<br /> Lee Letter: n295

Washington and Lee University

Sender: John Adams
Recipient: Richard Henry Lee

Sir

Your Favour of 18 May,1 inclosing the momentous
Resolution of your wise and patriotic
Convention,2 together with the American
Crisis came duely to Hand, and yesterday, I had the Pleasure of
receiving the Proceedings of the House of Burgesses. I thank you, sir,
for both these esteemed Favours.

Is it not a little remarkable that this Congress and your Convention should
come to Resolutions so nearly Similar, on the Same day, and that even
the Convention of Maryland should, in that critical Moment, have
proceded so far as to abolish the oaths of allegiance, notwithstanding
that Some of their other Resolves are a little excentric?

Your Resolution is consistent and decisive, it is grounded on true
Principles which are fairly and clearly stated, and in my humble
opinion the Proviso which reserves to yourselves the Institution of
your own Government is fit and right, this being a Matter of which the
Colonies are the best Judges, and a Priviledge which each Colony ought
to reserve to it self. Yet after all I believe there will be much more
Uniformity in the Governments which all of them will adopt than could
have been expected a few Months ago.

The Joy and Exultation which was expressed upon that great occasion did
Honour to their good sense and public Virtue. It was an important Event
at a critical Time, in which the Interest and Happiness of themselves
and their Posterity, was much concerned.

Hopkins’s Fleet has been very unfortunate: a dreadful sickness had raged
among his Men, and disabled him from putting more than two of his
Vessells to sea. To what Place they are gone I know not-Perhaps to
cruise for Transports.

I am, sir, with great respect, your most humble servant

Notes:

Letter book, Massachusetts Historical Society.

1 This letter is printed as Richard Henry Lee to John Adams, May 18, 1776, in
Adams, Works (Adams), 9:374.

2 The Virginia convention’s May 15 Resolution on independence. Am. Archives,
4th ser. 6:1524.