Letter from MC Lee to Casius

16th Jany 1871
I received your letter last night my dear Cassius & hasten to reply. I think Custis is opposed to immediate action on account of the venom this Congress has shown & the disrespect with which they have treated my name & one yet more sacred though in the uncertainty of life there is much to be urgent in favor of immediate action & he says he is willing I should do what is best. We would like to see Mr Smiths opinion & also to show the petition to our friend Mrs Rose Tucker who is absent at this time. Is it necessary to term the paper a "petition" & should nothing be said of the attempt of Mr Marshall to pay the taxes. My own private feelings would rather incline me to ask nothing of this Congress yet they must not be indulged, to incur any risk in the matter for delays are often dangerous, the Radicals will do all the harm they can & I know not how far their power extends whether they can pass any law that can affect the future, that was the reason my husband always rather advised delay 'till the power of this party was weakened. I see in the papers that the attorney general is to make out a paper on the subject for (five points) so I think at all events we had better delay long enough to see all these if you will not weary of my delays you seem to have relinquished the design of presenting my other memorial which I signed some time ago to President Grant. Though I suppose being a mere tool in the hands of the party he would not do any thing ---- I wrote to Nannie Stearns more than 10 days since enclosing her a note & an autograph a letter she certainly ought to have received by this time. I will enclose one _______ ______ & a photograph for her Father, when you write to me will you mention if Hattie Cazenove is still in the Seminary or gone to Baltimore the girls write with me in love to you & Mrs Lee & many thanks for your kind invitation which they hope to avail themselves of at some future day. I wish some of you could come & see me, for except to go to some of the neighboring springs for my health & again to the White House when the canal is completed I do not expect ever to leave home again. I am capable to move about since my last illness & had but little activity to spare though my general health is even better than it was before that illness. We are having beautiful mild weather here almost like spring --- & now every one has gotten _____ We are quite independent of the weather I never get out except to ride round the piazza in my rolling chair --- I showed the petition to our friend Col Johnston who was here this morning & he says he thinks I had better wait till after the 4th March when this Congress will go out, that he believes these radicals will be unwilling to give any thing in my favor write me if you think it best to wait or not Yrs in haste MC Lee

Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, ARHO 12666