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Eastern District of Pennsylvania, lo wit.
BE IT REMEMBENED, that on the fourth day of August in the forty-ninth year of the Independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1824, Thomas J. Rogers, of the said District, hath deposited in this office the Title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to
wit: “A new American Biographical Dictionary; or Remembrancer of the departed Heroes, Sages, and Statesmen, of America. Confined exclusively to those who have signalized themselves in either capacity in the Revolutionary War, which obtained the Independence of their country. Third Edition, with important alterations and additions. Compiled by Thomas J. Rogers." “Whether we consider the intrinsic gallantry of our revolutionary heroes and
“statesmen, the sufferings they endured, or the inestimable value of the “blessings they obtained, no nation has prouder examples to appeal to than “the American people : no nation was ever called on by stronger obliga“tions of gratitude, to honor their characters and to consecrate their me. “mories."
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned.” And also to the act entitled, “An act supplementary to an act, entitled “An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned,” and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
D. CALDWELL, Clerk of the Eastern district of Pennsylvania.
TWO editions of this work have been published, and the second has received the decided and unequivocal approbation of some of the most distinguished individuals in our country. The present edition is considerably enlarged, and essentially improved, by numerous original sketches of individuals, whose characters, conduct, and patriotism, in all probability, never would have been recorded, but for this publication. Every day more solicitude and interest is manifested for the history and events of the revolutionary war, and more veneration is paid to the memory of those illustrious statesmen and soldiers, who laid the foundation of the American republic. Those venerable men are rapidly departing from among us. Every day adds to the number of those who have gone, and few now remain. It becomes us the more then to cherish their principles, which will, ere long, be all that survives them, except indeed the history of their virtues, patriotism, and gallant exploits. These, we trust, will never be forgotten by their descendants. There is no task more delightful to a grateful posterity, nor more worthy of a patriot, than to search out the rolls of honourable exploit, and to promulgate it to our country. Every endeavour to rescue from forgetfulness the men who distinguished themselves in our glorious revolution, ought to be encouraged by all patriotic Americans. We ought to implant their memory in the hearts of our children, to be handed down to their children, in proud remembrance of their virtues, talents, and patriotism : for “ never, in any country or in any age, did there exist a race of men whose souls were better fitted to endure the trial. Patient in suffering, firm in adversity, calm and collected amidst the dangers which pressed around them ; cool in council, and brave in battle, they were worthy of the cause and the cause was worthy of them.” Whether we consider their intrinsic gallantry, the sufferings they endured, or the inestimable blessings they obtained for themselves and their posterity, no nation has prouder examples to appeal to than the American people : no nation was ever called on by stronger obligations of gratitude, to honour their characters and to consecrate their memories.
In contemplating the characters of those illustrious men, who have been emphatically called the founders of our republic, we have before us models of every public and private vir
tue. Here he who is ambitious of acting a distinguished part in the cabinet, may learn to imitate a Franklin, a Henry, an Adams, a Hancock, and others. Here the soldier, whose ambition is patriotism and glory, may be stimulated to acquire the laurels gained by a Washington, a Greene, a Montgomery, a Wayne, a Warren, and their compatriots. And here the naval aspirant, may dwell with delight and satisfaction, on the heroic actions of a Biddle, Barney, and others. In a word, bere may the sons of America trace the lineaments of their fathers' glory, and by their example learn to imitate their deeds. “ The authors of our independence will indeed occupy a high rank in the veneration of posterity; and for the gratification of the present and all future times, it is now proper to collect the scattered notices of their personal and political history ; to mould them into form, and to exhibit the result to the contemplation of an admiring world."
The introduction contains a succinct account of the events which led to the rupture between Great Britain and her then colonies. The declaration of 1775, and the other papers which emanated from congress, during the revolutionary contest, contain the manful remonstrances of freemen against oppression ; an elegant and eloquent exposition of the rights of the people, and of the causes which impelled our fathers to the separation. The biographies of the sages and heroes, contain much instructive history of the revolution ; calculated to incite the young, instruct the old, and improve the moral character of the nation, by holding up to public view and imitation, portraits of virtue and patriotism, of which the history of mankind affords no brighter examples. To which is ailded the Farewell Address of WASHINGTON, in which we may read with delight and instruction, the advice of the father of our country, and the importance and necessity of preserving the union of our confederated republic.
The compiler claims no other merit for this work, than a persevering industry to collect and save from oblivion, the names and deeds of those brave men, whose wisdom in council, and valour in battle, gave liberty and independence to a great, powerful, and flourishing nation.
Easton, Pennsylvania, September 1, 1824.
THE compiler deems it proper to state the gradual approaches which the colonies made towards independence, previous to the declaration by the immortal Congress of 1776, and in a summary mode to trace the current of events, from the origin of the plan of taxing America, up to the Fourth of July of that year.
In 1764, the British parliament passed resolutions, preparatory to laying a tax on the colonies, by a stamp act. In March, 1765, the famous stamp act was passed, to take effect in the colonies on the first of November following. This was the first act of the mother country, which created alarm, and which eventually caused a separation of these states from Great Britain. It passed the house of Commons by a majority of two hundred votes. The bill met with no opposition in the house of Lords. The very night the act passed, Dr. Franklin who was then in London, wrote to Charles Thompson, afterwards secretary of congress : “ The sun of liberty is set ; the Americans must light the lamps of industry and econo
; my." To which Mr. Thompson answered : "Be assured we will light torches of quite another sort.” He here predicted the opposition and convulsions, that were about to follow this odious act. The torch of the revolution was indeed very soon lighted. When the information of the passage of the act reached the colonies, the assembly of Virginia was the only one in session ; and Virginia led the way in opposition to it. The resolutions offered by Patrick Henry, assumed a lofty and open ground against taxation. In New England, and particularly in Massachusetts, the same opposition was manifested, and, indeed, the whole continent was in a flame. It spread from breast to breast, till the conflagration became general. The legislature of Massachusetts met on the last day of May, 1765. A committee reported the expediency of having a general meeting of committees," from the several assemblies of the colonies, to be held at New York, in October following. They also resolved to send circulars to the several assemblies, requesting their concurrence. Twenty-eight deputies, from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and South Carolina, met at New York, on Monday the 7th of October, 1765. They passed resolutions expressing their motives and principles, and declaring their exemption from all taxes, not imposed by their own representatives. They also agreed upon a petition to the king, a memorial to the house of lords, and a petition to the house of commons.
From the decided opposition to this act, and the indignation manifested against it, in all parts of the colonies, it was deemed proper to repeal it. It was accordingly repealed on the 18th of March, 1766. Much opposition, however, was made to its repeal. Several speakers in both houses of parliament denied the right of taxing the colonies. Mr. Pitt, afterwards lord Chatham, said, it is my opinion that this kingdom bas no right to lay a tax upon the colonies. We are told that America is obstinate, almost in open rebellion. I rejoice that
I America has resisted. Three millions of people so dead to all the feelings of liberty, as voluntarily to submit to be slaves, would have been fit instruments to make slaves of all the rest. The Americans have been wronged ; they have been driven to madness by injustice. Will you punish them for the madness you have occasioned ? No; let this country be the first to resume its prudence and temper.” He concluded by saying that it was his opinion that the stamp act be repealed, absolutely, totally, and immediately.
In 1767, an act passed the British parliament, laying a heavy duty on tea, glass, paper, and other articles. This act re-kindled the resentment and excited a general opposition among the people of the colonies; and they contended that there was no real difference between the principle of the new act and the stamp act. This act produced resolves, petitions, &c. similar to those with which the colonies opposed the stamp act, and in various parts, particularly in Massachusetts, on the suggestion of Samuel Adams, it was agreed not to import and consume British manufactures.
In 1769, both houses of parliament passed a joint address to his majesty, approbatory of his measures, and that they would support him in such further measures as might be found necessary, to maintain the civil magistrates in a due execution of the laws in Massachusetts-Bay. The assembly of Virginia, in this year, passed resolutions complaining of the recent acts of parliament, and remonstrated against the right of transporting the freeborn subjects of America to England, to be tried for alledged offences committed in the colonies. In 1770, on the 2d of March, the Boston massacre took place.
In 1773, the people of Boston who were determined not to pay duties on tea, collected in a town meeting and resolved that the tea should not be landed. At the dissolution of the mecting, about twenty persons, in the disguise of Mohawk Indians, went on board some ships, broke open three hundred and forty-two chests of tea, and discharged their contents into the water. In Philadelphia, where the spirit of opposition, although not less deep, was less loud, they unloaded some of the cargoes and stored the tea in damp cellars, where it soon