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Richard Henry Lee

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Richard Lee redirects here. For the chairman/executive director of PCCW Limited and the son of Li Ka Shing, see Richard Li.
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Richard Henry Lee

Richard Henry Lee (January 20, 1732June 19, 1794) was the sixth President of the United States in Congress assembled under the Articles of Confederation, holding office from November 30, 1784 to November 22, 1785. He was preceded in office by Thomas Mifflin and succeeded by John Hancock.

Lee was born in Stratford, Westmoreland County, Virginia on January 20, 1732. He was sent to England and educated at the academy of Wakefield in Yorkshire. In 1752 he returned to Virginia, where he began to practice law.

In 1757 he was appointed justice of the peace for Westmoreland County. In 1761 he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses, where he remained until 1788. An early advocate of independence, he became one of the first to create Committees of Correspondence among the many independence-minded Americans in the various colonies.

In August, 1774, Lee was chosen as a delegate to the first Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1775 he became a Colonel of militia in Westmoreland County. In Lee's Resolution, Lee put forth the motion to the Continental Congress to create a Declaration of Independence. Due to Lee's absence from the Congress because of his wife's illness, Thomas Jefferson was chosen to write it.

He opposed creation of the United States Constitution as creating too powerful a central government. It was through his urgings that the Tenth Amendment, reserving all unlisted powers to the people, was created. Lee was elected by the state legislature of Virginia to be one of its first two United States Senators, but he was forced to resign in 1792 due to ill health.

He died at his home, Chantilly, in Westmoreland County on June 19, 1794. He is buried in Burnt House Field Cemetery, Mount Pleasant, near Hague, Virginia, Westmoreland, Virginia.

Biographical Facts

Political Offices


Preceded by:
Thomas Mifflin
President of the United States in Congress Assembled
November 30, 1784November 6, 1785
Succeeded by:
John Hancock

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