1-20 of 26 results  for:

  • army officer (American revolution) x
  • Law and crime x
Clear all

Image

Benedict Arnold. Engraving from a painting by John Trumbull. Courtesy of the National Archives (NWDNS-148-GW-617).

Article

Arnold, Benedict (14 January 1741–14 June 1801), revolutionary war general and traitor, was born in Norwich, Connecticut, the son of Benedict Arnold III, a merchant, and Hannah Waterman King. Of his mother’s eleven children, only he and a younger sister survived. At age eleven he was sent away to grammar school, but he left two years later when his alcoholic father lost the family’s fortune. Apprenticed to his mother’s cousin, an apothecary in Norwich, he volunteered in three campaigns (1757–1759) of the French and Indian War, deserting finally to be with his dying mother. His father died soon after, leaving little except debts, but his generous master paid the debts and set Arnold up in business when he decided to move to New Haven in 1762....

Article

Bloomfield, Joseph (18 October 1753–08 October 1823), lawyer, soldier, and politician, was born in Woodbridge, New Jersey, the son of Moses Bloomfield, a physician, and Sarah Ogden. The family was one of the most prominent in colonial New Jersey. His father had received a first-rate medical education in Edinburgh, Scotland, and had a thriving practice in Middlesex County by the time Joseph was born. Joseph’s mother was a member of a wealthy and influential family of Elizabethtown, which further assured Joseph’s upper-class pedigree. His education and choice of occupation were in line with his social standing. While in his early teens, he attended the Reverend Enoch Green’s classical academy in Deerfield, Cumberland County, at the opposite end of the province from Woodbridge. Upon graduation, Bloomfield returned to East Jersey, determined to be a lawyer. He entered the profession at the top, studying in Perth Amboy with Cortlandt Skinner, attorney general of New Jersey, and was admitted to the bar in November 1774. Setting up practice in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, he soon became known and respected in all of New Jersey’s southern counties. The future seemed secure, had not the American Revolution intervened....

Article

Brearly, David (11 June 1745–16 August 1790), jurist and revolutionary war officer, was born at “Spring Grove” farm, near Maidensead (now Lawrenceville), New Jersey, the son of David Brearly and Mary Clark, farmers. The family name was sometimes spelled “Brearley.” His early education is unknown, and he may have briefly attended the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). He studied law and became an attorney at Allentown, New Jersey, where he made his residence. Brearly participated in the revolutionary movement and became associated with men involved in protest against Great Britain before the war who were later dubbed the “early Whigs” and who would dominate East New Jersey politics. In his law practice, he specialized in estate matters; he was appointed Monmouth County surrogate in 1768 and 1771. About 1767 Brearly married Elizabeth Mullen; they had four children before she died in 1777....

Image

Aaron Burr. Engraving on paper, c. 1793 - 1814, by Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de Saint-Mémin. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon.

Article

Burr, Aaron (06 February 1756–14 September 1836), revolutionary soldier, U.S. senator, and vice president of the United States, was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Aaron Burr, a theologian and the second president of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University), and ...

Article

Cadwalader, John (10 January 1742–10 February 1786), revolutionary war soldier, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Thomas Cadwalader, a physician, and Hannah Lambert. Cadwalader received his education in the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania), then organized a prosperous mercantile business with his brother ...

Article

Conway, Thomas (27 February 1735–1800?), soldier, was born in Ireland. Little is known of his parents. At an early age he was taken to France, where he received an education and in 1749 was enrolled in the French army. Diligent service in his profession, especially in Germany in the early 1760s, led to his promotion to a colonelcy in 1772. Upon the outbreak of the revolutionary war, he offered his services to ...

Article

Gates, Horatio (Apr.? 1728?–10 April 1806), soldier, was born, according to tradition, in Maldon, England, the son of Robert Gates, a customs collector, and Dorothy Reeve, a housekeeper. His parents were of low rank, and had he not received patronage from powerful mentors he probably would have been doomed to a life of drudgery. Shortly after his birth his father, who worked for the duke of Bolton, was appointed tidesman in the customs service and later customs collector at Greenwich. His mother, previously housekeeper for the duke of Leeds, assumed the same position in the Bolton household. As a lad, Gates probably attended school in Greenwich. In 1745, through Bolton’s influence, he was commissioned ensign in the Twentieth Regiment, then transferred immediately as lieutenant to a regiment Bolton was privately raising. He served for a time in Germany and was appointed regimental adjutant. In 1749 he joined Colonel Edward Cornwallis as an aide and came out with the colonel to Nova Scotia. Five years later he married Elizabeth Phillips. They had one child....

Image

William Grayson. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-98918).

Article

Grayson, William (1736–12 March 1790), lawyer, soldier, and statesman, was born in Prince William County, Virginia, the son of Susanna Monroe and Benjamin Grayson, a merchant and factor. He attended the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania), graduating in 1760. Some controversy exists concerning whether he next proceeded to Oxford or to Edinburgh, but the absence of his name from the rolls at Oxford, coupled with his great devotion to the teachings of Adam Smith, seems to militate in favor of the Scottish university. According to tradition, he then received legal training at the Inns of Court. He married Eleanor Smallwood....

Image

Alexander Hamilton. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-91098).

Article

Hamilton, Alexander (11 January 1757?–12 July 1804), statesman and first secretary of the treasury, was born in Nevis, British West Indies, the second of two illegitimate sons of James Hamilton and Rachel Faucett Lavien. (The year of birth is often given as 1755, but the evidence more strongly supports 1757.) The father deserted the family when Hamilton was eight; the mother died three years later. Hamilton was apprenticed to a firm of international merchants and proved to be so gifted in commerce that he was soon left in full charge of the business. At fifteen he was “discovered” by a Presbyterian minister, who arranged financial support to send him to the College of New Jersey at Princeton. After a year at a preparatory school he passed the stiff entrance exams at Princeton, but when the president refused to allow him to advance at his own pace rather than with the regular classes, he went to King’s College (now Columbia) in New York instead....

Article

Hardin, John (01 October 1753– May 1792), soldier and scout, was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, the son of Martin Hardin, a tavern keeper and landowner, and Lydia (maiden name unknown). At about the age of twelve, Hardin moved with his parents to George’s Creek in the unbroken wilderness of southwestern Pennsylvania, where he learned woodcraft and Indian ways and became such a proficient marksman that he was greatly feared by hostile natives. When he reached maturity, he married Jane Daviesse (or Davies), with whom he had six children. After their marriage the couple moved to Virginia. In early 1774 he volunteered as an ensign in Dunmore’s War against the Indians. Although wounded in a battle with the Shawnee while campaigning with Captain Zachariah Morgan, he refused to be invalided out of the service....

Article

Houstoun, John (1750?–20 July 1796), lawyer, soldier, and politician, was born in St. George’s Parish, Georgia, the son of Sir Patrick Houstoun, a baronet, registrar of grants and receiver of quit rents for the colony, and Priscilla Dunbar. He studied law in Charleston and practiced in Savannah, where he early became involved in the protests against Great Britain prior to the Revolution and was probably a member of the Sons of Liberty. In 1775 he married Hannah Bryan, the daughter of Jonathan Bryan, a prominent planter, a former member of the governor’s council, and one of the leaders of Georgia’s Whig movement; they apparently had no children. In July 1774 he joined ...

Article

Innes, James (1754–02 August 1798), lawyer, military officer, and Virginia attorney general, was born in Caroline County, Virginia, the son of Robert Innes, a well-educated Scottish clergyman, and Catherine Richards. After receiving a classical education from his father, Innes attended the renowned school of Donald Robertson in King and Queen County, Virginia, with his older brother Harry. At age sixteen he entered the College of William and Mary, where he excelled in his studies. At the college he also cemented a lifelong friendship with fellow student ...

Article

Johnston, Peter (06 January 1763–08 December 1831), jurist, legislator, and soldier, was born at Osborne’s Landing on the James River, Virginia, the son of Peter Johnston, a merchant and farmer, and Martha Rogers. At two years of age Johnston moved with his parents to a large farm in Prince Edward County, Virginia, where he was educated by tutors before enrolling in Hampden-Sydney College (established on land donated by Johnston’s father). In late 1779, in a decision that displeased his Loyalist father, Johnston quit college to join the cavalry legion of Lieutenant Colonel ...

Article

Laurens, John (28 October 1754–27 August 1782), revolutionary war soldier and diplomat, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Henry Laurens, a prominent merchant and planter, and Eleanor Ball Laurens. John Laurens studied under private tutors in Charleston before traveling to London in 1771 for further schooling. In May 1772 he moved to Geneva, Switzerland, a city renowned for its republicanism and education system, and studied there until August 1774. While in Geneva, he decided to become a lawyer, returned to London, and enrolled in the Middle Temple at the Inns of Court....

Image

Charles Lee. Mezzotint on paper, 1775. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Judith Aronson ©1977 Judith Aronson.

Article

Lee, Charles (26 January 1731–02 October 1782), revolutionary war general, was born in Chester, England, the son of John Lee, a British officer, and Isabella Bunbury. Possessing the important social advantage of gentle ancestry, his education was not neglected. His father, desiring that he familiarize himself with peoples and languages other than English, enrolled him at an early age in an academy in Switzerland. Over the years, Lee became proficient in Greek, Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, and German. In 1746 he entered grammar school at Bury St. Edmunds, where he became lifelong friends with important and well-placed companions such as William Butler and Charles Davers. His father, colonel of the Fifty-fifth Regiment of Foot, also determined that young Lee would continue the family’s tradition of military service. Thus when Lee was fourteen years old, Colonel Lee purchased for him an ensigncy in the Fifty-fifth Regiment, soon renumbered the forty-fourth; when young Lee completed his education he reported for active duty. His father died in 1750, and four years later Lee fell out with his mother. Their problems likely stemmed from a strain of eccentricity in the Bunbury family, which Lee inherited, and which manifested itself in moodiness and a choleric temper. As Lee himself later admitted, he suffered from a “distemper of … mind.” Thereafter, Lee was on close terms only with his unmarried sister, Sidney Lee, who like himself had survived a childhood scarred by the deaths of five siblings....