Francis Lightfoot Lee discussing independence in Congress, Philadelphia, 1776

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


Francis Lightfoot Lee (1734-1797) was a delegate to the Continental Congress from Virginia. Active in the fight against British subjugation since the passage of the Stamp Act in 1765, Lee became close associates with Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. He served in the House of Burgesses and in the Virginia Senate until 1782.

This letter was written to Colonel Landon Carter (1710-1778), a wealthy land and slave owner in Virginia. Son of Robert "King" Carter, Landon is known for keeping a well organized diary describing upper-class colonial life. At the time, he was retired to his mansion in Richmond County, Virginia, dubbed Sabine Hall. Carter served as a prominent member of the House of Burgesses with Lee.

This letter, dated April 9, 1776 in Philadelphia, assures Carter that independence from Britain has not yet been brought before the Congress, but notes that the "event is not far off." He also addresses Carter's concern that anarchy would ensure following the divorce from England, which he counters by telling him that Congress assigned various colonies to "establish such a Government as woul'd secure their peace & happiness."

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About This Item

  • Title: Francis Lightfoot Lee discussing independence in Congress, Philadelphia, 1776
  • Creator: Francis Lightfoot Lee
  • Creation Date: 1776-04-09
  • Subject Date: 1776-04-09
  • Locations:
    • Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, PA
    • Warsaw, Richmond County, VA
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 19.4 cm x 16.7 cm
  • Local Code: Coll. 420, Box 59/1
  • Collection: John S. H. Fogg autograph collection
  • Object Type: Text

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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