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King, Rufuslocked

(24 March 1755–29 April 1827)
  • Steven E. Siry

Extract

King, Rufus (24 March 1755–29 April 1827), U.S. senator and diplomat, was born in Scarborough, Maine, the son of Richard King, a merchant, and Isabella Bragdon. King entered Harvard in the summer of 1773. Soon he began a lifelong membership in the Episcopal church and with his fellow students shared the excitement kindled by the Coercive Acts and the movement toward independence. Though the son of a Tory, he denounced the arrival of British troops in June 1775. “America spurns the production of the petty tyrant,” asserted King, “and treating it with deserved contempt, stands firm upon the pillars of liberty, immovable as Heaven and determined as fate. One kindred spirit catches from man to man” (King, vol. 1, pp. 7–8). He graduated in 1777 at the head of his class....

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