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him, but God and his conscience?

I have

always thought, from my earliest youth until now, that the greatest scourge an angry Heaven ever inflicted upon an ungrateful and sinning people was an ignorant, a corrupt, or a dependent judiciary. Our ancestors thought so; we thought so until very lately; and I trust that the vote of this day will show that we think so still. Will you draw down this curse on Virginia ?



HENRY LEE, "Light-Horse Harry," of the Revolution, and father of General R. E. Lee, was born at Leesylvania, Westmoreland County, Virginia. His father was also named Henry Lee, and his mother was Lucy Grymes, the famous "lowland beauty," who first captured Washington's heart. Her son was a favorite of his, and it is an interesting fact that it was this same Henry Lee who delivered by request of Congress the funeral oration on Washington. In it he used those now well-known words, “First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen."

He was educated at Princeton, and joined the American army in 1777, with his company, as Captain Lee. He rose successively to be major, colonel, general; and after the war he served in the Continental Congress and in the Virginia Legislature. He was injured in a riot at Baltimore, while trying to defend a friend, and went to Cuba for his health; but he died on his way home, at Cumberland Island on the coast of Georgia, at the home of General Greene's daughter, Mrs. Shaw.

With his first wife, his cousin Matilda Lee, he obtained Stratford House, where R. E. Lee was born; whose

mother, however, was the second wife, Anne Hill Carter of Shirley.


Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the United States, edited by

his sons, Henry and R. E. Lee.

General Lee's "Memoirs of the War" is a life-like and spirited narrative of events in which he was an actor. The style is plain and clear. His style as an orator is seen in his celebrated Funeral Oration, of which we give the closing sentences.

MAY, 1780.

(From General Henry Lee's Memoirs of the War.)

This post was the principal depot of the convoys from Charleston to Camden, and sometimes for those destined for Fort Granby and Ninety-Six. A large new mansion house, belonging to Mrs. Motte, situated on a high and commanding hill, had been selected for this establishment. It was surrounded with a deep trench, along the interior margin of which was raised a strong and lofty parapet. To this post had been regularly assigned an adequate garrison of about one hundred and fifty men, which was now accidentally increased by a small detachment of dragoons, which had arrived from Charleston a few hours before the appearance of the American troops, on its way to Camden with despatches for Lord Rawdon. Captain M'Pherson commanded, an officer highly and deservedly respected.

Opposite to Fort Motte, to the north, stood another hill, where Mrs. Motte, having been dismissed from her mansion, resided, in the old farmhouse. On this height LieutenantColonel Lee with his corps took post, while Brigadier Ma

rion occupied the eastern declivity of the ridge on which the fort stood.

The vale which runs between the two hills admitted our safe approach within four hundred yards of the fort. This place was selected by Lee to break ground. Relays of working parties being provided for every four hours, and some of the negroes from the neighbouring plantations being brought, by the influence of Marion, to our assistance, the works advanced with rapidity. Such was their forwardness on the Ioth, that it was determined to summon the commandant.

A flag was accordingly despatched to Captain M'Pherson, stating to him with truth our relative situation, and admonishing him to avoid the disagreeable consequences of an arrogant temerity. To this the captain replied, that, disregarding consequences, he should continue to resist to the last moment. The retreat of Rawdon was known in the evening to the besiegers; and in the course of the night a courier arrived from General Greene confirming that event, urging redoubled activity, and communicating his determination to hasten to their support. Urged by these strong considerations, Marion and Lee persevered throughout the night in pressing the completion of their works. On the next day, Rawdon reached the country opposite to Fort Motte; and in the succeeding night encamping on the highest ground in his route, the illumination of his fires gave the joyful an· nunciation of his approach to the despairing garrison. But the hour was close at hand, when this joy was to be converted into sadness.

The large mansion in the centre of the encircling trench, left but a few yards of the ground within the enemy's works uncovered; burning the house must force their surrender.

Persuaded that our ditch would be within arrow shot before noon of the next day, Marion and Lee determined to

adopt this speedy mode of effecting their object. Orders were instantly issued to prepare bows and arrows, with missive combustible matter. This measure was reluctantly adopted; for the destruction of private property was repugnant to the principles which swayed the two commandants, and upon this occasion was peculiarly distressing. The devoted house was a large, pleasant edifice, intended for the summer residence of the respectable owner, whose deceased husband had been a firm patriot, and whose only marriageable daughter was the wife of Major Pinckney, an officer in the South Carolina line, who had fought and bled in his country's cause, and was now a prisoner with the enemy. These considerations powerfully forbade the execution of the proposed measure; but there were others of much cogency, which applied personally to Lieutenant Colonel Lee, and gave a new edge to the bitterness of the scene.

Encamping contiguous to Mrs. Motte's dwelling, this officer had, upon his arrival, been requested in the most pressing terms to make her house his quarters. The invitation was accordingly accepted; and not only the lieutenant colonel, but every officer of his corps, off duty, daily experienced her liberal hospitality, politely proffered and as politely administered. Nor was the attention of this amiable lady confined to that class of war which never fail to attract attention. While her richly spread table presented with taste and fashion all the luxuries of her opulent country, and her sideboard offered without reserve the best wines of Europe-antiquated relics of happier days-her active benevolence found its way to the sick and to the wounded; cherishing with softest kindness infirmity and misfortune, converting despair into hope, and nursing debility into strength. Nevertheless the obligations of duty were imperative; the house must burn; and a respectful communi


cation to the lady of her destined loss must be made. ing the first opportunity which offered, the next morning, Lieutenant Colonel Lee imparted to Mrs. Motte the intended measure; lamenting the sad necessity, and assuring her of the deep regret which the unavoidable act excited in his and every breast.

With a smile of complacency this exemplary lady listened to the embarrassed officer, and gave instant relief to his agitated feelings, by declaring, that she was gratified with the opportunity of contributing to the good of her country, and that she should view the approaching scene with delight. Shortly after, seeing accidentally the bows and arrows which had been prepared, she sent for the lieutenant colonel, and presenting him with a bow and its apparatus imported from India, she requested his substitution of these, as probably better adapted for the object than those we had provided.

Receiving with silent delight this opportune present, the lieutenant colonel rejoined his troops, now making ready for the concluding scene. The lines were manned, and an additional force stationed at the battery, lest the enemy, perceiving his fate, might determine to risk a desperate assault, as offering the only chance of relief. As soon as the troops reached their several points, a flag was again sent to M'Pherson, for the purpose of inducing him to prevent the conflagration and the slaughter which might ensue, by a second representation of his actual condition.

Doctor Irvine, of the legion cavalry, was charged with the flag, and instructed to communicate faithfully the inevitable destruction impending, and the impracticability of relief, as Lord Rawdon had not yet passed the Santee; with an assurance that longer perseverance in vain resistance, would place the garrison at the mercy of the conqueror; who was not regardless of the policy of preventing waste

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