Primary Resource

Lee's Resolution (1776)

Richard Henry Lee, a Virginia delegate to the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, offered the following resolution on June 7, 1776. He was acting on instructions from the Virginia Convention, meeting in Williamsburg. Lee's resolution was seconded by John Adams, of Massachusetts, and approved by the Congress on July 2.

Transcription from Original

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.

That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances.

That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.