Francis Lightfoot Lee: Wikis


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Francis Lightfoot Lee

Virginia Senator
Signer of Declaration of Independence

Virginia Senate
In office
1778 – 1782

Delegate to Continental Congress
In office
1774 – 1779

Born October 14, 1734(1734-10-14)
Stratford Hall Plantation, Westmoreland County, Virginia
Died January 11, 1797 (aged 62)
Richmond County, Virginia
Spouse(s) Rebecca Plater Tayloe

Francis Lightfoot Lee (October 14, 1734 – January 11, 1797) was a member of the House of Burgesses in the Colony of Virginia. He was active in protesting issues such as the Stamp Act which moved the Colony in the direction of seeking Independence from British control.

He was among those who proposed and attended the Virginia Conventions and the First Continental Congress held in Philadelphia. He was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Virginia.

Born into one of the First Families of Virginia, he was the son of Hon. Thomas Lee (1690-1750) and Hannah Harrison Ludwell (1701-1750). His brothers, William Lee (1739-1795), Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794), and Dr. Arthur Lee (1740-1792) were also American Patriots. His older brother Thomas Ludwell Lee Sr. (1730-1778), did not hold elected political office, but was appointed to a committee with Thomas Jefferson to re-write Virginia laws.

He was born and died in the Northern Neck region of Virginia, an area between the Rappahannock River and the Chesapeake Bay.


Childhood, education

Of English descent and among the First Families of Virginia, Francis Lightfoot Lee was born October 14, 1734 at Stratford Hall Plantation, located in Westmoreland County in the Northern Neck region of the British Colony of Virginia. [1]. He was educated at home, where he pursued classical studies under private teachers.

Early career

In 1765 he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses, where he served until 1775. He was a radical patriot, siding with Patrick Henry in opposing the Stamp Act.

American Revolution

In 1774, Lee called for a general congress and the first of the Virginia Conventions, which he attended. He served in the Virginia State Senate from 1778-1782 and was a delegate to the first Continental Congress, serving until 1779.


In 1772, Francis married his first cousin, Rebecca Plater Tayloe (1751-1797). Rebecca was the child of Col. John Tayloe II (1721-1779) and Rebecca Plater (1731-1787).


Francis died at his home, “Menokin,” in Richmond County, Virginia, January 11, 1797. He was interred in his wife’s family (Tayloe) burial ground, at Mount Airy Plantation, near Warsaw, Virginia.


Lee Family Coat of Arms

Francis was the son of Col. Thomas Lee, Hon. (1690-1750) of Stratford Hall Plantation, Westmoreland County, Virginia. Thomas married Hannah Harrison Ludwell (1701-1750). Hannah was the daughter of Col. Philip Ludwell II (1672-1726) of Greenspring Plantation, and Hannah Harrison (1679-1731).

Thomas was the son of Col. Richard Lee II, Esq., “the scholar” (1647-1715) and Laetitia Corbin (ca. 1657-1706). Laetitia was the daughter of Richard’s neighbor and, Councilor, Hon. Henry Corbin, Sr. (1629-1676) and Alice (Eltonhead) Burnham (ca. 1627-1684). Richard II, was the son of Col. Richard Lee I, Esq., "the immigrant" (1618-1664) and Anne Constable (ca. 1621-1666). Anne was the daughter of Thomas Constable and a ward of Sir John Thoroughgood.


The Menokin Bluegrass Festival is an annual event run by Deaf Dog productions and The Menokin Foundation to raise awareness and money for The Menokin Foundation which seeks to preserve and interpret the ruins of Menokin--once home to Francis Lightfoot Lee, a signer of the declaration of Independence, and his bride, Rebecca Taylor Lee.

The festival is held on the grounds of Menokin every spring attracting thousands of festival-goers. Past performers have been Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, Seldom Scene, Old School Freight Train and Jackass Flats. [2]


  • Dill, Alonzo Thomas. Francis Lightfoot Lee, The Incomparable Signer. Edited by Edward M. Riley. Williamsburg: Virginia Independence Bicentennial Commission, 1977.


External links




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