By: Gary J Verdes
Richard Henry Lee American statesman and orator had the advantage in life of living during one of the most crucial times in American History. Allowing him to take part in one of the greatest events the world has witnessed, the pregnancy, birth, and childhood of the United States of America. Striving against the British Crown with such men as Patrick Henry, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin, his influence has a lasting effect on the outcome of American History. He was amongst those radical members of the Burgesses who met at the Raleigh tavern when the house was dissolved by the Royal Governor. In 1774 he was elected to attend the first Continental Congress. He enjoyed many important committee appointments. Noted for his oratory skills, it was he who offered the Resolutions for Independence to the committee of the whole in 1776. He served in Congress through the course of the War, while also serving in the House of Burgesses. In 1783 he was selected as president of Congress. Lee opposed the federal constitution, as he favored strong state rights. He was however elected the first State Senator from Virginia under the new federal government. He retired from that office to his home in Chantilly due to illness, and soon after died at the age of 62.
“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” – Richard Henry Lee