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Francis Lightfoot Lee

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Name  Francis Lee

Spouse  Rebecca Tayloe (m. 1772)
Parents  Thomas Lee
Francis Lightfoot Lee Francis Lightfoot Lee NYPL Digital Collections
Born  October 14, 1734 Stratford Hall Plantation, Westmoreland County, Virginia (1734-10-14)
Resting place  Mount Airy, Tayloe Family Estate, Warsaw, Richmond County
Role  Former Virginia State Senator
Died  January 11, 1797, Richmond County, Virginia, United States
Siblings  Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Ludwell Lee, William Lee
Cousins  Henry Lee II, Richard "Squire" Lee
Similar People  Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Lee, Thomas Ludwell Lee, William Lee, Arthur Lee

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.


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Family, education and early life

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Francis Lee was born October 14, 1734 at a Lee family home at Machadoc, later known as Burnt House Field, in Hague, Westmoreland County, Virginia. He grew up at Stratford Hall, which his father completed in 1738. 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).

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In 1772, Francis married his cousin, Rebecca Plater Tayloe. They were 2nd cousins, once removed.

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Lee lived his entire life in the region of Virginia between the Rappahannock River and the Chesapeake Bay (known as the Northern Neck).

Government service

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.


Francis Lightfoot Lee Wikipedia