Arthur Lee

Lee, Arthur (1740-1792) Diplomat: Arthur Lee, brother of Declaration of Independence signatory Richard Henry Lee, was born in Virginia. He was educated at Eton and received a studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Admitted to the English bar, he was involved in many intellectual activities, including botany, and was a fellow of the Royal Society of London. He wrote revolutionary tracts and letters in Virginia, as well as in London. An Appeal, his most famous work, was published in 1774. While living in England, he provided information to American patriot leaders and Congress' Committee of Secret Correspondence. At the same time, he submitted petitions on behalf of the colonies. He was sole agent for Massachusetts after 1775, and was named to Congress' commission to France in 1776, adding diplomatic visits to Spain and Prussia. Along with diplomats Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane, Lee concluded the 1778 treaty with France, but was called back to North America the next year. Lee served in the Virginia Assembly and Congress in 1781, helped negotiate treaties with Native Americans in 1784 and 1785, and sat on the Board of Treasury from 1785 to 1789.