Richard Henry Lee
Signer of the Declaration of Independence
Who was Richard Henry Lee?
Richard Henry Lee was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, the first legislative body of elected officials in North America. Richard, along with his brother Francis Lightfoot Lee, were signatories of both the Articles of Confederation and the Declaration of Independence as representatives of Virginia. The Articles of Confederation was an agreement among the 13 American colonies that served as the first U.S. constitution until it was replaced by the current U.S. Constitution.
Richard Henry Lee was a member of the famous Lee family which is among those families referred to as the First Families of Virginia. Famous members of this family include Henry Lee III, 9th Governor of Virginia, and Henry’s son Confederate General Robert E. Lee. He has a number of fellow signers of the Declaration of Independence in his family tree including his brother Francis Lightfoot Lee, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, Benjamin Harrison V, Thomas Nelson, Caesar Rodney, Robert Treat Paine, Roger Sherman, William Floyd, William Ellery, William Whipple, Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, and Philip Livingston.
Richard Henry Lee’s ancestry can be traced back through direct descents from William the Conqueror, King Edward I, and a number of Magna Charta Sureties. Connections to the current royal family include Queen Elizabeth II, the late Princess Diana, and Catherine Middleton. His U.S. Presidential kin include, but is not limited to, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Benjamin Harrison, Rutherford B. Hayes, Grover Cleveland, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Barack Obama, and both Presidents Bush.
Celebrity kin of Richard Henry Lee include actor Edward Norton, singer and songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter, actor Brad Pitt, actress Katharine Hepburn, radio and TV host Dick Clark, actor Matt Damon, TV science guy Bill Nye, and actor Benedict Cumberbatch. Some of his historically significant kin include author and activist Helen Keller, polar explorer Admiral Richard Byrd, WWII General George S. Patton, boxing champion Muhammad Ali, explorer Meriwether Lewis, poet Robert Frost, artist Norman Rockwell and astronaut Alan Shepard.
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