General Henry Lee was born in 1756 in Leesylvania, Virginia and became a very accomplished horseman at a young age. He was commissioned as a captain for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War where General George Washington saw his potential and promoted him.
He resigned his commission shortly after the war to marry his cousin Matilda Lee. The wedding took place at Stratford and attracted many important figures including General Washington. Matilda inherited the Stratford mansion where the two were wedded and lived until her death. Matilda also was named for the small town near the Great Falls of the Potomac River.
General Lee’s political career also began after the war where he was elected to Congress and later served as governor of Virginia. During this time he made some bad business decisions that caused him to go bankrupt and eventually be jailed. While in jail he wrote Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department, which details his accounts in the Revolutionary War.