Charles Lee Esqr. Americanicher General-Major.

Copper plate engraving, c. 1776.
Image 6 x 3 1/2" (15.2 x 9 cm).
Good condition save for loss of lower right corner of the margin. Image intact.
LOCATION: New York City

Inventory Number: 96916
Price: $150.00
Publisher : No publisher given. Likely German.
Major General Charles Lee, 1732-1782. Served during the French and Indian War with fellow officers George Washington, Horatio Gates and Thomas Gage. He later resigned from the British Army due to a dispute over rank and pay and moved to America where later he became involved in the Patriot cause. He joined the newly formed Army and was made third in command under Washington and Artemas Ward.

Lee arrived in Charleston, South Carolina early in June 1776, where soon after the British arrived. Lee quickly fortified the city with Colonel William Moultrie who commanded Fort Sullivan on Sullivan's Island in the harbor. Lee expected the majority of fighting to take place in the city proper, but on June 28, 1776, Moultrie held off the British naval force and the British retired without ever reaching the city. Lee and Moultrie received commendations for their actions. Later He was captured in New Jersey and eventually exchanged for Major General Prescott. In June 1777, at the Battle of Monmouth Lee was ordered to attack the retreating British troops, after one volley he then retreated against the orders of Washington which led to a court-marshal which ended his military career.

This portrait is based on a mezzotint published in London by Charles Shepard at the outbreak of the war. Due to the interest of the rebellion in the colonies there was a demand for prints, maps and portraits. The portraits were of the leading officers on the American side. Because of his distinction in the French and Indian Wars, Lee was included in this group with the assumption that he would play a major role in the war. The image of Lee is not based on a life portrait and is entirely fictitious.
18th-19th Century Subjects , Portraits , Revolutionary War Figures