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Biography: Columbus W. Lee born 1800




Perry County, Alabama 

Columbus W. Lee,  lawyer, planter, was born in 1800, in Clarke County, Georgia, and died in 1869 in Perry County. He was the son of Greene Lea, a wealthy planter, who married a Miss Mofette Both of his parents were Virginians.

He was a cousin of Henry Clinton Lea and changed his name from Lea to Lee. He received his collegiate education from the University of Georgia, and opened a law office in Marion soon after his graduation. He was also the cousin of Margaret Mofette Lea, wife of Gen. Sam. Houston, Jr., Greene Lea, the father of Columbus, was the brother of Temple Lea.Temple and Greene married Mofette sisters.

He wrote Gen. Sam Houston a letter March 1853 informing him that Varilla’s husband Robert Royston was not expected to survive. (Varilla was Margaret’s sister) The letter is included in the book STAR OF DESTINY. Margaret received another letter from Columbus August 13, 1861 while he was in Mississippi with Sam Houston, Jr. who had joined the Confederate Army without his parent’s consent.

He was the law partner at different times of Andrew Barry Moore and John P. Graham, but retired from the practice of law early, in order to devote his time to his planting interests. From 1832 to 1838, he was elected annually to the legislature with the exception of one year and was again a representative from Perry County in 1844. His party being in the minority in Perry County, he was defeated two or three times for the State senate.

In 1852, he served on the Democratic electoral ticket for Pierce and King, and in 1860 was on the Douglas electoral ticket. He opposed the policy of secession in 1861 but after the measure was pased in Alabama, supported the state in her efforts for defense. He was a delegate from Perry County to the constitutional convention of 1865, and soon after canvassed the state for congress unsuccessfully, in opposition to Joseph T. Taylor.  The latter part of his life was passed in retirement.

“He was brusk in manner but shrewd, practical and sociable.” He was a Baptist. He married to Elizabeth Parker (b. Feb. 6, 1819 d. May 29, 1905) of Tuscaloosa. A number of his descendants reside in Perry County. One of his sons, Wayne Emmet Lee, a planter in South America, was born November 30, 1843, served as a captain in the C. S. Army and was married in 1868, at Marion, to Sue Billingslea. Columbus W. Lea’s wife is buried in Uniontown cemetery in Perry County, Alabama.


1.History of Alabama and dictionary of Alabama biography, Volume 4, Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen, The S. J. Clarke publishing company, 1921

2.Star of Destiny: The Private Life of Sam and Margaret Houston, Madge Thornall Roberts (Foreword by Ralph B. Campbell) (1993). 3.Brewer, Alabama History

3.Brewer, Alabama History

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