The Lee family impact upon Virginia’s history is undeniable. Richard I, “The Immigrant” had a seemingly boundless energy attached to a shrewd business sense. He used that combination to establish the Lee Dynasty from which foundational descendants sprang. He and his wife Anne (aka Anna) Constable Lee bore 10 children, of whom 9 survived infancy. Those 9 children, perhaps not as boundless as their patriarch, ensured Richard’s legacy within the Commonwealth lived beyond one generation.
Richard purchased vast lands, and left them to his children to build upon. They built enduring monuments to the Lee name such as Statford Hall, created tight bonds with other leading families of the day, and shaped Virginia’s future, while also taking part in America’s founding. But the Lee name didn’t stop there.
When Virginia’s First Family dominance seemed lost a Lee stepped forward in the twilight to give one last performance. In the end, the sun set on the Lee family as well as the First Families of Virginia, which in profound manner also influenced Virginia’s future. No longer a leader, Virginia became simply another contributing member of the United States, and the Lees, ever faithful continued to play their part.
Today debates abound, but what is not debatable is the Lee impact as trailblazers, innovators, country-builders, heroes, and sometime villains. Without them Virginia and the United States’ story, both good and bad, would not be the same, and their story begins with that brilliant family founder in 1639.
Tune in to this episode where we introduce this important family’s founding, while highlighting just a few of the Lee’s who impacted history.
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- Stratford Hall
- Sully Plantation
- Ditchley Cider Works
- Lee Fendall House and Gardens
- Leesylvania State Park
- Arlington House
- Shirley Plantation
- The Society of the Lees of Virginia
- Lee Chapel and Museum
- Lee Family Digital Archives
All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the Lee Family Crest.