We mustn’t let January go by without honoring the anniversary of the birth of Robert E. Lee, the most prestigious member of the Lee family of Virginia. Space will not allow referencing all the distinguished members of the Lee family, but Richard Henry Lee must be cited for drafting the Lee Resolution that became the basis for the Declaration of Independence. Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee were the only brothers to sign the Declaration of Independence.

Mention must also be made of Henry Lee III. During the Revolutionary War, his masterful horsemanship and courageous raids earned him the nickname “Light-Horse Harry.”

As a member of the House of Representatives, Henry was selected to write the eulogy for the funeral of our first president, George Washington. The famous eulogy contains these oft quoted lines, “...first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen...”

On Jan. 19,1807, Henry’s wife Anne gave birth to Robert Edward Lee, who would become one of the most celebrated Americans and remains so today.

Gail Jarvis

St. Simons Island

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