Judge Thomas Ludwell Lee

Westmoreland County, Virginia, USA
Death 13 Apr 1778 (aged 47)
Staunton City, Virginia, USA
Burial Stratford Hall, Westmoreland County, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 179691067 · View Source
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Lee was born at Stratford Hall Plantation, Westmoreland County, Virginia to Thomas Lee and his wife Hannah Harrison Ludwell. He was the couple's third son and the second one to survive into adulthood. Much about Lee's early life is unknown, but it is assumed that he studied in England along with his brothers. Thomas resided at Belleview, Stafford County, Virginia, the site of the first annual meeting of the Mississippi Company, at which George Washington (1732–1799) and his brother, John Augustine Washington, attended in September 1763.

He was a member of the House of Burgesses from 1758 to 1765 but refused to enter into US politics. John Adams, quoting George Wythe, once said that Lee was "the delight of the eyes of every Virginian, but would not engage in public life."

On October 14, 1776, he was appointed to a committee headed by Thomas Jefferson and including Wythe, Edmund Pendleton, and George Mason to revise, amend, or repeal any Virginia law, subject to the approval of the Virginia House of Delegates.

At the time of his death, he had just been appointed one of the five judges of the General Court of Virginia.  

Thomas Ludwell Lee - 1730-1778

     Virginia honored one of her favorites, Thomas Ludwell Lee, by naming him to the 11-member Committee of Safety, the interim executive body created to fill the vacuum left by the flight of Lord Dunmore, the last of the Royal Governors. With the establishment of the Commonwealth, Thomas served in the Virginia Senate from 1776 to 1778, where he co-authored the resolution that directed the Virginia delegates to the Second Congress, "...to propose to that respectable body to declare the United Colonies free and independent states." With the adoption of that resolution, Virginia became the first state to officially declare for separation from Britain. News of this reached Richard Henry in Philadelphia as he was preparing to deliver to Congress his famous motion for an independent America. The timing could not have been better; it provided both Richard Henry and Congress the momentum needed to push through the resolution for independence.

     Though he preferred local politics to those at the national level, Thomas' tenacious support of his brothers and the daring ideals they represented kept Virginia at the forefront of political thought and action. As a Virginia legislator Thomas worked to revise state laws, and Virginia served not only as an inspiration to other colonies but became an archetype on which the new American government would be based.

     The career of this much beloved man was cut short soon after his election to Virginia's first supreme court. At the age of 48 he died of rheumatic fever.

SOURCE: Stratford Hall Plantation  online @ http://www.stratfordhall.org/learn/lees/tomludwell.php

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Gravesite Details https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=179691067



  • Created by: Tricia Petitt
  • Added: 25 May 2017
  • Find A Grave Memorial 179691067
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Judge Thomas Ludwell Lee (13 Dec 1730–13 Apr 1778), Find A Grave Memorial no. 179691067, citing Stratfordhall Plantation Cemetery, Stratford Hall, Westmoreland County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Tricia Petitt (contributor 49269781) .