New York 15 Pine July 21st 1831

 

My dear brother,

 

I received day before yesterday by the Packet, France, which sailed from Havre on the 2nd of June, two letters from you, one dated on the 15th & the other on the 26th of May.  It seems from them, that the Sully, which sailed from here on the 20th of April had also a long passage, since you had not then received my letter by Count Flanarand, in which I enclosed you a draft for $300.  That letter too gave you a sketch of your pecuniary affairs, which shewed a deficiency of your funds to meet the demands on them this year.  I have not yet ever received a cent from Somer- (Page 2) ville, nor can I ascertain the state of his account with you.  His excuse is, his ignorance of the value of the crop which Brown ought to have given him.  That, & some advances he made to you being deducted will ascertain the balance due to you; which I hope to receive in time to pay Lynch=s next installment.  Brown says you are still Aconsiderably@ in his debt, so nothing can be obtained in that quarter.  From Love I have been yet able to collect only $450 of the last year=s hires, which are 50 less than I have advanced you alrerady.

Besides the debts I mentioned in my last letter, another has arisen.  You remember the suit Jessee Brown instituted on your due bill to Russell.  I think it was for $450, & strange to (Page 3) tell he has recovered judt.  This, to be sure,. does not affect you ultimately, but is inconvenient just now, as I am your bail & will have to raise the cash, & to do it must either sell or borrow.

I shall go to Virginia next week to settle my affairs there & see if it is possible to make any thing of my Patrick land.  I shall be gone for a month at least; & regret that I must leave here in uncertainty as to your movements.  If you do not intend to come home this year I had better know it at once; for perhaps some opportunity might occur to enable me to make a better disposition of your people than is at present made of them; where Russell says they are thrown away.  Do therefore. Examine your resources & fix your plans, & inform me (Page 4) any, to which it nevre would have again occurred, had not accident led him to the house where he had left them for you, when he discovered some of the papers scattered over the floor.  He found the gun case too, but the trunk was gone.  The gun & such papers as were found, I now have, & fortunately among them was another corrected copy of the memoirs, with a copy-book full of notes with directions where to insert them, & about an equal quuantity of letters from Washington, with directions where to insert them.  The few letters remaining were all open, & one was a very long one to you, devoted to the subject of my education, & full of high hopes of its result upon my character etc.  I am sad to think how little they have been an- (Page 5)swered, & what insignificant destinies seem to await me.  I am amused & amusing & whta else can I say for myself?  The semimenial offices I used to perform for my mother affoord the most satisfactory recollections of my life.  Were I to have a picture of myself taken it should be with a market basket on my arm.

Robert & Mildred are both married.  Child seems to be really an excellent fellow, & of very good mind & education, for this country, but according to my poor taste, his claims to beauty rest entirely on the apocryphal truth of the maxim, Apretty is as pretyy does.@  But he is ceratinlyu very good which is of more consequence.  He and Mildred are travelling towrds Canada somewhere.


Robert was married the 29th (Page 6) of last month, & is consequuently near the full of the honey-moon.  His present furlow only extends to one period of that event on which he is passing at Arlington & Ravensworth.  I shall see him before he & his bride retreat to the walls & waves of castle Calhoun, which is his present station & where his fancy & recollections of the Arabian Nights, especially, when aided by her red cheeks, may make him regard her as a new Gulnane (the rose, you know) of the Sea.

Charles Henry=s visit to Georgia was very beneficial to his wife.  They are now at Mr. Calvert=s in grreat harmony with the relented papa.  Their summer amusement is to be an excursion to the White Sulphur Springs, & their permanent abode, on some of Mr. C=s Maryland lands probably. (Page 7) Sister Lucy & Josephine are now at Bristol - very well- Charlotte & dear Mildred at the Brandywine Springs.  You know Mildred has become an enchanting singer - a sort of Pasta.  Not long since she had been functioning for a little concert - then took a long walk, & returned very hungry & exhausted.  She resorted for refreshments to the simplest means in the world, &, one would imagine, the safest, viz, a piece of bread.  But it seems she swallowed rather hastily; for crust scored her throat, & I believe made her cough violently, which together with the slight wound just inflicted, & weakness in the ogran occassioned by singing, I mentioned, caused a rupture of a small blood vessel I believe, however, the most serious evil of this hurt, is that it has hushed for a long time, & perhaps forever, the sweetest song in (Page 8) America.

Hugh Legare is in town.  His professional dignities have increased since we saw him.  He is now Attorney General of  S. Carolina, which is a very important office in that State.  He describes its political condition as very distressing & even alarming.  The fury of the Bullies is very great.  McDuffie made a speech in Charleston (I believe) in which among other ferocities, he charged all persons opposed to him, with being either Afools or cowards.@  This seemed to be a challenge to all those who were opposed to him to assume a decided tone & both attitude, & among those was Legare.  He made a speech accordingly, & is now fairly plunged into the troubled waters. (Page 9) The great object of the villifiers now is to get a Legislature which will pass a law repealing the Act of Congress establishing the present tariff.  Hamilton insists that the honour of the State is pledged to that course, & it is very possible, that insane as it is, it will be adopted.

The papers will inform you of another grand correspondence in Washington, in which Ingham figures, as Calhoun did in the former.  The cases run together on all fours - as the lawyers say - which mathematicians would prove by the rule of three; for

Calhoun: Ingham:: Conspiracy: Assassination.  This formula presents a very curious suggestion, viz that Calhoun as an assassin, would be no worse than Ingham as a conspirator; for you remember the equality between the product of the extreme & mean (Page 10) terms of a proportion.

The new Cabinet seems to have a fair start, & will, I hope retrieve the general=s popularity, which it must be admitted, has suffered dimunition.  Legare says he has failed in the object for which you know, he & I agree the last Cabinet was formed - viz- to ascertain the minimum of intelligence requisite to administer the federal government, for it is proved by actual experiment that it contained too little.

The boar you sent me by Genl Birnard, is done with great spirit.  Sister=s picture of the Cathedral of Milan, is very fine; but I wonder if she did not select a view of the other front, whose gothic magnificence is not tamed by classical ornaments.  Her letter was a delightful treat to me; but now I can only answer it by my best love.

Yours forever


C. C. Lee

 

 

  Address on envelope:

 

July 31st 1830 (This is date of the year is most likely in error because the letter carries the date of 1831 very clearly).

C. C. Lee

 

H. Lee Esq.