Biography and History

Arthur Lee, American revolutionary and diplomat, was the brother of Francis Lightfoot and Richard Henry Lee. After the outbreak of the American Revolution, he was made a commissioner for the Continental Congress to seek foreign aid.

Charles Lee was a U.S. statesman and lawyer, and brother of Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee. He graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) in 1775. He was a naval officer in Virginia (1777-1789) and a customs collector in Alexandria, Va. (1789-1793), was admitted to the bar (1794) while serving in the Virginia state house (1793-1795), and was appointed attorney general under Presidents Washington and John Adams (1795-1801). He was one of the prosecutors in the treason trial of Aaron Burr.

Henry Lee, better known as "Light-Horse Harry Lee," was a soldier and statesman. He was born at Leesylvania, near Dumfries, Prince William County, Va. He was a cousin of Francis Lightfoot Lee, Richard Henry Lee, and William Lee and was the father of Robert Edward Lee. Lee graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), in 1773. As a cavalry commander he first gained wide notice for his capture of the fort at Paulus Hook (now in Jersey City), N.J., on Aug. 19, 1779. He was elected to congress in 1785; was governor of Virginia from 1791 to 1794, and in 1794 he commanded the troops who suppressed the Whiskey Rebellion. Henry Lee was the author of Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the United States (1812).

Fitzhugh Lee, nephew of Robert E. Lee and grandson of "Light-Horse Harry Lee," was a Confederate cavalry general in the American Civil War, governor of Virginia, diplomat, and U.S. Army general in the Spanish-American War.

Francis Lightfoot Lee, of Stratford, was a cousin of Henry Lee of Leesylvania, Va. He was a revolutionist and statesman, and a member of the most talented group of brothers in Virginia history which included Richard Henry, Arthur, and William Lee. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Richard Henry Lee, a delegate and a senator from Virginia, was the brother of Francis Lightfoot Lee. He was a member of the Continental Congress (1774-1779), sponsor of the independence resolution, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, author of the first national Thanksgiving Day proclamation issued by Congress at York, Pa., October 31, 1777, and a state delegate (1777, 1780, 1785).

Robert E. Lee was general-in-chief of the Confederate armies in the American Civil War. He was the fifth son of Henry "Light-Horse Harry” Lee. Many historians consider Robert E. Lee the greatest general of the Civil War.

Source: From the finding aid for C1108

  • Lee Family Collection. 1780-1886 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C1108

    Consists of selected letters and documents by and about members of the Lee family of Virginia. The Lee family is a historically significant Virginia political family, whose many prominent members are known for their accomplishments in politics and the military. They are descended from the Lees of Shropshire, England, and became prominent in colonial America when Colonel Richard Lee emigrated to Virginia and made his fortune in tobacco. Members of the family represented in this collection include Francis Lightfoot Lee (1734–1797) and Richard Henry Lee (1732–1794), both signers of the Declaration of Independence, Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee (1756-1818), and, most famously, Robert E. Lee (1807–1870), commander of the Confederate armies in the American Civil War.

  • Lee Family Collection. 1780-1886 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C1108

    Consists of selected letters and documents by and about members of the Lee family of Virginia. The Lee family is a historically significant Virginia political family, whose many prominent members are known for their accomplishments in politics and the military. They are descended from the Lees of Shropshire, England, and became prominent in colonial America when Colonel Richard Lee emigrated to Virginia and made his fortune in tobacco. Members of the family represented in this collection include Francis Lightfoot Lee (1734–1797) and Richard Henry Lee (1732–1794), both signers of the Declaration of Independence, Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee (1756-1818), and, most famously, Robert E. Lee (1807–1870), commander of the Confederate armies in the American Civil War.