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Article Index

David Ramsay

RAMSAY DAVID was ushered into life at Lancaster, Pa. in 1749. He was thoroughly educated and became an eminent physician. After a brief residence in Cecil County, Md. he removed to Charleston, S. C. in 1773. He was an ardent patriot and was commissioned a surgeon in the Continental army. At the surrender of his adopted city he was among the prisoners who were sent to St. Augustine. In 1782 he was elected a member of Congress and confirmed there up to 1786 except one year. A part of that time he was President of that body. He became an able historian and has enriched our libraries with a history of the Revolution--of South Carolina--of America and a biography of Washington and several other interesting publications. He stood at the head of his profession in Charleston. In 1815 he was called into court to give evidence relative to an insane man who followed him in a rage and killed him on the street.

Edmund Randolph

RANDOLPH EDMUND was a native of Virginia and an eminent member of the Bar. He aided largely in giving an impetus to the revolutionary ball and was among the boldest patriots who early resolved to cut the maternal cords that bound the American Colonies to mother Britain. He was a member of Congress in 1779--subsequently Governor of Virginia--Attorney-General of the United States and for a time Secretary under Washington whose confidence he lost in 1795 for reasons not on the record. He lived in the esteem of his friends until 1813 when he quietly retired to the spirit world.

Peyton Randolph

RANDOLPH PEYTON was a native of Virginia and early engaged in the border wars. He was a good lawyer and Attorney-General under the crown as early as 1748. He became a prominent legislator and was among the first and boldest to expose and oppose British oppression. He was prudent but firm. He threw his whole soul into the cause of Liberty. In all the preliminary meetings of the Old Dominion he was a leading member and a perfect regulator among those whose zeal sometimes fed them beyond the orbit of sound discretion. He was President of the important Congress of 1774 and added to the dignity of the proceedings of that august assemblage of Sages. He was returned to Congress the next year but was detained as speaker in the legislature of his state until late in the session. On the 21st of October 1775 he attended a dinner party at the house of a friend and while there fell from his seat in a fit of apoplexy and expired in a few moments. His body was taken to Virginia and interred. Thus prematurely was extinguished one of the bright luminaries that illuminated the horizon and dawn of the Revolution. His loss was deeply deplored.

Joseph Reed

REED JOSEPH was born in New Jersey on the 27th of August 1741. He became a distinguished member of the Philadelphia Bar where he was pursuing a lucrative practice when he was called to aid in the emancipation of his country. He was a member of the committee of correspondence, President of the Provincial Convention and member of Congress. In 1775 he repaired to Cambridge where he was made an Aid and Secretary of Washington. In 1776 he was adjutant-general of the army and acted a brave and useful part at Trenton, Princeton and in every battle under Washington. During the campaign of 1777 he was constantly in the field. He had a horse killed under him at Monmouth, Brandywine and White Marsh but was preserved from a wound in the numerous hard fought battles at which he was present. The following answer to a proposition of bribery from the British Governor Johnstone is attributed to him and has been claimed for another. "I am not worth purchasing but such as I am the king of Great Britain is not rich enough to buy me." Nor was she rich enough to buy the humble soldiers who captured Andre. In 1778 Gen. Reed was elected President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania which station he held for three consecutive years and was very efficient in the work of infusing a proper spirit in the militia of his state. He filled every place he occupied with great zeal and ability. He was the man to be substantially useful wherever duty called him. He wore himself out in the service of his country and died in Philadelphia on the 5th of March 1785 in the very prime of life and when on the flood tide of an enduring fame.

Paul Revere

REVERE PAUL was born in Massachusetts in 1735. It was he who carried the express from Gen. Warren to Messrs. Adams and Hancock the evening previous to the battle of Lexington. He was a colonel of militia and a devoted patriot. He was in the unfortunate Penobscot expedition in the summer of 1779. His was a life of purity and stern integrity. He died in Boston in 1818. 

Winthrop Sargent

SARGENT WINTHROP was a native of Massachusetts and graduated at Harvard College in 1771. With all the circumstances of his life before him, the historian could present him to the admiring reader in a blaze of glory. Thousands of the noble actors on the stage of the Revolution have passed away without a place on the historic page. From the commencement to the close of the long and sanguinary struggle for Independence he was actively and honorably engaged in the military field. In 1786 he was appointed Surveyor of the North Western Territory and in 1787 Secretary of that government. He was adjutant-general of the army of Gen. St. Clair in his disastrous expedition against the Indians and of the army of Gen. Wayne when he conquered the same red men who had defeated St. Clair. He was subsequently Governor of Mississippi. In all the duties of public and private life he acquitted himself nobly and fulfilled the design of his creation. He died in 1820.

Alexander Scammel

SCAMMEL ALEXANDER commenced his infancy in Mendon, Mass, about 1748. He was liberally educated and excelled in mathematics--strong evidence of an analyzing mind. He was among the first and the last in the war field of the Revolution. In 1775 he was made a brigade-major and the next year a colonel in the line of Continental troops raised by New Hampshire. At the battle of Saratoga in 1777 he commanded the 3d regiment and was severely wounded. He was subsequently appointed adjutant-general of the American army and was generally beloved. As this did not lead him into the din of battle and clash of arms he resigned and took command of a regiment of infantry. On the 30th of September 1781 he was examining the position of the enemy at Yorktown--was suddenly sprang upon and captured. After he had surrendered the barbarous foe gave him a mortal wound which terminated his brilliant career at Williamsburg, Va. on the 6th of October 1781. The death of no officer was more deeply lamented--no one of his grade deserved better of his country and his friends.

Arthur St. Clair

ST. CLAIR ARTHUR was a native of Edinburgh, Scotland. He was a Lieutenant under Wolfe and served through the French war. He subsequently located in Pennsylvania, became naturalized and took a deep interest in the prosperity of his adopted country. He was President of the Cincinnati Society of his state. At the commencement of the Revolution he espoused the cause of Freedom and in 1777 was commissioned a Major General. His military laurels increased and rested gracefully upon him during the war with mother Britain. In 1785 he was elected a member of Congress and in 1787 was President of that body. He was the first governor of the North West Territory. In 1790 he was put in command of the memorable expedition against the Miami Indians. On the 4th of November 1791 he met them in mortal combat and was defeated with the loss of many brave officers and soldiers who had braved the fury of the Revolutionary storm unscathed. By many he was censured--how justly is not a subject to be discussed in this place. That he was a brave and skilful officer when opposed to regular troops he had fully proved. Braddock had done the same. To fight the red man on his own ground is a very different affair. It is reasonable to presume that his disastrous defeat arose from an ignorance of Indian warfare--not from any want of courage or an ignorance of regular military tactics. On his return he resigned his military commission. He was severely pierced by the keen arrows of poverty during his latter years. He died in 1818.

Gosen Van Schaick

SCHAICK GOSEN VAN commenced his mortal career at Albany, New York in 1737. He entered the British army in 1756 with the commission of Lieutenant and served mother Britain faithfully to the end of the French war at which time he had reached the rank of Lieut. Colonel. Had he not been a superior officer he could not have attained that rank among Englishmen. At the first sound of the war cry in 1775 he was on hand ready for action and spent his life and fortune in the cause of FREEDOM. He was placed in command of the first regiment of the New York line and ultimately rose to the rank of Brig. General of the regular army. He fought bravely at Monmouth and other places and had the high esteem of Washington. In 1779 he commanded the successful expedition against the Onondaga Indians for which Congress passed a resolution of most hearty thanks. Gen. Schaick did honor to his country and to every station in which he moved. He was an able officer, a good citizen--an honest man and repaired to his final rest in 1784.