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Arthur Lee to Richard Henry Lee



December 25th, 1776.

It was with infinite pleasure I received my dear brother' s letter, by the hands of Dr˙ Franklin, whom I joined at this place on the 22d December, the day after his arrival. We have had an audience, been received, and presented our propositions. As yet we have received no answer, nor can we divine what it will be. They are very timid and secret, but we have hopes. In the mean time we are endeavouring to procure artillery, arms, ammunition, and clothing, to fit you for another campaign, which; if it be as undecisive as this, will nearly exhaust the enemy' s strength. Two things, however, I would wish to impress upon your minds: to look forward and prepare for the worst event, and to search for every resource within yourselves, so as to have as little external dependence as possible. The events of the year 1777 are of such infinite importance, that no industry and no expense can be too great to turn them to our advantage. If they are decidedly in our favour, our liberties and properties will be assured forever.

I have sent for your sons hither. I mean to keep Ludwell with me, and if his genius suits, to train him to arms, chiefly in the engineering line. Tom I will send to you with our despatches, when they are of importance. He is now of an age to be useful to you in Virginia, from whence your absence must greatly damage your affairs.

Yours affectionately, ARTHUR LEE.

To Richard Henry Lee, Esq.