Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette
Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, known in the United States as Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War, commanding American troops in several battles, including the Siege of Yorktown. After returning to France, he was a key figure in the French Revolution of 1789 and the July Revolution of 1830. Lafayette was born into a wealthy land-owning family in Chavaniac in the province of Auvergne in south central France, he followed the family's martial tradition and was commissioned an officer at age 13. He became convinced that the American cause was noble in its revolutionary war, he traveled to the New World seeking glory in it, he was made a major general at age 19, but he was not given American troops to command. He was wounded during the Battle of Brandywine but still managed to organize an orderly retreat, he served with distinction in the Battle of Rhode Island. In the middle of the war, he sailed for home to lobby for an increase in French support.
He was given senior positions in the Continental Army. In 1781, troops under his command in Virginia blocked forces led by Cornwallis until other American and French forces could position themselves for the decisive Siege of Yorktown. Lafayette returned to France and was appointed to the Assembly of Notables in 1787, convened in response to the fiscal crisis, he was elected a member of the Estates General of 1789, where representatives met from the three traditional orders of French society: the clergy, the nobility, the commoners. After forming the National Constituent Assembly, he helped to write the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen with Thomas Jefferson's assistance; this document was inspired by the United States Declaration of Independence and invoked natural law to establish basic principles of the democratic nation-state. He advocated the end of slavery, in keeping with the philosophy of natural liberty. After the storming of the Bastille, he was appointed commander-in-chief of France's National Guard and tried to steer a middle course through the years of revolution.
In August 1792, radical factions ordered his arrest, he fled into the Austrian Netherlands. He was spent more than five years in prison. Lafayette returned to France after Napoleon Bonaparte secured his release in 1797, though he refused to participate in Napoleon's government. After the Bourbon Restoration of 1814, he became a liberal member of the Chamber of Deputies, a position that he held for most of the remainder of his life. In 1824, President James Monroe invited him to the United States as the nation's guest, he visited all 24 states in the union and met a rapturous reception. During France's July Revolution of 1830, he declined an offer to become the French dictator. Instead, he supported Louis-Philippe as king, but turned against him when the monarch became autocratic, he is buried in Picpus Cemetery in Paris, under soil from Bunker Hill. He is sometimes known as "The Hero of the Two Worlds" for his accomplishments in the service of both France and the United States. Lafayette was born on 6 September 1757 to Michel Louis Christophe Roch Gilbert Paulette du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette, colonel of grenadiers, Marie Louise Jolie de La Rivière, at the château de Chavaniac, in Chavaniac-Lafayette, near Le Puy-en-Velay, in the province of Auvergne.
Lafayette's lineage was one of the oldest and most distinguished in Auvergne and in all of France. Males of the Lafayette family enjoyed a reputation for courage and chivalry and were noted for their contempt for danger. One of Lafayette's early ancestors, Gilbert de Lafayette III, a Marshal of France, had been a companion-at-arms of Joan of Arc's army during the Siege of Orléans in 1429. According to legend, another ancestor acquired the crown of thorns during the Sixth Crusade, his non-Lafayette ancestors are notable. Lafayette's paternal uncle Jacques-Roch died on 18 January 1734 while fighting the Austrians at Milan in the War of the Polish Succession. Lafayette's father died on the battlefield. On 1 August 1759, Michel de Lafayette was struck by a cannonball while fighting a British-led coalition at the Battle of Minden in Westphalia. Lafayette became marquis and Lord of Chavaniac. Devastated by the loss of her husband, she went to live in Paris with her father and grandfather, leaving Lafayette to be raised in Chavaniac-Lafayette by his paternal grandmother, Mme de Chavaniac, who had brought the château into the family with her dowry.
In 1768, when Lafayette was 11, he was summoned to Paris to live with his mother and great-grandfather at the comte's apartments in Luxembourg Palace. The boy was sent to school at the Collège du Plessis, part of the University of Paris, it was decided that he would carry on the family martial tradition; the comte, the boy's great-grandfather, enrolled the boy in a program to train future Musketeers. Lafayette's mother and great-grandfather died, on 3 and 24 April 1770 leaving Lafayette an income of 25,000 livres. Upon the death of an uncle, the 12-year-old Lafayette inherited a handsome yearly income of 120,000 livres. In May 1771, aged less than 14, Lafayette was commissioned an officer in the Musketeers, with the rank of sous-lieutenant, his duties, which included marching in military parades and pr
Linus Carl Pauling was an American chemist, peace activist, author and husband of American human rights activist Ava Helen Pauling. He published books, of which about 850 dealt with scientific topics. New Scientist called him one of the 20 greatest scientists of all time, as of 2000, he was rated the 16th most important scientist in history. Pauling was one of the founders of the fields of molecular biology, his contributions to the theory of the chemical bond include the concept of orbital hybridisation and the first accurate scale of electronegativities of the elements. Pauling worked on the structures of biological molecules, showed the importance of the alpha helix and beta sheet in protein secondary structure. Pauling's approach combined methods and results from X-ray crystallography, molecular model building and quantum chemistry, his discoveries inspired the work of James Watson, Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin on the structure of DNA, which in turn made it possible for geneticists to crack the DNA code of all organisms.
In his years he promoted nuclear disarmament, as well as orthomolecular medicine, megavitamin therapy, dietary supplements. None of the latter have gained much acceptance in the mainstream scientific community. For his scientific work, Pauling was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954. For his peace activism, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962, he is one of four individuals to have won more than one Nobel Prize. Of these, he is the only person to have been awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes, one of two people to be awarded Nobel Prizes in different fields, the other being Marie Curie. Pauling was born in Portland, the first-born child of Herman Henry William Pauling and Lucy Isabelle "Belle" Darling, he was named "Linus Carl", in honor of Lucy's father and Herman's father, Carl. In 1902, after his sister Pauline was born, Pauling's parents decided to move out of Portland, to find more affordable and spacious living quarters than their one-room apartment. Lucy stayed with her husband's parents in Lake Oswego until Herman brought the family to Salem, where he worked as a traveling salesman for the Skidmore Drug Company.
Within a year of Lucile's birth in 1904, Herman Pauling moved his family to Oswego, where he opened his own drugstore. He moved his family to Condon, Oregon, in 1905. By 1906, Herman Pauling was suffering from recurrent abdominal pain, he died of a perforated ulcer on June 11, 1910, leaving Lucy to care for Linus and Pauline. Pauling attributes his interest in becoming a chemist to being amazed by experiments conducted by a friend, Lloyd A. Jeffress, who had a small chemistry lab kit, he wrote: "I was entranced by chemical phenomena, by the reactions in which substances with strikingly different properties, appear. With an older friend, Lloyd Simon, Pauling set up Palmon Laboratories in Simon's basement, they approached local dairies offering to perform butterfat samplings at cheap prices but dairymen were wary of trusting two boys with the task, the business ended in failure. At age 15, the high school senior had enough credits to enter Oregon State University, known as Oregon Agricultural College.
Lacking two American history courses required for his high school diploma, Pauling asked the school principal if he could take the courses concurrently during the spring semester. Denied, he left Washington High School in June without a diploma; the school awarded him an honorary diploma 45 years after he was awarded two Nobel Prizes. Pauling held a number of jobs to earn money for his future college expenses, including working part-time at a grocery store for $8 per week, his mother arranged an interview with the owner of a number of manufacturing plants in Portland, Mr. Schwietzerhoff, who hired him as an apprentice machinist at a salary of $40 per month; this was soon raised to $50 per month. Pauling set up a photography laboratory with two friends. In September 1917, Pauling was admitted by Oregon State University, he resigned from the machinist's job and informed his mother, who saw no point in a university education, of his plans. In his first semester, Pauling registered for two courses in chemistry, two in mathematics, mechanical drawing, introduction to mining and use of explosives, modern English prose and military drill.
He founded the school's chapter of the Delta Upsilon fraternity. After his second year, he planned to take a job in Portland to help support his mother; the college offered him a position teaching quantitative analysis, a course he had just finished taking himself. He worked forty hours a week in the laboratory and classroom and earned $100 a month, enabling him to continue his studies. In his last two years at school, Pauling became aware of the work of Gilbert N. Lewis and Irving Langmuir on the electronic structure of atoms and their bonding to form molecules, he decided to focus his research on how the physical and chemical properties of substances are related to the structure of the atoms of which they are composed, becoming one of the founders of the new science of quantum chemistry. Engineering professor Samuel Graf selected Pauling to be his teaching assistant in a mechanics and materials course. During the winter of his senior year, Pauling taught a chemistry course for home economics majors.
It was in one of these classes that Pauling met his future wife
Independence National Historical Park
Independence National Historical Park is a United States National Park in Philadelphia that preserves several sites associated with the American Revolution and the nation's founding history. Administered by the National Park Service, the 55-acre park comprises much of Philadelphia's most-visited historic district; the park has been nicknamed "America's most historic square mile" because of its abundance of historic landmarks, the park sites are located within the Old City and Society Hill neighborhoods of Philadelphia. The centerpiece of the park is Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted in the late 18th century. Independence Hall was the principal meetinghouse of the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783 and the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787. Across the street from Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, an iconic symbol of American independence, is displayed in the Liberty Bell Center.
The park contains other historic buildings, such as the First Bank of the United States, the first bank chartered by the United States Congress, the Second Bank of the United States, which had its charter renewal vetoed by President Andrew Jackson as part of the Bank War. Carpenters' Hall, the site of the First Continental Congress, is located on Park property as well, however the building is owned and operated, it contains City Tavern, a recreated colonial tavern, the favorite of the delegates, John Adams felt was the finest tavern in all America. Most of the park's historic structures are located in the vicinity of the four landscaped blocks between Chestnut, Walnut, 2nd, 6th streets; the park contains Franklin Court, the site of a museum dedicated to Benjamin Franklin and the United States Postal Service Museum. An additional three blocks directly north of Independence Hall, collectively known as Independence Mall, contain the Liberty Bell Center, National Constitution Center, Independence Visitor Center, the former site of the President's House.
The park contains other historical artifacts, such as the Syng inkstand, used during the signings of both the Declaration and the Constitution. In response to the Intolerable Acts, which had punished Boston for the Boston Tea Party, the First Continental Congress met at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia from September 5, 1774 to October 26, 1774; the convention organized a pact among the colonies to boycott British goods starting December 1, 1774 and provided for a Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. On May 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress assembled at the Pennsylvania State House after the Battles of Lexington and Concord marked the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. Congress adopted the Olive Branch Petition in July 1775, which affirmed American loyalty to Great Britain and entreated King George III to prevent further conflict; the petition was rejected—in August 1775, the King's Proclamation of Rebellion formally declared the colonies to be in a state of rebellion.
In February 1776, colonists received news that Parliament passed the Prohibitory Act, which established a blockade of American ports and declared American ships to be enemy vessels. Although the measure amounted to a virtual declaration of war by the British, Congress did not have immediate authority to declare independence until each individual colony authorized its delegates to vote for independence. On June 11, Congress appointed the "Committee of Five," consisting of John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Robert R. Livingston of New York, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, to draft an official declaration of independence. Congress unanimously adopted its final version of the Declaration on July 4, marking the formation of the United States of America. Historians believe that the Old State House Bell, now known as the Liberty Bell, was one of the bells rung to mark the reading of the Declaration on July 8. After 1781, the national government operated under the Articles of Confederation, which gave the federal government no power to regulate domestic affairs or raise revenue.
At the Annapolis Convention in September 1786, the delegates asked for a broader meeting to be held the next May in Philadelphia to address the regulation of trade and the structure of the government. This resulted in the Philadelphia Convention, which met from May 14 to September 17, 1787 at the Pennsylvania State House; the Convention was dominated by controversies and conflicting interests, but the delegates forged a Constitution, called a "bundle of compromises". At the convention, delegate James Madison presented the Virginia Plan, which proposed a national government with three branches with proportional representation. Large states supported this plan. In response, William Paterson designed the New Jersey Plan, which proposed a one-house legislature in which each state, regardless of size, would have one vote, as under the Articles of Confederation. Roger Sherman combined the two plans with the Connecticut Compromise, his measure passed on July 16, 1787 by seven to six—a margin of one vote.
Other contentious issues were slavery and the federal regulation of commerce, which resulted in additional compromises. The Residence Act of 1790 empowered President George Washington to locate a permanent capital along the Potomac River. Robert Morris, a representative from Pennsylvania, convinced Congress to designate Philadelphia as the temporary capital city of the United States federal government. From December 6, 1790 to May 14, 1800, the same block hosted federal, state and city government offices. Co
Alexander Hamilton was an American statesman and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influential interpreter and promoter of the U. S. Constitution, as well as the founder of the nation's financial system, the Federalist Party, the United States Coast Guard, the New York Post newspaper; as the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton was the main author of the economic policies of George Washington's administration. He took the lead in the Federal government's funding of the states' debts, as well as establishing a national bank, a system of tariffs, friendly trade relations with Britain, his vision included a strong central government led by a vigorous executive branch, a strong commercial economy, a national bank and support for manufacturing, a strong military. Thomas Jefferson was his leading opponent, arguing for smaller government. Hamilton was born out of wedlock in Nevis, he was taken in by a prosperous merchant. When he reached his teens, he was sent to New York to pursue his education.
He took an early role in the militia. In 1777, he became a senior aide to General Washington in running the new Continental Army. After the war, he was elected as a representative from New York to the Congress of the Confederation, he founded the Bank of New York. Hamilton was a leader in seeking to replace the weak national government under the Articles of Confederation, he helped ratify the Constitution by writing 51 of the 85 installments of The Federalist Papers, which are still used as one of the most important references for Constitutional interpretation. Hamilton led the Treasury Department as a trusted member of President Washington's first Cabinet. Hamilton argued that the implied powers of the Constitution provided the legal authority to fund the national debt, to assume states' debts, to create the government-backed Bank of the United States; these programs were funded by a tariff on imports, by a controversial whiskey tax. He mobilized a nationwide network of friends of the government bankers and businessmen, which became the Federalist Party.
A major issue in the emergence of the American two-party system was the Jay Treaty designed by Hamilton in 1794. It established friendly trade relations with Britain, to the chagrin of France and supporters of the French Revolution. Hamilton played a central role in the Federalist party, which dominated national and state politics until it lost the election of 1800 to Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party. In 1795, he returned to the practice of law in New York, he called for mobilization against the French First Republic in 1798–99 under President John Adams, became Commanding General of the disbanded U. S. Army, which he reconstituted and readied for war; the army did not see combat in the Quasi-War, Hamilton was outraged by Adams' diplomatic success in resolving the crisis with France. His opposition to Adams' re-election helped cause the Federalist party defeat in 1800. Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied for the presidency in the electoral college in 1801, Hamilton helped to defeat Burr, whom he found unprincipled, to elect Jefferson despite philosophical differences.
Hamilton continued his legal and business activities in New York City, was active in ending the legality of the international slave trade. Vice President Burr ran for governor of New York State in 1804, Hamilton campaigned against him as unworthy. Taking offense, Burr challenged him to a duel on July 11, 1804, in which Burr shot and mortally wounded Hamilton, who died the following day. Alexander Hamilton was born and spent part of his childhood in Charlestown, the capital of the island of Nevis in the Leeward Islands. Hamilton and his older brother James Jr. were born out of wedlock to Rachel Faucette, a married woman of half-British and half-French Huguenot descent, James A. Hamilton, a Scotsman, the fourth son of Laird Alexander Hamilton of Grange, Ayrshire. Speculation that Hamilton's mother was of mixed race, though persistent, is not substantiated by verifiable evidence, she was listed as white on tax rolls. It is not certain whether the year of Hamilton's birth was in 1755 or 1757. Most historical evidence, after Hamilton's arrival in North America, supports the idea that he was born in 1757, including Hamilton's own writings.
Hamilton listed his birth year as 1757 when he first arrived in the Thirteen Colonies, celebrated his birthday on January 11. In life, he tended to give his age only in round figures. Historians accepted 1757 as his birth year until about 1930, when additional documentation of his early life in the Caribbean was published in Danish. A probate paper from St. Croix in 1768, drafted after the death of Hamilton's mother, listed him as 13 years old, which has caused some historians since the 1930s to favor a birth year of 1755. Historians have speculated on possible reasons for two different years of birth to have appeared in historical documents. If 1755 is correct, Hamilton might have been trying to appear younger than his college classmates, or wished to avoid standing out as older. If 1757 is correct, the single probate document indicating a birth year of 1755 may have included an error, or Hamilton might once have given his age as 13 after his mother's death in an attempt to appear older and more employable.
Historians have pointed out that the probate document contained other proven inaccuracies, demonstrating it was not re
Philip Syng was, like his namesake father, Philip Syng, Sr. a renowned silversmith who created fine works in silver and sometimes gold for the wealthy families of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1752 he created the Syng inkstand, used to sign the United States Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution. Philip Syng was born in Cork, Ireland to Philip Syng, a silversmith by trade, Abigail Murdock Syng. In 1714 the Syng family emigrated to the United States staying first in Annapolis and moving to Philadelphia. Philip Syng, Sr. trained all three of his sons as silversmiths. Besides becoming one of the highly-sought Philadelphia silversmiths, Philip Syng, Jr. was a member of Benjamin Franklin's Junto, was a founder of the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Union Fire Company, Philadelphia Contributionship, Pennsylvania Hospital, the American Philosophical Society He was a founding trustee of the Academy and College of Philadelphia, serving from 1749 to 1773. Syng was elected to various public offices including city assessor, warden of the port, treasurer of the city and county of Philadelphia.
Benjamin Franklin considered Syng a "worthy and ingenious friend."Syng married Elizabeth Warner in Christ Church, Philadelphia in 1730 and they had 18 children. He died in Philadelphia in 1789, is buried at Christ Church Burial Ground. According to the Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, Philip Syng, Sr. and Philip Syng, Jr. are both listed among the major silver makers of the 18th century in America. Media related to Philip Syng Jr. at Wikimedia Commons Penn Biographies: Philip Syng, University of Pennsylvania, University Archives and Records Center Philip Syng at Find a Grave
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman, described as America's greatest inventor. He is credited with developing many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, motion pictures; these inventions, which include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb, had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world. He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and teamwork to the process of invention, working with many researchers and employees, he is credited with establishing the first industrial research laboratory. Edison was raised in the American Midwest and early in his career he worked as a telegraph operator, which inspired some of his earliest inventions. In 1876, he established his first laboratory facility in Menlo Park, New Jersey, where many of his early inventions would be developed, he would establish a botanic laboratory in Fort Myers, Florida in collaboration with businessmen Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone, a laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey that featured the world's first film studio, the Black Maria.
He was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as patents in other countries. Edison fathered six children, he died in 1931 of complications of diabetes. Thomas Edison was born, in 1847, in Milan and grew up in Port Huron, Michigan, he was the last child of Samuel Ogden Edison Jr. and Nancy Matthews Elliott. His father, the son of a Loyalist refugee, had moved as a boy with the family from Nova Scotia, settling in southwestern Ontario, in a village known as Shrewsbury Vienna, by 1811. Samuel Jr. fled Ontario, because he took part in the unsuccessful Mackenzie Rebellion of 1837. His father, Samuel Sr. had earlier fought in the War of 1812 as captain of the First Middlesex Regiment. By contrast, Samuel Jr.'s struggle found him on the losing side, he crossed into the United States at Sarnia-Port Huron. Once across the border, he found his way to Ohio, his patrilineal family line was Dutch by way of New Jersey. Much of his education came from reading R. G. Parker's The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.
Edison developed hearing problems at an early age. The cause of his deafness has been attributed to a bout of scarlet fever during childhood and recurring untreated middle-ear infections. Around the middle of his career, Edison attributed the hearing impairment to being struck on the ears by a train conductor when his chemical laboratory in a boxcar caught fire and he was thrown off the train in Smiths Creek, along with his apparatus and chemicals. In his years, he modified the story to say the injury occurred when the conductor, in helping him onto a moving train, lifted him by the ears. Edison's family moved to Port Huron, Michigan after the canal owners kept the railroad out of Milan Ohio in 1854 and business declined. Edison sold candy and newspapers on trains running from Port Huron to Detroit, sold vegetables, he became a telegraph operator after he saved three-year-old Jimmie MacKenzie from being struck by a runaway train. Jimmie's father, station agent J. U. MacKenzie of Mount Clemens, was so grateful that he trained Edison as a telegraph operator.
Edison's first telegraphy job away from Port Huron was at Stratford Junction, Ontario, on the Grand Trunk Railway. He was held responsible for a near collision, he studied qualitative analysis and conducted chemical experiments on the train until he left the job. Edison obtained the exclusive right to sell newspapers on the road, with the aid of four assistants, he set in type and printed the Grand Trunk Herald, which he sold with his other papers; this began Edison's long streak of entrepreneurial ventures, as he discovered his talents as a businessman. These talents led him to found 14 companies, including General Electric, still one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world. In 1866, at the age of 19, Edison moved to Louisville, where, as an employee of Western Union, he worked the Associated Press bureau news wire. Edison requested the night shift, which allowed him plenty of time to spend at his two favorite pastimes—reading and experimenting; the latter pre-occupation cost him his job.
One night in 1867, he was working with a lead–acid battery when he spilled sulfuric acid onto the floor. It ran onto his boss's desk below; the next morning Edison was fired. His first patent was for the electric vote recorder, U. S. Patent 90,646, granted on June 1, 1869. Finding little demand for the machine, Edison moved to New York City shortly thereafter. One of his mentors during those early years was a fellow telegrapher and inventor named Franklin Leonard Pope, who allowed the impoverished youth to live and work in the basement of his Elizabeth, New Jersey, while Edison worked for Samuel Laws at the Gold Indicator Company. Pope and Edison founded their own company in October 1869, working as electrical engineers and inventors. Edison began developing a multiplex telegraphic system, which could send two messages in 1874. Edison's major innovation was the establishment of an industrial research lab in 1876, it was built in Menlo Park, a part of Raritan Township in Middlesex County, New Jersey, with the funds from the sale of Edison's qua