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Dayton, Jonathan (16 October 1760–09 October 1824), revolutionary war officer and congressman, was born in Elizabethtown (now Elizabeth), New Jersey, the son of Elias Dayton, a wealthy merchant and revolutionary war general, and Hannah Rolfe. Dayton probably attended Elizabethtown Academy (a grammar school). He entered the College of New Jersey (Princeton) about 1774 and graduated in 1776, although he missed the commencement because he had joined the Continental army....

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Findley, William (1742–05 April 1821), member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was born in Ulster, North Ireland, of unknown parentage. His formal education was limited, but he studied his father’s books on church history and divinity. Findley migrated to Pennsylvania in 1763 and settled in Cumberland County. In 1769 he married Mary Cochran and began farming near Waynesboro. His family included eleven children....

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Floyd, William (17 December 1734–04 August 1821), signer of the Declaration of Independence and congressman, was born in Brookhaven, on the south shore of Long Island, Suffolk County, New York, the son of Nicoll Floyd and Tabitha Smith. Nicoll Floyd’s grandfather Richard Floyd had emigrated from Brenochshire, Wales, to Massachusetts about 1650 and had subsequently settled in Setauket, Long Island. Nicoll Floyd lived in Brookhaven, where he built the “Mastic” estate about 1724. William was sober and serious, a person of proper, respectable, and somewhat pretentious characteristics, who inspired confidence and respect, if not affection. He married Hannah Jones in 1760; they had three children. Floyd lent money at interest and was one of Connecticut governor ...

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Smilie, John (16 September 1742–29 December 1812), revolutionary, Antifederalist, and congressman, was born in county Down, Ireland, the son of Thomas Smilie. His mother’s name is unknown. In 1760 he immigrated to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where he attended public schools and engaged in self-education. Smilie married Jane Porter; they had three children. He supported himself and his family as a farmer....

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Smith, Meriwether (1730–24 January 1794), revolutionary patriot, legislator, and congressman, was born at “Bathurst,” Essex County, Virginia, the son of Francis Smith, a planter and legislator, and Lucy Meriwether. He was born into the elite of Virginia on both sides of his family. His maternal grandfather, Launcelot Bathurst, was a patentee of nearly 8,000 acres of land in New Kent County, while his father, who mentioned sixty-three slaves in his will, was a vestryman and justice of the peace and was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses from Essex four times (1752–1758). Meriwether Smith followed this tradition of political involvement just as Virginia was assuming a leading role in the movement toward the Revolution. About 1760 he married Alice Lee Clarke; they had two children before Alice died. A signer of the Westmoreland Association against the Stamp Act in 1766, Smith was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses from Essex in 1768 and in 1769 was a member of the illegal assembly of burgesses at Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg that framed the association with other colonies to boycott British imports. In 1769 he married Elizabeth Daingerfield; they had two children....