<br /> Lee Letter: b068

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Continental Congress
Recipient: Colonial Agents


We give you the strongest proof of our reliance on your zeal and attachment to the happiness of America, & the cause of liberty, when we commit the enclosed papers to your care.

We desire you will deliver the petition into the hands of his Majesty, & after it has been presented, we wish it may be made public thro’ the press, together with the list of grievances. And as we hope for great assistance from the spirit, virtue, and justice of the nation, it is our earnest desire, that the most effectual care be taken, as early as possible, to furnish the trading cities, & manufacturing towns, throughout the united Kingdom, with our memorial to the people of
great Britain.

We doubt not, but your good sense & discernment, will lead you to avail yourselves of every assistance, that may be derived from the advice & friendship of all great & good men who may incline to aid the cause of liberty and mankind.

The gratitude of America, expressed in the enclosed vote of thanks, we desire may be conveyed to the deserving objects of it, in the manner you think will be most acceptable to them.

It is proposed, that another Congress be held on the tenth of May next, at this place, but in the mean time, we beg the favour of you, Gentlemen, to transmit to the Speakers of the several Assemblies, the earliest information of the most authentic accounts you can collect, of all such conduct & designs of ministry, or parliament, as it may concern America to know.

We are, with unfeigned esteem and regard, Gentlemen,

By order and in behalf of the Congress,

Henry Middleton, President

To Paul Wentworth, Doctr. Franklin, Wm Bollan, Arthur Lee, Thos. Life, Edmd. Burke, Charles Garth.


Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 125 – 26. Printed also in W. C. Ford, Journals of Congress, 1:104. Congress directed that a committee of Lee and John Jay draft this letter to accompany Congress’s Petition to George III, approved on 25 October 1774. Lee drafted the letter and the committee reported back on 26 October. Congress approved the letter the same day. Lee also served a chair of the committee appointed to draft the petition, appointed on 1 October, but his draft differs significantly from the version approved by Congress (see Ford, Journals of Congress, 1:53, 115).