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Unformatted text preview: that, through the
Correspondence Committee, arrangements should be made for a meeting of the
First Continental Congress, to be held in Philadelphia, September 5, 1774. Remember this date. It is more important than July 4, 1776. If there had been no
DECISION to hold a Continental Congress, there could have been no signing of
the Declaration of Independence.
Before the ﬁrst meeting of the new Congress, another leader, in a different section of the country was deep in the throes of publishing a “Summary View of the
Rights of British America.” He was Thomas Jefferson, of the Province of Virginia,
whose relationship to Lord Dunmore, (representative of the Crown in Virginia),
was as strained as that of Hancock and Adams with their Governor.
Shortly after his famous Summary of Rights was published, Jefferson was informed that he was subject to prosecution for high treason against his majesty’s
government. Inspired by the threat, one of Jefferson’s colleagues, Patrick Henry,
boldly spoke his mind, concluding his remarks with a sentence which shall remain forever a classic, “If this be treason, then make the most of it.”
It was such men as these who, without power, without authority, without military
strength, without money, sat in solemn consideration of the destiny of the colo- 134 NAPOLEON HILL THINK AND GROW RICH nies, beginning at the opening of the First Continental Congress, and continuing
at intervals for two years-until on June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee arose, addressed the Chair, and to the startled Assembly made this motion:
“Gentlemen, I make the motion that these United Colonies are, and of right ought
to be free and independent states, that they be 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.”
Lee’s astounding motion was discussed fervently, and at such length that he began to lose patience. Finally, after days of argument, he again took the ﬂoor, and
declared, in a clear, ﬁrm voice, “Mr. President, we have discussed this issue for
days. It is the only course for us to follow. Why, then Sir, do we longer delay? Why
still deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic. Let her
arise, not to devastate and to conquer, but to reestablish the reign of peace, and
of law. The eyes of Europe are ﬁxed upon us. She demands of us a living example
of freedom, that may exhibit a contrast, in the felicity of the citizen, to the ever
Before his motion was ﬁnally voted upon, Lee was called back to Virginia, because
of serious family illness, but before leaving, he placed his cause in the hands of his
friend, Thomas Jefferson, who promised to ﬁght until favorable action was taken.
Shortly thereafter the President of the Congress (Hancock), appointed Jefferson
as Chairman of a Committee to draw up a Declaration of Independence.
Long and hard the Committee labored, on a document which would mean, when
accepted by the Congre...
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This note was uploaded on 11/13/2012 for the course ACCOUNTING 225 taught by Professor Austin during the Spring '12 term at American.
- Spring '12