Wythe to Richard Henry Lee, 6 November 1777
George Wythe's letter is in response to Richard Henry Lee's from October 19. Wythe tells Lee that the letter to Mr. Scott that Lee was worried about being mentioned in front of the House was hardly discussed and Lee had nothing to worry about. Wythe had hoped that the British general William Howe would have been driven out of Philadelphia by the time he wrote to Lee, but he is still there. Wythe says that the Virginia General Assembly is currently discussing taxes; however, no progress has been made on the matter. He says that some people doubt the surrender of General Burgoyne at the Battles of Saratoga because General Gates has yet to send letters in confirmation of the victory. Wythe says that there are British ships in the Chesapeake Bay.
The letter concerning the leases was mentioned in the House, but so slighted, and treated in such a manner, that I had not occasion to acquaint the House with what you had written to me upon that subject. I had hopes, when I received your last obliging letter, that Sir William Howe would before this time have been driven out of Philadelphia, but it seems he remains there still; perhaps he will not find it an eligible station, nor think it worth holding, if our garrison at Mud Island Fort, which I think have done meritorious service, can be supported so as to keep his brother, in the British fleet, below the Chevaux de Frise. Our Assembly have entered on the consideration of taxes, which every one appears to concur in imposing, but have not made any great progress in it. Bills are ordered to be brought in for establishing the courts of justice, and one of them, I expect, will be presented to day. We are all very happy for a time, by the report of General Burgoyne’s surrender, but some begin to doubt the truth of it, because, as it is said, no letters in confirmation of it, have been received from the victorious Gates. Be so kind as to put an end to our suspense as soon as may be. The British ships of war are yet in the waters of the Chesapeake. I am, dear sir,
Your most obedient servant,
Williamsburg, 6th November, 1777.
Honourable Richard Henry Lee, Esq.
One of the Delegates in Congress,