9 June 2004
[DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, SIGNER]. LEE, Richard Henry, Signer, Virginia. Autograph letter signed ("Richard Henry Lee"), to William Whipple, Chantilly, 27 July 1783.
Lee, the man who introduced the resolution for independence in the Second Continental Congress, here asks a fellow signer for help in landing his son a job, and discusses the "triangular" trade between the colonies, the West Indies, and Europe. "My eldest son Thomas," Lee writes, "carries on business from Dumfries on Potomac river, he...understands business well and also the French language. If Whipple knew of anyone inclined to "push trade with this country, I venture to recommend my son to the correspondence of any such person as a Merchant able & willing to serve him. Seven years after vote for independence, Lee urges his former Congressional colleague to strengthen the commercial ties between their two states: "There have already been sent many Vessels to the different rivers in this state from the eastward to load for Europe, as well as to return with cargoes to their own country. When vessels go from your ports to the West Indies with your exports, may not some of them take West India produce and come here with it, load with tobacco, wheat or flower [sic], and proceed to Europe. In short there are many ways by which your vessels may pass profitably thru us & the more correspondence we have with each other the better I believe it will be for both."
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