Richard Henry Lee
Richard Henry Lee (January 20, 1732 – June 19, 1794) was an American statesman from Virginia best known for the motion in the Second Continental Congress calling for the colonies' independence from Great Britain. His famous resolution of June 1776 led to the United States Declaration of Independence, which Lee signed. He also served a one-year term as the President of the Continental Congress, and was a U.S. Senator from Virginia from 1789 to 1792, serving during part of that time as one of the first Presidents pro tempore.
- To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them...
- Additional Letters From The Federal Farmer, 53 (1788); although generally attributed to Lee, his authorship of these letters is disputed in "The Authorship of the Letters from the Federal Farmer" by Gordon S. Wood, in The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol. 31, No. 2 (April 1974)
- A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves... and include all men capable of bearing arms. . . To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms... The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle.
- Additional Letters From The Federal Farmer, 169 (1788)
- No free government was ever founded, or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state...such area well-regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.
- State Gazette (Charleston) (8 September 1788)