Manuscript Group 938, Henry Lee (1758-1818), Major General General Orders, 1794

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Manuscript Group 938, Henry Lee (1758-1818), Major General

General Orders, 1794, 0.07 linear feet / 1 folder

Call Number: MG 938



Orders issued October 3 – November 18, 1794 by Governor Henry Lee of Virginia while commanding the army dispatched by George Washington to quell the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania.

Gift of Mrs. R. S. Swords.

Biographical Note:

Henry Lee was born in 1758 in Dumfries, Virginia.  He graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1773 and later became a captain in a Virginia cavalry regiment.  In April of 1777, Lee joined the Continental Army and in January of 1778 was promoted to major and given command of a joint force composed of infantry and cavalry named “Lee’s Legion.”  Toward the end of 1780, Lee was sent south to help General Nathanael Greene (1742-1786) and was present at Lord Charles Cornwallis’ (1738-1805) surrender at Yorktown on October 19, 1781.  In 1782, Lee married his cousin, Matilda Lee (d. 1790) and together they had Nathaniel Greene (d. infancy), Philip Ludwell (d. childhood), Lucy Grymes (1786-1860), and Henry (1787-1837).

Lee became involved in politics after the Revolutionary War and from 1786 to 1788 was a delegate to Congress.  From 1789 until 1791 he served in the Virginia Legislature and from 1791-1794 served as Virginia’s Governor.

In 1793, after his wife’s death, Lee married Anne Hill Carter (1773-1829) and together they had six children: Algernon Sidney (1795-1796), Charles Carter (1798-1871), Anne Kinloch (1800-1864), Sydney Smith (1802-1869), Robert Edward (1807-1870), and Catherine Mildred (1811-1856).

In 1794, Henry Lee was appointed major general of the forces sent to quell the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania.  At the beginning of the War of 1812, Lee was offered the rank of major general but his ill health prevented him from active duty.  He died on Cumberland Island, Georgia at the plantation of his former commander, Nathanael Greene, on March 25, 1818.


Edmund Jennings Lee. Lee of Virginia: 1642-1892 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Edmund Jennings Lee, 1895).

Encyclopedia Americana: Vol. 17 (New York, New York: Americana Corporation, 1972).

Provenance Note:

Mrs. R. S. Swords donated this collection, date unknown.

Scope and Content Note:

This collection consists of the general orders given by Henry Lee, during his time in command of the Virginia militia on the mission to put down the Whiskey Rebellion from October 12 to December 19, 1794.  The orders were copied by Thomas Nelson, measure 0.08 linear feet and are organized chronologically.  They include marching instructions, officers’ rates of pay, and mention of Lee’s contempt for soldiers’ gambling.

Related Collections:

See more collections dealing with the Whiskey Rebellion.

Processed by James Lewis, June 2001 as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records

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