« ForrigeFortsett »
deeply interested in politics, and he published a considerable number of essays on the most stirring topics of the day. He died in 1808. In the following year, his works were issued in one volume octavo, prefaced by a biographical notice from the pen of his friend, the Rev. Dr. Kirkland.
ALLEN, ETHAN, a brigadier-general in the revolutionary army, was born in Salisbury, Connecticut, but was educated principally in Vermont. In 1775, soon after the battle of Lexington, he collected a body of about three hundred Green Mountain boys, as they were called, and marched against the fortresses of Ticonderoga and Crown Point; and in each of these enterprises he was successful. He was shortly after taken prisoner and sent to England. Of the events of his captivity he has himself given an interesting narrative. On release from his confinement, he repaired to the head-quarters of General Washington, where he was received with much respect. As his health was much injured, he returned to Vermont, after having made an offer of his services to the commander-in-chief in case of his recovery. He died suddenly at Colchester, in 1789. Among other publications, Allen was the author of a work entitled Allen's Theology, or the Oracles of Reason, the first formal attack upon the Christian religion issued in the United States. He was a man of an exceedingly strong mind, but entirely rough and uneducated.
ALEXANDER, WILLIAM, a major-general in the American army, during the revolutionary war, was born in the city of New York, but passed a portion of his life in New Jersey. He acted an important part throughout the revolution, and distinguished himself particularly in the battles of Long Island, Germantown, and Monmouth. He died at Albany, in 1783, at the age of fifty-seven years, leaving behind him the reputation of a brave officer and a learned man.
ARNOLD, BENEDICT, known for his distinguished services and daring treachery in the American revolution, was born in Connecticut, of an obscure parentage, and received an education suitable to his humble condi. tion. Eager for renown, and greedy of money, he embraced the cause of his countrymen at an early period,
and took the command of a company of volunteers at New Haven. He soon won a high military reputation, and was employed by Washington in expeditions that required the highest skill and courage, and placed in the command of posts of the highest importance. When the English evacuated Philadelphia, Arnold was directed to take possession of that city with some troops of the Pennsylvania line. Here he was guilty of the most profligate extravagance and the meanest peculation. Charges were preferred against him; he was tried before a court-martial, and condemned to be reprimanded by the commander-inchief. He immediately quitted the army, and thenceforth nourished an implacable hatred against the cause which he had so brilliantly defended. Having subsequently entered into a correspondence with Sir Henry Clinton, and a direct communication with the English general having been established, was agreed between them that Arnold should dissemble his real feelings, and make every effort to obtain a command from General Washington. He was but too successful, and the fortress of West Point, a military station of very great importance, was confidently intrusted to him. This fortress he bargained with General Clinton to deliver into his hands; and the price of his treachery was the promise of 30,000 pounds sterling, and the rank of brigadier-general in the British army. The treason was discovered by the accidental arrest of Andre, the agent of the British general in effecting the negotiation. Arnold escaped with difficulty on board a British ship of war, and on the conclusion of the war was rewarded by his employers with a pension. He died in London in 1801.
ANDRE, JOHN; an adjutant-general in the British army in North America during the revolutionary war. Being employed to negotiate with Arnold the delivery of the works at West Point, he was apprehended in disguise within the American lines. He was condemned as a spy from the enemy, and, according to the established usages of war, was executed in 1780, at the age of twenty-nine years. A monument has been erected to his memory in Westminster Abbey. He is the author of a poem entitled The Cow Chase.
BULL, WILLIAM, M. D., was the first white person born in South Carolina, and is supposed to be the first American who obtained a degree in medicine. He was a pupil of the great Boerhaave, and acquired some literary and professional distinction. In 1734, he defended and published, at the University of Leyden, his inaugural thesis De Colica Pictorum. After returning from Europe to his native state, he was successively a member of the Council, speaker of the House of Representatives, and lieutenantgovernor. When the British troops removed from South Carolina in 1782, he accompanied them to England, and died in London, in 1791, in the eighty-second year of
BOONE, DANIEL, one of the earliest settlers in Kentucky, was born in Virginia, and was from infancy addicted to hunting in the woods. He set out on an expedition to explore the region of Kentucky, in May, 1769, with five companions. After meeting with a variety of adventures, Boone was left with his brother, the only white men in the wilderness. They passed the winter in a cabin, and, in the summer of 1770, traversed the country to the Cumberland River. · In September, 1773, Boone commenced his removal to Kentucky, with his own and five other families. He was joined by forty men, who put themselves under his direction ; but, being attacked by the Indians, the whole party returned to the settlements on Clinch River. Boone was afterwards employed, by a company of North Carolina, to buy, from the Indians, lands on the south side of the Kentucky River. In April, 1775, he built a fort at Saltspring, where Boonesborough is now situated. Here he sustained several sieges from the Indians, and was once taken prisoner by them, while hunting, with a number of his men.
In 1782, the depredations of the savages increased to an alarming extent, and Boone, with other militia officers, collected one hundred and seventy-six men, and went in pursuit of a large body, who had marched beyond the Blue Licks, forty miles from Lexington. From that time till 1799, he resided alternately in Kentucky and Virginia. In that year, having received a grant of two thousand acres of land from the Spanish authorities, he removed to Upper Louisiana, with his children and
followers, who were presented with eight hundred acres each. He settled with them at Charette, on the Missouri River, where he followed his usual course of life, hunting and trapping bears, till September, 1822, when he died in the eighty-fifth year of his age. He expired while on his knees, taking aim at some object, and was found in that position, with his gun resting on the trunk of a tree.
BOUDINOT, ELIAS, a descendant of one of the Huguenots, was born in Philadelphia, in 1740. He received a liberal education, and entered into the practice of the law in New Jersey, where he soon rose to considerable eminence. In 1777, he was chosen a member of Congress, and, in 1782, was elected president of that body. On the return of peace, he resumed his profession, but, in 1789, was elected to a seat in the House of Representatives of the United States, which he continued to occupy for six years. He was then appointed, by Washington, director of the national mint, in which office he remained for about twelve years. Resigning this office, he retired to private life, and resided from that time in Burlington, New Jersey. Here he passed his time in literary pursuits, liberal hospitality, and in discharging all the duties of an expansive and ever-active benevolence. Being possessed of an ample fortune, he made munificent donations to various charitable and theological institutions, and was one of the earliest and most efficient friends of the American Bible Society. Of this institution he was the first president, and it was particularly the object of his princely bounty. He died in October, 1821.
BALDWIN, ABRAHAM, eminent as a statesman, and president of the University of Georgia, was graduated at Yale College, in 1772. He was a member of the Convention which formed the constitution of the United States, in 1787, and held a seat successively in both houses of Congress. He died at Washington, in 1807.
BARLOW, JOEL, an American poet and diplomatist, was born in Reading, in Connecticut, about the year 1755. His father died while he was yet a lad at school, and left him little more than sufficient to defray the expenses of a liberal education. He was first placed at Dartmouth College, Hew Hampshire, then in its infancy, and, after a
very short residence there, removed to Yale College, New Haven. From this institution he received a degree in 1778, when he first came before the public in his poetical character, by reciting an original poem, which was soon after published. On leaving college, he was successively a chaplain in the revolutionary army, an editor, a bookseller, a lawyer, and a merchant. He next visited England, and published, in London, the first part of Advice to the Privileged Orders; and, in the succeeding year, a poem called the Conspiracy of Kings. In the latter part of 1792, he was appointed one of the deputies from the London Constitutional Society to present an address to the National Convention of France. Information of the notice which the British government had taken of this mission, led him to think that it would be unsafe to return to England; and he continued to reside in Paris for about three years. It was about this time that he composed his most popular poem, entitled Hasty Pudding. He was subsequently appointed consul for the United States at Algiers, with powers to negotiate a peace with the dey, and to redeem all American citizens held in slavery on the coast of Barbary. After discharging these duties, he returned to Paris, and, again engaging in trade, amassed a considerable fortune. In 1805, he returned to his native country, and fixed his residence at Washington, where he displayed a liberal hospitality, and lived on terms of intimacy with most of our distinguished statesmen. He now devoted himself to the publication of the Columbiad, which was based upon a poem written while he was in the army, and published soon after the close of the war, under the title of the Vision of Columbus. This was issued in a style of elegance which few works, either American or European, have ever equalled. In 1811, he was appointed minister to France, and, in October of the following year, was invited to a conference with the emperor Napoleon at Wilna. He immediately set off on this mission, travelling day and night; but, sinking under the fatigue, and want of food and sleep to which he was obliged to submit, he fell into a state of debility and torpor from which he never recovered. He died in December, 1812, at Zarnawica, a. village in Poland, near Cracow.