<br /> Lee Letter: n213

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: William Lee

Dear Brother,

We have been here in full Congress of Deputies from the Principal Colonies
near three weeks proceeding slowly but with great unanimity on the
important business that brought us to this Town. The proceedings are
yet on honor to be kept secret, but we have great hopes that their
vigor and unanimity will prove the ruin of our Ministerial Enemies and
the salvation of American Liberty. About a fortnight ore will produce a
publication of our plan, after which you shall have it by the first
opportunity. Since we came to this place, a universal alarm has been
occasioned by a report that Boston had just been Cannonaded. This
proves not true, and took its rise from a night maneuvre of the
Generals, to seize some Provincial Powder that had been stored by law
for Militia uses. The report served however to show the spirit and
situation of the people in that part of America, for we have good
intelligence that 50,000 Men were in Arms in the Massachusetts
Government and Connecticut, and that 30,000 were on march, well armed
and provided, to Boston when they were informed all was peace at that
place, on which they quietly returned home. Does not this shew that no
small difficulty will attend forcing a submission from these people,
and they are most firmly resolved to dye rather than submit to the
change of their Government. In this too they will have the concurring
support of the other Colonies as the Congress have in fact already
published their determination by approving in strong terms the resolves
of the County of Suffolk as the inclosed Paper will shew you. It seems
to me, that if Ministry have not their hearts hardened, as the
Scripture has it, they will best consult the good of their Country and
their own safety by a prudent and speedy reversal of their ill judged
measures. For they may be certain of a full, complete, and steadly
opposition from all North America – I mean every part of it that is
worth regarding. Give my love to the Doctor and communicate this letter
to him.1

I heartily wish my Sister & yourself health and happiness.Farewell.

Richard Henry Lee

Notes:

Receiver’s copy, New York Public Library.

1 Arthur Lee (1740 – 92), doctor, lawyer, diplomat, Massachusetts’ agent in
London, 1770 – 75, was actively involved in British politics and an
important source of news from Britain. DAB; and Shipton, Harvard
Graduates, 13:245 – 60.