Richard Henry Lee

Richard Henry Lee (1732 - 1794)

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Richard Henry Lee
Born in Stratford, Westmoreland Co, Virginia Colonymap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Westmoreland Co, Virginia, USAmap
Lee-535 created 19 Oct 2010 | Last modified | Last edit: 25 Nov 2017
14:01: Robin Lee edited the Biography for Richard Lee. (added project box) [Thank Robin for this]
This page has been accessed 3,083 times.

Categories: Notables | American Founding Fathers | American Revolution | Continental Congress | Signers of the Continental Association | Signers of the Articles of Confederation | Signers of the United States Declaration of Independence | Presidents pro tempore of the US Senate | US Senators from Virginia | President of the Continental Congress | Namesakes US Counties.

Richard Lee is notable.
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1776 Liberty Bell
Event years 1773-1789.
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Discuss: 1776
Preceded by
John Langdon

US Constitution Ratified
March 4, 1789
Richard Henry Lee
President pro tempore
of the US Senate
President pro tem

US Senator (Class 2)
from Virginia
Seal of the US Senate
Succeeded by
John Langdon

Succeeded by
John Taylor
Preceded by
11th President
Thomas Mifflin
Richard Henry Lee
12th President
of the Continental Congress
30 Nov 1784 - 23 Nov 1785
Succeeded by
13th President
John Hancock III



U.S. Continental Congress President
This person was a President of the US Continental Congress
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Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Virginia; and one of the only pair of brothers (see also Francis Lightfoot Lee) to sign the Declaration of Independence. He was also the brother of General "Lighthorse Harry" Lee of Revolutionary War fame, and the uncle of Civil War Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Born at Stratford, Virginia, he was the seventh child of eleven (while some scholars believe he was born in 1732, the family Bible states that he was born in January 1733). After being home tutored, he was sent to England at age 11 to be formally taught, eventually returning to Virginia when he was 18. When Richard was in his mid-20s he married Anne Aylette, and they would have four children. He established a plantation, called Chantilly, on the Potomac River, becoming a gentleman farmer. In 1768, he had a hunting accident that blew four fingers off his hand, and in December 1768, his wife, Anne, died. He would later marry Anne Pinckard, with whom he had another five children. He was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses (the state legislature), where he served from 1758 until 1776. He was especially active in Virginia's campaign of resistance to the hated Stamp Act and Townshend Acts. In 1774, Lee was a delegate to the First Continental Congress, and initially, he favored a policy of economic boycott to bring the British to reason in their colonial policies. But he began to change his mind when the King closed the port of Boston, and he began to think more and more of independence from Britain. In 1776, he obtained a resolution from the House of Burgesses to introduce into the Second Continental Congress that "these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown; and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved." This resolution, introduced by Lee on June 7, 1776 into Congress, began the process that produced the Declaration of Independence. The Second Continental Congress approved the resolution on July 2, 1776. After the Revolutionary War, Lee served as President of Congress, from 1784 to 1785, under the Articles of Confederation, and thus, actually was President of the United States, although this title is now reserved for those who were elected under the Constitution. Lee supported the adoption of the US Constitution, and after it was adopted, Lee served as a Senator from Virginia from 1789 to 1792, when he resigned because of illness and injuries suffered in a carriage accident. His last effort as a senator was to give enthusiastic support for the adoption of a Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the US Constitution). Richard Henry Lee died at his home, Chantilly, Virginia, in 1794, in his early sixties. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)

Marriage and Issue

Children of Richard and Anne Aylett (1738–1768)

  1. Elizabeth Virginia Lee (1755) died young
  2. Thomas Lee (1758–1805)
  3. Col. Ludwell Lee, Esq. (1760–1836) m. Flora Lee (1771–1795)
  4. Mary Lee (1764–1795)
  5. Hannah Lee (1765–1801) m. Hon. Corbin Washington (1764–1799)
  6. Marybelle Lee (1768) died young

Children of Richard and Anne (Gaskins) Pinckard.

  1. Anne Lee (1770–1804) m. Hon. Charles Lee (1758–1815)
  2. Henrietta "Harriotte" Lee (1773–1803) m. Hon. George Richard Lee Turberville (c. 1770)
  3. Sarah Caldwell "Sally" Lee (1775–1837) m. Edmund Jennings Lee I (1772–1843)
  4. Cassius Lee (1779–1850).
  5. Francis Lightfoot Lee II (1782–1850) m. Jane Fitzgerald (died 1816)
  6.  ? Lee (1784) died young
  7.  ? Lee (1786) died young[2]


  • Lee County, Georgia is named in his honor.


  1. Resigned, vacant October 8, 1792 – October 18, 1792 when successor elected.
  2. Wikipedia entry for Richard Henry Lee

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Richard by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Richard:

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Images: 6
Richard Henry Lee's Grave
Richard Henry Lee's Grave

Declaration of Independence & Lee's Signature
Declaration of Independence & Lee's Signature

The Raliegh Tavern
The Raliegh Tavern

Richard Henry Lee
Richard Henry Lee

Burnt House Fields, Lee Family Estate
Burnt House Fields, Lee Family Estate

view all


On 27 Apr 2017 at 18:47 GMT Steven Warren wrote:

The information on his first child with Anne Aylett, Elizabeth Virginia Lee, is incorrect. She was born 2-27-1755 and died on 9-15-1784.

On 27 Apr 2017 at 07:27 GMT Esmé (Pieterse) van der Westhuizen wrote:

Lee-19249 and Lee-535 appear to represent the same person because: Clear Duplicate

Same parents and exact dates

On 5 Apr 2016 at 21:10 GMT Donnie Blackstone wrote:

8th Cousins 8 times removed but my Wife was a Lee before she married me, I would like to know more about the Lee family, Thanks

On 3 Jul 2015 at 19:12 GMT Philip Lee wrote:

Sorry, I'm new on this site, and thought the email might have referred to my posts. My Lee ancestors are from Devon, England, not the USA!

On 3 Jul 2015 at 19:04 GMT Philip Lee wrote:

This merging may be premature! I have so far only entered a couple of generations. After I have added earlier Lee forbears, from 1796, it may be appropriate to consider a merge!

On 2 Jul 2015 at 02:59 GMT Robin Lee wrote:

Lee-12059 and Lee-535 appear to represent the same person because: Let's try again...

On 2 Jul 2015 at 01:37 GMT David Mark Cordell wrote:

Lee-12059 and Lee-535 are not ready to be merged because: I don't have a problem with this, but he is an important person who is not in my direct line. I would prefer that someone else make the decision.

On 1 Jul 2015 at 20:08 GMT Robin Lee wrote:

Lee-12059 and Lee-535 appear to represent the same person because: same dates, intended to be the same person, had an incorrect mother attached

Richard is 27 degrees from Aaron Copland, 16 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 17 degrees from Barbara Shoff and 14 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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