Local group participates in Leedstown events

From left Ron Mihills, Stuart Kramer and Don Smith, present the Richard Henry Lee Chapter wreath at the Leedstown Resolutions Commemoration.

STRATFORD—Four members of the Richard Henry Lee (RHL) Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution (VASSAR) on February 25 attended the 251st Commemoration of the 1766 Leedstown Resolutions at Stratford Hall, Council House.

The chapter was represented by president Don Smith, secretary Stuart Kramer and members Ron Mihills and Robert McKenney.

The commemoration celebrates the signing of the Leedstown Resolutions in February 1766 that had been penned by the chapter’s namesake, Richard Henry Lee, reported Smith.

The document demanded that King George III withdraw an onerous stamp act in which Parliament sought to put a tax on every paper issued in the colonies. This tax would apply to deeds, news articles, bills of laden and on and on, said Smith.

Parliament had imposed the tax with the intent of having the colonies pay for the recently concluded French and Indian War that had placed a financial burden on the crown, he continued. There had been no input to Parliament from colonialists before enactment of the onerous act and the colonialists saw this as an unfair tax that had been imposed without their representation. The Resolutions are seen today as one of the first precursors to the American Revolution, starting a decade later.

The commemoration co-hosted by Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Society (NNVHS) and Stratford Hall featured a 21st century interpretation of the 18th century document, said Smith. A meeting was held, moderated and participated in by members of the NNVHS and of VASSAR sprinkled throughout the audience to stage a scene as if it was today that the stamp act had been imposed on the colonies.

Also participating in this scene were four Washington & Lee High School students.

After views favoring and opposing the Resolutions were expressed, a vote was taken and a majority of the audience favored the Resolutions.

For RHL, the event marked the beginning of its 2017 year. Starting in March, RHL will meet monthly throughout the remainder of the year except in July and August. The meetings will be held at Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury in Irvington. Each meeting features a speaker who brings specialized topics about the Revolution for the enjoyment of the attendees.

RHL has 86 members and is one of 27 Chapters in Virginia. RHL is part of a world-wide organization that has a membership of over 33,000. Each member has traced their lineage, using genealogically accepted documentation, back to an individual, male or female, who supported the American colonies in their quest for independence from Great Britain.

Support could have been either through participation in the government, the militia, providing supplies or by signing a loyalty oath. As a historical, educational and patriotic corporation, the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) seeks to maintain and expand the meaning of patriotism, respect for national symbols, the value of American citizenship and the unifying force of “e pluribus unum” that was created from the people of many nations-one nation and one people. “In God We Trust.”

At the chapter, state and national levels several scholarship contests are held annually for third grade to senior high school boys and girls.

RHL is always looking for new members, said Smith. Those interested can find out more about the SAR at sar.org, or contact Smith at donsmith@va.metrocast.net, or 435-0693.