Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Forgotten Patriot

One of the forgotten families of Jamestown is that of William Ludwell Lee who owned Greenfield plantation in the heart of the village.  The site has been excavated but do not look for it on the tourist site of the replica village.  First owned by the royal governor, Sir Berkeley, Lee eventually inherited Greenfield from the Ludwell family and it was still in his possession at the time of his death, ca 1804 in Alexander City, Virginia where his last will and testament was filed of record and is now viewable on Virginia Pioneers.  The Lees were in Virginia during the early part of the 17th century and this is the famous family from whom Stonewall Lee and General Robert E. Lee descend.   William was the son of William Lee who was born at Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County, Virginia. William Sr. was married to Hannah Philippa Ludwell in 1769 and for a time was the Sheriff of London. He also served as an agent of the Continental Congress during the American Revolution. In 1790, he accepted the post of James City County sheriff and was buried in Jamestown in 1795. William Ludwell Lee was never married, but, according to his will, as a personal friend of James Madison and as he apparently resided in Alexander City (district of Columbia) must have taken a post in American affairs. Lot of historical information is in his will and is certainly worth reading for the history lesson, if nothing else.
 

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