Thomas Mifflin (January 10, 1744 January 20, 1800) was an American merchant and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, a member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly, a Continental Congressman from Pennsylvania, fifth President of the U.S. Congress under the Articles of Confederation, and a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. He served as Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, President of the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council and the first Governor of Pennsylvania.
Mifflin was born January 10, 1744 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, son of John Mifflin and Elizabeth Bagnall. He graduated from the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania) in 1760, and joined the mercantile business of William Biddle. After returning from a trip to Europe in 1765, he established a commercial business partnership with his brother, George Mifflin, and married his cousin, Sarah Morris, on March 4, 1765. He was a member of the American Philosophical Society.
Early in the Revolutionary War, Mifflin left the Continental Congress to serve in the Continental Army. Although his family had been Quakers for four generations, he was expelled from the Religious Society of Friends because his involvement with a military force contradicted his faith's pacifistic nature. He was commissioned as a major, then became George Washington's aide-de-camp and, on August 14, 1775, became the army's first Quartermaster General. He was good at the job, but preferred to be on the front lines. His leadership in battle gained him promotions to colonel and then brigadier general. He asked to be relieved of the job of Quartermaster General, but was persuaded to resume those duties because Congress was having difficulty finding a replacement.
In Congress, there was debate regarding whether a national army was more efficient or if individual states should maintain their own forces. As a result of this debate the Congressional Board of War was created, on which Mifflin served from 1777 to 1778. He then rejoined the army but took little active role, following criticism of his service as quartermaster general. He was accused of embezzlement and welcomed an inquiry; however, one never took place. He resigned his commissionby then, as a major generalbut Congress continued to ask his advice even after accepting his resignation.
Prior to Independence, Thomas Mifflin was a member of Pennsylvania's Provincial Assembly (17721776). He served two terms in the Continental Congress (17741775, and 17821784). He then served in the house of Pennsylvania General Assembly (17851788).
Death and legacy
Mifflin died in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, January 20, 1800. He is buried in front of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster. A Commonwealth of Pensylvennia historical marker at the church commemorates both Thomas Wharton and Mifflin, the first and last Presidents of Pennsylvania under the 1776 State Constitution. The marker, dedicated in 1975, is located on Duke Street in Lancaster. His relatives live on in the area, but wish not to give their names. It reads:
Entities named after Mifflin
Richard Henry Lee (January 20, 1732 June 19, 1794) was an American statesman from Virginia best known for the motion in the Second Continental Congress calling for the colonies' independence from Great Britain. His famous resolution of June 1776 led to the United States Declaration of Independence, which Lee signed. He also served a one-year term as the President of the Continental Congress, and was a U.S. Senator from Virginia from 1789 to 1792, serving during part of that time as one of the first Presidents pro tempore.
Lee was born in Westmoreland County in the Colony of Virginia on January 20, 1732. Richard was the son of Col. Thomas Lee, Hon. (16901750) and Hannah Harrison Ludwell (17011750). He was the great-uncle of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. His nephew, "Light Horse Harry" Lee earned minor fame during the Revolution, and is now mainly remembered as the father of Robert E. Lee.
In 1757, Lee was appointed justice of the peace for Westmoreland County. In 1758 he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses, where he met Patrick Henry. An early advocate of independence, Lee became one of the first to create Committees of Correspondence among the many independence-minded Americans in the various colonies. In 1766, almost ten years before the American Revolutionary War, Lee is credited with having authored the Westmoreland Resolution which was publicly signed by prominent landowners who met at Leedstown, Westmoreland County, Virginia on 27 Feb 1766. This resolution was signed by four brothers of George Washington as well as Gilbert Campbell.
In August 1774, Lee was chosen as a delegate to the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia. In Lee's Resolution on the 7th of June 1776 during the Second Continental Congress, Lee put forth the motion to the Continental Congress to declare Independence from Great Britain, which read (in part):
Lee had returned to Virginia by the time Congress voted on and adopted the Declaration of Independence, but he signed the document when he returned to Congress.
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
"The first maxim of a man who loves liberty, should be never to grant to rulers an atom of power that is not most clearly and indispensably necessary for the safety and well being of society."
Marriages and children
Richard married first on December 5, 1757, Anne Aylett (17381768), daughter of William Aylett and Elizabeth Eskridge (1719), who married secondly, Dr. James Steptoe, Col. (17091757). Anne died December 12, 1768 at Chantille, Westmoreland Co., Virginia. The couple had four surviving children:
Richard re-married in June or July of 1769 to Anne (Gaskins) Pinckard. The couple had five surviving children:
Francis Lightfoot Lee II
Richard's youngest son was named for his brother Francis Lightfoot Lee, another signer of the Declaration of Independence.
The younger Francis married Jane Fitzgerald on 9 Feb 1810. In 1811 he purchased the estate Sully in Fairfax County, Virginia from his second cousin Richard Bland Lee. Jane died on 25 Jul 1816, shortly after the birth on their fifth child.
Richard was the son of Col. Thomas Lee, Hon. (16901750) of "Stratford Hall", Westmoreland Co., Virginia. Thomas married Hannah Harrison Ludwell (17011750).
Hannah was the daughter of Col. Philip Ludwell II (16721726) of "Greenspring", and Hannah Harrison (16791731).
Thomas was the son of Col. Richard Lee II, Esq., "the scholar" (16471715) and Laetitia Corbin (c. 16571706).
Laetitia was the daughter of Richards neighbor and, Councillor, Hon. Henry Corbin, Sr. (16291676) and Alice (Eltonhead) Burnham (c. 16271684).
Richard II, was the son of Col. Richard Lee I, Esq., "the immigrant" (16181664) and Anne Constable (c. 16211666).
Anne was the daughter of Thomas Constable and a ward of Sir John Thoroughgood.
Lee County, Georgia is named in his honor. Richard Henry Lee Elementary School in Rossmoor, California and honor as is Richard Henry Lee School in Chicago, Illinois are also named in his honor.
Representations in fiction
Richard Henry Lee is a key character in the musical 1776. He was portrayed by Ron Holgate in both the Broadway cast and in the 1972 film. The character performs a song called "The Lees of Old Virginia", in which he explains how he knows he will be able to convince the Virginia House of Burgesses to allow him to propose independence.
Arthur St. Clair (March 23, 1737 [O.S. 1736] August 31, 1818) was an American soldier and politician. Born in Scotland, he served in the British Army during the French and Indian War before settling in Pennsylvania, where he held local office. During the American Revolutionary War, he rose to the rank of major general in the Continental Army, but lost his command after a controversial retreat.
Early life and career
St. Clair was born in Thurso, Caithness, Scotland. Little is known of his early life. Early biographers estimated his year of birth as 1734, but subsequent historians uncovered a birth date of March 23, 1736, which in the modern calendar system means that he was born in 1737. His parents, unknown to early biographers, were probably William Sinclair, a merchant, and Elizabeth Balfour. He reportedly attended the University of Edinburgh before being apprenticed to the renowned physician William Hunter.
Seven Years War
In 1757, St. Clair purchased a commission in the British Army, Royal American Regiment, and came to America with Admiral Edward Boscawen's fleet for the French and Indian War. He served under General Jeffrey Amherst at the capture of Louisburg, Nova Scotia on July 26, 1758. On April 17, 1759, he received a lieutenant's commission and was assigned to the command of General James Wolfe, under whom he served at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. St. Clair met young lady Phoebe Bayard, a member of one of the most prominent families in Boston and they married in 1760. Miss Bayard's mother's maiden name was Bowdoin and sister to James Bowdoin, colonial governor of Massachusetts.
Settler in America
On April 16, 1762, he resigned his commission, and, in 1764, he settled in Ligonier Valley, Pennsylvania, where he purchased land and erected mills. He was the largest landowner in Western Pennsylvania.
In 1770, St. Clair became a justice of the court, of quarter sessions and of common pleas, a member of the proprietary council, a justice, recorder, and clerk of the orphans' court, and prothonotary of Bedford and Westmoreland counties.
By the mid-1770s, St. Clair considered himself more of an American than a British subject. In January 1776, he accepted a commission in the Continental Army as a colonel of the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment. He first saw service in the later days of the Quebec invasion, where he saw action in the Battle of Trois-Riviθres. He was appointed a brigadier general in August 1776, and was sent by Gen. George Washington to help organize the New Jersey militia. He took part in Washington's crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas night 1776, before the Battle of Trenton. Many biographers credit St. Clair with the strategy which led to Washington's capture of Princeton, New Jersey in the following days. It was shortly after this that St. Clair was promoted to Major General.
In April 1777, St. Clair was sent to defend Fort Ticonderoga. His small garrison could not resist British Gen. John Burgoyne's larger force in the Saratoga Campaign. St. Clair was forced to retreat at the Battle of Ticonderoga on July 5, 1777. He withdrew his forces and played no further part in the campaign. In 1778 he was court-martialed for the loss of Ticonderoga. The court exonerated him and he returned to duty, although he was no longer given any battlefield commands. He still saw action, however, as an aide-de-camp to General Washington, who retained a high opinion of him. St. Clair was at Yorktown when Lord Cornwallis surrendered his army.
President of Congress
St. Clair was a member of the Pennsylvania Council of Censors in 1783, and was elected a delegate to the Confederation Congress, serving from November 2, 1785, until November 28, 1787. Chaos ruled the day in early 1787 with Shays' Rebellion in full force and the states refusing to settle land disputes or contribute to the now six year-old federal government. On February 2, 1787, the delegates finally gathered into a quorum and elected St. Clair as 9th President of the United States in Congress Assembled. St. Clair's tenure as President (February 2, 1787 October 29, 1787) was during an effective period, as Congress enacted both the Northwest Ordinance and the current United States Constitution.
Under the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which created the Northwest Territory, General St. Clair was appointed governor of what is now Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, along with parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota. He named Cincinnati, Ohio, after the Society of the Cincinnati, and it was there that he established his home. When the territory was divided in 1800, he served as governor of the Ohio Territory.
Death and legacy
Arthur St. Clair, Patriot and a Founder of the United States of America, died in Greensburg, Pennsylvania on August 31, 1818 in his eighties and in poverty; his vast wealth dissipated by generous gifts and loans, and by business reverses, but, mainly by the refusal of Congress to reimburse him for monies that he had loaned during the Revolution and while governor of the Northwest Territory. He lived with his daughter Louisa St. Clair Robb and her family on the ridge between Ligonier and Greensburg. St. Clair's remains are buried under a Masonic monument in St. Clair Park in downtown Greensburg. His wife Phoebe died shortly after and is buried beside him.
A portion of The Hermitage, St. Clair's home in Youngstown, Pennsylvania was later moved to Ligonier, Pennsylvania, where it is now preserved, along with St. Clair artifacts and memorabilia at the Fort Ligonier Museum.
Places named in honor of Arthur St. Clair include: