<br /> Lee Letter: n233

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee’s
Recipient: the Lord Mayor of London

My Lord

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.2 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 onesbe willing to receive. A
cruel war has at length been opened against us and whilst we prepare to
defend ourselves like the Descendents of Britons we still hope that the
mediation of wise and great citizens will at length prevail over
despotism and restore peace & harmonyon permanent principles, to an
oppressed and divided Empire.

We have the honor to be


Manuscript, American Philosophical Society. In the hand of Richard Henry

1 On July 6 Lee was appointed with Robert R. Livingston, Jr., and Edmund
Pendleton to prepare a letter to “the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and
Livery of the city of London.” This draft was reported and approved
with only minor changes on July 8. The final version is printed in
the journals. JCC, 2:157, 170 – 71.

2 A reference to the address of the mayor and aldermen of London to the king,
April 10, 1775, supporting the American cause. See Eliphalet Dyer to
JosephTrumbull, June 3, 1775, note.