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Governor Fitzhugh Lee

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Office Dates:  Jan 01, 1886 - Jan 01, 1890

Born:  Nov 19, 1835

Passed:  Apr 28, 1905

Birth State:  Virginia

Party:  Democrat

Family:  Married Ellen Bernard Fowle; five children

School(s):  West Point

National Office(s) Served:  Ambassador

Military Service:  Army

A nephew of Robert E. Lee and grandson of Lighthorse Harry Lee, FITZHUGH LEE was born in Clermont, Fairfax County, Virginia. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1856, then taught calvalry tactics at West Point, but resigned to offer his services to Virginia, where he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 1st Regiment of the Virginia Calvary. He rose in rank to Major General and was given command of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, where he surrendered his troops in April, 1865. Lee was elected governor in 1885. During his administration, greater emphasis was placed on industrialization in the state and he was a strong supporter of Virginia's public school system. After leaving office, he made an unsuccessful bid for nomination by the Democratic Party to the U.S. Senate but was later appointed Consul-General to Havana, Cuba. At that time, revolutionary fervor was strong against the Spanish, but Lee exercised restraint in the effort to protect American interests in Cuba. When it was decided to send a war vessel to Havana, he cabled the State Department recommending against it but was informed that a ship had already been dispatched. Subsequent to the sinking of that ship--the Maine--Lee was confirmed Major General of Volunteers and became Brigadier General of Volunteers during the Spanish-American War, retiring in 1901. He authored "Chancellorsville," an account in the Southern Historical Society Papers (1879) and General Lee (1894).


Driver, Robert J. Jr. 1st Virginia Cavalry (1st Edition).

Garraty, John A. and Carnes, Mark C., eds. American National Biography, Vol. 13. New York, Oxford University Press, 1999.

Library of Virginia, Virginia Governor, Executive Papers, 1866-1980. State Government Records Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA  23219.

Longacre, Edward G.  Fitz Lee. Cambridge, MA:Da Capo Press, 2005.

The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 9. New York: James T. White & Company.

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols

Washington Post, May 5, 1905, p. 4 (obituary).

Younger, Edward and Moore, James Tice, eds. The Governors of Virginia, 1860-1978. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1982.

Relation to Another Governor