A Guide to the Charles Lee Papers, 1759-1782 Lee, Charles, Papers, 1759-1782 24716

A Guide to the Charles Lee Papers, 1759-1782

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Accession Number 24716


Library of Virginia

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© 2003 By the Library of Virginia.

Processed by: Trenton Hizer

Library of Virginia
Accession number
Papers, 1759-1782
Physical Characteristics
3 leaves and 44 pages
Charles Lee
Physical Location
Personal Papers Collection, Acc. 24716

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Charles Lee. Papers, 1759-1782. Accession 24716. Personal papers collection. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

Purchased 22 October 1957.

Biographical Information

Charles Lee was born in 1731 in Dernhall, Cheshire, England, to John Lee and Isabella Bunbury Lee. He attended school at Bury St. Edmunds and in Switzerland. In 1747, he was an ensign in the British army and in 1751, appointed a lieutenant in the 44th Regiment. He served in the British army during the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War), seeing action during Braddock's expedition in 1755, and being wounded at Ticonderoga in 1758. He returned from his wounds to participate in the capture of Fort Niagra. In August 1761, Lee was appointed major in the 103rd Regiment and served in a British expedition to Portugal, where he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. After the war ended, the 103rd was disbanded and Lee was put on half-pay. He served in the Polish army in 1765-1766 and fought with the Russian army in 1769-1770. Lee emigrated to America in 1773 and settled in Berkeley County, (West) Virginia. When the American Revolution began, Lee was appointed a major general. After serving with the army and under George Washington in New England and New York, Lee was dispatched by Congress to command southern forces in the defense of Charles Town, South Carolina, in the Spring of 1776. After Charles Town was successfully defended from the British, Lee returned to the northern army. Lee was captured by the British in December 1776. During his imprisonment, Lee may have given "aid and comfort" to the British. Exchanged in 1778, Lee rejoined the Continental army. His subsequent actions at the battle of Monmouth led to a court of inquiry and suspension from the army for twelve months. Lee was dismissed from army by Congress in 1780. He retired to his estate in Berkeley County. Lee died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2 October 1782, and was buried in Christ Church.

Scope and Content Information

Letters, 1759-1782, to Charles Lee (1731-1782) of England and Berkeley County, (West) Virginia, discussing the Seven Years' War and campaigning in Canada; St. John's Island (Prince Edward Island) in Canada; conditions in Bermuda; the military situation in Virginia during the American Revolution; politics in the Continental Congress and in the Continental Army; Lee's horses; and business and personal matters. Of particular interest are: a letter, 28 November 1759, from Sir William Bunbury concerning the British campaign in Canada; a land grant, 3 December 1766, for 20,000 acres in East Florida from the British government to Lee; a letter, 10 November 1772, from Walter Patterson (1742-1798), governor of St. John's Island; a letter, 1 July 1774, from Thomas Gamble concerning the British Army and Boston, Massachusetts; a letter, 6 May 1776, from James Hendricks concerning movements of British ships near Hampton, Virginia; a letter, 13 August 1776, from General Andrew Lewis (1720-1781) detailing the military situation in Virginia; a letter, 24 August 1779, from John S. Eustace (d. 1805) concerning army politics; a letter, 16 March 1780, from Thomas Mifflin (1744-1800) concerning politics in Congress; and notes by Lee on politics and speculation. Other correspondents include Thomas Baldwin, Charles Carroll (1737-1832), Sidney Lee (Lee's sister), Edmund Pendleton (1721-1803), Matthew Powell, John Hill Stevenson, C. M. Thurston, and Thomas Totty.


Items arranged chronologically.

Contents List

Letter, 28 November 1759, from Sir William Bunbury, London, [England], to Charles [Lee], n.p.
3 pages
Land grant, 3 December 1766, by Order-in-Council for 20,000 acres in East Florida to Charles Lee.
Physical Location: located in oversize box 7
3 pages
Letter, 10 November 1772, from Walter Patterson, Island St. John [Prince Edward Island], to [Charles Lee], n.p.
6 pages
Letter, 28 January 1773, from John Hill [Stevenson], Manchester, to Colonel [Charles] Lee, London.
1 leaf
Letter, 1 July 1774, from Thomas Gamble, New York, to General [Charles] Lee, Philadelphia.
2 pages
Letter, 10 September 1774, from Thomas Baldwin, Philadelphia, to General [Charles] Lee, at York, or Boston, or Salem.
4 pages
Letter, 2 May 1776, from Edmund Pendleton, Williamsburg, to General [Charles] Lee, n.p.
1 leaf
Letter, 6 May 1776, from James Hendricks, Hampton, to Charles Lee, Williamsburg.
1 leaf
Letter, 13 August 1776, from General Andrew Lewis, Williamsburg, to General [Charles] Lee, n.p.
4 pages
Letter, 1 March 1778, from Dr. Matthew Powell, Jamaica, to General [Charles] Lee, n.p.
2 pages
Letter, 8 April 1779, from Thomas Totty, New York, to General [Charles] Lee, Philadelphia.
2 pages
Letter, 24 August 1779, from Major John S. Eustace, Philadelphia, to [General Charles Lee], n.p.
Physical Location: located in oversize box 7
4 pages
Letter, 14 March 1780, from S[idney] Lee, Bath, [England], to [Charles Lee], n.p.
4 pages
Letter, 16 March 1780, from [Thomas Mifflin], Philadelphia, to General [Charles] Lee, Berkeley County, Virginia. Includes remarks in Charles Lee's hand.
4 pages
Letter, 25 September 1781, from Charles Carroll, n.p., to General Charles Lee, Berkeley County, Virginia.
2 pages
Letter, 30 August 1782, from C. M. Thurston, n.p. to General [Charles] Lee, Berkeley [County, Virginia].
4 pages