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Campbell, Arthur (03 November 1743–08 August 1811), frontiersman, soldier, and politician, was born in Augusta County, Virginia, the son of David Campbell and Mary Hamilton, immigrant Scotch-Irish Presbyterian farmers. He was not quite fifteen when, during the French and Indian War, he joined a company of Virginia rangers stationed in western Augusta County. At Fort Young on the Jackson River in September 1758, Campbell was captured by Wyandot Indians and spent two years in captivity in the vicinity of Detroit before escaping....

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Clark, George Rogers (19 November 1752–13 February 1818), revolutionary war general and "conqueror of the Northwest", revolutionary war general and “conqueror of the Northwest,” was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, the son of John Clark and Ann Rogers, planters. The Clarks were descended from Scottish immigrants who came to Virginia early in the eighteenth century; George Rogers Clark’s flaming red hair was a mark of his Celtic ancestry. Four of his brothers were officers in the revolutionary army, and his youngest brother, ...

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Cleveland, Benjamin (26 May 1738– October 1806), frontiersman and militia officer in the revolutionary war, was born in Prince William County, Virginia, the son of John Cleveland, a house-joiner, and Martha Coffee. Cleveland had a limited education and hated the drudgery of farm life. He spent his early years hunting, gambling, drinking, fighting, and “frolicking.” Marriage to Mary Graves in 1761 did little to reform his ways. They had two children, but Cleveland also fathered a child by another woman in Virginia....

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Mathews, George (30 August 1739–30 August 1812), soldier, frontiersman, and governor of Georgia, was born in Augusta County, Virginia, the son of John Mathews, an Irish immigrant. His mother’s name is not available. Little is known of his early life, but in 1757 he commanded a company of volunteers fighting against the Indians on the Virginia frontier. In 1762 he married Anne Paul, with whom he is thought to have had eight children. That same year he established himself as a merchant in Staunton, Virginia, and during the next decade he served as a vestryman, justice of the peace, tax collector, and sheriff in Augusta County. In 1776 he was elected to the House of Burgesses. Later that year he joined the army under ...

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Meigs, Return Jonathan (17 December 1740–28 January 1823), revolutionary war officer and federal Indian agent, was born in Middletown, Connecticut, the son of Return Meigs, a hatter and member of the Connecticut General Assembly, and Elizabeth Hamlin. Nothing is known of his early life and education. Meigs married Joanna Winborn in 1764. They had four children, one of whom was ...

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Putnam, Rufus (09 April 1738–04 May 1824), soldier and pioneer, was born in Sutton, Massachusetts, the son of Elisha Putnam and Susanna Fuller, occupations unknown. Putnam’s father died when he was seven years old. When his mother remarried, he lived with a succession of relatives until he was apprenticed to a millwright in 1754....

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Shelby, Evan ( October 1719–04 December 1794), frontiersman and soldier, was born in Tregaron, Cardiganshire, Wales, the son of Evan Shelby and Catherine (maiden name uncertain, possibly Davies). In 1735 the family immigrated to Pennsylvania, and in 1739 they moved to a 1,000-acre land grant near Hagerstown, Maryland. In 1744 Shelby married Letitia Cox; they had seven children. Letitia died in 1777, and he married Isabella Elliott in 1787; they had three children....

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Wilkinson, James (1757–28 December 1825), soldier and intriguer, was born in Calvert County, Maryland, the son of Joseph Wilkinson and Betty Heighe, merchant-farmers. He spent his early years on his parents’ farm, but his father died when he was seven, and his mother apprenticed him to a local physician, John Bond, to learn medicine. When Wilkinson was seventeen he went to Philadelphia to continue his medical training. In 1775 he completed his studies and opened a practice in Monocacy, Maryland. But his heart was not in it. While in Philadelphia he had been dazzled by the fervor of the growing revolutionary movement, avidly watching militiamen drill and listening to heated oratory against the “Intolerable Acts.” He began to neglect his patients, concentrating instead on drilling with a volunteer corps of riflemen, and soon he had joined colonial forces investing Boston. An affable young man, he received attention from General ...

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Winchester, James (06 February 1752–26 July 1826), soldier, planter, and pioneer, was born in Carroll County, Maryland, the son of William Winchester, a surveyor, and Lydia Richards. As a youth he learned his father’s trade and was widely respected for his skill and industry. He enlisted as a private in the Continental army in 1776 and rose to the rank of captain. Wounded, captured, and imprisoned briefly by the British, he served to the war’s end and was a leader in the organization of the Society of the Cincinnati....

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Ziegler, David (13 July 1748–24 September 1811), revolutionary army officer and pioneer settler of Ohio, was born in Heidelberg, Germany, the son of Johann Heinrich Ziegler, a hatmaker and innkeeper, and Louise Friedericka Kern. He spent six years (1768–1774) in the Russian army before migrating to Pennsylvania in 1774. Within a year he had joined a military company in Lancaster County as a third lieutenant. His successful command of a party escorting ammunition to General ...