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Cooke, Elisha (16 September 1637–31 October 1715), politician and colonial agent, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Richard Cooke, a wealthy tailor, and Elizabeth Leverett. Elisha graduated from Harvard in 1657 and began practicing as a physician. He added to his inheritance by accumulating considerable wealth in shares in ships, a saw mill in Maine, and various landholdings. In June 1668 he married Elizabeth Leverett, the daughter of Governor ...

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Dulany, Daniel (1685–05 December 1753), lawyer and officeholder, was born in Queen’s County, Ireland, the son of Thomas Dulany (occupation unknown). His mother’s name is unknown. He is often called Daniel Dulany, the Elder, to distinguish him from his son Daniel Dulany, Jr....

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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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Logan, James (20 October 1674–31 October 1751), provincial councilor, scholar, and William Penn's secretary in America, provincial councilor, scholar, and William Penn’s secretary in America, was born in Lurgan, County Armaugh, Ireland, the son of Scottish Quakers Patrick Logan, a minister and teacher, and Isabel Hume. His father, who earned an A.M. from Edinburgh University, taught him Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and at age thirteen he was apprenticed to Edward Webb, a Quaker linen draper in Dublin. Logan returned to Lurgan six months later, then moved with his family to Bristol when his father was appointed master of the Friar Meetinghouse School. He replaced his father in this position in 1693 and later earned the respect of William Penn when the colonial proprietor served on the school’s supervisory board. Penn invited Logan to be his secretary in Pennsylvania, and he was with the Penn family aboard the ...

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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....

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Shippen, Edward (1639– August 1712), merchant, religious martyr, and political leader, was born in Yorkshire, England, the son of William Shippen, a prominent landholder, and Mary Nunnes (or Nuns). Although his older brother earned degrees at Oxford and became an Anglican clergyman, Edward in 1668 emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts, a wilderness town of about 3,500. In 1671 he married Elizabeth Lybrand; they had eight children during their seventeen years together. Not long after he joined an artillery company, Shippen converted to his wife’s faith and became a member of the Society of Friends....

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Stoughton, William (30 September 1631–07 July 1701), colonial politician and lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, was born, probably in England, the son of Israel Stoughton and Elizabeth Clarke. The family soon immigrated to Dorchester, Massachusetts, where Stoughton’s father became a large landowner and outspoken politician before returning to England in 1644 to enlist in the parliamentary army. Stoughton followed him after graduating from Harvard in 1650. He studied at Oxford, becoming a fellow of New College and receiving an M.A. on 30 June 1653. He was appointed minister of the Sussex parish of Rumboldswycke near Chichester in 1659 but lost his Oxford fellowship following the restoration of Charles II and returned to Massachusetts in 1662. There he continued to preach, as in a famous election sermon of 1668 delivered before the Massachusetts General Court in which he proclaimed that “God sifted a whole Nation that he might send choice Grain over into this Wilderness” ( ...

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Wormeley, Ralph ( April 1744–19 January 1806), colonial councillor, Loyalist, and legislator, was born at “Lansdowne,” Urbanna, Middlesex County, Virginia, the son of Ralph Wormeley, a planter, and Jane Bowles. Though identified throughout his life with “Rosegill,” the Wormeley seat on the Rappahannock River, he was not born at the ancestral home, which was still occupied by his paternal grandmother. The Wormeley family, established in Virginia since 1635, was one of the few families in the colony that had maintained its wealth and aristocratic standing from the period prior to 1650 until after the American Revolution. Wormeley was the fifth of his name to be a member of the ruling order in Virginia....