Leedstown Resolutions Sowed Seed of Revolution
by Frank Delano
A spirited sibling squabble will highlight The Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Society’s annual commemoration of the 1766 Leedstown Resolutions on Saturday, Feb. 21, at 10 a.m. at historic Yeocomico Church near Kinsale in Westmoreland County.
The famous resolutions were the first protest of “taxation without representation” and were directed to the British monarchy. The document was a forerunner of the Declaration of Independence ten years later.
This year’s observance will feature interpreters portraying the disparate brothers Philip Ludwell Lee and Richard Henry Lee and their outspoken sister Hannah Lee Corbin — all of whom would have attended Yeocomico Church.
Richard Henry (1732-1794) was the author of the Leedstown Resolutions. Prior to their signing, he burned effigies of British tax officials at the Westmoreland courthouse. Ten years later, he introduced the bill that became the Declaration of Independence.
Richard Henry’s oldest brother Philip (1727-1775) was no fan of insurrection. He was more interested in the profits from his thousands of acres, his race horses and entertaining his friends at Stratford Hall, which he beautifully renovated and expanded.
The Lee brothers’ sister Hannah (1728-1782) was known as an informed and outspoken activist. After her first husband’s death, she lived happily unmarried to another man to avoid losing property left by her first husband. She was a staunch supporter of the Revolution.
There is no known record of a spirited conversation between these three strong-willed Lees, but it could have occurred after a service at Yeocomico Church or at Hannah’s nearby home. (Their peace-making brother, Francis Lightfoot Lee, would probably have been trying to mediate his hot-tempered siblings!)
Come hear what they might have said about the embers that led to a new country forged in the fire of Revolution.
Yeocomico Church is located at 1283 Old Yeocomico Rd. Kinsale, VA 22488. To reach Yeocomico Church from Cople Highway (Rt. 202) at Carmel Church, take Sandy Point Road (Rt. 604) about two miles north. Turn left on Old Yeocomico Road (Rt. 606) and go a mile to the church. For additional information, contact Steve Walker at 804-472-3291 or firstname.lastname@example.org.