourage our people to set more fully to work, to restore the Country, to rebuild their homes & churches, to educate their children, & to remain with their States, their friends & Countrymen.
But as a prisoner on parole, I cannot with propriety do more, nor do I believe that it would be advantageous for me to do so.
R E Lee