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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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Angels of Indecision

Angels of Indecision


(p.151) 9 Angels of Indecision
Renegade Revolutionary

Phillip Papas

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on Charles Lee's actions in Virginia during the American Revolution and his disappointment with the Virginians' indecisiveness in declaring independence from the British. The Continental Congress created the Southern Department based on concerns that the southern colonies were extremely vulnerable to a British attack. Lee was chosen to take the command of the Continental forces in the Southern Department, which covered Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. During Lee's last days in New York, he worked on the city's defenses and also found time to dine with Thomas Paine. This chapter examines Lee's military campaign in Virginia, the conflict between the state's white and black revolutionaries, Lee's criticism of Virginia's revolutionaries for their timidity about the Loyalists in their colony, and his efforts to see a declaration of American independence from Britain.

Keywords:   revolutionaries, Charles Lee, Virginia, American Revolution, Continental Congress, Southern Department, Thomas Paine, Loyalists, American independence, Britain

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