William Lee was the enslaved valet offor nearly two decades. by Washington in 1768, when he was at least sixteen years old, Lee was assigned to at Mount Vernon and accompanied Washington when he traveled, including during the American Revolution (1775–1783). The war made Lee, who often rode alongside Washington, well-known to both American and British soldiers. Although Lee was initially taken to New York at the start of Washington’s first presidential term in 1789, old injuries to his knees limited his mobility. Lee appears to have married twice and had at least one child, whose identity is unknown. In 1790 he was sent back to Virginia and assigned to make shoes for the plantation. Washington valued Lee’s service and loyalty. In his , he ordered that Lee be freed immediately at his death and provided a $30 annual pension. As a free man, Lee remained at until his own death, which sources suggest to have come either in 1810 or 1828.