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Abstract

A politician and arch revolutionary, Richard Henry Lee was an impassioned supporter of American independence from the mid-1760s. Born into one of the most prominent families in the colony on January 20, 1732, Lee was bred to a political life, serving in the Virginia House of Burgesses during the Stamp Act and Non-importation crises, helping convey his state into the revolutionary camp. As a delegate to the Continental Congress, Lee was the first to officially move that a declaration of independence be drafted, and he ended his public career as a principled opponent of ratification of the Constitution and as Virginia's first U.S. Senator. He died at home in Virginia in June 1794.

A small, but highly valuable collection, the papers of Richard Henry Lee document the political life and activities of one of the most ardent revolutionaries in Virginia. The 0.5 linear feet of letters (193 items), most addressed to Lee, are an important resource for study of pre-Revolutionary political agitation in Virginia, the increasing connections forged between the colonies, and the political course of the war. To a lesser degree the collection documents Lee's late-life anti-federalism. Among the major correspondents are Lee's brothers Arthur and William, and such leaders in the revolutionary cause as George Washington, Samuel Adams, Charles Lee, John Adams, and Thomas Paine.

Background note

Tall and aristocratic in bearing, Richard Henry Lee was an impassioned supporter of American independence in Virginia and later a prominent antagonist of the federal constitution. Born into one of the most prominent families in the colony on January 20, 1732, Lee was bred to a political life. The son of Thomas Lee, one-time president of the governing Council of Virginia and a founder of the Ohio Company, and Hannah Ludwell of "Stratford Hall," Westmorland County, Lee benefited from a superior education, attending the Wakefield Academy in England for seven years before returning in 1751 to enter the family calling, public service. Four of his brothers were active in Revolutionary and post-revolutionary politics: Francis Lightfoot Lee joined Richard as a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Ludwell Lee helped write Virginia's resolve for independence and was later chosen to the state supreme court, and Arthur and William Lee became noted diplomats.

Appointed justice of the peace for Westmoreland County in 1757, Lee was first elected to the House of Burgesses in the next year, aged 25. From the first, he pitted himself in the radical wing of Virginia politics. His first speech as a legislator was a proposal to ban the importation of slaves into Virginia, and he earned a reputation as a zealous -- occasionally overly zealous -- political combatant for the part he played in a dispute with the Speaker, John Robinson, over a rivalry between the Ohio Land Company and Robinson's Loyal Land Company. However it was only with the political disputes between the colonies and England after the end of the Seven Years War that Lee's characteristically incendiary style began to emerge.

Although Lee had initially applied to become a collector under the Stamp Act of 1765, he very soon turned to the opposition, becoming a leader of the most vocal and extreme wing. With his brothers Thomas and Francis Lightfoot, Lee gathered 115 signatures to the "Westmoreland Resolves," a petition that threatened "danger and disgrace" to anyone who paid the tax. An act of overt sedition, and one of the earliest to threaten physical violence, the Resolves were a key turning point in the pre-revolutionary struggle.

After recovering from a hunting accident that cost him several fingers on one hand in 1768, Lee returned to a position of prominence in the nascent independence movement, helping to galvanize support for the Non-importation agreements. From England, his brother Arthur kept him informed of English news and political gossip and of the shifting currents toward the colonial crisis. But the specifics of Lee's part in the resistance in Virginia were ultimately less important than his efforts to strengthen political unity between the colonies and to foster a systematic intercolonial exchange of information. In the process, he forged a close working relationship with the Massachusetts firebrand Samuel Adams, and the two remained close throughout the ensuing decades of political strife.

From his seat in the Continental Congress, Lee emerged as an orator of unusual skill and power, urging the colonies to stay the oppositional course and, in July 1775, becoming one of the first to recommend forming independent state governments. Perhaps his signal claim to public renown came on May 17, 1776, when he submitted a resolution to Congress stating that the colonies should declare "That these united Colonies are, and ought to be, fee and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance from the British crown, and than all political connection between America and State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved." Before the debate over the declaration of independence took place, however, Lee had returned to Virginia to assist his home state establish its new government.

In later years, Lee supported the Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance, believing (as a child of the Ohio Company) that revenue from western lands would be beneficial to the new state, and he unsuccessfully submitted an amendment to allow federal support for religion. Increasingly poor health prevented him from taking up his position as delegate to either the federal constitutional convention of 1787 or the state ratification convention in 1788, however Lee contributed to the debate as author of the seminal Anti-federalist tract Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican (1787-1788). Supportive of much of the federal apparatus (centralization of foreign affairs, commerce, money, and post), he nevertheless rejected the constitution for what he saw as anti-democratic tendencies in a powerful executive, the lack of a bill of rights, and the too limited number of seats in the House of Representatives.

Following the ratification, however, Lee grudgingly came around to support the federal government and was appointed as one of the state's first two Senators in 1789, both Anti-federalists. Once again he took up the cause of an amendment to allow public support for religion, but his term in office was interrupted repeatedly by ill health and by the effects of a carriage accident. Finally, half way through his term on October 8, 1792, he was forced to resign and retire from public life.

Lee was twice married, first to Anne Aylett in 1757, with whom he had four children, and second, in 1768, to Anne Gaskins Pinckard, with whom he had five children. After leaving the Senate, Lee returned to his estate, "Chantilly," where he died on June 19, 1794.

Scope and content

A small, but highly valuable collection, the papers of Richard Henry Lee document the political life and activities of one of the most ardent revolutionaries in Virginia. The 0.5 linear feet of letters (193 items), most addressed to Lee, are an important resource for study of pre-Revolutionary political agitation in Virginia, the increasing connections forged between the colonies, and the political course of the war. To a lesser degree the collection documents Lee's late-life anti-federalism. Among the major correspondents are Lee's brothers Arthur and William, and such leaders in the revolutionary cause as George Washington, Samuel Adams, Charles Lee, John Adams, and Thomas Paine.

After Lexington and Concord, the letters from Charles Lee sometimes seem overwrought with emotion and excitement, as when he wrote: by the eternal God if you do not declare immediately for positive independence We are all ruin'd -- there is a poorness of spirit and languor in the late proceedings of the Congress that I confess frightens me so much, that at times I regret having embark'd my all, my fortune, life and reputation..." (May 10, 1776).

Several of the 25 letters written by George Washington provide exceptionally important information on the prosecution of the war, the testy relationship between Washington and a demanding Congress, and other topics. In a letter written July 10, 1775, Washington provides his assessment of the siege of Boston; his letter of Dec. 26, 1775, discusses Lord Dunmore's "diabolical" proclamation to arm slaves; the letter of June 12, 1784, requests quiet assistance for the impoverished Thomas Paine.

Lee's other major correspondents include the Boston radical Samuel Adams (15 letters), Charles Lee (6 letters), and Gen. Adam Stephen (5 letters), but the selection includes important letters from a number of eminent men associated with the revolutionary struggle, including John Adams, Baron de Kalb, Horatio Gates, Comte de Grasse, Patrick Henry, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, Henry Laurens, Thomas Paine, Kasimerz Pulaski, Benjamin Rush, George Weedon, and George Wythe.

Collection information

Provenance

Gift of Richard Henry Lee, Jr., June 12, 1825.

Preferred citation

Cite as: Richard Henry Lee Papers, American Philosophical Society.

Processing information

Recatalogued by rsc, 2003.

Other finding aids

Calendar of the Correspondence Relating to the American Revolution of Brigadier-General George Weedon, Hon. Richard Henry Lee, Hon. Arthur Lee, and Major-General Nathanael Greene, in the Library of the American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1900) Call no.: 973.3 Am4.

Separated material

The Lee Papers originally included a manuscript penultimate draft of Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence written on about July 1, 1776. The draft is housed separately.

Related material

The Lee Papers are one of several important collections at the APS for documenting the American Revolution, including the papers of Benjamin Franklin (B F85), Nathanael Greene (B G83), and George Weedon (B W41). The Library also has eight reels of microfilm of the Lee Family Papers at the University of Virginia (Film 1240).

The correspondence of Richard Henry Lee and his family is widely scattered, with individual letters and small groups located at a large number of repositories. The major collections are:

  • Richard Henry Lee Papers, 1742-1795. Alderman Library, University of Virginia (8 microfilm reels).
  • Lee Family Papers, 1722-1892. Huntington Library (100 items)
  • Richard Henry Lee Papers, 1785-1796. Alderman Library, University of Virginia (50 items). Chiefly concerning the settlement of Lee's estate.
  • Richard Henry Lee Papers and Lee Family Papers. Virginia Historical Society.
  • Richard Henry Lee Papers and Lee Family Papers. Library of Congress.

Bibliography

Most of the correspondence in the collection is reproduced in: Lee, Richard Henry, Memoir of the Life of Richard Henry Lee (Philadelphia: Carey and Lee, 1825) Call no.: B L51l. Ballagh, James Curtis, ed., The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, 2 vols. (New York: MacMillan, 1911-1914) Call no.: B L51b.

Hays, Isaac Minis, "A Note on the History of the Jefferson Manuscript Draught of the Declaration of Independence in the Library of the American Philosophical Society," Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 37 (1898): 88-107.

Early American History Note

This collection of Richard Henry Lee correspondence is most notable for its rich content relating to the movement for Independence, military matters during the war, and the politics of ratification and the early republic. Because much of the correspondence is incoming, the letters offer insight into a wide range of other topics – and snapshots of events happening in areas beyond Lee’s home state of Virginia. Frequent correspondents during the revolutionary era include John Dickinson, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Rush, and George Washington, among others. Almost all of these letters contain discussions of politics that offer significant insight into the letter writer’s political thought and rich details on events happening throughout British America. Among Rush’s correspondence is a series of letters written following the Battle of Princeton that relate the treatment Rush administered to a Hugh Mercer, who later died of his wounds.

Indexing Terms

Genre(s)

  • Political Correspondence

Geographic Name(s)

  • Great Britain--Politics and government--18th century
  • United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783
  • United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Causes
  • United States--Politics and government--1783-1789
  • United States--Politics and government--To 1775
  • Virginia--Politics and government--Revolution, 1775-1783

Personal Name(s)

  • Adams, John, 1735-1826
  • Adams, Samuel, 1722-1803
  • Barré, Isaac, 1726-1802
  • Carmichael, William, d. 1795
  • Chase, Samuel, 1741-1811
  • Conway, Thomas, 1735-ca.1800
  • De Kalb, Johann, 1721-1780
  • Dickinson, John, 1732-1808
  • Gates, Horatio, 1728-1806
  • Grasse, François Joseph Paul de Grasse, Comte de, 1722-1788
  • Henry, Patrick, 1736-1799
  • Holker, John, 1719-1786
  • Jay, John, 1745-1829
  • Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826
  • Jennings, Edmund
  • Johnson, Thomas, 1732-1819
  • Jones, William
  • Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, Marquis de, 1757-1834
  • Laurens, Henry, 1724-1792
  • Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792
  • Lee, Charles, 1731-1782
  • Lee, John
  • Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794
  • Lee, William, 1739-1795
  • Lovell, James, 1737-1814
  • Martin, John
  • McKean, Thomas, 1734-1817
  • Mifflin, Thomas, 1744-1800
  • Monroe, James, 1758-1831
  • Morris, Gouverneur, 1752-1816
  • Page, John, 1744-1808
  • Page, Mann
  • Paine, Thomas, 1737-1809
  • Pendleton, Edmund, 1721-1803
  • Pulaski, Kazimierz, 1747-1779
  • Reed, Joseph, 1741-1785
  • Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813
  • Schuyler, Philip John, 1733-1804
  • Shippen, William, 1736?-1808
  • Stephen, Adam
  • Sullivan, James, 1744-1808
  • Washington, George, 1732-1799
  • Weedon, George,1734-1793.
  • Wythe, George, 1726-1806

Subject(s)

  • American Revolution
  • Early National Politics
  • Military History
  • Non-importation agreements, 1768-1769
  • Stamp Act, 1765


Detailed Inventory
Richard Henry Lee Papers
1766-1823 0.5 lin. feet Box 1
Adanson, Michel, 1727-1806.
ALS to Arthur Lee
1766 February 22 1p.

In Latin

Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794.
ALS to [George Wythe]
1766 July 25 3p.

Vindication against being friendly to the Stamp Act

Cardross, Lord.
ALS to Arthur Lee
1767 October 31 2p.
Adams, Samuel .
ALS to D. DeBirdt
1768 May 14 4p.

Massachusetts politics; Stamp Act; Non-Importation agreement

Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1768 December 27 4p.
Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794.
ALS Cy to John Dickinson
1768 August 10 6p.

Includes copies of Lee to Dickinson, 1768 Nov. 26, and Dickinson to Lee, 1768 August 10, 1769 January 16, and 1773 May 30

Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1768 December 27 4p.

Melancholy state of politics in England. Shelburne is sound, but not likely to lead. Farmer's letters widely read, but to little purpose.

Dickinson, John, 1732-1808.
ALS Cy to Richard Henry Lee
1769 June 22 2p.
Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1769 August 15 6p.

Complex state of British politics.

Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1769 September 18 2p.
Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1769 September or October 3p.
Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1769 November 15 4p.
Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1769 November 19 2p.
Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1769 December 3 3p.
Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1770 May 20 2p.
Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1770 October 20 2p.
Barré, Isaac, 1726-1802.
ALS to Arthur Lee
1771 January 31 2p.

"I see you lament, with all the feelings of true Patriotism, that the Firmness of America has at last given way to thte combined arts of ministerial and mercantile wickedness..."

Jennings, Edmund.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1771 August 17 3p.
Jennings, Edmund.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1771 December 29 2p.

Plus 2p. inclosure

Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1772 Aug. 17 3p.
Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794.
ALS Cy to John Dickinson
1773 April 4 2p.
Adams, Samuel .
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1773 April 10 4p.
Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1774 March 18 4p.

Urges unity in opposition to British attempts to split Massachusetts from the other colonies.

"Several Natives of America".
Petition to Great Britain. Parliament
1774 March 26 3p.

Remonstrance against financial reprisals taken against Boston tea party.

Adams, Samuel .
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1774 July 15 3p.

Bostonians repond to the Port Bill by resolving to withstand the hardships.

Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1774 August 9 1p.
Stephen, Adam.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1774 Aug. 27 3p.

"The Fate of America depends upon your Meeting and the Eyes of the European World hang upon you waiting the Event." Need for arms in Virginia: "At the Congress this ought to be privately taken into consideration -- A plan laid for encouraging Numbers of Gun lock smiths to come in -- A number of Locks to be imported with Caution -- to prevent suspicion and as many arms as could be got -- I imagine that we want 100,000 stand of Arms. We have great difficulty in fitting out the few men we want on this occasion."

Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1774 Dec. 22 3p.
Stephen, Adam.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1775 Feb. 1 4p.
Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794.
ADS
ca.1775 Feb. 2 3p.

Opinion re: Committee of King George's County, Va.

Stephen, Adam.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1775 Feb. 17 2p.
Adams, Samuel .
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1775 March 21 4p.

Gage and British troops more insolent than ever. Oration to commemorate the Boston Massacre.

United States. Continental Congress..
Petition (ADf fragment) to George III
1775 April 5 1p.
United States. Continental Congress..
ADf to London (England). Lord Mayor
1775 May 1p.
Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794.
ADfS to Gouverneur Morris
1775 May 28 4p.
Philopatria.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1775 June 1 3p.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1775 July 10 4p.

Situation of the army besieging Boston: "between you and me I think we are in an exceeding dangerous situation, as our numbers are not much larger than we suppose, from the best accts. we are able to get, those of the Enemy to be."

Lee, Charles, 1731-1782.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1775 Sept. 2 2p.
Stephen, Adam.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1775 Sept. 23 2p.

Wiandots and other Indians between Detroit and Niagara are "greatly divided."

Schuyler, Philip John, 1733-1804.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1775 Oct. 19 1p.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1775 Oct. 29 2p.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1775 Nov. 27 4p.

State of the army and ships available. "For Godsake hurry the signers of money that our want may be supplied."

Lee, Charles, 1731-1782.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1775 Dec. 12 4p.

Proposes seizing the estates of all opponents of liberty and banishing them to internal exile; fortify and garrison New York or destroy it.

Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1775 Dec. 26 4p.

Response to Dunmore's "diabolical" proclamation to arm slaves.

Lee, Charles, 1731-1782.
ALS Cy to Lord Piercy
1775 2p.
London (England). Lord Mayor and Common Council..
Petition Cy to George III
1775 2p.
Morris, Gouverneur, 1752-1816.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1775 2p.
Page, John, 1744-1808.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1776 Feb. 20 3p.
Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794.
ALS to Charles Lee
1776 Feb. 1p.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1776 Apr. 4 3p.

Lakes are impassable and troops cannot be spared. Flight of British from Boston. Need a hospital badly for the troops.

Lee, Charles, 1731-1782.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1776 Apr. 5 4p.

Complaints of timidity of political leadership. Bland says the author of Common Sense is a blockhead.

Pendleton, Edmund, 1721-1803.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1776 Apr. 8 1p.
Lee, Charles, 1731-1782.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1776 Apr. 12 4p.
Lee, Charles, 1731-1782.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1776 May 10 3p.

"by the eternal God if you do not declare immediately for positive independence We are all ruin'd -- there is a poorness of spirit and languor in the late proceedings of the Congress that I confess frightens me so much, that at times I regret having embark'd my all, my fortune, life and reputation..."

Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1776 May 18 1p.
Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826.
Declaration of Independence
June 1776 1.0 item Oversize Oversize box

Other Descriptive Information: 2nd draft of the Declaration of Independence, in hand of Thomas Jefferson. To view this document, please consult with the Curator of Manuscripts.

Adams, Samuel .
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1776 July 15 3p.

Howe in New York. "Our Declaration of Independency has given Vigor to the Spirits of the People. Had this decisive measure been taken Nine Months ago, it is my opinion that Canada would at this time have been in our hands..."

Chase, Samuel, 1741-1811.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1776 July 30 3p.
United States. Continental Congress..
ADf Proposed additions to the instructions given to the Commissioners going to France
1776 Oct. 2p.

Authorization to seek arms and troops from France and Spain.

Shippen, William, 1736?-1808.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1776 Dec. 17 2p.
Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1776 Dec. 20 4p.

"We are much blamed by the Whigs and ridiculed by the Tories for leaving Philada. so suddenly."

Shippen, William, 1736?-1808.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1776 Dec. 20 4p.

Recommendations to Congress on the needs of military hospitals.

Shippen, William, 1736?-1808.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1776 Dec. 20 4p.
United States. Continental Congress..
ALS to Commissioners to France
1776 Dec. 21 2p.

News of progress of war.

Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1776 Dec. 21 4p.
United States. Continental Congress..
Cy to the States
1776 Dec. 29 1p.

Appointing Lee, Adams, and Wilson as a committee to draft a letter explaining why Congress has expanded the powers given to Washington

United States. Continental Congress..
ALS to Commissioners to France
1776 Dec. 30 4p.
Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1776 Dec. 30 4p.

"There is no soil so dear to a soldier as that which is marked with the footsteps of a flying enemy."

Davenport, James .
Subscription in support of John Sears
1776 1p.
Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1776 [i.e. 1777] Jan. 6 3p.

News of Battle of Princeton.

Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Jan. 7 4p.

Mercer is improving after wounding at Princeton. More news of Princeton.

Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Jan. 10 1p.
Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Jan. 14 4p.

Suggests commissary send supplies to American POWs. Rumors that the British have raised large numbers of Russians and Germans to serve in America; news of Battle of Trenton reaches New York.

Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Jan. 14 3p.
Shippen, William, 1736?-1808.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Jan. 17 3p.
United States. Continental Congress..
ALS to Commissioners to France
1777 Feb. 19 2p.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Mar. 6 2p.
Carmichael, William, d. 1795 .
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Mar. 17 1p.

Arthur Lee is in Spain. Introducing the Marquis de Lafayette and Baron deKalb.

United States. Congress.
ALS Cy to George Washington
1777 Apr. 10 1p.
Stephen, Adam.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Apr. 22 2p.

Jerseymen and Virginians will bear the burden of fighting while "The Myriads of the North -- the Great Women... seem Cloy'd of fighting and are wonderfully backward in turning out."

Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Apr. 22 4p.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 May 10 1p.

Introducing the Chevalier d'Annemours.

Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 May 17 4p.

Requests instructions for what to do with so many foreigners appointed by Congress to field officer over native born Americans.

Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794.
ALS to George Washington
1777 May 22 2p.
Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794.
ADfS to Patrick Henry
1777 May 4p.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 June 1 3p.
Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792.
ALS Cy to Richard Henry Lee
1777 June 15 4p.
Adams, Samuel .
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 June 26 2p.
Chase, Samuel, 1741-1811.
ALS Cy to Unidentified recipient
1777 July 1 2p.
Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794.
ALS to Thomas Paine
1777 July 13 2p.
Paine, Thomas, 1737-1809.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 July 1 2p.
Wythe, George, 1726-1806.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Aug. 24 2p.
Pendleton, Edmund, 1721-1803.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Sept. 13 1p.
De Kalb, Johann, 1721-1780.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Sept. 16 1p.
Page, Mann.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Sept. 23 2p.

News of defeat of Burgoyne at Saratoga.

Pendleton, Edmund, 1721-1803.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Oct. 11 1p.
Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794.
ALS Cy to George Pynchon and John Bradford
1777 Oct. 14 1p.
Wythe, George, 1726-1806.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Oct. 18 1p.
Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794.
ADfS to George Wythe
1777 Oct. 19 3p.
Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794.
ADfS to United States. Congress
1777 Oct. 24 1p.
Page, Mann.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Oct. 27 2p.
Mifflin, Thomas, 1744-1800.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Nov. 5 3p.
Wythe, George, 1726-1806.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Nov. 6 2p.
Wilkes, John.
ALS to Arthur Lee
1777 Nov. 9 3p.

"This poor country is fallen into a fatal lethargy, from which all efforts to rouse her seem ineffectual. The single loss of Minorca drove the people of England almost to madness, now thirteen provinces dismembered from the British empire scarcely excite a murmur, except among a very few, who dare to love their country even at this disagreeable period."

Mifflin, Thomas, 1744-1800.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Nov. 12 3p.
Chase, Samuel, 1741-1811.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Nov. 28 2p.
Lee, William, 1739-1795.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1777 Dec. 3 2p.

Urges enlisting British and German deserters to encourage such behavior.

Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794.
ADfS to Thomas Johnson
1777 Dec. 13 2p.

Complaint about Marylanders trading with British warships.

Lovell, James, 1737-1814.
ALS Cy to Thomas Johnson
1777 Dec. 28 4p.
Lee, Charles, 1731-1782.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
ca.1777 2p.
Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794.
ALS Cy to George Washington
1778 Jan. 2 2p.

Re: British tricks and forgery of "Letters from Washington."

Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 Feb. 15 2p.

"The enemy are governed by no principles that ought to actuate honest men..."

Windham, W..
ALS to Arthur Lee
1778 March 12 1p.
Adams, Samuel .
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 Apr. 20 3p.
Conway, Thomas, 1735-ca.1800.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 May 23 3p.

Blames a cabal against him for leaving his commission.

Henry, Patrick, 1736-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 June 18 2p.
Page, Mann.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 June 23 1p.
Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794.
ALS Cy to George Washington
1778 June 24 1p.
Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, Marquis de, 1757-1834.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 July 2 2p.
Page, John, 1744-1808.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 July 10 2p.

Congratulations on departure of British from Philadelphia.

Wythe, George, 1726-1806.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 Aug. 1 1p.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 Aug. 10 4p.

Re: Col. Spotswood.

Pulaski, Kazimierz, 1747-1779.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 Aug. 13 1p.

Seeking Lee's support against false accusations made against Pulaski.

De Kalb, Johann, 1721-1780.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 Aug. 17 2p.
Lee, William, 1739-1795.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 Sept. 21 2p.
Gates, Horatio, 1728-1806.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 Sept. 23 4p.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 Sept. 23 2p.

Paper money. "The designs of the Enemy, to me, are mysterious -- indeed totally incomprehensible..."

Page, John, 1744-1808.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 Oct. 15 4p.
Lee, William, 1739-1795.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 Oct. 17 4p.

Diplomatic efforts in Germany.

Whipple, William, 1730-1785.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 Nov. 8 2p.
Lovell, James, 1737-1814.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 Dec. 10 2p.
Lovell, James, 1737-1814.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1778 Dec. 18 4p.
[United States. Congress].
Cy to Great Britain. Commissioners
ca.1778 1p.
Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, Marquis de, 1757-1834.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1779 Jan. 7 2p.
Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, Marquis de, 1757-1834.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1779 Oct. 7 3p.
McKean, Thomas, 1734-1817.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1779 March 25 4p.

Political machinations in Congress since Lee's departure and Franklin's against Arthur Lee.

Holker, John, 1719-1786.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1779 April 5 2p.
Reed, Joseph, 1741-1785.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1779 April 15 4p.
Holker, John, 1719-1786.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1779 April 22 1p.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
LS to Richard Henry Lee
1779 May 5 1p.
Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, Marquis de, 1757-1834.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1779 June 13 3p.
Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1779 June 17 2p.

Other Descriptive Information: Film 199 Frame 68

Laurens, Henry, 1724-1792.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1779 June 22 2p.
Lovell, James, 1737-1814.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1779 Aug. 17 4p.
Whipple, William, 1730-1785.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1779 Aug. 23 2p.
Laurens, Henry, 1724-1792.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1779 Aug. 31 4p.
Whipple, William, 1730-1785.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1779 Sept. 18 2p.
Laurens, Henry, 1724-1792.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1779 Sept. 28 2p.
Laurens, Henry, 1724-1792.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1779 Oct. 12 2p.
Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, Marquis de, 1757-1834.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1779 Dec. 13 1p.
Lee, William, 1739-1795.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1780 Aug. 15 2p.
Lovell, James, 1737-1814.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1780 Aug. 31 1p.
Adams, Samuel .
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1781 Jan. 15 2p.
Grasse, François Joseph Paul de Grasse, Comte de, 1722-1788.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1781 Feb. 8 1p.
Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1781 March 10 3p.

Re: Steuben and militia.

Other Descriptive Information: Film 199 Frame 69

Weedon, George.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1781 June 15 2p.

Defences in Virginia.

Weedon, George.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1781 Aug. 12 2p.
McKean, Thomas, 1734-1817.
ALS to Arthur Lee
1781 Sept. 4 2p.
Weedon, George.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1781 Sept. 20 1p.
Grasse, François Joseph Paul de Grasse, Comte de, 1722-1788.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1781 Oct. 29 1p.

In French.

Whipple, William, 1730-1785.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1783 Sept. 15 2p.
Monroe, James, 1758-1831.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1783 April 4 3p.
Whipple, William, 1730-1785.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1783 April 17 2p.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1784 June 12 2p.

"Unsolicited by, and unknown to Mr. Paine, I take the liberty of hinting the services, and distressed (for so I think it may be called) situation of that Gentleman."

Floridablanca, José de Moñino y Redondo, Conde de, 1728-1808.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1784 Oct. 8 2p.

On verso Richard Henry Lee ALS Cy to Floridablanca, 1785 Oct. 6. Regarding future of Spanish-American relations.

Adams, Samuel .
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1784 Dec. 9 1p.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1784 Dec. 14 4p.

Re: Treaty of Fort Stanwix. "These people [the Iroquois] have given I think all that the United States could reasonably have asked of them -- more perhaps than the state of New York conceive ought to have been required from them, by any other than their own Legislature."

Adams, Samuel .
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1784 Dec. 23 4p.

"By God's Blessing on the Councils and the Arms of our Country, we are now ran'k with Nations. May they keep us from exulting beyond Measure! Great Pains are tyet to be taken and much Wisdom is requisite that we may stand as a Nation in a respectable Character. Better it would have been for us to have fallen in our highly famed Struggle for our Rights, or even to have remain'd in our ignoble State of Bondage hoping for better Times, than now to become a contemptible Nation."

Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1785 Feb. 8 8p.
Pendleton, Edmund, 1721-1803.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1785 Feb. 28 1p.

Regarding an act to incorporate the Episcopal Church, separation of church and state.

Pendleton, Edmund, 1721-1803.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1785 March 7 1p.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1785 March 15 3p.

Ohio lands; Shawnees.

Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, Marquis de, 1757-1834.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee(?)
1785 March 16 2p.
Pendleton, Edmund, 1721-1803.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1785 April 18 2p.
Adams, John, 1735-1826.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1785 April 29 3p.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1785 June 22 3p.
Adams, John, 1735-1826.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1785 July 15 4p.

Critique of American policy toward Britain.

Washington, George, 1732-1799.
to A Gentleman of Virginia
1785 July 19 3p.

Regarding rights of navigation of the Mississippi River.

Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to unidentified recipient
1785 Aug. 22 3p.
Adams, John, 1735-1826.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1785 Sept. 6 4p.
Monroe, James, 1758-1831.
ALS to unidentified recipient
1786 May 24 3p.
Adams, Samuel .
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1787 Dec. 3 2p.

Abstract: Two page letter from Adams to Lee.

This item has been digitized:
http://diglib.amphilsoc.org/fedora/repository/text:2603

Chase, Samuel, 1741-1811.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1789 July 2 3p.
Gerry, Elbridge, 1744-1814.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1789 Feb. 9 2p.
Sullivan, James.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1789 April 11 3p.
Adams, Samuel .
LS to Richard Henry Lee
1789 April 22 2p.
Adams, Samuel .
LS to Richard Henry Lee
1789 July 14 2p.

Re: federal versus state balance.

Washington, George, 1732-1799.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee
1789 Aug. 2 2p.
Adams, Samuel .
LS to Richard Henry Lee
1789 Aug. 24 3p.
Adams, Samuel .
LS to Richard Henry Lee
1789 Aug. 24 3p.
Jones, William.
ALS to Arthur Lee
1790 Oct. 14 1p.
Jones, William.
ALS to Arthur Lee
1790 Nov. 7 1p.
Jay, John, 1745-1829.
ALS to Richard Henry Lee, Jr.
1823 Feb. 12 3p.

Memories of events of 1774.

Unidentified.
Fortifications of Boston Neck by the British
ca.1775 1 map, 39.5 x 32.1 cm

The cartographer is thought to be John Trumball.

Physical & technical details: Oversized.