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Letter from Arthur Lee to Richard Henry Lee


December 24th. — Lord Dartmouth this day informed us that his Majesty received your Petition very graciously, and, for its importance, would lay it before his Houses of Parliament when they met.

I communicate to you the following copy of a letter from Lord Chatham, because I think it must give you infinite satisfaction; at the same time I must entreat you not to let it get into the Press, as it would be a breach of honour in me: — "I have not words to express the infinite satisfaction which I feel since Congress has conducted this most arduous and delicate business with such manly wisdom and calm resolution as do the highest honour to their deliberations. Very few are the things contained in their Resolves that I could wish to be otherwise. Upon the whole, I think it must be evident to every unprejudiced man in England, who feels for the rights of mankind, that America, under all her oppressions and provocations, holds out to us the most fair and just opening for restoring harmony and affectionate intercourse as heretofore. I hope that the minds of men are more than beginning to open on this great subject, so little understood, and that it will be found impossible for freemen in England to see three millions of Englishmen slaves in America."

Such praise from the character of the age ought to inspire you with confidence, if any thing can add to the conscious dignity of freemen, and make you resolve to maintain your demands with immoveable firmness.