Henry Lee III

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Henry Lee III

Henry Lee III (January 29, 1756March 25, 1818), also known as Light-Horse Harry Lee, was an early American Patriot who served as the ninth Governor of Virginia and as the Virginia Representative to the United States Congress. During the American Revolution, Lee served as a cavalry officer in the Continental Army. Henry Lee was the father of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

Quotes[edit]

  • To the memory of the Man, first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.
    • Memoirs of Lee, "Eulogy on Washington", Dec. 26, 1799, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). First presented in a slightly modified form as: "To the memory of the Man, first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his fellow-citizens", Resolutions presented to the United States' House of Representatives, on the Death of Washington, December, 1799. The eulogy was delivered a week later. Marshall, in his Life of Washington, volume v. page 767, says in a note that these resolutions were prepared by Colonel Henry Lee, who was then not in his place to read them. General Robert E. Lee, in the Life of his father (1869), prefixed to the Report of his father's Memoirs of the War of the Revolution, gives (p. 5) the expression "fellow-citizens"; but on p. 52 he says: "But there is a line, a single line, in the Works of Lee which would hand him over to immortality, though he had never written another: 'First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen' will last while language lasts".
  • The rank of men, as established by the concurrent judgement of ages stands thus: heroes, legislators, orators, and poets. The most useful and, in my opinion, the most honourable is the legislator, which so far from being incompatible with the profession of law, is congenial to it. Generally, mankind admire most the hero; of all, the most useless, except when the safety of the nation demands his saving arm.
    • Letter to his son, Charles Carter Lee, as quoted in R.E.Lee: A Biography (1934) by Douglas Southall Freeman, Vol. I, p.32.
  • Fame in arms or art, however conspicuous, is naught, unless bottomed in virtue.
    • Letter to his son, Charles Carter Lee, as quoted in R.E.Lee: A Biography (1934) by Douglas Southall Freeman, Vol. I, p.32.
  • I would rather see you unlettered and unnoticed, if virtuous in practice as well as in theory, than see you the equal in glory to the great Washington.
    • Letter to his son, Charles Carter Lee, as quoted in R.E.Lee: A Biography (1934) by Douglas Southall Freeman, Vol. I, p.32.

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