Lee Resolution (1776)
Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed independence for the American colonies by introducing this resolution in the Second Continental Congress on June 7, 1776. On July 2, 1776, Congress passed the Lee Resolution, concerning which John Adams wrote, in a letter to his wife, Abigail, "The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival...with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations..."
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Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional
Documents and Debates, 1774-1875
June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed independence for the American colonies by introducing this resolution in the Second Continental Congress.
On June 11, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston were appointed to a committee to draft a declaration of independence.
On June 28, A fair copy of the committee draft of the Declaration of Independence was read in Congress.
On July 1-4, Congress debated and revised the Declaration of Independence.
2, Congress declared independence by adopting the
Includes his General
Orders for July 9, 1776 announcing the Declaration
of Independence to the Continental Army in New York. Also
contains Washington's printed
copy of the Declaration of Independence.
Search this collection to find additional documents related to
the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution.
James Madison Papers, 1723 to 1859
Jefferson's notes on debates in the Continental Congress
from 1776, including Jefferson's copy of the Declaration
of Independence as amended by Congress.
Thomas Jefferson Papers, 1606 to 1827
Includes Jefferson's Notes
on Debates and Proceedings on Declaration of Independence
and Articles of Confederation, Continental Congress, June
7, 1776. A transcription of the Notes on Debates and Proceedings can be found in Jefferson's Autobiography Draft Fragment, January 6 through July 27.
Treasures of the Library of Congress - Declaration of Independence
This online exhibition contains Jefferson's rough draft
of the Declaration, with emendations by John Adams and
Benjamin Franklin. Also includes a fragment of an early
draft of the document, a letter to Roger Weightman with
Jefferson's reflections on the Declaration, Jefferson's
draft of the Virginia Constitution, and an excerpt from
Henry Home, Lord Kames' Essays on
the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion regarding the pursuit of happiness.
Treasures of the Library of Congress - Mason's Virginia
Declaration of Rights
George Mason, of Fairfax County, Virginia, wrote the
Virginia Declaration of Rights, on which the Declaration
of Independence and the Bill of Rights are partially modeled.
Mason refused to support the original Constitution because
it failed to protect essential liberties. This document
was also used by the Marquis de Lafayette in drafting
the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the
the United States
This online exhibition offers insights into how the
nation’s founding documents were forged and the
role that imagination and vision played in the unprecedented
creative act of forming a self–governing country.
The exhibition includes a section on creating the Declaration
Independence: Drafting the Documents
This exhibition includes a timeline of events related
to the Declaration and a detailed essay on the drafting
of the documents. Also contains images of the Dunlap Broadside
and a number of prints portraying the debating and signing
of the Declaration of Independence.
The Provincial Congress of North Carolina authorized
its delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for
The Declaration of Independence was enacted on July 4,
Biography of Richard Henry Lee from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
America's Founding Documents: Declaration of Independence, National Archives and Records
Encyclopedia Virginia , contains entries on Richard Heny Lee and the Lee Resolution
Documents, Lee Resolution, National Archives and Records
Armitage, David. The Declaration of Independence: A Global History. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2007. [Catalog Record]
Boyd, Julian P. The Declaration of Independence: The Evolution of the Text. Rev. ed. Charlottesville: International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello in association with the Library of Congress, 1999. [Catalog Record]
Burnett, Edward Cody. The Continental Congress. New York: Norton, 1941.[Catalog
Chitwood, Oliver. Richard Henry Lee, Statesman of the Revolution. Morgantown: University Library, 1967. [Catalog Record]
Dupont, Christian Y., and Peter S. Onuf, eds. Declaring Independence: The Origin and Influence of America’s Founding Document. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Library, 2008. [Catalog Record]
Gerber, Scott Douglas, ed. The Declaration of Independence: Origins and Impact. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2002. [Catalog Record]
Hogeland, William. Declaration: The Nine Tumultuous Weeks When America Became Independent, May 1-July 4, 1776. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010. [Catalog
Maier, Pauline. American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence. New York: Knopf, 1997. [Catalog Record]
The Letters of Richard Henry Lee. Edited by James Ballagh. 1911-1914. Reprint. New York: Da Capo Press, 1970; [Catalog
Freedman, Russell. Give Me Liberty!: The Story of the Declaration of Independence. New York: Holiday House, 2000. [Catalog Record]
Gragg, Rod. The Declaration of Independence: The Story Behind America’s Founding Document and the Men Who Created It. Nashville, Tenn.: Rutledge Hill Press, 2005. [Catalog Record]
Graves, Kerry A. The Declaration of Independence: the story behind our founding document. Philadelphia: Chelsea Clubhouse, 2004. [Catalog Record]