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Richard Henry Lee

Richard Henry Lee
Artist
Charles Willson Peale, 15 Apr 1741 - 22 Feb 1827
Sitter
Richard Henry Lee, 20 Jan 1732 - 19 Jun 1794
Date
c. 1795-1805
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 75.6 x 63.8 x 3.2cm (29 3/4 x 25 1/8 x 1 1/4")
Frame: 88.3 x 75.6 x 5.4cm (34 3/4 x 29 3/4 x 2 1/8")
Topic
Interior
Richard Henry Lee: Male
Richard Henry Lee: Politics and Government\State Legislator\Virginia
Richard Henry Lee: Politics and Government\Congressman\Continental congressman
Richard Henry Lee: Politics and Government\Statesman\Colonial Statesman\Signer of Declaration
Richard Henry Lee: Natural Resource Occupations\Agriculturist\Planter
Richard Henry Lee: Politics and Government\US Senator\Virginia
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Duncan Lee and his son, Gavin Dunbar Lee
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.74.5
Exhibition Label
Born Stratford, Westmoreland County, Virginia
On June 7, 1776, it fell to Richard Henry Lee, delegate from Virginia at the Second Continental Congress, to offer the resolution that “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States,” thereby initiating the Declaration of Independence. An aristocrat with an innate sense of his natural rights, Lee had long fought England’s attempts to undermine colonial liberties. He began his political career in the Virginia House of Burgesses, with a 1759 argument for an end to the slave trade because Black people were “equally entitled to liberty and freedom by the great law of nature.”
When Lee’s resolution was adopted by the Continental Congress in early July 1776, he was in Virginia, helping to form a new state government. Lee later returned to Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Nacido en Stratford, Westmoreland County, Virginia
El 7 de junio de 1776 le correspondió a Richard Henry Lee, delegado de Virginia en el Segundo Congreso Continental, presentar la resolución de que “estas Colonias Unidas son, y por derecho deben ser, Estados libres e independientes”, iniciando así la Declaración de Independencia.Aristócrata con un sentido innato de sus derechos naturales, Lee llevaba tiempo combatiendo los intentos ingleses de socavar las libertades coloniales. Comenzó su carrera política en la Cámara de Burgueses de Virginia, donde argumentó en 1759 que el tráfico de esclavos debía acabar porque las personas negras tenían “igual derecho a la libertad según la gran ley de la naturaleza”.
Cuando el Congreso Continental adoptó la resolución de Lee a principios de julio de 1776, él estaba en Virginia formando un nuevo gobierno estatal. Luego regresó a Filadelfia para firmar a Declaración de Independencia.
Provenance
Duncan Lee, Toronto, and his son Gavin Dunbar Lee, descendants of sitter; gift 1974 to NPG
Contemporary replica of Peale’s museum version made for family.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
2022 Rehang of Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900
On View
NPG, East Gallery 142