Luke Lea (representative)

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Luke Lea
Secretary of State of Tennessee
In office
Preceded by Samuel G. Smith
Succeeded by John S. Young
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1833 – March 3, 1837
Preceded by James I. Standifer
Succeeded by Joseph L. Williams
Personal details
Born January 21, 1783
Surry County, North Carolina
Died June 17, 1851 (aged 68)
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Political party

Jacksonian Democrat

Whig Anti-Jacksonian
Spouse(s) Susan Wells McCormick Lea

James Armstrong Lea John McCormick Lea

Francis Wells Lea

William Park Lea

Ann R. Lea

Susan Jane Lea

Lavinia Lea

Margaret Lea

Luke Lea, Jr.
Profession politician

Luke Lea (January 21, 1783 – June 17, 1851) was a two-term United States Representative from Tennessee.


Lea was born in Surry County, North Carolina, the son of the Reverend Luke and Elisabeth Wilson Lea. He moved with his parents in 1790 into what would become Hawkins County, Tennessee. He attended the common school, and as a young man he was a clerk for the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1804 to 1806. He married Susan Wells McCormick on February 28, 1816, and they had nine children. He was also the great-grandfather of Luke Lea, founder of the Nashville Tennessean newspaper and a U.S. Senator from Tennessee from 1911 to 1917.[1]


After commanding a regiment under General Andrew Jackson in the Seminole and Creek War of 1818, Lee then moved to Campbells Station, Tennessee, in Knox County.

Lea was elected as a Jacksonian to the 23rd Congress and re-elected as an Anti-Jacksonian to the 24th Congress. He served from March 4, 1833 to March 3, 1837.[2] He changed parties for his second term from Democratic to Whig. He then served as Tennessee Secretary of State from 1837 to 1839.

On September 9, 1850, Lea was appointed Indian agent by President Millard Fillmore for Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and served in that capacity until his death the following year.[3]


Thrown from his horse on his way back to his residence near Fort Leavenworth, Lea died on June 17, 1851 (age 68 years, 147 days). He was first interred at Westport Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri; and is finally interred at Union Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri.[4] Lea was the brother of Pryor Lea, a two-term Tennessee Congressman (1827–1831), who was later a Texas state senator and a prominent Confederate supporter in Texas.


  1. ^ "Luke Lea". Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Luke Lea". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Luke Lea". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Luke Lea". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
James I. Standifer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Joseph L. Williams
Political offices
Preceded by
Samuel G. Smith
Secretary of State of Tennessee
Succeeded by
John S. Young