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Barber, Francis (26 November 1750–11 February 1783), revolutionary war officer and schoolmaster, was born in Princeton, New Jersey, the son of Patrick Barber, a farmer and county judge, and Jane Frasher (also spelled Fraser or Frazer). His parents had immigrated from County Longford, Ireland, in 1735. In 1764, while Barber was attending the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), the family moved to a 200-acre farm in Ulster County, New York. Upon receiving his A.B. in 1767, Barber and Stephen Van Voornees established a school at Newbridge, near Hackensack, New Jersey. Considered an able scholar in the ancient languages, especially Greek, Barber was named the master of the Elizabethtown Academy (a Latin grammar school) in 1771. ...

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Garden, Alexander (04 December 1757–24 February 1829), soldier and scholar, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Alexander Garden, a famous naturalist, and Elizabeth Peronneau. Growing up in the long shadow of his father, Garden’s life was carefully monitored, and he received his early education at home. In 1771 he was enrolled at Westminster School in England and after four years there matriculated at the University of Glasgow. He received an M.A. in 1779 and then began the study of law at Lincoln’s Inn. Garden did not long pursue his legal education for in 1780, despite the vehement protests of his Loyalist father, who had fled to London as a refugee, he returned to America to assist his fellow countrymen in their struggle against Britain. For this act of filial defiance he was never forgiven by his father, who died in 1791....

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Porter, Andrew (24 September 1743–16 November 1813), teacher and revolutionary war soldier, was born in Worcester, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, the son of Robert Porter, a farmer. His mother’s name is unknown. At an early age he showed a taste for reading and mathematics, and although he was apprenticed to his elder brother to learn carpentry at the age of eighteen or nineteen, he failed after a few months. Under the guidance of a teacher, Patrick Mennon, who lived about twelve miles from his home, he learned about sundials. Carving one from soapstone, he destroyed his brother’s carpentry tools. His father then tried to teach him farming, but Porter’s aversion to labor and his love for books caused him to spurn that profession as well. Thereupon, his father determined that he should become a schoolmaster and enrolled him in Mennon’s school. After quickly mastering the curriculum, Porter established a small school of his own and began to teach. He struck up an acquaintance with ...

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Scammell, Alexander (27 March 1747–06 October 1781), schoolmaster, military officer, and surveyor, was born in Mendon (now Milford), Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Leslie Scammell, a physician, and Jane Libbey. His parents had emigrated from Portsmouth, England. His father, who died in 1753, had asked the town’s Congregational minister, Amariah Frost, to prepare Alexander for Harvard. Scammell successfully matriculated at Harvard in 1765, where he held the Hollis and Browne scholarships, waited on dining hall tables, and taught school during intersessions but nevertheless found it difficult to finance his education. He briefly left the college during a student protest his junior year but soon thereafter was readmitted. At his graduation in 1769, he delivered a commencement oration in Greek and received an award for scholarly merit. Harvard also awarded him an M.A. three years later....