Civil War-dated autograph endorsement signed "R. E. Lee," penned on the reverse three-page letter sent to him by Confederate diplomat James Murray Mason, 7.25 x 8.75, May 7, 1861, the day that Virginia was admitted into the Confederacy. Lee writes, in full: "Resp'y referred to the Gov'r & council—Mr. Ambler's case might be considered as coming within the provision of the ordinance on the subject—Mr. Ambler occupied a responsible office under the Govt: at Washington. R. E. Lee."
Mason's letter requests an appointment for his son-in-law, in part: "My son in law Mr. John Ambler, recently held a place in the Navy Department at Washington, which of course he resigned on the separation of Virginia from the Union, & being here, at the commencement of military organization at Harper's Ferry, was appointed by Gen'l Harper then in command there, acting Quarter Master to remain & construct the operations of that branch of the service…It will be conceded by all, that he has discharged the duties of his office with energy, success, & with strict fidelity to the public interest. His actual functions…extending to the purchase of supplies, with their distribution, providing transportation &c &c, his thorough knowledge of the people & resources of this part of the country, giving him probably advantages, which others might not possess. I do not know how, or by whom, these appointments are properly made, but it is very desirable if it can be done, that he should be retained in office under a proper appointment." Professionally inlaid into a slightly larger sheet and in fine condition.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.