Lee, William (1739-1795)

Diplomat, politician, and merchant.

Brother of Arthur, Francis Lightfoot, and Richard Henry Lee.

With Arthur Lee, moved to London (1768), where he became involved in politics. Served as American commercial agent at Nantes (1777). Chosen as commissioner to Berlin and Vienna (1777). Those courts refused to recognize the United States, however, and Lee spent most of his time in Paris, adding to the diplomatic confusion there. Recalled by Congress in 1779.

Following his diplomatic career, Lee lived in Brussels before retiring to Virginia in 1783.

Born Westmoreland County, Virginia. Married in 1769 to Hannah Philippa Ludwell.