Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, & Francis Lightfoot Lee to Patrick Henry

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George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, and Francis Lightfoot Lee write to Governor Patrick Henry telling him that they have enclosed the answer Pennsylvania has given in regards to a proposed temporary boundary between Virginia and Pennsylvania. George Wythe, Francis Lightfoot Lee, and Richard Henry Lee say that they believe the proposed boundary will be expensive and as a result suggest that Virginia should leave the boundary where it is currently. They refer Thomas Jefferson to Henry because Jefferson has talked with the Philosopher Rittenhouse about the decision of the boundary between the two states.

Letter text


Philadelphia Septr. 17th. 1776

We have the honor to inclose you the answer of Pennsylvania to the proposed temporary boundary between the Commonwealth of Virginia and this State and also our reply to the same. We need not observe to your Excellency on the manner in which the question is begged by this answer supposing that our Cession of the Charter’d bounds of Pennsylvania, gives an exclusive right to this country of saying where those bounds shall extend to.

That the line proposed by the answer is a proper one, seems very problematical, and is likely to produce a great expence as running the true one; and therefore we submit it, whether ‘twill not be best to run the true line at this time, which will quiet all disputes on this subject forever.

We beg leave to refer you to Mr. Jefferson, lately returned to Virginia, who has conversed much with the Philosopher Rittenhouse on this subject.

We are, with much respect, your Excellencies most obedient and very humble servants,

G. Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Francis Lightfoot Lee

See also