Francis Lightfoot Lee

December 7, 2011

Revolutionary War Image

Francis Lightfoot Lee was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. A sketch of the character and life of this Virginian reveals the material that was used in the construction of congressmen in his day. To sketch him is to sketch the average congressman of his time, the time of the Founding Fathers.

He came of an old and excellent family; a family which had borne an unsullied name, and held honorable place on both sides of the water; a family with a reputation to preserve and traditions to perpetuate; a family which could not afford to soil itself with political trickery, or do base things for party or for hire; a family which was able to shed as much honor upon official station as it received from it.

He dealt in no shams; he had no ostentations of dress or equipage; for he was, as one may say, inured to wealth. He had always been used to it. His own ample means were inherited. He was educated. He was more than that – he was finely cultivated. He loved books; he had a good library, and no place had so great a charm for him as that. The old Virginia mansion which was his home was also the home of that old-time Virginian hospitality which hoary men still hold in mellow memory. Over their port and walnuts he and his friends of the gentry discussed a literature which is dead and forgotten now, and political matters which were drowsy with the absence of corruption and “investigations.” Sundays he and they drove to church in their lumbering coaches, with a due degree of grave and seemly pomp. Week-days they inspected their domains, ordered their affairs, attended to the needs of their dependents, consulted with their overseers and tenants, busied themselves with active benevolences. They were justices of the peace, and performed their unpaid duties with arduous and honest diligence, and with serene, unhampered impartiality toward a society to which they were not beholden for their official stations. In short, Francis Lightfoot Lee was a gentleman – a word which meant a great deal in his day, though it means nothing whatever n ours.

Mr. Lee defiled himself with no juggling, or wire-pulling, or begging, to acquire a place in the provincial legislature, but went thither when he was called, and went reluctantly. He wrought there industriously during four years, never seeking his own ends, but only the public’s. His course was purity itself, and he retired unblemished when his work was done. He retired gladly, and sought his home and its superior allurements. No one dreamed of such a thing as “investigating” him.

“Francis Lightfoot Lee” by Mark Twain, 1877 (The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, I, no. 3).

The image, Menokin, is subject to copyright by Edna Barney. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, an administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.


Elbridge Gerry

March 21, 2007

Revolutionary War Image

Elbridge GERRY (1744-1814) of Massachusetts is the only signer of the Declaration of Independence who is buried in Washington, DC. He also had signed the Articles of Confederation. He served as governor of Massachusetts and as the fifth Vice President of the United States, under James MADISON.

He is most interestingly know for being the namesake of the word and political act of “gerrymandering”.

Learn More: The American Revolution

Save To: gif ”Digg”

The image, Elbridge Gerry, is subject to copyright by dbking. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.


Signer John Hart

October 21, 2006

Revolutionary War Image

John ‘Honest John‘ Hart (circa 1713–May 11, 1779), was a New Jersey signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. Shortly thereafter, in December of 1776, British forces arrived at Pennington, New Jersey and raided Hart’s home in Hopewell, in the process damaging his farm. The elderly John Hart escaped and hid in the Sourland Mountains during the depth of winter. His two minor children managed to escape to nearby family members.

Save To: gif ”Digg”

The image, Hopewell, NJ, is subject to copyright by sheena1chi. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.


Doctor John Witherspoon

October 18, 2006

Revolutionary War Image

John Witherspoon (1723-1794), Signer of the Declaration of Independence

This statue of the Scottish born Doctor John Witherspoon was dedicated on November 10, 2001, in front of East Pyne Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey. Google Map

Save To: gif ”Digg”

The image, Statue of Dr. John Witherspoon, is subject to copyright by sheena1chi. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.