Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794), a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was also a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, a delegate to the First Continental Congress and a U.S. Senator. On November 1, 1777, as recorded in the Journals of Congress, Richard Henry Lee along with the committee of Samuel Adams and General Daniel Roberdeau, recommended a resolution setting apart:
"Thursday, the 18th of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their Divine Benefactor; and that, together with their sincere acknowledgments and offerings, they may join the penitent confession of their manifold sins, whereby they had forfeited every favor, and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance." - Journals of Congress, Volume III, pp. 467-468. Stephen Abbott Northrop, D.D., A Cloud of Witnesses (Portland, Oregon: American Heritage Ministries, 1987), p. 279-280.