Parent Category: American Revolution Reference
Category: Sages and Heroes of the American Revolution II
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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. 


Philip Schuyler

SCHUYLER PHILIP was born in New England in 1732. He was commissioned a Major General and had no superior in energy, vigilance and courage. For some time previous to the approach of Burgoyne he ably discharged the multifarious duties of the northern command. When that proud General advanced he found traces of Schuyler's industry at every point and his scouts in all directions. Bridges were demolished--the roads blocked with trees--the navigation of Wood creek deranged--supplies removed and his army kept in constant alarm by the light troops of Schuyler who laid the foundation of the victory that virtually saved our Independence. This opinion was often expressed by a revered uncle of mine who was with Schuyler during all his services in the north. At the very time this General was prepared to snatch the laurels of victory from Burgoyne's brow and place them on his own--Gates superseded him. He loved his country too well to be governed by the strict rules of military etiquette at that momentous point of time. He surrendered the command to him with all the papers and information he had acquired, with these burning remarks--"I have done all that could be done, as far as the means were in my power, to injure the enemy and to inspire confidence in the soldiers of our army and I flatter myself with some success--but the palm of victory is denied me and it is left to you, General, to reap the fruits of my labor. I will not fail to second your views and my devotion to my country will cause me, with alacrity, to obey your orders." This language would have been more terrible to me than a thousand crashing thunder bolts. It would have taken more than the laurels of Saratoga to heal the deep gashes my mind would have received from this keen sarcasm of the injured but patriotic and magnanimous Schuyler. A sarcastic remark from Schuyler to Gen. Burgoyne when dining with Gates soon after the surrender is worthy of record. The British General had caused Schuyler's house to be reduced to ashes and attempted an apology which was interrupted by the other--"Make no excuses General. I feel myself more than compensated by the pleasure of meeting you at this table." Gen. Schuyler was in all respects a first rate man. Jealously had put slander in motion against him which was the reason he was superseded. Investigation cleared away the fog from the minds of those in power but did not heal the wounds in his. He was subsequently a member of the Continental Congress and served 12 years in the United States Senate under the Federal Constitution. He died in 1804.

Theodore Sedgewick

SEDGEWICK THEODORE began his earthly career at Hartford Conn. in 1746. He became a strong lawyer and firm supporter of the cause of Liberty. He was frequently in the legislature of Massachusetts and a member of the Continental Congress. He was a member of the convention of his adopted state that sanctioned the Federal Constitution and was subsequently a member of the United States Senate. At the end of his term he was placed upon the Supreme Bench of Massachusetts and dignified his station until 1813 when he was summoned from earth and its toils to the dread tribunal of the great Jehovah.

Johnathan Dickinson Sergeant

SERGEANT JONATHAN DICKINSON was born at Princeton, New Jersey in 1746. He became an eminent lawyer and a strong advocate for American rights. He was elected a member of Congress in February 1776 and continued in that body until July 1777 when he was made Attorney General of Pennsylvania. Why he did not sign the Declaration of Independence is a problem I should like to see solved. In the Connecticut controversy he was employed by his adopted state to advocate her interests. When the yellow fever raged at Philadelphia in 1793 he was a very efficient member in the Board of Health and fell a victim to that fearful disease in October. His private virtues shone conspicuously through his whole life--his country, the poor, the widow and the orphan deeply mourned his premature death.

William Smallwood

SMALLWOOD WILLIAM was a citizen of Maryland and a brave Brigadier General in the Continental army--a member of the old Congress and governor of his state. In every station and in all the departments of life he performed his whole duty and enjoyed the love and confidence of his friends and country until 1792 when he cancelled the debt of nature and descended peacefully to the tomb.

Baron De Von Stuben

STEUBEN FRANCIS WILLIAM AUGUSTUS BARON DE commenced his noble life in Prussia in 1733. He became perfect master of military tactics at an early age in the Prussian army--was an Aid to Frederic the great with the rank of Lieutenant General and was in constant service in his native land until he embarked for America. He landed in New Hampshire in 1777 and was soon after appointed Inspector General of the American army with the rank of Major General. With untiring industry and great energy he rapidly introduced an effective system of discipline, tactics and evolutions, that essentially improved the whole army and rendered it much more efficient in the field. He participated in the battle of Monmouth and had charge of the entrenchments at the siege of Yorktown. At the conclusion of peace his valuable services were partially rewarded in the grant of a farm by the state of New Jersey and 16000 acres of land in Oneida county New York granted by that state. He died on his farm near New York city November 28th 1794.

Caleb Strong

STRONG CALEB was born at Northampton, Mass. in 1744. He was a profound counsellor at the bar of his native town--an able advocate in the cause of Independence. He was a prominent member of the Committee of Safety that was virtually the government of the State for some time. He was a member of the legislature and fearlessly espoused the cause of Liberty. He was a member of the convention that framed the Constitution of Massachusetts and of the one that formed that of the United States. He was elected to the United States Senate and was governor of his native State eleven years. He was an efficient public officer, a devoted patriot, an esteemed citizen--an honest man. He died in 1820 sincerely mourned by his country and most deeply regretted by those who knew him best.

John Sullivan

SULLIVAN JOHN entered on his earthly career in Maine in 1741. His father came from that country called by Aristotle and Strabo _Irene_--by Cæsar, Tacitus and Pliny, _Hibernia_--by Mela and others _Juverna_ all of which names may be traced to the original--_Ir_, _Eri_, _Erin_--now called Ireland. Gen. Sullivan left a lucrative practice at the bar and was commissioned a brigadier-general in 1775 and the next year was raised to the rank of major-general. On the 4th of June 1776 he superseded Arnold in Canada and on the death of Gen. Thomas he was left in command of all the American troops then there. Owing to the illness of Gen. Greene Sullivan was put in command of his division on Long Island and was taken prisoner at the battle on the 27th of August. On the 22d of August 1777 he planned a successful expedition against Staten Island. He acted a brave part at the battles of Brandywine, Germantown and in every place where he was engaged. In 1778 he was placed in command of the troops at Rhode Island and commenced a siege on Newport in August of that year in anticipation of the co-operating aid of the French fleet which was prevented by a storm. This compelled him to raise the siege at once and retreat from a superior force which he effected with consummate skill and success after repulsing the pursuing enemy on the 29th of that month. The next year he commanded the successful but cruel expedition against the Six Nations of Indians. He penetrated the very heart of their country, killed and captured considerable numbers, burnt eighteen of their towns, many of their isolated wigwams--destroyed 160,000 bushels of their corn, all their vegetables, fruits and everything that could be found to sustain life. The expedition was suggested in consequence of the Wyoming massacre. It can be sanctioned by the law of retaliation--no other. Gen. Sullivan was subsequently a member of the Continental Congress for three years--president of New Hampshire and in 1789 was appointed a judge of the District Court which office he dignified until the 23d of January 1795 when he cancelled the debt of nature and slumbered in death. He was very efficient in quelling Shay's insurrection. In every sphere of life he exhibited talents of a high order and left a public fame and private reputation untarnished by corruption.

James Sullivan

SULLIVAN JAMES was born at Berwick, Me. in 1744. He became a bright ornament of the bar and an able advocate of the cause of freedom. He was an active member of the legislature--of the Provincial Congress and of the Continental Congress. He was a judge of Probate and in 1790 was appointed attorney-general of his State. In 1807-8 he was elected governor of Massachusetts and died in December 1808. He was an admirable model of human excellence, adorned those qualities that dignify a man and crowned his life with the lucid exemplification of primitive Christianity.

Edward Stevens

STEVENS EDWARD commenced his earthly career in Culpepper County, Va. and his bold military achievements at the battle of the Great Bridge near Norfolk, Va. where he commanded the rifle battalion with a bravery and skill that elicited general commendation. Soon after that he was placed in command of the 10th Virginia regiment and repaired to the headquarters of Washington. At the battle of Brandywine his skill and courage in covering the retreat of the Americans astonished friends and foes and saved the army from capture. At the action of Germantown his gallantry was publicly applauded by Washington upon the field of glory. He was subsequently placed in command of the Virginia Brigade and fought with great bravery at Camden under Gates, at Guilford Court House under Greene and at the siege of Yorktown under Washington. From the formation of the republican Constitution of Virginia to 1790 he was constantly a member of her legislature. He was a man of untarnished reputation, substantial talent and usefulness. His patriotism soared above all party considerations--he could not be swayed by demagogues. He went for his whole country--the Constitution and our UNION for ever. He looked upon the Federal Constitution as the Jews did upon their ark--the repository of the safeguards and glory of our Republic. He closed his useful life at his residence in Culpepper, Va. on the 17th day of August 1820--ripe in years and full of honors.

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