A member of one of Virginia’s first families, Richard Henry Lee was a critical voice in America’s struggle against Great Britain. Born at the family home, Stratford Hall, in Westmoreland County, Lee was educated in England. In 1758, he entered Virginia’s House of Burgesses. Seven years later, Lee’s efforts on the road to independence began.
In response to the recent passage of the Stamp Act, Lee co-authored what became known as the Westmoreland Resolves. The document condemned fellow colonists who paid the related tax as well as the British Parliament. As tensions rose with Britain, Lee proposed a means for the individual colonies to communicate with one another. This idea birthed the Committees of Correspondence. In 1774, Lee was elected to the Continental Congress which met in Philadelphia. It was here in the early summer of 1776 that Lee suggested a bill for the colonies to break all allegiance with England and form a United States. The proposal was the basis of the Declaration of Independence. Continue reading “Review: First Founding Father: Richard Henry Lee and the Call for American Independence by Harlow Giles Unger”