Hannah Lee Corbin

(February 6, 1728–by October 7, 1782)
Westmoreland County
Planter

A member of one of Virginia's most prominent families, Hannah Lee grew up at Stratford Hall, in Westmoreland County. She was educated by private tutors alongside her brothers, who included Francis Lightfoot Lee and Richard Henry Lee, two signers of the Declaration of Independence. She married Gawin Corbin about 1747 and had one daughter. Named the executor of her husband's estate, Hannah Corbin managed Peckatone plantation and profited as a tobacco planter.

In the 1760s, Corbin embraced Virginia's Baptist religious revival that challenged the authority of the Church of England. She lived with a Baptist physician named Richard Lingan Hall at Peckatone, though they were forbidden to marry outside the Anglican Church and according to the terms of her husband's will. After Corbin's daughter took possession of Peckatone at age twenty-one, Corbin and Hall moved to her Richmond County estate, where they had two children, and where Hall died in 1774.

During the American Revolution, Corbin applied the rhetoric of no taxation without representation to propertied widows who were taxed without their consent because they lacked the right to vote. She expressed her views privately to her family, but never publicly decried women's disfranchisement. She also never challenged the institution of marriage or created separate estates to preserve her daughters' property rights after they married. Despite her conservative choices, Corbin's legacy remains an example of ways in which eighteenth-century women could thrive independently and assert their rights.