Back to Results

LEE, Henry

1756–1818

Biography

LEE, Henry, (brother of Richard Bland Lee and grandfather of William Henry Fitzhugh Lee), a Delegate and a Representative from Virginia; born at "Leesylvania," in Prince William County, Va., January 29, 1756; pursued classical studies and was graduated from Princeton College in 1773; served in the Revolutionary War; commissioned captain of a company of Virginia Dragoons June 18, 1776, that became attached to and part of the First Continental Dragoons March 31, 1777; lieutenant colonel November 6, 1780, and served until the close of the war; commissioned major general, United States Army, July 19, 1798; honorably discharged June 15, 1800; became universally known as "Light Horse Harry"; Member of the Continental Congress 1786-1788; advocated the adoption of the Federal Constitution in the Virginia convention of 1788; Governor of Virginia 1791-1794; commanded the United States forces in the Whisky Insurrection in 1794; elected as a Federalist to the Sixth Congress (March 4, 1799-March 3, 1801); at the request of Congress pronounced the eulogy upon President Washington before both branches of Congress, in which Washington is characterized as the man "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen"; died on Cumberland Island, Ga., March 25, 1818; interment at Dungeness, Ga.; reinterment in the crypt, Lee Memorial Chapel, Washington-Lee University, at Lexington, Va., May 30, 1913.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

[ Top ]

External Research Collections

The Library of Virginia

Richmond, VA
Papers: ca. 1716-1919, 31 leaves. The papers of Henry Lee consist of transcripts of letters, 1779-1788, to and from George Washington (1732-1799) concerning the movement of British troops during the American Revolution, warrants to soldiers for Paulus Hook, and encouraging Washington to assume the presidency under the new form of government; letters, 1788-1792, to James Madison (1751-1836) regarding Henry Lee's efforts to interest him in the purchase of lands at the great falls on the Potomac River and discussing political issues; abstract of the conveyance of Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County, Virginia, from owner to owner from 1716 to 1919; abstracts of references to Henry Lee in the Spotsylvania County, Virginia Order Book from 1807 to 1811; and transcript of an article from the National Intelligencer detailing the riot in Baltimore, Maryland, in July 1812, which led to life-threatening injuries to Henry Lee.
Papers: 1794-1813, 25 pages. The papers of Henry Lee contain a promissory notes, plats, deeds, notes by Henry Lee, notices, and letters.
Papers: In the Tucker-Ewell papers, 1770-1893, 183 leaves. Subjects include Henry Lee.
Papers: In the Jamestown Exhibit papers, General Orders, 1794, 4 leaves. Contains the general orders of Henry Lee from his headquarters in Bedford, Pennsylvania, during the Whiskey Insurrection of 1794. The general orders include a transcript of President George Washington's letter to Lee as Commander in Chief of the Militia on its march against the insurgents in western Pennsylvania. The orders relate to the marching order, soldier's conduct, ammunition, provisions, and the appointments of Majors Alexander & Thomas as deputy adjutants general, Dr. Wellford as surgeon general, and Majors Heard, Morgan, & Chetwood as aides-de-camp.
Papers: In the Zachariah Johnston correspondence, 1781-1797, 8 leaves. Correspondents include Henry Lee.
Microfilm: In the Charles Carter Lee collection, ca. 1768-1931, 12 microfilm reels. Subjects include Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee. A finding aid is available in the library.
Papers: In the Lee Family miscellany, 1793-1862, 7 leaves. Persons represented include Henry Lee.
Papers: In the Virginia General Assembly, House of Delegates, Speaker, Executive Communications, 1790-1794, approximately 200 pages. Correspondents include Henry Lee.
Papers: In the Virginia Governor (1805-1808: Cabell) Executive Papers, ca. 1805-1808, 5 cubic feet. Subjects include Henry Lee. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.
Papers: In the Washington and Lee University McCormick Library Manuscript Collection, 1776-1869, 94 leaves. Subjects include Henry Lee.

The Huntington Library

San Marino, CA
Papers: In the Lee Family correspondence, ca. 1722-1892, approximately 100 pieces. Other authors include Henry Lee. An unpublished finding aid is available in the library.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: In the Mrs. Archibald Crossley autograph collection, 1767-1861, 19 items. Persons represented include Henry Lee.
Papers: In the Custis-Lee Family papers, 1700-1928, 1.8 linear feet. Persons represented include Henry Lee. A finding aid is available in the library.
Papers: In the Marian S. Carson collection of manuscripts, 1656-1995, 26.4 linear feet. Individuals represented include Henry Lee. A finding aid is available in the library.
Papers: In the Peter Force collection, 1794, 1 volume. An orderly book of Josiah Harmar, 1794. Includes copy of a letter (1794 Oct. 2O) from George Washington to Henry Lee.
Papers: In the John Glassford and Company records, ca. 1743-1886, 62 linear feet. Individuals represented include Henry Lee. A finding aid is available in the library.
Papers: In the Alexander Hamilton papers, ca. 1708-1903, 22.4 linear feet. Correspondents include Henry Lee. A finding aid is available in the library.
Papers: In the Harry Innes papers, ca. 1754-1900, 4.4 linear feet. Correspondents include Henry Lee. A finding aid is available in the library.
Papers: In the Andrew Jackson papers, ca. 1775-1860, 26,000 items. Correspondents include Henry Lee. The collection is also available on microfilm. A finding aid is available in the library and online.
Papers: In the James Madison papers, 1723-1836, 12,000 items. Correspondents include Henry Lee. The collection is also available on microfilm. A finding aid is available in the library.
Papers: In the Miscellaneous Manuscripts collection, 1821, 1 item. A photocopy of a fragment of a letter from S.A. Storrow to Ann Hill Carter Lee, the first cousin of Storrow's mother-in-law, Maria Byrd (Farley) Carter, regarding her marriage to Virginia governor Henry Lee. The letter was written on September 6, 1821.
Papers: In the John Sullivan papers, 1775-1781, 99 items. Correspondents include Henry Lee. A finding aid is available in the library.
Papers: In the Richard Wallach Family papers, 1800-1868, 40 items. Correspondents include Henry Lee. A finding aid is available in the library.

The New Jersey Historical Society

Newark, NJ
Papers: 1794, 0.07 linear foot. The collection contains orders issued October 3 - November 18, 1794 by Governor Henry Lee of Virginia while commanding the army dispatched by George Washington to quell the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: In the William Alexander papers, ca. 1767-1782, 1 linear foot. Subjects include Henry Lee.
Papers: In the Allan McLane papers, 1775-1821, approximately 325 items. Correspondents include Henry Lee. The collection is also available on microfilm.

University of Virginia Library
The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Charlottesville, VA
Papers: 1784, 1 item. A letter from Henry Lee to William McGuire written on December 5, 1784. In the letter, Henry Lee writes concerning a U.S. arsenal proposed for Winchester.
Papers: 1793, 1 item. A letter from Henry Lee to an unknown correspondent written on January 6, 1793. In the letter, Henry Lee mentions his financial arrangements with a "Mr. Chevallie" and a compliment paid him by General Daniel Morgan [manuscript].
Papers: 1794, 1 item. A letter from Alexander Hamilton to Governor Henry Lee of Virginia written on August 27, 1794. In the letter, Alexander Hamilton writes concerning fortifications at Norfolk, Va. and a troop of cavalry required from Virginia.
Papers: 1797, 1 item. A letter from Patrick Henry to Henry Lee written on July 9, 1797. In the letter, Patrick Henry writes concerning the case of W. T. Thompson of Hanover.
Papers: 1802, 1 item. A letter from Henry Lee to Nichlon & Griffith, Philadelphia, Pa. merchants written on February 19, 1802, discussing land sites in Alexandria, Va., and a business transaction with a Mr. Spottswood [manuscript].
Papers: 1802, 1 item. A letter from Henry Lee to Nichlon & Griffith written on March 15, 1802. In the letter, Henry Lee writes to the Philadelphia firm regarding a business deal involving his property on the Rappahannock.
Papers: 1808 and 1862, 2 items. The items include a letter from Henry Lee to Robert Goodloe Harper Lee written on October 22, 1808. In the letter, Henry Lee writes regarding a mortgage and John Temple. The items also include an engraving of Henry Lee Alonzo Chappel in 1862.
Papers: 1809, 1 item. A letter from James Monroe to Henry Lee written on July 11, 1809. In the letter, James Monroe writes concerning some small debts, property in Richmond, Va., and an estate.
Papers: In the Carter and Wellford Family of Sabine Hall papers, ca. 1650-1936, 1075 items. Correspondents include Henry Lee. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.
Papers: In the Cocke Family papers, 1776-1963, 19,200 items. Other authors include Henry Lee.
Papers: In the Gwathmey collection, 1708-1852, 170 items. Other authors include Henry Lee.
Papers: In the John Heise autograph collection [manuscript], 1795-1848, 3 items. The papers include a letter from Henry Lee to an unidentified recipient written on December 27, 1795.
Papers: In the Clement Dixon Johnston papers, 1683-1943, approximately 150 items. The papers contain a letter from Alexander Hamilton to Henry Lee written in 1793, regarding money owed by Virginia to the United States government. Another letter from Henry Lee to John Nicholson written around 1798 is regarding financial matters.
Papers: In the Charles Carter Lee and the Lee Family papers, 1768-1931, 1917 items. The papers for Henry "Light-Horse-Harry" Lee's papers consist mainly of correspondence pertinent to his "Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the United States." Other topics include anti-Federalism, travel to the West Indies and advice to a son. Correspondents include William Goddard, Christopher R. Greene, Nathanael Greene (copies), Andrew Jackson (copy), Lafayette (copy), Ann Hill Carter Lee, James Madison (copies), Nathaniel Pendleton, and George Washington (copy). A finding aid is available in the repository and online.
Papers: In the Edmund Jennings Lee papers, 1786-1821, 27 items. Subjects include Henry Lee. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.
Papers: In the Richard Henry Lee papers, 1763-1810, approximately 50 items. Papers of Henry Lee include letters of John Potts to Lee regarding William Augustine Washington's claim against Maryland, the case of Russell vs. Henry Lee, and a plea for help to Bushrod Washington following his imprisonment for debts. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.
Papers: In the Lee Family papers, 1750-1809, 800 items. Other authors include Henry Lee.
Papers: Lee Family papers additions, 1749-1828, 250 items. Correspondents include Henry Lee. Photocopies of originals in the American Philosophical Society, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Virginia Historical Society, the Minnesota Historical Society, and the Yale University Library.
Papers: In the Leesburg Family Papers, ca. 1650-1961, 10,000 items. Correspondents include Henry Lee.
Papers: In the Tracy W. McGregor Library autograph collection, 1794, 1 item. A letter from Patrick Henry to Henry Lee written on February 2, 1794. In the letter, Patrick Henry discusses Colonel George Hairston and his uncanny ability to collect revenue for the public treasury through taxes.
Papers: In the Alexander H. H. Stuart and the Related Stuart and Baldwin Families papers, ca. 1776-1878, approximately 800 items. Subjects include Henry Lee. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.
Papers: In the William Vernon papers, 1772-1797, 5 items. Subjects include Henry Lee.
Papers: In the Virginia Miscellany papers, 1816-1849, 7 items. Subjects include Henry Lee.
Papers: In the Virginiana Papers, 1739-1937, 34 items. The papers contain a letter from Henry Lee to William A. Washington written in 1797 giving legal advice.
Papers: In the Walker Family papers, ca. 1753-1873, 1200 items. Other authors include Henry Lee. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.
Papers: In the William Augustine Washington Papers from Rock Hill, near Georgetown [manuscript], 1804-1810, 10 items. Correspondents include Henry Lee.
Papers: In the Washington and Lewis Families papers, 1774-1843, approximately 450 items. Subjects include Henry Lee. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.
Papers: In the Washington Family papers, 1770-1883, 49 items. The papers contain a letter from Henry Lee written on June 26, 1803, regarding business matters.
[ Top ]

Bibliography / Further Reading

Boyd, Thomas. Light-horse Harry Lee. New York and London: C. Scribner's Sons, 1931.

Coffin, Charles, comp. History of the Battle of Breed's Hill, by Major-Generals William Heath, Henry Lee, James Wilkinson and Henry Dearborn. Portland: D. C. Colesworthy, printer, 1835.

Crowl, Philip A. "Henry Lee: 'Light-Horse Harry.'" In Lives of Eighteen from Princeton, edited by Willard Thorp, pp. 111-36. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1946.

Gerson, Noel Bertram. Light-Horse Harry; A Biography of Washington's Great Cavalryman, General Henry Lee. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1966.

Hartmann, John W. The American Partisan: Henry Lee and the Struggle for Independence, 1776-1780. Shippensburg, Pa.: Burd Street Press, 2000.

Hayes, John T. (John Thomas). Massacre: Tarleton vs Buford May 29, 1780, Lee vs Pyle February 23, 1781. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Saddlebag Press, 1997.

Lee, Henry. Champe's adventure. New-York: Office of the Rebellion record, 1864.

------. A cursory sketch of the motives and proceedings of the party which sways the affairs of the Union. Philadelphia: N.p., 1809.

------. A funeral oration, on the death of General Washington: Delivered in the German Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, at the request of Congress, on the twenty-sixth of December, 1799. Philadelphia: Printed by John Ormrod, 1800.

------. Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the United States. 1812. Reprint, New York: B. Franklin, [1970].

------. Mr. Henry Lee's motion: 10th March, 1800: Ordered to lie on the table. [Philadelphia: N.p., 1800.]

------. The Revolutionary War Memoirs of General Henry Lee. Edited, with a biography of the author, by Robert E. Lee. A new introduction by Charles Royster. Reprint of Memoirs of the war in the Southern Department of the United States. New York: Da Capo Press, 1998.

Royster, Charles. Light-Horse Harry Lee and the Legacy of the American Revolution. 1981. Reprint, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1994.

[ Top ]