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George Hay Lee

george hay lee murder
George Hay Lee 1807-November 20, 1873 was a Virginia lawyer and politician who served on the Virginia Court of Appeals from 1852 until Virginia declared secession in 1861[1]


  • 1 Early and family life
  • 2 Career
  • 3 Death and legacy
  • 4 References

Early and family life

Born in Winchester, Virginia in 1807 to one of the First Families of Virginia Lee attended the University of Virginia in 1827-28 and studied law under Judge Henry St George Tucker in Winchester He married twice and had six children, three daughters and three sons[2]


Lee crossed the Appalachian mountains and began his legal practice in Clarksburg, West Virginia, the seat of what was then Harrison County, Virginia, in 1831[3] He formed a joint practice with celebrated trial attorney Mathew Edmiston, of Weston in Lewis County

Harrison County judges selected Lee as the Commonwealth Attorney prosecutor, and he also once served as assistant US Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, and later as the US Attorney for the Western District In 1839 Harrison county voters elected and re-elected Lee as one of the county's delegates to the Virginia House of Delegates[4] In 1840, Lee owned three enslaved people, two women younger than 23 and one man,[5] but appears absent from the slave schedules associates with the 1850 and 1860 federal censuses In 1852, Virginia legislators elected Lee to the Court of Appeals, judge Briscoe Baldwin of Staunton having died in office As the American Civil War began and Virginia voted to secede, Judge Lee did not sit on the court after the April 1861 term when the state of West Virginia was formed as a result of the northwestern counties of Virginia refusing to join the remainder of the state in joining the Confederacy[6] The separation of West Virginia was recognized in 1866, and another western Virginian elected to the seat

Death and legacy

Lee died at his home in Clarksburg, West Virginia on November 20, 1873


  1. ^ "George Hay Lee, July 1, 1852-April 1861" Virginia Appellate Court History 2014-05-02 Retrieved 2018-04-07mw-parser-output citecitationmw-parser-output citation qmw-parser-output id-lock-free a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-free amw-parser-output id-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output id-lock-registration a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-registration amw-parser-output id-lock-subscription a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-subscription amw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registrationmw-parser-output cs1-subscription span,mw-parser-output cs1-registration spanmw-parser-output cs1-ws-icon amw-parser-output codecs1-codemw-parser-output cs1-hidden-errormw-parser-output cs1-visible-errormw-parser-output cs1-maintmw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registration,mw-parser-output cs1-formatmw-parser-output cs1-kern-left,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-leftmw-parser-output cs1-kern-right,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-right
  2. ^ Dorothy Davis, History of Harrison County, West Virginia Clarksburg, American Association of University Women, 1970, corrected reprint 1972 p 141
  3. ^ Virgil A Lewis, History and Government of West Virginia Werner School Book Company, 1896 p 224, available at https://booksgooglecom/booksid=XtQSU2fP6ssC&pg=PA224&lpg
  4. ^ https://historyhousevirginiagov/membersname=lee&page=2
  5. ^ US Federal Census for Harrison County, Virginia, p of
  6. ^ "George Hay Lee, July 1, 1852-April 1861" Virginia Appellate Court History 2014-05-02 Retrieved 2018-04-07

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