Letter, 15 October, from Mary Lee Fitzhugh Custis, Alexandria County, to Cadet George Washington Custis Lee, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, concerning some trouble he is in at West Point.
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and a pleasing subject of thought - Your Grandpapa has gone up to day to the agricultural meeting at Fairfax Court House and carried with him a single curled kale plant 4 feet in Diameter to exhibit, but I am afraid its freshness will be tarnished by the ride - He has been very successful lately with the gun and has kept me in Partridges for breakfast ever since my return home. He says your little dog has been invaluable to him in pointing - I'do wish I was near enough to your Mother to let her have a good share of our Partridges and apples the latter are rotting away much faster than they can be eaten. Though Anny and Agnes do their share. The peaches were all gone before I got home. Your Grandfather is served with a spirit of improvement lately - he is making new steps to the Portico (the old ones having so decayed as to be unsafe) and intends paving it with hexagon brick tiles which are now being burned on one of the vast brick kilns in Washington - then he is going to put a new roof on the stable which is more need ful than the other though all are most desirable You will hardly know the old place when you get back. If its living tenants could renovate so easily, they, too, might seem changed but there is one thing they cannot change in affection for their Grandson - Do you see much of Conrad Powell? - I expect his mother and Grandmother to make me a visit this winter - Ida is growing up very lovely and is amiable and useful as lovely - I suppose your Baltimore correspondents have told you all about Robby's school life and how studious dear little Milly has become since she has no longer a play mate except the Parrot - I will keep my letter open to tell if there is any thing particularly interesting about the agricultural fair when your Grandfather returns. Your Grandpapa returned much pleased with the fair and the admiration his kale plant created it weighed 15 lb. Your Aunt Maria and Uncle Smith were there - Mr Halliwell made a very excellent speech on agricultural subjects and carried with him his pretty Daughter who was much admired but you must not turn your thoughts that [way as] Mr Leadbeater told Mr Custis she was engaged to Mr Miller who is gone to St Louis and when he returns the marriage is to take place I suppose you have heard of Washington Lewis's engagement to Miss Emily Johnson - It was told to me as a great secret but everybody seems to know it. I never saw the young lady but her mother came to see me in Baltimore and I was quite pleased with her. I was very anxious to receive a letter from your mother today but have been disappointed Farewell my dear Custis your Grandpapa and the children join in love to you and believe me your attached and affectionate Grandmother M L Custis