Biographies

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A

  • Abigail AdamsWife of John Adams, mother of John Quincy Adams
  • John AdamsSigner of the Declaration of Independence, diplomat, second President
  • John Quincy AdamsDiplomat, senator, sixth President, congressman
  • Samuel AdamsBoston revolutionary leader, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • William Alexander, Lord StirlingContinental Army general — one of Washington’s best
  • Ethan AllenFarmer, businessman, patriot, politician, founder of the state of Vermont
  • John AndréBritish officer, hung for his involvement in Benedict Arnold’s treason
  • Benedict ArnoldTalented Continental Army general who defected to the British

B

C

D

  • Silas DeaneMerchant, Continental congressman, diplomat to France
  • John DickinsonLawyer, politician, writer, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Carl Emil von DonopGerman general; died at the Battle of Fort Mercer.

E

  • Ralph EarlAmerican painter, principally of portraits
  • William EllerySigner of the Declaration of Independence from RI
  • comte d’EstaingFrench admiral, unsuccessful against British fleet at Newport
  • Jupiter EvansSlave of Thomas Jefferson, both born in 1743

F

  • Benjamin FranklinPhiladelphia printer, writer, scientist, inventor, diplomat to France
  • William FranklinRoyal Governor of NJ, Loyalist, son of Benjamin Franklin

G

  • Thomas GageBritish general, Royal Governor of MA, ordered troops to Concord
  • Horatio GatesContinental Army general, won the Battles of Saratoga
  • King George IIIKing of Great Britain in 1760, at age 22, until 1820
  • George GermainBritish lord; American Secretary, 1775—82
  • Elbridge GerrySigner of the Declaration of Independence, vice president under Madison
  • comte de GrasseFrench Admiral, defeated British fleet at Chesapeake Capes
  • Nathanael GreeneContinental Army general; key to winning the war in the South

H

I

  • Ralph IzardFinancier, Continental congressman, U.S. senator

J

  • John JayLawyer, diplomat, Continental congressman, first Chief Justice
  • Thomas JeffersonLawyer, polymath, drafter of the Declaration of Independence, third President
  • John Paul JonesNaval commander for the U.S.
  • Ona JudgePersonal attendant to Martha Washington

K

L

M

  • James MadisonConstitutionalist, congressman, Secretary of State, fourth President
  • John MarshallSoldier, lawyer, politician, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
  • George MasonPolitician, author, political philosopher, Anti-Federalist
  • James MonroeSoldier, lawyer, VA governor, diplomat, fifth President
  • Richard MontgomeryIrish-born Continental Army general, formerly a British officer
  • Daniel MorganMilitia soldier, military tactician, Continental Army general
  • Gouverneur MorrisMerchant, financier; helped draft then stylized the Constitution
  • Robert MorrisSigner of the Declaration of Independence, “Financier of the Revolution”

N

O

P

R

S

  • Philip SchuylerContinental Army general, U.S. Senator for NY
  • Roger ShermanLawyer and politician from CT; signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Arthur St. ClairContinental Army general, surrendered Fort Ticonderoga to the British
  • Baron von SteubenContinental Army general from Prussia, drilled the troops at Valley Forge
  • Richard StocktonLawyer, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Gilbert StuartAmerican painter of quintessential portraits, including George Washington
  • John SullivanContinental Army general, Continental Congress delegate, NH governor
  • Thomas SullyBritish-born painter, mainly of portraits

T

  • Banastre TarletonBritish officer of the cavalry, notorious for his exploits in the South
  • Tench TilghmanAide-de-camp to Washington throughout the Revolutionary War
  • John TrumbullAmerican artist, soldier at the Battle of Trenton

V

W

  • Joseph WarrenBoston doctor, revolutionary, militia general
  • Mercy Otis WarrenPlaywright, historian, sister of James Otis, Jr., wife of James Warren
  • George WashingtonCommander-in-chief of the Continental Army; first President
  • Martha WashingtonWife of George Washington, First Lady; 1731—1802
  • Anthony WayneContinental Army general, defeated the British at Stony Point
  • Benjamin WestAmerican-born painter who moved to England in 1763
  • James WilsonLawyer, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Supreme Court justice
  • John WitherspoonCollege of NJ president, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • George WytheLawyer, teacher, scholar, signer of the Declaration of Independence

Washington’s refusal to accept a salary for his services was emblematic of his somewhat ostentatious public virtue. He did open a public expense account, however, and some have claimed that he made money from it by overcharging Congress. In fact, the £150 per month that he requested for expenses was not just for him, but also for his entourage, which sometimes swelled to a crowd. His account books, which still exist, list charges for things like ferry fares, innkeepers’ fees, candlesticks, saddle repair, meat, fruit, mounds of cabbages and beets, and (admittedly) oceans of grog, liquor, and wine. Washington even charged Congress for fifteen shillings Cash paid a beggar by the General’s order. But although he was not averse to placing his headquarters in the occasional mansion, he otherwise made do with precious few luxuries.

Edward G. Lengel
General George Washington: A Military Life (2005)