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Karen Palumbo

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Blogs by Karen Palumbo

On This Day 6/7/1776
6/17/2011 6:46:24 PM

Richard Henry Lee's "Resolution" presented to the Continental Congress


Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduces a resolution for Independence to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. John Adams seconds the motion. Richard Lee's resolution declared:

"That these United Colonies are, and of right
ought to be, free and independent States, that
they are absolved from all allegiance to the
British Crown, and that all political
connection between them and the States of
Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally
dissolved; that measures should be immediately
taken for procurring the assistance of foreign
powers, and a Confederation be formed to bind
the colonies more closely together."

During the ensuring debates, it became clear that New York, New Jersey Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and South Carolina were as yet unwilling to declare independence, but would likely be ready to vote in favor of a break with Great Britain in due course. Thus Congress agreed to delay the vote on Richard Henry Lee's Resolution until July 1.

In the intervening period, Congress appointed a committee to draft a formal "Declaration of Independence". Its members were John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Robert Sherman of Connecticut,Robert R. Livingston of New York and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia.

Thomas Jefferson, well known to be the best writer of the group, was selected to be the primary author of the document, which was presented to Congress for review on June 28, 1776. On July 1, 1776 debate on the "Lee Resolution" resumed as planned, with a majority of the delegates favoring the resolution. Congress thought it of the utmost importance that independence be unanimously proclaimed.

To insure this, they delayed the final vote until July 2, 1776 when twelve colonial delegations voted in favor of it, with the New York delegates abstaining, unsure of how their constituents would wish them to vote.

John Adams wrote that July 2, 1776 would be celebrated as "the most memorable epoch in the history of America" Instead, the day has been largely forgotten in favor of July 4, 1776 when Thomas Jefferson's edited "Declaration of Independence" was adopted.



(K)HST



Richard Henry Lee American Patriot
John Adams American Patriot
President, USA
Benjamin Franklin American Patriot
Roger Sherman American Patriot
Robert R. Livingston American Patriot
Thomas Jefferson American Patriot
President, USA
John Adams American Patriot
President, USA


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