Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1732
Death 1794
English

Biographical notes:

Delegate from Virginia to the First Continental Congress. Schuyler was one of the four major generals in the Continenetal Army and delegate to the Continental Congress. Father-in-law to Alexander Hamilton.

From the description of Letters, 1775. (Boston Athenaeum). WorldCat record id: 41417645

Richard Henry Lee was a staunch defender of colonial rights and was aligned with Patrick Henry as a strong opponent of the Stamp Act.

From the description of Richard Henry Lee, letter, Chantilly, VA to William Whipple, Portsmouth, NH, 1783 July 27. (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation). WorldCat record id: 191030388

From the guide to the Letter, Richard Henry Lee to William Whipple, 1783 July 27, (John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794), a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress.

From the description of Journal and Memouranda book of Richard Henry Lee, 1777, June - 1791, Nov. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 704152951

Mobile (Mobile Co.), Ala. resident.

From the description of Letters, 1862. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 36212283

Revolutionary War officer, Virginia legislator, and Virginia signer of the Declaration of Independence.

From the description of Letter, 12 August 1779. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 32960044

From the description of Letter to Arthur Lee [manuscript], 1779 August 12. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647856291

Lee was a signer of the Declaration of Independence; President of Congress 1784.

From the description of ALS, 1776 December 24 : Baltimore, to Robert Morris, Philadelphia. (Copley Press, J S Copley Library). WorldCat record id: 13736132

Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794) was a politician from Virginia who served as a delegate to and president of the Continental Congress, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and also served as U.S. Senator from 1789 to 1792.

From the description of Richard Henry Lee letter, 1776 October 22. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 762830659

Richard Henry Lee was a Revolutionary statesman and was one of Virginia's delegates to the Continental Congresses.

From the description of Correspondence, 1763-1823. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 122589223

At this time, Richard Henry Lee was representing Virginia in the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

From the description of Letter to unknown recipient, 1777 May 6. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 155866462

Lee was a signer of the Declaration of Independence as well as a Continental Congressman.

From the description of AMS, [n.d.] : Copy of Report of Virginia delegates to Continental Congress. (Copley Press, J S Copley Library). WorldCat record id: 13740242

Plantation owner of Westmoreland County, Va.; delegate to the Continental Congress and later U.S. Senator.

From the description of Papers of Richard Henry Lee, 1785-1796. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 32671929

From the description of Papers of Richard Henry Lee [manuscript], 1763-1810. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647849338

Lee was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and President of the Congress of Confederation.

From the description of ALS, 1787 September 1 : New York, to unknown. (Copley Press, J S Copley Library). WorldCat record id: 13849689

Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794) was a lawyer, Virginia legislator, and a Revolutionary statesman.

From the description of Letter, 1776 April 20. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122553548

Epithet: Member of the Secret Committee of Congress

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000219.0x0002ac

The Secret Committee procured supplies during the War.

From the description of ALS, 1777 January 7 : In Secret Committee, to James and Robert Purveyance. (Copley Press, J S Copley Library). WorldCat record id: 13740354

Patrick Henry was born in Hanover County, Virginia in 1736. He was largely self-educated, becoming a prominent trial lawyer and great orator. The most famous phrase attributed to him is "Give me liberty or give me death." He was delegate to the House of Burgesses, 1765-1774; the Continential Congress, 1774-1776; and the Virginia provincial convention, 1775. He also served as governor of Virginia from 1776 to 1779 and from 1784 to 1786. Patrick Henry died in 1799.

From the guide to the Patrick Henry Papers, 1778-1927, 1778-1792., (Special Collections, Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary)

Jay Winston Johns, Jr. was a coal industrialist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who moved to Virginia and became a leader in preserving homes of renowned Virginians. He married Helen Lambert (1881-1964). Johns became blind in the late 1950's.

He and his wife owned "Ash Lawn," Albemarle County, Virginia which had been the home of James Monroe and designed by Thomas Jefferson. Johns was founder of the Lee-Jackson Memorial, Inc., a foundation dedicated to preserving the memory of Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson and the South's part in the Civil War; and a founder of the Virginia Trust for Historic Preservation, an organization whose main purpose was that of purchasing, restoring, and maintaining for the public, homes of renowned men specifically, the Lee-Fendall House in Alexandria, Virginia.

Johns, himself was a strong Democrat and corresponded with and publicly supported all of the prominent Virginia political figures of his time. He was a spirited supporter of the Virginia Military Institute as a member of the Board of Visitors, and as an honorary member of the Alumni Association; a charter member, and later trustee of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; and a member of the Virginia Chapter of the Society of the Cincinnati. He also received an honorary degree from the College of William and Mary in 1967.

From the guide to the Jay Johns Papers, 1918-1974., (Special Collections, Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary)

Tall and aristocratic in bearing, Richard Henry Lee was an impassioned supporter of American independence in Virginia and later a prominent antagonist of the federal constitution. Born into one of the most prominent families in the colony on January 20, 1732, Lee was bred to a political life. The son of Thomas Lee, one-time president of the governing Council of Virginia and a founder of the Ohio Company, and Hannah Ludwell of "Stratford Hall," Westmorland County, Lee benefited from a superior education, attending the Wakefield Academy in England for seven years before returning in 1751 to enter the family calling, public service. Four of his brothers were active in Revolutionary and post-revolutionary politics: Francis Lightfoot Lee joined Richard as a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Ludwell Lee helped write Virginia's resolve for independence and was later chosen to the state supreme court, and Arthur and William Lee became noted diplomats.

Appointed justice of the peace for Westmoreland County in 1757, Lee was first elected to the House of Burgesses in the next year, aged 25. From the first, he pitted himself in the radical wing of Virginia politics. His first speech as a legislator was a proposal to ban the importation of slaves into Virginia, and he earned a reputation as a zealous -- occasionally overly zealous -- political combatant for the part he played in a dispute with the Speaker, John Robinson, over a rivalry between the Ohio Land Company and Robinson's Loyal Land Company. However it was only with the political disputes between the colonies and England after the end of the Seven Years War that Lee's characteristically incendiary style began to emerge.

Although Lee had initially applied to become a collector under the Stamp Act of 1765, he very soon turned to the opposition, becoming a leader of the most vocal and extreme wing. With his brothers Thomas and Francis Lightfoot, Lee gathered 115 signatures to the "Westmoreland Resolves," a petition that threatened "danger and disgrace" to anyone who paid the tax. An act of overt sedition, and one of the earliest to threaten physical violence, the Resolves were a key turning point in the pre-revolutionary struggle.

After recovering from a hunting accident that cost him several fingers on one hand in 1768, Lee returned to a position of prominence in the nascent independence movement, helping to galvanize support for the Non-importation agreements. From England, his brother Arthur kept him informed of English news and political gossip and of the shifting currents toward the colonial crisis. But the specifics of Lee's part in the resistance in Virginia were ultimately less important than his efforts to strengthen political unity between the colonies and to foster a systematic intercolonial exchange of information. In the process, he forged a close working relationship with the Massachusetts firebrand Samuel Adams, and the two remained close throughout the ensuing decades of political strife.

From his seat in the Continental Congress, Lee emerged as an orator of unusual skill and power, urging the colonies to stay the oppositional course and, in July 1775, becoming one of the first to recommend forming independent state governments. Perhaps his signal claim to public renown came on May 17, 1776, when he submitted a resolution to Congress stating that the colonies should declare "That these united Colonies are, and ought to be, fee and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance from the British crown, and than all political connection between America and State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved." Before the debate over the declaration of independence took place, however, Lee had returned to Virginia to assist his home state establish its new government.

In later years, Lee supported the Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance, believing (as a child of the Ohio Company) that revenue from western lands would be beneficial to the new state, and he unsuccessfully submitted an amendment to allow federal support for religion. Increasingly poor health prevented him from taking up his position as delegate to either the federal constitutional convention of 1787 or the state ratification convention in 1788, however Lee contributed to the debate as author of the seminal Anti-federalist tract Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican (1787-1788). Supportive of much of the federal apparatus (centralization of foreign affairs, commerce, money, and post), he nevertheless rejected the constitution for what he saw as anti-democratic tendencies in a powerful executive, the lack of a bill of rights, and the too limited number of seats in the House of Representatives.

Following the ratification, however, Lee grudgingly came around to support the federal government and was appointed as one of the state's first two Senators in 1789, both Anti-federalists. Once again he took up the cause of an amendment to allow public support for religion, but his term in office was interrupted repeatedly by ill health and by the effects of a carriage accident. Finally, half way through his term on October 8, 1792, he was forced to resign and retire from public life.

Lee was twice married, first to Anne Aylett in 1757, with whom he had four children, and second, in 1768, to Anne Gaskins Pinckard, with whom he had five children. After leaving the Senate, Lee returned to his estate, "Chantilly," where he died on June 19, 1794.

From the guide to the Richard Henry Lee Papers, 1763-1823, (American Philosophical Society)



Biographical notes are generated from the bibliographic and archival source records supplied by data contributors.

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Subjects:

  • Slavery--History--18th century--Sources
  • Slaves
  • Executors and administrators--History--18th century
  • Wills--History--18th century
  • Actions and defenses--History--18th century
  • Card weaving
  • Debt, Imprisonment for--History--19th century
  • Debts, Public
  • American Revolution
  • War, Cost of
  • Canadian Invasion, 1775-1776
  • Plantations
  • Plantation owners--Archives
  • 1778- 1927.
  • Constitutional history
  • Boundaries, State
  • Military History
  • Governors
  • Legilslators--Archives
  • Commerce
  • Shipbuilding--History--Revolution, 1775-1783
  • Tobacco
  • Non-importation agreements, 1768-1769
  • Political corruption--History--18th century
  • Real property
  • Stamp Act, 1765
  • Money
  • Decedents' estates--History--18th century
  • Weaving
  • Carleton's Invasion, 1776
  • Ash Lawn (Virginia : Estate)
  • Ordnance--History--Revolution, 1775-1783
  • Slaves--History--18th century--Sources
  • Early National Politics
  • Foreign ministers--History--Revolution, 1775-1783

Occupations:

  • Statesmen.

Places:

  • United States-Commerce-West Indies (as recorded)
  • Virginia--Fairfax County (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States-Commerce-Europe (as recorded)
  • New Hampshire-Commerce-Virginia (as recorded)
  • West Indies (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Spain (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • Connecticut (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Maryland (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Virginia--Westmoreland County (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Spain (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Virginia-Commerce-New Hampshire (as recorded)
  • Pennsylvania (as recorded)
  • France (as recorded)
  • Europe-Commerce-West Indies (as recorded)
  • West Indies-Commerce-United States (as recorded)
  • Portsmouth (Va.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Chantilly (Va.) (as recorded)
  • Maryland (as recorded)
  • Chantilly (Va.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Virginia--Westmoreland County (as recorded)
  • Stratford Hall (Va.) (as recorded)
  • New Hampshire (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States of America (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • France (as recorded)
  • Chesapeake Bay (Md. and Va.) (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Zafarin Islands, Morocco (as recorded)
  • Norfolk (Va.) (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • Europe-Commerce-United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Chantilly (Va.) (as recorded)
  • West Indies-Commerce-Europe (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • France (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)