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The Religious Affiliation of
Richard Henry Lee
a Signer of the American Declaration of Independence
and a Senator in the First U.S. Federal Congress (1789-1791)


Richard Henry Lee is regarded as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was a delegate from Virginia. Richard Henry Lee was also a Senator in the First U.S. Federal Congress (1789-1791).

Richard Henry Lee was an Anglican and a devout Christian.

From: B. J. Lossing, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, George F. Cooledge & Brother: New York (1848) [reprinted in Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, WallBuilder Press: Aledo, Texas (1995)], page 173:

His [Richard Henry Lee's] last days were crowned with all the honor and reverence which a grateful people could bestow upon a benefactor, and when death cut his thread of life, a nation truly mourned. He sunk to his final rest on the nineteenth day of June, 1974, in the sixty-fourth year of his age.

Mr. Lee was a sincere practical Christian, a kind and affectionate husband and parent, a generous neighbor, a constant friend, and in all the relations of life, he maintained a character above reproach. "His hospitable door," says Sanderson, "was open to all; the poor and the destitute frequented it for relief, and consolation; the young for instruction; the old for happiness; while a numerous family of children, the offspring of two marriages, clustered around and clung to each other in fond affection, imbibing and delighted by the amiable serenity and captivating graces of his conversation. He necessities of his country occasioned frequent absence; but every return to his home was celebrated by the people as a festival; for he was their physician, their counsellor, and the arbiter of their differences. The medicines which he impoprted wwere carefully and judiciously dispensed; and the equity of his decision was never controverted by a court of law."

From: Robert G. Ferris (editor), Signers of the Declaration: Historic Places Commemorating the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, published by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service: Washington, D.C. (revised edition 1975), page 92-94:
Richard Henry Lee, brilliant orator and fiery Revolutionary leader, introduced the independence resolution in the Continental Congress, served for awhile as its President, and later became a U.S. Senator. Fearing undue centralization of power, he fought against the Constitution and led the campaign that brought inclusion of the Bill of Rights. Throughout his life, he strenuously opposed the institution of slavery. He and Francis Lightfoot Lee were the only brothers among the signers...

In 1789 Lee entered the U.S. Senate, but because of failing health resigned in 1792, the year after the Bill of Rights was incorporated into the Constitution. He died in 1794, aged 62, at Chantilly. His grave is in the Lee family cemetery near Hague, Virginia.

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Portrait: from Robert G. Ferris (editor), Signers of the Declaration: Historic Places Commemorating the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, published by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service: Washington, D.C. (revised edition 1975).

Webpage created 13 November 2005. Last modified 23 November 2005.

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