KENNARD NATHANIEL was born in Massachusetts in 1755. He was a volunteer in one of the first regiments raised in Massachusetts. In that he served one year and then entered on board a private armed vessel--was taken prisoner--taken to England and confined in Mill Prison for 27 months with a standing threat he should be hanged. He was finally sent to France and shipped on the Bon Homme Richard and was in the action described in the preceding article. He was put on board one of the prizes and ordered for France--was again taken prisoner--put on board the British frigate Unicorn and compelled to do duty until he found an opportunity to escape on the Island of Jamaica and reached home just before the close of the Revolution. During the war of 1812 he commanded a Revenue Cutter. From that period he was Inspector of Customs at Portsmouth N. H. up to the time of his death which occurred on the 24th of June 1823.
KING RUFUS commenced his life career in New York in 1755. In his youth he was an ardent friend to the cause of FREEDOM and a patriot in action. He was a member of Congress when convened at Trenton New Jersey in 1784. He was a very efficient member of the Convention in 1787 that formed the Federal Constitution and was soon after elected to the United States Senate. From 1796 to 1803 he was minister at the Court of St. James. In 1813 he was elected a United States Senator and was minister to England during the administration of John Quincy Adams. All his public and private duties were performed with a single eye to the glory of his country, the good of the human family and the preservation of our glorious UNION. He bid farewell to earth, its toys, toils, griefs and joys in April 1827.
KIRKWOOD ROBERT was a native of Newcastle county, Delaware. When the oppression of mother Britain became so intolerable that forbearance was no longer a virtue, Robert Kirkwood exchanged the implements of agriculture for the sword and entered the Delaware regiment under Col. Hazlet with the commission of Lieutenant. He was in thirty-two battles during the war and received the highest praise from every general officer under whom he served. At the battle of Camden fought by Gen. Gates, the Delaware regiment was reduced to 195 men who were formed into a company under the command of Capt. Kirkwood. A particular history of his bold exploits would fill a respectable volume. At the close of the war he was brevet Major. He was a universal favorite and richly deserved to be so. He fell fighting under Gen. St. Clair on the 4th of November 1791.
KNOWLTON THOMAS was a native of Ashford Connecticut and one of the first brave spirits that entered the field and among the first martyrs in the cause of FREEDOM. He commanded a regiment at the battle of Long Island in August 1776 which formed the van of the American army. In September following he came in contact with Gen. Leslie with a superior force and fell while gallantly leading his men to the charge. The command then devolved on Major Leitch of Virginia who was severely wounded but drove the enemy from the field. Col. Knowlton was an officer of great promise, an esteemed citizen--an honest man.
KNOX HENRY was born in Boston, Mass. on the 25th of July 1750. He was created a freeman and nobly fulfilled the design of his creation. In early life he became familiar with the engineer department, of military tactics. He was among the first Major Generals appointed by Congress and directed the ordnance operations during the whole period of the Revolution. The practised veterans of mother Britain were often compelled to admit that he had no superior in the management of artillery. His skill was effectually illustrated on every battle field where he was present. The victory at Monmouth over superior numbers was attributed by the enemy to the artillery of Gen. Knox. Washington referred to the fact in his report to Congress. From the commencement of his useful military career at Cambridge to its brilliant close at Yorktown, this brave and accomplished General stood on a lofty eminence of fame, admired and beloved by the commander-in-chief, by the whole army, by Congress and by our nation. He succeeded Gen. Lincoln in the War Department after the close of the Revolution and was the first Secretary of War under the Federal Constitution. On retiring from public life he settled at Thomastown, Maine, where his death was occasioned by a chicken bone lodging in his throat on the 25th of October 1806. In the private walks of life he exemplified those virtues most prominently that best adorn the man and assimilate him to his Creator.
KOSCIUSZCO THADDEUS commenced his noble existence in 1746 in the palatinate of Brescia, Lithuania, once an independent grand duchy containing 60,000 square miles which was united to Poland in 1569 and now forms the Russian provinces of Wilna, Grodno and Minsk. When reading the classics in his youth this noble patriot became enraptured with the vision of a Republic. He completed his education by a military course that he might be better prepared to battle for Liberty. When the story of the American Revolution reached him he at once resolved to enroll his name with those who dared to make an effort to be free. On his arrival, Washington appointed him a Colonel of engineers and one of his aids. His undaunted bravery on all occasions, his patriotic zeal, his amiable disposition, his purity of life, his noble bearing--all combined to endear him to the army and to every friend of freedom. He returned to his native land at the close of the Revolution and left his name carved high on the temple of our Liberty. Having aided in achieving the Independence we now enjoy, he saw his long nursed vision of a Republic reduced to a happy reality. His own countrymen were groaning under a bondage more servile than that which had oppressed the Americans. He longed to see them free. A few noble spirits were prepared to strike for Liberty. The time arrived for action. Kosciuszco was made Commander-in-chief in 1789. Five years passed in preparation. In 1794 his army was attacked at Raslavice by the Russian General Denisoff who was defeated with great slaughter. For six mouths he kept at bay the combined forces of Russia and Prussia. On the 4th of October of that year, the officer who commanded the advance position of the Polish army proved a traitor and permitted the enemy to occupy it without opposition. This effected the ruin of the liberating army--Kosciuszco fell covered with wounds and was incarcerated in a dungeon at St. Petersburg until Alexander was crowned who at once restored him to freedom. He then visited the United States and landed at Philadelphia where he was made a welcome guest. He subsequently spent some time in France. From thence he went to Solence in Switzerland where he died on the 16th of October 1817.
LACY JOHN was born in Bucks County, Pa. on the 4th of February 1755. His paternal ancestor came from the Isle of Wight under the auspices of William Penn. John's ancestor and all his descendants belonged to the Society of Friends. The love of Freedom predominated over the anti-war creed of John and he made up his mind to obtain it, peaceably if he could--forcibly if he must. He took the commission of captain from Congress on the 6th of January 1776 and was at once thrown over the fence by his Quaker brethren. He left his home, his society and his mill to do battle for his country. He served under Gen. Wayne in Canada and performed the hazardous duty of carrying an express from Gen. Sullivan to Arnold when before Quebec. On his return the next year he resigned in consequence of a difficulty with Gen. Wayne. He was then appointed by the legislature of Pennsylvania to organize the militia in Bucks County. He was soon elected colonel. He was now in the midst of tories and Quakers who were acting in concert with the enemy and threatened him with personal vengeance. These threats he disregarded as the idle wind. He brought his regiment into the field and performed feats of valor that at once raised him to a high standard on the list of heroes. His conduct was particularly noticed by Washington and he was honored with the commission of brigadier-general on the 9th of January 1778 and ordered to relieve Gen. Potter. He was then but 22 years of age. Probably influenced by his refugee neighbors--the British in Philadelphia determined on taking him dead or alive. His duties were onerous, his watchfulness untiring. On the 1st of the ensuing May he was stationed at what is now Hatborough with less than 500 men, mostly raw militia. Owing to the negligence of the officer of his picket guard his little camp was surrounded just at the dawn of morning by about 800 British infantry, rangers and cavalry. He formed his men quickly and cut his way through with such impetuosity that he threw the enemy into confusion and escaped with the loss of only 26 killed with a few wounded and prisoners who were treated with a barbarity that casts savage warfare so far in the shade that their most cruel tortures would appear as refulgent sun light in comparison. This bold manœuvre of Gen. Lacy and his brave Spartans was a matter of applause throughout the country. He was constantly employed by Gen. Washington on hazardous enterprises and in every instance received his unqualified approbation. After the evacuation of Philadelphia Gen. Lacy was made a member of the legislature and served three consecutive sessions. In 1781 he closed his military career and like a good citizen, married an amiable daughter of Col. Reynolds of New Jersey and commenced a successful career of domestic felicity. He filled various civil offices, lived in the esteem of every patriot (not of all his Quaker relatives) and died at the village of New Mills, Burlington County, N. J. on the 17th of February 1814.
LAURENS HENRY was ushered into the world at Charleston, S. C. in 1724. He was one of the first in his state to put the revolutionary ball in motion. He was President of the Provincial Congress of South Carolina that convened in June 1775. He prepared articles of association that demonstrated how clearly he perceived--how strongly he felt the oppressions of mother Britain. In November 1777 he succeeded John Hancock in the Presidential chair of the Continental Congress. In 1780 he was commissioned to proceed to Holland to negotiate a loan and form a treaty with the United Netherlands. On his passage he was captured by a British war vessel and on the 6th of October was committed to the tower in London under the charge of high treason. He was there confined for 14 months and treated with the proverbial cruelty that has left a dark stain upon the names of the British ministers then in power, that if they were linen the concentrated powers of a thousand suns could not efface it in a million of years. Many stratagems were devised to obtain from him concessions and promises that would lessen his sufferings and apparent danger but which did not honor his country. They were spurned with an indignity that none but FREEMEN can so burningly exhibit. When his son was sent to the court of France the father was requested to write and request him to desist from his mission or the life of his parent would be taken. He promptly refused and replied--"My son is of age and has a will of his own. I know him to be a man of honor. He loves me dearly and would lay down his life to save mine but I am sure he would not sacrifice his honor to save my life and I applaud him for it." The indignation of the Americans and many in the mother country was roused against those who held Mr. Laurens in bondage. The authorities found themselves in a tight place. They dare not try and condemn him as a rebel. For this a swift retribution awaited them. Burgoyne and many other high functionaries were prisoners of war. The old patriot could not be moved from the position of a freemen. He correctly considered himself only a prisoner of war--his own countrymen and other nations were of the same opinion. After much ado about a plain simple matter the king's counsellors had him bound, with Messrs. Oswald and Anderson as sureties, to appear at the Easter term for trial after being compelled to strike from the recognizance the words "our sovereign lord the king." Before leaving he was entirely released and requested by Lord Shelburne to hasten home to assist in consummating a peace. Before leaving he received a commission from Congress to repair to Paris and act in conjunction with Messrs. Franklin, Adams and Jay and had the proud satisfaction of signing the preliminaries of peace on the 30th of November 1782. His cruel deprivations during his imprisonment laid the foundation of disease which terminated his life near Charleston, S. C. on the 8th of December 1792. His name is enrolled with the patriotic, the virtuous and the good.
LAURENS JOHN was the noble son of Henry before alluded to. He was one of the bravest of the brave. He entered the army in 1777 with the rank of lieutenant-colonel and was a member of the military family of Washington. At Germantown he was severely wounded in an attempt to dislodge the enemy from Chew's house. He gained laurels at Rhode Island, Monmouth, Savannah, Charleston and at several other points of desperate conflict. He was among the first to enter the lines at Yorktown. He courted danger ardently--his courage was impetuous--he knew no fear. Dr. Ramsay said of him--"A dauntless bravery was the least of his virtues and an excess of it his greatest foible." His love for Washington knew no bounds. He challenged Gen. Charles Lee for speaking disrespectfully of the father of our country and marked him for life. He was asked how young Laurens behaved and replied--"I could have hugged the noble boy he pleased me so." His mission to France in 1781 to effect a loan was successful. His private virtues were as bright as his public career was brilliant. He was a high-minded, honorable, accomplished gentleman. At a trifling skirmish after the war was virtually closed this noble young man was killed in 1782.
LEDYARD WILLIAM was born in Connecticut in 1738. He was a murdered martyr in the glorious cause of Liberty. After bravely defending Port Griswold at New London against an overwhelming force under the traitor Arnold he was compelled to surrender [see the Life of Arnold]. A British officer entered and asked who commanded the fort. Col. Ledyard replied-"I _did_ but _you_ do now" and handed him his sword which he immediately plunged through the body of his defenseless prisoner. Nearly 70 were slaughtered after the surrender. The fort was manned by 157 militia hastily collected and poorly armed. But 6 were killed in the regular attack. The British had two commissioned officers and 40 privates killed--135 non-commissioned officers and privates wounded--conclusive proof of the bravery of Col. Ledyard and his men in an action of only forty minutes. The following extract from the inscription on the tomb-stone of Col. Ledyard shows the high estimation in which he was held.
"By a judicious and faithful discharge of the various duties of his station he rendered most essential services to his country and stood confessed the unshaken patriot and intrepid hero. He lived the pattern of magnanimity, courtesy and humanity--he died the victim of ungenerous rage and cruelty."
LEE ARTHUR commenced his mortal career in Virginia in 1740. He was highly educated in England--took the degree of M. D. at the medical university of Edinburgh--returned to Williamsburg in his native State and commenced the successful practice of his profession. In a few years he returned to England--read law in the Temple and became a political writer over the signature of Junius Americanus which gave him an acquaintance with the popular party and gained him a membership in the famed society of the supporters of the Bill of Rights. His numerous political essays in favor of the cause of Liberty gained for him a high reputation at home. He was associated with Messrs. Franklin and Deane in negotiating a treaty of alliance with France in 1776. Upon learning that false accusations had been circulated by Mr. Deane alleging improper political conduct he resigned and returned home. He was elected to the Virginia Legislature in 1781 and then to Congress where he remained until 1785. The previous year he had effected a treaty with the Six Nations of Indians. He went from Congress into the Treasury Department where he continued up to 1789 when he left the public arena and died in 1792. He was a man of parts and a zealous patriot.
LEE CHARLES was a native of North Wales and held a military commission at the age of eleven. His was emphatically the life of a soldier. He served at an early age in Canada--under Burgoyne in Portugal--in the Polish army--travelled the tour of Europe--killed an Italian officer in a duel--came to America in 1773--declared for Liberty and was made a major-general by Congress in 1775. He commanded for a time in New York--then in the south--was soon transferred to New Jersey where he was made prisoner in 1776 and treated in the most brutal manner and not exchanged until the close of the next year. In 1778 he was arraigned before st court martial for disobeying orders at the battle of Monmouth and suspended for one year. He lived in seclusion in Virginia until 1782 when he repaired to Philadelphia and died in October of that year--poor and friendless--friendless because he was poor. He was a man of energy--a brave officer--rather morose and not calculated to captivate or gain popular applause.
LEE HENRY was born in Virginia in 1756 and entered the military arena in 1776 with the rank of captain of cavalry. At the battle of Germantown his company was the body guard of Washington. In 1780 he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel and put in command of the celebrated "Lee's Legion" so often referred to and which was a terror to the enemy during the war. At Eutaw Springs and in numerous battles he gained imperishable laurels. From 1786 to the time of the adoption of the Federal Constitution he was a member of Congress and a member of the Convention that framed that sacred instrument. In 1799 he was elected to Congress and selected to pronounce the funeral oration of President Washington. In 1792 he was governor of Virginia. For military courage, skill and prudence Col. Lee stood in the front rank. His capture of the garrison of Paulus Hook opposite New York in open day without the loss of a man and in sight of the main British army and navy, was a feat scarcely equalled during the Revolution. So perfect were his plans--so rapid were his movements that he eluded pursuit and took every man found in the garrison to the American camp. He commanded the army that put a quietus on the Whisky boys in Pennsylvania. With all his honors fresh upon him he was incarcerated in prison for the crime of debt. He there wrote his "Memoirs of the Southern Campaign." He was severely wounded at the riot in Baltimore in 1814. He died at Cumberland Island in Georgia at the house of a friend in 1814. His remains repose near those of Gen. Greene who was his warm friend and companion in arms. His relentless creditors could rob him of his personal liberty but could not chain his noble mind nor rob him of a well earned fame or of the glorious title of an HONEST MAN.
LEE EZRA was born in Connecticut in 1749. He left his plough in the furrow to avenge the wrongs that were heaped upon his country by the hirelings of the crown. With the commission of a Captain he entered the service under Gen. Parsons. He had the marked esteem of Gen. Washington and performed many secret missions for him. He fought with him at Trenton, Monmouth and Brandywine. When the British fleet lay in New York bay he sent every war vessel to Sandy Hook as fast as wind could take them--the men sweeping the bottoms of the ships with chains for fear some live Yankee might still be there. An ingenious apparatus for blowing up ships was invented by David Bushnel of Saybrook, Conn. Washington employed Capt. Lee to put it in operation. For the want of a resisting power to work the attaching screw he was not able to penetrate the copper on the bottom of the vessel. He finally detached the apparatus containing the magazine of powder and left it under one of the large war ships. In due time it exploded--put the water in earthquake agitation and shook the very earth. The brave Britons were as badly frightened as when they had the dreadful battle with the kegs on the Delaware opposite Philadelphia. They were missing in a short time. After the Independence of his country was secured Capt. Lee returned to his farm where he lived in the esteem of his fellow citizens and pursued the even tenor of his ways at Lyme Connecticut until the 29th of October 1821 when his noble soul returned to its original happy home.
Thomas Sim Lee
LEE THOMAS SIM was a citizen of Maryland and early espoused his country's rights and sternly opposed British wrongs. He served his country in various public capacities--was a member of the Continental Congress--a delegate to the Convention that framed the Federal Constitution and governor of his state. He lived in the full enjoyment of the esteem of his numerous friends until 1819 when his lamp of life was snuffed out by death.
LINCOLN BENJAMIN was introduced on our rolling planet at Hingham, Mass, on the 23d of January 1733. Like Cincinnatus he left his plough and hastened to repel the invading foe. As Colonel of militia he had taken the entered apprentice degree in military tactics and rose rapidly in rank. In 1776 the Council of Massachusetts made him a Major General and in February of the ensuing year Congress conferred on him a similar commission at the suggestion of Washington. He was with him at New York and in Jersey and rendered efficient aid during that trying period. In July 1777 he joined the northern army and did much toward preparing the way for the capture of Burgoyne. He made his head quarters at Manchester, Vermont. On the 13th of September he sent Col. Brown to lake George with 500 men who surprised the enemy--seized 200 batteaux--took 293 prisoners and liberated 100 Americans with a loss of only three killed and five wounded. He soon united his force with that of Gen. Gates and was second in command. During the bloody battle of the 7th of October he commanded within the lines. On the 8th of October he was severely wounded in the leg and disabled for a long time. He suffered several surgical operations and lost a considerable portion of the bone which lamed him for life. In 1778 he was put in command of the southern division of the army then in a miserable condition. Near the last of December Gen. Provost arrived with several armed vessels and 3000 fresh troops and occupied Savannah. In September 1779 Gen. Lincoln and Count D'Estaing made a bold but unsuccessful attack upon the enemy. A column under Count Dillion missed their way and were not in the action, to which accident may be attributed the failure of success. In leading on a corps of cavalry Count Pulaski was mortally wounded. Gen. Lincoln then repaired to Charleston and used his best exertions to place it in a state of defence. In February 1780 Sir Henry Clinton arrived and on the 30th of March planted himself in front of that city. After wasting considerable powder he demanded a surrender on the 10th of April which was promptly refused. A vigorous siege was prosecuted until the 11th of May when terms of capitulation were arranged. Gen. Lincoln had kept the enemy at bay much longer than was anticipated by friend or foe. His conduct stood approved by all whose good opinion he valued. At Yorktown he commanded the central division. His conduct elicited the high approbation of Washington who mentioned him particularly in his report to Congress. In 1781 he was placed at the head of the War Department. At the end of two years he resigned and was complimented by Congress with a resolution of strong commendation. In 1784 he was one of the commissioners who made a treaty with the Penobscot Indians. In 1787 he commanded the troops who quelled the rebellion of Shay and Day. The same year he was elected Lieut. Governor. In 1789 he was one of the commissioners who effected a treaty with the Creek Indians and in 1793 with the Western Indians. He was appointed Collector of the Port of Boston in 1789 which office he held until two years before his death which occurred on the 9th of May 1810. In all respects he was a worthy citizen and exemplified every virtue that renders a man truly useful.
Lippitt Christopher was born in Rhode Island in 1744. From early life he took a deep interest in the welfare of his country and filled many public stations. When the war cry was sounded he was Colonel of a regiment and marched his yeoman troops to the battle field. He subsequently entered the Continental army--was raised to the rank of Brigadier--fought bravely at Harlaem Heights, White Plains, Trenton and Princeton and received the high commendation of Washington for his zeal, courage and uniform consistent course. He was elected governor of his native state before the close of the war and was several times called out to repel the invading foe. He was always at the post of duty and knew no fugitive fear. He acted a noble part in the drama of life--when the curtain of death closed upon him he was ready. He died at Cranston, Rhode Island in 1824.
Robert R. Livingston
LIVINGSTON ROBERT R. was a native of the Empire State and one of the early and bold patriots who bearded the British lion and drove him from his lair of illegitimate power. He was an acute lawyer, a profound jurist, an able statesman. He was a member of Congress in 1776 and on the committee appointed to prepare the Declaration of Independence. He was Secretary of Foreign Affairs-minister to France and for a long time chancellor of the State of New York. He dignified every station he occupied, graced the walks of private life and made a peaceful exit from earth in 1813.
LIVINGSTON WILLIAM was born in New York in 1723. He was a ripe scholar, a firm patriot and was among the first to expose the usurpations of mother Britain and rouse the people to a vindication of their chartered rights. He was an able writer and was most sincerely hated by the creatures of the crown. He removed to New Jersey just previous to the war storm. He was an able member of Congress in 1774. He was the first governor of his adopted State under the new order of things and ably filled that dignified office for fourteen consecutive years when he was called "to that country from whose bourne no traveller returns." He died near Elizabethtown, N. J. on the 25th of July 1790 full of years and crowned with honors enduring as history.