<br /> Lee Letter: b077

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee, for the Continental Congress
Recipient: Lord Mayor of London

My Lorld,

Permit the Delegates of the people of twelve Antient Colonies, to pay your Lordship and the August body of which you are head a just tribute of gratitude and thanks for the virtuous and unsolicited resentment you have shown to the violated rights of a free people. The City of London my Lord, having in all ages approved itself the patron of liberty, and the support of just government, against lawless tyranny & usurpation; cannot fail to make us deeply sensible of the mighty aid our cause receives from such advocation. A cause my Lord worthy the support of the first City in the world, as it involves the fate of a great Continent, and bids fair to shake the foundations of a flourishing, and until lately, a happy empire.

North America My Lord wishes most ardently for a lasting connection with G. Britain on terms of just and equal liberty less than which generous minds would not offer, nor brave and free ones be willing to receive.

A cruel war has at length been opened against us, and whilst we prepare to defend ourselves like the Descendants of Britons, we still hope that the mediation of wise and good Citizens, will at length prevail over despotism and restore peace & harmony on permanent principles, to to an oppressed and divided Empire.

We have the honor to be

R. H. Lee

Notes:

Lee PapersAmerican Philosophical Society

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 141 – 42. Also printed in R. H. Lee, Memoir of the Life of Richard Henry Lee and his Correspondence, 1:153. Also printed in Ford, Journals of Congress, 2:170. Lee drafted this letter as chair of the committee appointed on 6 July 1775 to draft a letter to the People of Great Britain. Congress approved the draft of this letter and the letter to the People of Great Britain on 8 July. See Ford, Journals of Congress, 2:80, 157, 163, 170. Endorsed “Letter to the Lord Mayor from Congress May 1775.” Other endorsements read “Fasher’s Legacy to his Daughter by Dr. Gregory” and “Robt Eden Danl. Govr. of Maryland Danl. Dulaney.”