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Elle Shushan

Portrait of Edmund Jennings Lee I of Virginia. American School, circa 1795.

Portrait Miniature of Edmund Jennings Lee I, of Virginia, American School, circa 1795.


Born at Leesylvania Plantation, Prince William County, Virginia, Edmund Jennings Lee I (1772-1843) was a son of Henry Lee II, a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. His older (by 15 years) brothers included General Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee, and United States Attorney General Charles Lee among the 13 children in his family.

    As if the Lee genealogy weren’t complicated enough, Edmund Jennings Lee married his cousin Sallie Jane Caldwell Lee, daughter of Colonel Richard Henry Lee, Signer, Senator from Virginia and the father of 17 or 18 children.

    Striking out on their own, the couple, who married in 1796, moved to Alexandria, where they settled on “Lee Corner.” Their nephew, Robert E. Lee, lived across the street. Following family tradition, they had 9 children.

    Among his many civic duties, Edmund Jenning Lee served as president of the Common Council and Mayor of Alexandria. He is buried in Christ Church Cemetery.