Arthur Lee 


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Lee, ARTHUR, diplomatist; born in Stratford, Westmoreland Co. Virginia, December 20, 1740. Educated in Europe, and taking the degree of M.D. at Edinburgh in 1765, he began practice in Williamsburg, Virginia. He afterwards studied law in England, and wrote political essays that gained him the acquaintance of Dr. Johnson, Burke, and other eminent men. He was admitted to the bar in 1770, and appointed the alternative of Dr. Franklin as agent of the Massachusetts Assembly, in case of the disability or absence of the latter. For his services to that State he received 4,000 acres of land in 1784. In 1775 Dr. Lee was appointed London correspondent of Congress, and in 1776 he was one of the commissioners of Congress sent to France to negotiate for supplies and a treaty; but the ambition of Lee produced discord, and his misrepresentations caused one of the commissioners SILAS DEANE to be recalled. Lee was subsequently a member of Congress, of the Virginia Assembly, a commissioner to treat with the Northern Indians, and a member of the treasury board from 1785 to 1789, when he retired from public life. He was patriotic, but of a jealous and melancholy temperament. He died in Urbana, Middlesex Co., Virginia, December 12, 1792.



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