Amasa Coleman Lee

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Amasa Coleman Lee (July 19, 1880 – April 15, 1962) was an American politician and lawyer.


Lee was the father of Harper Lee, author of the novel To Kill A Mockingbird. It is often said that Atticus Finch, one of the characters in the novel, is based, at least in part, on Amasa Coleman Lee.[1]

Political and law career[edit]

Lee was born in Georgiana, Alabama. He lived on a farm in or near Chipley, Florida, and he worked variously as a teacher and as a bookkeeper at the Flat Creek Mill in Finchburg, Alabama, where he met and, on June 22, 1910, married Frances Finch, the daughter of the postmaster. In 1912 the Lees moved to Monroeville, Alabama. There Lee worked as the financial manager of a law firm, representing the firm's interests in the Manistee & Repton Railway, located in the nearby logging community of Manistee.[2] In 1915, he passed the Alabama bar exam and began to practice law, mainly in Monroe County.[3] Before Lee became a title lawyer, he once defended two black men accused of murdering a white storekeeper. Both clients, a father and son, were hanged.[4] From 1927 to 1939, he served as a member of the Alabama House of Representatives.[5] Lee also worked as the editor and proprietor of the Monroe Journal from 1929 to 1947. He died in Monroeville, Alabama.[6]


  1. ^ 'Harper Lee's Father, Inspiration for Atticus Finch, Changed His Views on Segregation,' The Wall Street Journal, Jennifer Maloney and Laura Stevens, July 11, 2015
  2. ^ I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee - Charles J. Shields - Google Books. 2014-04-08. ISBN 9781466867529. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  3. ^ 'Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee,' Charles J. Shields, Macmillan: 2007, pg. 35-47
  4. ^ Shields, Charles J. (2006). Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee. Henry Holt and Co.
  5. ^ Roster of the Alabama House of Representatives since 1922
  6. ^ 'Harper Lee's Father Dies,' The Tuscaloosa News (Alabama), April 16, 1962, pg. 2


External links[edit]