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Richard Henry Lee to Samuel Purviance, Jr.



Philadelphia, October 11, 1776.

DEAR SIR: Among the inconveniences of this busy scene, I esteem it not the least to be so often prevented from acknowledging the favours of my friends sooner than I do. It has been owing to much business that your letter of the 27th has not received an answer before now. I have the pleasure to acquaint you that in ranking the Captains of our Continental ships, the Congress have placed Captain Nicholson at the head, he being the first Captain. I wish it were in my power to give you a satisfactory answer about the building another frigate. Hitherto nothing has been determined on this subject, the Committee having been prevented by an infinite multiplicity of other business; and to the same cause has it been owing that no orders have been sent concerning the frigate Virginia. I have no doubt but that another frigate will soon be directed, and that the builder of greatest merit will be preferred. It would give: me the greatest pleasure to hear that the Virginia was ready for sea, and I am happy in being satisfied that the managers of this business in Baltimore will not lose a moment in effecting so salutary a work. I suppose a want of anchors will be the greatest obslruction, as I take it for granted no time will be lost in getting the guns down from Mr˙ Hughes' s works, and having the carriages made. I shall be glad to have an exact state of the frigate, and what she wants to complete her. I refer you to the papers for news, and am, sir, your most obedient servant,


To Samuel Purviance, Jr˙, Esq˙, Baltimore.