Charles Lee, U.S. Attorney General

Is your surname Lee?

Research the Lee family

Charles Lee, U.S. Attorney General's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Charles Lee

Birthdate: (57)
Birthplace: Leesylvania Plantation, Prince William, Virginia
Death: June 24, 1815 (53-61)
At his home near,Warrenton,Fanquier Co,Virginia
Place of Burial: Warrenton Cemetery, Warrenton, Fauquier, Virginia
Immediate Family:

Son of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Giles Lee, II and Lucy Ludwell Lee
Husband of Anne Lucinda Lee and Margaret Christian Glassell
Father of Infant Lee; Richard Henry Lee; Charles Henry Lee; William Arthur Lee; Anne Lucinda Jones and 5 others
Brother of Theodosia Maiden; Eleanor "Nellie" Glazener; Maj. Gen. Henry Lee, "Light Horse Harry", Governor of Virginia; Susannah Ellis; Richard Bland Lee, Sr, US Congress and 10 others

Occupation: US Attorney General under President John Adams, U.S. Attorney General
Managed by: James Hutchison
Last Updated:

About Charles Lee, U.S. Attorney General

Charles Lee (1758 – June 24, 1815) was an American lawyer from Virginia. He served as United States Attorney General from 1795 until 1801.

Charles was born to Henry (1729-1787) and Lucy (Grymes) Lee on his father's plantation of Leesylvania in Prince William County, Virginia. He was the third of eleven children and a younger brother of General Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee. Another brother was Congressman Richard Bland Lee. A third cousin was Zachary Taylor. He graduated from the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) in 1775, and then read law with Jared Ingersoll in Philadelphia before returning to Virginia.

Charles married Anne Lee (1 December 1770-9 September 1804), a cousin and the daughter of Richard Henry Lee (his first cousin once removed) in 1789. Before her death in 1804 the couple had six children; Anne Lucinda Lee (1790-1845), Infant Son Lee (1791-1791), Richard Henry Lee (Feb 1793-Mar 1793), Charles Henry Lee (b. Oct 1794), William Arthur Lee (b. Sept 1796), Alfred Lee (1799-1865). He married a second time in 1809, to Margaret Scott (1783-1843), and had three more children in this union; Robert Eden Lee (1810-1843), Elizabeth Gordon Lee (1813-1813), Alexander Lee (1815-1815).

President Washington appointed Lee the Attorney General after William Bradford died in office. After Senate approval he took office on December 10, 1795 and served through the rest of the administration. He was continued in office by John Adams and served through the entire Adams administration until February 19, 1801.

During his term in office Lee lived in Alexandria, which was then part of the capital district. He was an early advocate for the return of the southern part of the District of Columbia to Virginia which finally happened in 1847. After his time as Attorney General, he became the port officer for the District of the Potomac and among the most prominent trial lawyers in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Lee represented William Marbury and other appointees of John Adams in Marbury v. Madison, the landmark case against the Jefferson administration for unfulfilled political appointments. Simultaneously, he defended Hugh Stuart in Stuart v. Laird.

He declined Thomas Jefferson's offer to appoint him a justice of the Supreme Court.

Lee died in 1815 in Fauquier County, Virginia, aged 56 or 57, and is buried in the Warrenton Cemetery in Warrenton.

view all 15

Charles Lee, U.S. Attorney General's Timeline

Leesylvania Plantation, Prince William, Virginia
May 5, 1790
Age 32
Westmoreland Co., Va
Age 33
Age 35
October 1794
Age 36
September 1796
Age 38
July 2, 1799
Age 41
Alexandria, Va
Age 42