Dear Richard Henry Lee

Kylie Yamada, Feature Editor

Dear Richard Henry Lee,
I want to start this off by saying I didn’t really know who you were until a couple weeks ago. I don’t say that to rub your obscurity in, but instead to point out how underrated you are. Sure, you may not have tributes like a place on the currency or a statue in the White House Rose Garden, but your actions stand as your true monument. After all, you’re the man who introduced the resolution to declare independence!
The Lee Resolution directly led to the Second Continental Congress drafting the Declaration of Independence. Really, you were one of the first politicians in the colonies to truly propose independence from Britain. Considering how important you are, why are so few Americans even aware you existed?
Maybe you just don’t gel with the romanticized view of the Revolution Americans like to believe. The American Revolution conjures up images of men boldly stating their opinion in the streets, rebels throwing tea into the harbor, and a scrappy army defeating the most powerful army in the world. You represent the less picturesque side of the Revolution: the politics.
The Declaration of Independence was a momentous milestone for the colonies, but there was a long road before Jefferson could write about “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” There had to be voting, discussions, and consensus agreement. But you truly started the process, and I think it’s fair to say that all Americans are grateful for that.
Why don’t you personally get the credit? I guess it’s more fun to focus on the more dramatic changes in history, like the Declaration of Independence getting written and signed. Plus it’s hard to work in “proposed the resolution which ultimately led to the Declaration of Independence” into picture books.
I mean, you definitely contributed as much, if not more, to history than Paul Revere. And Paul Revere has an entire song about him! About something he didn’t even say! I’m sorry America has forgotten you, Richard Henry Lee. I promise I will not.
Kylie Yamada