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Henry Lee


Known as "Light Horse Harry Lee." Born at Leesylvania, Prince William County, Virginia. Graduate of Princeton. Married Matilda Lee, a cousin, in 1782. Two children survived. Married Anne Hill Carter June 18, 1793. Their 5th child was Robert E. Lee.

In 1776 he was commissioned captain in the Virginia cavalry. On August 19, 1779, he captured Paulus Hook, now Jersey City, New Jersey. He resigned his commission in 1782. Elected to Congress from Virginia in 1786.

Served as Governor of Virginia 1792 to 1795. Elected to United States House of Representatives March 4, 1799, to March 3, 1801. In December 1799 he gave a eulogy to George Washington, "To the memory of the man, first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countryman." He died on Cumberland Island, Georgia.

Congress honored Lee with a gold medal (Betts 575) by resolution September 24, 1779, for his victory in the battle of Paulus Hook. The 46 mm mint medal was part of the Comitia Americana series. Copies (Julian MI-5) are known but the originals have not been traced. A 45 mm bronze copy (USM 409) has also been produced. A 38 mm pewter Lee medal was included with "America's First Medals" produced about 1976.

bio: ApCAB; BDC; DAB; Drake; Failor; Loubat; NCAB 3; TCBDA; WAB; WWWA-H

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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