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Renegade RevolutionaryThe Life of General Charles Lee$
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Phillip Papas

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814767658

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814767658.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

The Bitter End

The Bitter End

(p.274) 16 The Bitter End
Renegade Revolutionary

Phillip Papas

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on Charles Lee's last days. By the spring of 1779, Lee, then forty-seven years of age, prepared to leave Philadelphia for Prato Rio, the country estate he had purchased in Hopewell, Virginia. He had grown weary of the petty squabbling that was taking place in Congress and among the Continental officer corps. He thought that too many delegates were hungry for personal influence and regional ambitions, while military officers fought for recognition, promotion, and political advantage. This chapter discusses Lee's essay, written in March 1779, that was intended to damage George Washington's and Joseph Reed's reputations; his plan for a utopian republic in which he imagined a well-ordered, simple agrarian community of soldiers and their families in America; his critique of the American Revolution and its leaders; his dismissal from the Continental Army; his physical and mental deterioration; and his death on October 3, 1782.

Keywords:   death, Charles Lee, Prato Rio, Virginia, George Washington, Joseph Reed, utopian republic, American Revolution, Continental Army

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