First Founding Father: Richard Henry Lee and the Call to Independence

First Founding Father: Richard Henry Lee and the Call to Independence

by Harlow Giles Unger
First Founding Father: Richard Henry Lee and the Call to Independence

First Founding Father: Richard Henry Lee and the Call to Independence

by Harlow Giles Unger

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Overview

Before Washington, before Jefferson, before Franklin or John Adams, there was Lee—Richard Henry Lee, the First Founding Father

Richard Henry Lee was first to call for independence, first to call for union, and first to call for a bill of rights to protect Americans against government tyranny. A towering figure in America's Revolutionary War, Lee was as much the "father of our country" as George Washington, for it was Lee who secured the political and diplomatic victories that ensured Washington's military victories. Lee was critical in holding Congress together at a time when many members sought to surrender or flee the approach of British troops. Risking death on the gallows for defying British rule, Lee charged into battle himself to prevent British landings along the Virginia coast—despite losing most of his left hand in an explosion.

A stirring, action-packed biography, First Founding Father will startle most Americans with the revelation that many historians have ignored for more than two centuries: Richard Henry Lee, not Thomas Jefferson, was the author of America's original Declaration of Independence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306825613
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 11/07/2017
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 553,799
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Acclaimed historian Harlow Giles Unger is a former Distinguished Visiting Fellow at George Washington's Mount Vernon. He is the author of twenty-six previous books, including twelve biographies of America's Founding Fathers and three histories of the early Republic. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Evolution of a Dynasty 5

Chapter 2 Egyptian Bondage 31

Chapter 3 No Liberty, No King! 53

Chapter 4 Poet, Playwright, Watchmaker, Spy 75

Chapter 5 An Indispensable Necessity 91

Chapter 6 The Enemy of Everything Good 113

Chapter 7 A Most Bloody Battle 133

Chapter 8 To Discard General Washington 157

Chapter 9 President Richard Henry Lee 177

Chapter 10 Riots and Mobbish Proceedings 193

Chapter 11 The Farmer and the Federalist 213

Chapter 12 His Majesty the President 237

Afterword 259

Appendix A The Leedstown, or Westmoreland, Resolves 265

Appendix B The Signers and the Declaration 269

Notes 273

Bibliography 289

Index 295

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