Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the Union of the American States
Resolution Introduced in the Continental Congress by Richard Henry Lee (Virginia) Proposing a Declaration of Independence
Selected, Arranged, and Indexed by Charles C. Tansill
June 7, 1776
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. 4
4. This resolution, in the writing of Richard Henry Lee, is in the Papers of the Continental Congress No. 23, folio 11. It has the following endorsement in three writings: “Resolved that it is the Opinion of this Com. that the first Resolution [Benjamin Harrison] be postponed to this day three weeks, and that in the mean time [Charles Thomson], least any time shd be lost in case the Congress agree to this resolution [Robert R. Livingston], a committee be appointed to prepare a Declaration to the effect of the said first resolution [Charles Thomson].” The postponement was made to give an opportunity to the Delegates from those Colonies which had not as yet given authority to adopt this decisive measure, to consult their constituents. The motion was seconded by John Adams.