Francis Lightfoot Lee

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Founding Fathers
Francis Lightfoot Lee
State Virginia
Religion Christian- Episcopalian [1]
Founding Documents Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation

Francis Lightfoot Lee is a Founding Father of America. Lee was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. Along with his brother Richard Henry Lee, he would be a Virginian delegate to the Continental Congress that signed the Declaration of Independence. Lee would be a state Senator for Virginia. Often noted for his intelligence, he was characterized for his integrity, sound judgment and his love of his country.

Early life

Francis was born in Loudoun County, Westmoreland, Virginia, the fourth son of Thomas Lee and Hannah Harrison Ludwell. While his brothers received the highest education in England, Francis was professionally educated at home by Doctor Craig. At the age of thirty-five, Francis married Rebecca Tayloe and they moved to a plantation in Richmond County, Virginia.[2] They did not have any children.


In 1765, he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and served there until 1775. He bitterly protested the Stamp Act by Britain.[3] At the age of forty-one, Lee served in the Continental Congress. He would comment before voting for the Declaration,

Let us, my dear friend, do the best we can for the good of our country, and leave the event to fate.

Lee left Congress in 1779 hoping for a long retirement and farming. He was reluctantly elected to the Virginia legislature where he fulfilled his obligations.


Lee had suffered from pleurisy and at the age of sixty-three he died from it. His wife also became infected and she died within a few days of her husband.[4] They are both buried at Mount Airy Plantation. His brother Richard named Francis Lightfoot Lee II in his honor.

His homestead, Menokin, lays partly in ruins and is currently a National Historic Landmark.