|Richard Henry Lee|
"That these United Colonies are, and of right out to be, free and independent States, that they are 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; that measures should be immediately taken for procuring the assistance of foreign powers, and a Confederation be formed to bind the colonies more closely together." Richard Henry Lee to the Continental Congress June 7, 1776 in Philadelphia.
His resolution was seconded by John Adams. During the ensuing debate it became clear the Congress and public at large needed a document codifying why breaking with England was necessary and just. The document, the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson was presented to the Continental Congress on June 28th and was passed unanimously on July 2, 1776.
So who was Richard Henry Lee? He was a public servent from a distinguished Virginia family of public servants. There is a interesting biographic sketch on the American History site. The 1776 musical also delves into the Lee Family in this fun song.