Ever heard of Richard Henry Lee? Tsk tsk, you owe him your Summer barbeque. You also owe him your freedom, right to bear arms, right to free assembly, and other liberties enjoyed by being an American citizen anytime after July 2, 1776.
You see, it was Senator Richard Henry Lee of Virginia who made the actual motion for the United Colonies to be free from Britain. Here is the exact wording of his motion:
“Resolved: 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 State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”
The good senator was part of the Second Continental Congress at the time. After making his motion, he was actually absent while they voted on July 2nd. The vote was near unanimous; New York abstained. I don’t know if you are on any committees, but if you are, you know that moment when everyone is on board and voting and then someone pulls out an abstention. Can you imagine that moment in 1776? Everyone in the room looks around at the New York guys with a dead pan expression on their faces. Really?
Senator Lee was, however, there for the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th. (Ah! Now you remember! Some ancient crumbs of long past American History classes bubble up).
So it all started with the fine gentleman from Virginia. His colleague in the Continental Congresses was Thomas Jefferson who wrote the majority of the Declaration. So Virginia’s representatives both moved for independence and then codified it on paper. Thank you Virginia!
While the outspoken John Adams of Massachusetts and the brilliant Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania made enormous contributions as well, we think it is high time we remember Richard Henry Lee for his key place in American Independence. Three cheers for you, Senator Lee! Hip Hip Hooray!
You can see Richard Henry Lee in one of our 4th of July ecards. Watch the Founding Fathers BBQ card and look for him. He may be the fellow swinging by on a rope. OK we took liberties. But isn’t that what 4th of July ecards should be about? Liberty?
We have more serious animated 4th of July ecards as well, like the very moving America’s Birthday Song.