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Dummer, William (1677–10 October 1761), politician, lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, and farmer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Jeremiah Dummer, a silversmith, and Anna (or Hannah) Atwater. Born to wealthy parents, he was part of Boston’s Puritan elite. On 20 April 1714, he married Catherine Dudley, the daughter of Governor ...

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Harrison, Benjamin (1726?–24 April 1791), Virginia planter, legislator, governor, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born at the family seat, “Berkeley,” Charles City County, Virginia, the son of Benjamin Harrison and Anne Carter, daughter of Robert “King” Carter, one of the largest landowners in the colony. The Harrisons were among the early settlers in Virginia, and Benjamin “the Signer” was the fifth of that name in a direct line of descent. His father and grandfather had been prominent in the affairs of colonial government. His son, ...

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Mason, George (1725–07 October 1792), planter and revolutionary statesman, the son of George Mason (c. 1629–c. 1686), a planter, and Ann Thomson. He was probably born at Dogue’s Neck (now called Mason Neck) in the northern part of Stafford County, Virginia, now Fairfax County. Both his namesake father and grandfather had been important planters and sometimes controversial public men in the Potomac River Valley. His mother was the daughter of Stevens Thomson, an English barrister who served as attorney general of Virginia from 1703 until his death early in 1713. Mason’s father drowned in an accident in 1735, leaving his strong-willed and self-reliant mother to manage the large estate. George Mason remained in Virginia for a private education, which he obtained in part in the library of his guardian, the noted legal scholar ...

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Robinson, John (03 February 1704–11 May 1766), planter, Speaker of the House of Burgesses, and treasurer of Virginia, was born at “Hewick” plantation, Middlesex County, Virginia, the son of John Robinson, a planter and a member of the Virginia Council, and Catherine Beverley. Young Robinson studied at the College of William and Mary. In 1723 he married Mary Storey, who apparently died within a few years, probably in childbirth. They had no surviving children. By 1727 Robinson had moved to King and Queen County, possibly at the time of his marriage to Lucy Moore. Although the dates of both the wedding and the construction of the house are unknown, the Robinsons subsequently resided at “Pleasant Hill” across the Mattaponi River from “Chelsea,” the home of Lucy’s father, Augustine Moore. The new couple had at least two children. The date of Lucy Robinson’s death is uncertain, possibly 1755. Robinson married Susanna Chiswell in 1759. They also had at least two children....