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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1067
AUTHOR: Arthur Lee (1740–92)
QUOTATION: To one however who adores liberty, and the noble virtues of which it is the parent, there is some consolation in seeing, while we lament the fall of British liberty, the rise of that of America. Yes, my friend, like a young phoenix she will rise full plumed and glorious from her mother’s ashes.
ATTRIBUTION: ARTHUR LEE, letter to Samuel Adams, December 24, 1772.—Richard Henry Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. 1, p. 225 (1829, reprinted 1969).

Adams repeated the striking phrase in a letter to Lee, April 9, 1773: “But America ‘shall rise full plumed and glorious from her Mothers Ashes.’”—The Writings of Samuel Adams, ed. Harry A. Cushing, vol. 3, p. 21 (1907, reprinted 1968).