Lee, William

Lee, William,

1739–95, American Revolutionary diplomat, b. Westmoreland co., Va.; brother of Arthur Lee, Francis L. Lee, and Richard H. Lee. He opened a business house in London in 1768 and later was a political supporter of John Wilkes and became (1775) an alderman of London. He accepted appointment by the Continental Congress as an agent for the newly created United States, and later attempted unsuccessfully to obtain recognition from both Austria and Prussia. He and a Dutch merchant made a draft of a possible U.S.-Dutch commercial treaty. The draft, which had no official sanction at all, Lee sent back to America. A copy of it, seized by the British when they captured Henry LaurensLaurens, Henry
, 1724–92, political leader in the American Revolution, b. Charleston, S.C. A wealthy merchant and planter, he was, in the years preceding the Revolution, an opponent of British colonial policy, although he disapproved of the radical policies of some
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, was used as a cause for warfare between Great Britain and the Netherlands.

Bibliography

See his Letters 1766–83, ed. by W. C. Ford (3 vol., 1891; repr. 1971); B. J. Hendrick, The Lees of Virginia (1935).

References in periodicals archive ?
But despite becoming the first player to reach the semi-finals of the Regal Masters in Motherwell last night with a 6-3 win over Wiltshire stable-mate Stephen Lee, Williams insisted: "I am not good enough yet to get top spot, but I aim to finish high up."