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Mercer, John Francis (17 May 1759–30 August 1821), planter and officeholder, was born at “Marlborough Point,” Stafford County, Virginia, the son of John Mercer, a lawyer and wealthy landowner, and Ann Roy. John Francis Mercer graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1775. In February 1776 he enlisted in the Third Virginia Regiment. Despite his youth—he was not yet seventeen—his family’s social status enabled him to secure a commission as a first lieutenant. In a little more than a year Mercer achieved the rank of captain. He was wounded in September 1777 at Brandywine. In June 1778 he was commissioned a major and became an aide-de-camp to General ...

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Page, John (17 April 1743–11 October 1808), planter, revolutionary leader, and governor of Virginia, was born at “Rosewell” plantation, Gloucester County, Virginia, the son of Mann Page II and Alice Grymes, planters. Page’s grandmother, Judith Carter Page, gave him intellectual guidance during his childhood. In 1752 Page attended Abingdon Parish glebe school but disliked the teacher, William Yates. For the next four years Page studied with a tutor, William Price, whom he credited with teaching him the ideas of classical republicanism and the Whig political principles of the seventeenth-century English revolutions. Page attended the College of William and Mary from 1757 to 1763. There he formed a lifelong friendship with ...

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Plater, George (08 November 1735–10 February 1792), planter, legislator, and governor of Maryland, was born at “Sotterley,” his father’s plantation near Leonardtown, St. Mary’s County, Maryland, the son of George Plater and Rebecca Addison Bowles. His father was a lawyer, legislator, planter, and wealthy landholder who held a variety of proprietary positions, including service on the governor’s council from 1732 until his death. The younger Plater graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1754....