Richard Henry Lee Writings and Biography

Lee, Richard Henry; Revolutionary leader and statesman; entered Va. legislature 1758; a leader in opposing Stamp Act, 1764--closely allied with Patrick Henry in fight for "Liberty and Independence;" member 1st and 2nd Continental Congresses, 1774-1776; a leader in Va. Convention, May, 1776 calling for declaration of Independence by Congress--in the latter offering "Independence" Resolution, June 7, 1776; returned to Va. to help form its new government; later member of Congress--its President, 1784--and helped in the adoption, 1787, of Northwest Ordinance; opposed ratification of U.S. Constitution due to fear of usurpation and abuse of power by Federal government--urged amendments to limit its power more strictly and expressed his views in the widely read "Letters From the Federal Farmer;" as a member of U.S. Senate, 1789, helped in framing of first amendments ("Bill of Rights") to the Constitution.