William Howe

Mezzotint published in 1777; colored.

QUICK FACTS
BORN:
10 August 1729 in London, England
  DIED:
12 July 1814 in Plymouth, Devonshire, England

  • By the end of winter, 1776 - 77, Howe loses half his army. More British soldiers are killed in minor skirmishes than in battles.
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Sir William Howe, later 5th Viscount Howe after his brother's death. General and Commander-in-Chief of British forces. Portrait to come. See entry in Wikipedia.
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As in the case of his career as commander-in-chief, Washington’s most important act as president was his giving up the office. The significance of his retirement from the presidency is easily overlooked today, but his contemporaries knew what it meant. Most people assumed that Washington might be president as long as he lived, that he would be a kind of elected monarch like the king of Poland. Hence his retirement from the presidency enhanced his moral authority and set a precedent for future presidents.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)