Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BLAND, Richard, statesman, born in Virginia, 6 May 1710; died in Williamsburg, Virginia, 26 October 1776. He was educated at William and Mary College and at the University of Edinburgh. In 1745 he was elected to the house of burgesses and became one of its most distinguished members. He opposed the stamp act in 1764, and served on the committee to memorialize the king, lords, and commons. In 1768 he was one of the committee appointed to remonstrate with parliament on the subject of taxation. After the dissolution of the house in the following year he was among the first to sign the non-importation agreement proposed at the subsequent meeting held at Raleigh tavern. In 1773 he was a member of the committee of correspondence, and in 1774 a delegate to congress. He was re-elected in 1775, but declined the honor on account of his advanced age. He was a fine classical scholar, and had acquired the name of "Virginia Antiquary" on account of his familiarity with every part connected with the settlement and progress of the colony. Moreover, he was accepted as an authority on all questions touching the rights and privileges of the colony. Mr. Bland published "A Letter to the Clergy on the Twopenny Act" (1760) ; and "An Inquiry into the Rights of the British Colonies " (1766), which was the first tract written on that subject.
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