The American Revolution in North Carolina

Lt. Col. Henry Lee


Biography from Benson J. Lossing in his Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution [with minor edits]:

Henry Lee was born at the family seat, in Stratford, on January 29, 1756. He was educated at Princeton College, where he graduated in 1773. Fond of active life, and imbued with a military spirit, he sought and obtained the command of a company in Colonel Bland's regiment of Virginia volunteers in 1776.

He joined the Continental Army in September of 1777, where he soon attracted the favorable notice of Washington. He was promoted to the rank of major in command of a separate corps of cavalry. On November 6, 1780, Congress promoted him to Lieutenant Colonel, and ordered him to join the Southern army under General Greene, where his career was marked by great skill and bravery.

In 1786, he was appointed a delegate to Congress, which position he held until the adoption of the Constitution. In 1781, he succeeded Beverly Randolph as governor of Virginia and remained in office three years. He commanded the forces, by appointment of Washington, which were sent to quell the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania. He was a member of Congress in 1799 and was chosen to pronounce a funeral oration at Washington on the occasion of the death of the first president.

He wrote the Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the United States in 1808. He was active in quelling a mob in Baltimore in 1814, and from wounds received at that time he never fully recovered. Toward the close of 1817, he repaired to the West Indies for the benefit of his health, but without success. Returning, he stopped at Cumberland Island, near St. Mary's in Georgia, to visit Mrs. Shaw, the daughter of General Greene, where he died on March 25, 1818, at the age of sixty-two years.



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