Jesse Lee

1758-1816. “The Apostle of Methodism in New England.” Born in Virginia, he early became a Methodist preacher, but was a pacifist during the Revolutionary War when Methodists were regarded as unpatriotic, due to the statements of John Wesley. He was appointed to the first circuit in New England from 1789 to 1798, achieving much success over a wide area. After serving as assistant to Bishop Asbury* (1797-1800), he was appointed as presiding elder of the South District of Virginia in 1801. He served three terms as chaplain in the House of Representatives, and one in the Senate of the United States. During all his other activities he attempted to chronicle the progress of Methodism in America, and published his Short History of Methodism in America, the first such account, in 1810.