Thomas Sim Lee

Last updated

Thomas Sim Lee
Governor of Maryland
In office
November 12, 1779 November 22, 1782
Preceded by Thomas Johnson
Succeeded by William Paca
In office
April 5, 1792 November 14, 1794
Preceded by James Brice
Succeeded by John H. Stone
Personal details
Born(1745-10-29)October 29, 1745
Upper Marlboro, Province of Maryland, British America
DiedNovember 9, 1819(1819-11-09) (aged 74)
Frederick County, Maryland, U.S.
Political party Federalist
Spouse(s)Mary Digges

Thomas Sim Lee (October 29, 1745 – November 9, 1819) was an American planter and statesman of Frederick County, Maryland. Although not a signatory to the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation or the US Constitution, he was an important participant in the process of their creation. Thomas Sim Lee was the second State Governor of Maryland, serving twice, from 1779 to 1783 and again from 1792 to 1794. Thomas Sim Lee also served as a delegate of Maryland in the Congress of the Confederation in 1783 and was a member of the House of Delegates in 1787. He worked closely with many of the Founding fathers and played himself an important part in the birth of his state and the nation.

Frederick County, Maryland County in Maryland

Frederick County is located in the northern part of the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population was 240,336. The county seat is Frederick.

United States Declaration of Independence announcement by which the American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain and thus founded the United States

The United States Declaration of Independence is the statement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776. The Declaration announced that the Thirteen Colonies at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain would regard themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. With the Declaration, these new states took a collective first step toward forming the United States of America. The declaration was signed by representatives from New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Articles of Confederation first constitution of the United States

The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was an agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America that served as its first constitution. It was approved, after much debate, by the Second Continental Congress on November 15, 1777, and sent to the states for ratification. The Articles of Confederation came into force on March 1, 1781, after being ratified by all 13 states. A guiding principle of the Articles was to preserve the independence and sovereignty of the states. The weak central government established by the Articles received only those powers which the former colonies had recognized as belonging to king and parliament.

Contents

"Lee Family of Virginia and Maryland" Lee Family of Virginia and Maryland.png
"Lee Family of Virginia and Maryland"

Family

Lee was born in 1745 in Upper Marlboro in the Province of Maryland. He was the son of Thomas (died 1749) and Christiana (Sim) Lee, a grandson of Philip Lee, and descended from the "Blenheim" Line of the Lee family of Virginia. Richard Lee I was his great-great-grandfather. His education was attained in the private schools of his native colony. On October 27, 1771, Thomas Sim Lee married Mary Digges (1745–1805), whose father was a prominent Maryland landowner. They had eight children;

Upper Marlboro, Maryland Town in Maryland, United States

Upper Marlboro, officially the Town of Upper Marlboro, is the seat of Prince George's County, Maryland in the United States. The population within the town limits was 631 at the 2010 U.S. Census, although Greater Upper Marlboro is many times larger.

Province of Maryland English, from 1707, British, possession in North America between 1664 and 1776

The Province of Maryland was an English and later British colony in North America that existed from 1632 until 1776, when it joined the other twelve of the Thirteen Colonies in rebellion against Great Britain and became the U.S. state of Maryland. Its first settlement and capital was St. Mary's City, in the southern end of St. Mary's County, which is a peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay and is also bordered by four tidal rivers.

Philip Lee Sr. US Navy officer and judge

United States Naval Captain, Judge,& Justice of the, and Sheriff in colonial Virginia

Thomas Sim Lee branch of "Lee Family of Virginia and Maryland" by Mrs. H. A. Marshall, circa 1886. Thomas Sim Lee expanded.png
Thomas Sim Lee branch of "Lee Family of Virginia and Maryland" by Mrs. H. A. Marshall, circa 1886.

Public life

During the Revolutionary War, he backed the patriot cause, and organized a local militia in which he served as colonel. Lee entered politics in 1777, serving as a member of the Maryland Legislature, a position he held two years. The Maryland Legislature elected Lee governor in 1779. He was reelected in 1780 and 1781. During his first tenure, issues regarding the war effort were dealt with. He won wide praise for his logistical abilities as governor. Lee consistently procured fresh troops and supplies for the Continental Army. George Washington was Lee's friend, and learning of the plan to pin down Cornwallis, Lee exerted all his energies to support the American troops. After completing his term, Lee left office on November 22, 1782. He then served in the Continental Congress in 1783 and 1784, and was a member of the State convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1788. In 1792, Lee was again elected governor of Maryland. He was reelected to a second term in 1793, and to a third term in 1794. During his final tenure, the state militia was established, and the Whiskey rebellion was suppressed. Lee left office on November 14, 1794. Later that same year, he declined a seat in the U.S. Senate. He also declined a third tenure as governor in 1798.

American Revolutionary War 1775–1783 war between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, which won independence as the United States of America

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was an 18th-century war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence as the United States of America.

Colonel (United States) Military rank of the United States

In the United States Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force, colonel is the most senior field grade military officer rank, immediately above the rank of lieutenant colonel and immediately below the rank of brigadier general. It is equivalent to the naval rank of captain in the other uniformed services. The pay grade for colonel is O-6.

Continental Army Colonial army during the American Revolutionary War

The Continental Army was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the ex-British colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in their revolt against the rule of Great Britain. The Continental Army was supplemented by local militias and volunteer troops that remained under control of the individual states or were otherwise independent. General George Washington was the commander-in-chief of the army throughout the war.

Leader in the struggle for independence

Thomas Sim Lee was one of the participants of the Annapolis Convention in the mid-1770s, which produced a constitution for Maryland and transformed the colony into a state. On July 26, 1775 he was one of the signatories of the Declaration of the Association of the Freemen of Maryland, an influential statement in the Revolutionary War.

The Annapolis Convention was an Assembly of the Counties of Maryland that functioned as the colony's provincial government from 1774 to 1776 during the early days leading up to the American Revolution. After 1775, it was officially named the Assembly of Freemen.

Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union

Signature of Governor Thomas Sim Lee on Act of Maryland legislature to ratify the Articles Thomas Sim Lee Signature.JPG
Signature of Governor Thomas Sim Lee on Act of Maryland legislature to ratify the Articles

As Governor of Maryland, Thomas Sim Lee signed the Act on February 2, 1781, whereby the Maryland Legislature ratified the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. As Maryland was the 13th and final state to ratify the Articles, the act established the requisite unanimous consent for the formation of a Perpetual Union of the states.

Maryland State House houses the Maryland General Assembly

The Maryland State House is located in Annapolis, Maryland as the oldest U.S. state capitol in continuous legislative use, dating to 1772 and housing the Maryland General Assembly, plus the offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The capitol has the distinction of being topped by the largest wooden dome in the United States constructed without nails. The current building, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960, is the third statehouse on its site. The building is administered by the State House Trust, established in 1969.

Perpetual Union

The Perpetual Union is a feature of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, which established the United States of America as a national entity. Under modern American constitutional law, this concept means that U.S. states are not permitted to overthrow the U.S. Constitution and withdraw from the Union.

Prior to this event, Maryland had held out and refused to ratify the Articles until every state had ceded its western land claims. After Governor Thomas Jefferson signed the Act of the Virginia legislature on January 2, 1781 to grant these concessions the way forward for Maryland was cleared. On this second day of February, a Friday, as the last piece of business during the afternoon Session, "among engrossed Bills" was "signed and sealed by the Governor, in the Senate Chamber, in the presence of the members of both Houses...an Act to empower the delegates of this state in Congress to subscribe and ratify the articles of confederation." The Senate then adjourned "to the first Monday in August next". The formal signing of the Articles by the Maryland delegates took place in Philadelphia at noon time on March 1, 1781. With these events, the Articles entered into force and the United States came into being as a united and sovereign nation.

Member of the Congress of the Confederation

In his post-governor career, Thomas Sim Lee represented Maryland as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1783 and 1784. He also was a member of the house of delegates in 1787. He declined the opportunity to serve in the convention that drafted the Constitution of the United States, but served in the state convention that ratified the Constitution in 1788. Lee voted for Washington's second term as a Federalist presidential elector.

The contribution of his wife

Governor Lee's wife, Mary Digges Lee, responded to the need of the Revolutionary War troops from Maryland by rallying the women of Maryland to raise money in support of the war effort. She then established a correspondence with General George Washington, asking how these resources could be put to best use. General Washington responded suggesting that the money raised be put toward the purchase of much-needed shirts and black neck clothes for the troops in the Southern army. He expressed gratitude to Mrs. Lee for the "patriotic exertions of the ladies of Maryland in favor of the army". [2]

The couple was very active in patriotic activities during the Revolutionary War. They were also very committed to their religious and community ties. They founded the St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Petersville, Maryland.

Needwood and Georgetown

After retiring from political life in 1794, Governor Lee focused his attention on his estate, Needwood, in Frederick County, Maryland, where he owned some two hundred slaves.

Lee set up a winter home in Georgetown, near the nation's capital. Federalists frequented the home, which became a meeting place for them.

Thomas Sim Lee was on the Board of directors of the Patowmack Canal, which was intended by George Washington to connect the Tidewater near Georgetown with Cumberland. The project, which started in 1785, was completed in 1802.

Death

Mary Digges Lee died on January 25, 1805 at the age of 60. Thomas Sim Lee remained a widower in Needwood until his death on November 9, 1819 at the age of 74 years. He was first buried at Melwood Park, his wife's family home. In 1888 his and the Melwood Diggeses' graves were moved to a common grave in Mt. Carmel Roman Catholic Cemetery near Upper Marlboro, Maryland. [3]

Tribute

A bronze plaque commemorating his life has been placed on a house he built in 1790 on 3001–3009 M Street (on the corner of M Street and 30th Street) in the Georgetown section of Washington D.C.. The site is now referred to as the Thomas Sim Lee Corner.

The Thomas Sim Lee Corner TSL house 30th-M Sts.jpg
The Thomas Sim Lee Corner

Notes

  1. "Elizabeth Digges Horsey, MSA SC 3520-14927" . Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  2. "Mary Digges Lee, Maryland Women's Hall of Fame" . Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  3. "Thomas Sim Lee, MSA SC 3520-0800" . Retrieved August 1, 2016.

Related Research Articles

John Hanson American merchant and public official from Maryland

John Hanson was a merchant and public official from Maryland during the era of the American Revolution. In 1779, Hanson was elected as a delegate to the Continental Congress after serving in a variety of roles for the Patriot cause in Maryland. He signed the Articles of Confederation in 1781 after Maryland finally joined the other states in ratifying them. In November 1781, he was elected as first president of the Continental Congress, following ratification of the articles. For this reason, some of Hanson's biographers have argued that he was actually the first holder of the office of president.

Continental Congress convention of delegates that became the governing body of the United States

The Continental Congress, also known as the Philadelphia Congress, was a convention of delegates called together from the Thirteen Colonies. It became the governing body of the United States during the American Revolution. The Congress met from 1774 to 1789 in three incarnations. The first call for a convention was made over issues of the blockade and the Intolerable Acts penalizing the Province of Massachusetts Bay. In 1774 Benjamin Franklin convinced the colonial delegates to the Congress to form a representative body. Much of what is known today comes from the yearly log books printed by the Continental Congress called Resolutions, Acts and Orders of Congress, which gives a day-to-day description of debates and issues.

Samuel Huntington (Connecticut politician) American politician

Samuel Huntington was a jurist, statesman, and Patriot in the American Revolution from Connecticut. As a delegate to the Continental Congress, he signed the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. He also served as President of the Continental Congress from 1779 to 1781, President of the United States in Congress Assembled in 1781, chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court from 1784 to 1785, and the 18th Governor of Connecticut from 1786 until his death.

History of the United States (1776–1789) aspect of history

Between 1776 and 1789, the United States of America emerged as an independent country, creating and ratifying its new constitution and establishing its national government. In order to assert their traditional rights, American Patriots seized control of the colonies and launched a war for independence. The Americans declared independence on July 4, 1776, proclaiming "all men are created equal". Congress raised the Continental Army under the command of General George Washington, forged a military alliance with France and defeated the two main British invasion armies. Nationalists replaced the governing Articles of Confederation to strengthen the federal government's powers of defense and taxation with the Constitution of the United States of America in 1789, still in effect today.

Robert Morris (financier) American merchant

Robert Morris, Jr. was an English-born merchant and a Founding Father of the United States. He served as a member of the Pennsylvania legislature, the Second Continental Congress, and the United States Senate, and he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution. From 1781 to 1784, he served as the Superintendent of Finance of the United States, becoming known as the "Financier of the Revolution." Along with Alexander Hamilton and Albert Gallatin, he is widely regarded as one of the founders of the financial system of the United States.

President of the Continental Congress

The President of the Continental Congress was the presiding officer of the Continental Congress, the convention of delegates that emerged as the first (transitional) national government of the United States during the American Revolution. The president was a member of Congress elected by the other delegates to serve as a neutral discussion moderator during meetings of Congress. Designed to be a largely ceremonial position without much influence, the office was unrelated to the later office of President of the United States. Upon the ratification of the Articles of Confederation in March 1781, the Continental Congress became the Congress of the Confederation. The membership of the Second Continental Congress carried over without interruption to the First Congress of the Confederation, as did the office of president.

Second Continental Congress convention of delegates from the American Colonies

The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that started meeting in the spring of 1775 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It succeeded the First Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia between September 5, 1774, and October 26, 1774. The Second Congress managed the Colonial war effort and moved incrementally towards independence. It eventually adopted the Lee Resolution which established the new country on July 2, 1776, and it agreed to the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The Congress acted as the de facto national government of the United States by raising armies, directing strategy, appointing diplomats, and making formal treaties such as the Olive Branch Petition.

Daniel Carroll American politician

Daniel Carroll was an American politician and plantation owner from Maryland, considered one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He supported the American Revolution, served in the Confederation Congress, was a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 which wrote the Constitution, and was a U.S. Representative in the First Congress. Daniel Carroll was one of five men to sign both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. He was one of the very few Roman Catholics among the Founders.

Richard Beresford was an American planter and lawyer from Berkeley County, South Carolina. He was a delegate for South Carolina in the Confederation Congress in 1783 and 1784.

Constitutional Convention (United States) Event taking place from May 25 to September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that led to the creation of the United States Constitution

The Constitutional Convention took place from May 25 to September 17, 1787, in the old Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia. Although the Convention was intended to revise the league of states and first system of government under the Articles of Confederation, the intention from the outset of many of its proponents, chief among them James Madison of Virginia and Alexander Hamilton of New York, was to create a new government rather than fix the existing one. The delegates elected George Washington of Virginia, former commanding general of the Continental Army in the late American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) and proponent of a stronger national government, to preside over the Convention. The result of the Convention was the creation of the Constitution of the United States, placing the Convention among the most significant events in American history.

History of Maryland history of the state of Maryland, USA

The recorded history of Maryland dates back to the beginning of European exploration, starting with the Venetian John Cabot, who explored the coast of North America for the Kingdom of England in 1498. After European settlements had been made to the south and north, the colonial Province of Maryland was granted by King Charles I to Sir George Calvert (1579–1632), his former Secretary of State in 1632, for settlement beginning in March 1634. It was notable for having been established with religious freedom for Roman Catholics, since Calvert had publicly converted to that faith. Like other colonies and settlements of the Chesapeake Bay region, its economy was soon based on tobacco as a commodity crop, highly prized among the English, cultivated primarily by African slave labor, although many young people came from Britain sent as indentured servants or criminal prisoners in the early years.

Congress of the Confederation governing body of the United States of America that existed from March 1, 1781, to March 4, 1789

The Congress of the Confederation, or the Confederation Congress, formally referred to as the United States in Congress Assembled, was the governing body of the United States of America that existed from March 1, 1781, to March 4, 1789. A unicameral body with legislative and executive function, it comprised delegates appointed by the legislatures of the several states. Each state delegation had one vote. It was preceded by the Second Continental Congress (1775–1781) and governed under the newly adopted Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, which were proposed in 1776–1777, adopted by the Continental Congress in July 1778 and finally agreed to by a unanimous vote of all thirteen states by 1781, held up by a long dispute over the cession of western territories beyond the Appalachian Mountains to the central government led by Maryland and a coalition of smaller states without western claims, the plan introduced by Maryland politician John Hanson; the plan is referred to as 'The Hanson Plan'. The newly reorganized Congress at the time continued to refer itself as the Continental Congress throughout its eight-year history, although modern historians separate it from the earlier bodies, which operated under slightly different rules and procedures until the later part of American Revolutionary War. The membership of the Second Continental Congress automatically carried over to the Congress of the Confederation when the latter was created by the ratification of the Articles of Confederation. It had the same secretary as the Second Continental Congress, namely Charles Thomson. The Congress of the Confederation was succeeded by the Congress of the United States as provided for in the new Constitution of the United States, proposed September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia and ratified by the states through 1787 to 1788 and even into 1789 and 1790.

The Confederation Period was the era of United States history in the 1780s after the American Revolution and prior to the ratification of the United States Constitution. In 1781, the United States ratified the Articles of Confederation and prevailed in the Battle of Yorktown, the last major land battle between British and American forces in the American Revolutionary War. American independence was confirmed with the 1783 signing of the Treaty of Paris. The fledgling United States faced several challenges, many of which stemmed from the lack of a strong national government and unified political culture. The period ended in 1789 following the ratification of the United States Constitution, which established a new, more powerful, national government.

Melwood Park building in Maryland, United States

Melwood Park is a historic home located near Upper Marlboro in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. It is a ​2 12-story, Flemish bond brick structure, with Georgian details. As of 2009, it is undergoing an extensive restoration. This unique dwelling was visited by George Washington on several occasions and the British Army camped here during their march to Washington, D.C. in August 1814, during the War of 1812.

1781 in the United States USA-related events during the year of 1781

Events from the year 1781 in the United States.

1789 in the United States USA-related events during the year of 1789

Events from the year 1789 in the United States. The Articles of Confederation, the agreement under which the nation's government had been operating since 1781, was superseded by the Constitution in March of this year.

Mary Digges Lee was an American patriot. She was called the "First Lady of Maryland" and later inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame.

References

Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Johnson
Governor of Maryland
1779–1782
Succeeded by
William Paca
Preceded by
James Brice
Acting Governor
Governor of Maryland
1792–1794
Succeeded by
John Hoskins Stone