Lee Family Digital Archive

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The Lee Family Digital Archive is a scholarly effort to collect, edit, and disseminate the papers of the Lee family of Virginia. The Lees of Virginia included Richard Lee I, the immigrant founder of the family, who came to Virginia from England around 1640, and his descendants.[1] Some of the most famous Lees are Thomas Lee, the President of Virginia;[2] Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee, signers of the Declaration of Independence;[3] Arthur Lee, the Penman of the Revolution; Light-Horse Harry Lee, the cavalry hero of the Continental army, three-time governor of Virginia, and the father of Robert E. Lee;[4] Thomas Sim Lee, Revolutionary governor of Maryland; Richard Bland Lee, U.S. Senator; Charles Lee, U.S. Supreme Court justice; Richard Bland Lee II, a noted explorer;[5] Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general who is by far the most famous of the family; William Henry Fitzhugh (Rooney) Lee, the son of Robert E. Lee and a U.S. Congressman from Virginia;[6] and Fitzhugh Lee, Governor of Virginia and Civil War cavalry general.[7] President Zachary Taylor was a Lee descendant, on his mother's side.[8]

A comprehensive search for Lee Family papers, which are widely scattered, is ongoing.

The Lee Family Digital Archive is hosted by Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and directed by Frank E. Grizzard, Jr., a historian, author, and editor. The LFDA also contains the full text of many relevant secondary sources to the Lees and a section on George Washington.


  1. ^ The best secondary source for the Lees of Virginia remains Cazenove Gardner Lee, Jr., Lee Chronicle: Studies of the Early Generations of the Lees of Virginia (edited by Dorothy Mills Parker; New York, 1957, 1997). A more recent treatment is by Paul C. Nagel, The Lees of Virginia: Seven Generations of an American Family (New York, 1990).
  2. ^ Lee, Lee Chronicle, 55–68.
  3. ^ J. Kent McGaughy, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia: A Portrait of an American Revolutionary (Lanhan, Maryland, 2004), 117, 143, 234, 294
  4. ^ Charles Royster, Light-Horse Harry Lee and the Legacy of the American Revolution (New York, 1981), 106, 109–11
  5. ^ Elizabeth Fleming Rhodes, On the Fringe of Fame: The Career of Richard Bland Lee II in the South and West, 1779–1875 (Pasadena, California, 1990), 38–45, 72–83
  6. ^ The only full treatment of Rooney Lee is Mary Bandy Daughtry, Gray Cavalier: The Life and Wars of General W. H. F. “Rooney” Lee (Cambridge Massachusetts, 2002).
  7. ^ The fullest account the life of Fitz Lee is Edward G. Longacre, Fitz Lee: A Military Biography of Major General Fitzhugh Lee, CSA (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2005).
  8. ^ Lee, Lee Chronicle, 31, 33, 337, 361–62.

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