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Franklin, William (1731–16 November 1813), Loyalist leader and last royal governor of New Jersey, was the son of Benjamin Franklin, a printer and later statesman and diplomat, who addressed his autobiography to “My Dear Son.” Born out of wedlock in Philadelphia, William always referred to Deborah Read, Benjamin’s common-law wife, as his mother, but the real identity of his mother is unknown. A close friend of Benjamin’s said William was born of a disagreeable woman “not of good circumstances” who did not want her maternity known. As a boy William liked to read books from his father’s and uncle’s bookstores and had his own race horse, a rarity for the son of a tradesman. Years later, Benjamin wrote about childrearing to a young mother, “Pray let him have everything he likes: I think it of great consequence, while the features of the countenance are forming.” He was tutored by mathematician ...

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Robinson, Beverly (11 January 1723–09 April 1792), land proprietor and Loyalist officer, was born in Middlesex County, Virginia, probably at his family’s Hewick plantation, near Urbanna. He was the son of John Robinson, president of the Virginia council and acting governor (1749), and Catherine Beverley. The Robinsons had strong alliances and kinship ties with Virginia’s gentry. Little is known of Beverly (also spelled Beverley) Robinson’s early life, but he was probably educated by tutors. In June 1746 he raised a company of 130 men, which he took to join British troops at Albany, where they remained without seeing battle action during King George’s War. Robinson stayed in New York City after the war and became a mercantile partner of ...

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Wentworth, John (09 August 1737–08 April 1820), colonial governor, was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the son of Mark Hunking Wentworth, a merchant, and Elizabeth Rindge. John Wentworth inherited leadership of the Wentworth family oligarchy created by his grandfather Lieutenant Governor John Wentworth...