Francis Lightfoot Lee
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|Francis Lightfoot Lee|
Signer of Declaration of Independence
|Delegate to Continental Congress|
October 14, 1734|
Stratford Hall Plantation, Westmoreland County, Virginia
|Died||January 11, 1797
Richmond County, Virginia
|Resting place||Mount Airy, Tayloe Family Estate, Warsaw, Richmond County|
Francis Lightfoot Lee (October 14, 1734 – January 11, 1797) was a member of the House of Burgesses in the Colony of Virginia. As an active protester regarding issues such as the Stamp Act, Lee helped move the colony in the direction of independence from Britain. Lee was a delegate to the Virginia Conventions and the Continental Congress. He was a signer of the Articles of Confederation and the Declaration of Independence as a representative of Virginia.
Family, education and early life
Francis Lee was born October 14, 1734 at Stratford Hall, located in Westmoreland County. He was educated at home, where Lee pursued classical studies under Dr. Craig. He was of English descent, and was born into one of the First Families of Virginia. Lee was the fourth son of Thomas Lee and Hannah Harrison Ludwell (of the nearby Greenspring Plantation).
In 1772, Francis married his cousin, Rebecca Plater Tayloe. They were 2nd cousins, once removed.
In 1774, Lee was among those who called for a general congress and the first of the Virginia Conventions, which he attended. He served in the Virginia State Senate from 1778 to 1782, and was a delegate to the first Continental Congress held in Philadelphia, serving until 1779. As a congressional representative of Virginia, he signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation.
Lee died of pleurisy at his residence (named “Menokin”) in Richmond County, Virginia, on January 11, 1797, following his wife's death four days prior. He is buried in the Tayloe family burial ground at Mount Airy Plantation, near Warsaw, Virginia.
Lee was the grandson of Col. Richard Lee II and a great-grandson of Col. Richard Lee I. Senator Richard Henry Lee, and diplomats William Lee and Dr. Arthur Lee, were his brothers. Another brother, Thomas Ludwell Lee, was appointed to a committee, along with Thomas Jefferson, to re-write the laws of Virginia. Francis Lightfoot Lee had no children; his namesake Francis Lightfoot Lee, II, was the son of his brother Richard Henry Lee and further men of the same name descend from him.
- Dill, Alonzo Thomas. Francis Lightfoot Lee, The Incomparable Signer. Edited by Edward M. Riley. Williamsburg: Virginia Independence Bicentennial Commission, 1977.
- Twain, Mark. "Francis Lightfoot Lee". Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, I, no. 3 (1877). Reprinted in Charles Neider, ed., Mark Twain: Life as I Find It (New York, 1961).
- United States Congress. "Francis Lightfoot Lee (id: L000190)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Biography by Rev. Charles A. Goodrich, 1856
- Francis Lightfoot Lee Bio
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lee, Richard Henry". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. This article on his brother also contains a paragraph on Francis Lightfoot Lee.
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