James Mercer (jurist)
James Mercer known as William James Mercer, was an American soldier and political figure. Mercer was born in Virginia at Malborough plantation on February 26, 1736, he was the son of Catherine Mason Mercer. He graduated from the College of William and Mary about 1755. After graduation, he went to serve as a captain in the French and Indian War and became the commander of Fort Loudoun in Winchester, Virginia, in 1756. Mercer subsequently entered politics and became a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1765, he served as a delegate for Virginia to the Continental Congress in 1779. He was appointed a judge of the general court in 1780 and became a judge on the first Court of Appeals as a result. In 1789, he was appointed as a member of the reorganized Court of Appeals, he remained on the bench of that court until his death in Richmond on October 31, 1793. Mercer was the brother of George Mercer and John Francis Mercer, father of Charles Fenton Mercer. United States Congress. "James Mercer".
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. James Mercer at Find a Grave
Philadelphia, sometimes known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U. S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the sixth-most populous U. S. city, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 1,580,863. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U. S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis; the Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States. William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony. Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress, the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787.
Several other key events occurred in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War including the First Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, the Siege of Fort Mifflin. Philadelphia was one of the nation's capitals during the revolution, served as temporary U. S. capital while Washington, D. C. was under construction. In the 19th century, Philadelphia became a railroad hub; the city grew from an influx of European immigrants, most of whom came from Ireland and Germany—the three largest reported ancestry groups in the city as of 2015. In the early 20th century, Philadelphia became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration after the Civil War, as well as Puerto Ricans; the city's population doubled from one million to two million people between 1890 and 1950. The Philadelphia area's many universities and colleges make it a top study destination, as the city has evolved into an educational and economic hub. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Philadelphia area had a gross domestic product of US$445 billion in 2017, the eighth-largest metropolitan economy in the United States.
Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to five Fortune 1000 companies. The Philadelphia skyline is expanding, with a market of 81,900 commercial properties in 2016, including several nationally prominent skyscrapers. Philadelphia has more outdoor murals than any other American city. Fairmount Park, when combined with the adjacent Wissahickon Valley Park in the same watershed, is one of the largest contiguous urban park areas in the United States; the city is known for its arts, culture and colonial history, attracting 42 million domestic tourists in 2016 who spent US$6.8 billion, generating an estimated $11 billion in total economic impact in the city and surrounding four counties of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia has emerged as a biotechnology hub. Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps, is the home of many U. S. firsts, including the first library, medical school, national capital, stock exchange and business school. Philadelphia contains 67 National Historic Landmarks and the World Heritage Site of Independence Hall.
The city became a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in 2015, as the first World Heritage City in the United States. Although Philadelphia is undergoing gentrification, the city maintains mitigation strategies to minimize displacement of homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods. Before Europeans arrived, the Philadelphia area was home to the Lenape Indians in the village of Shackamaxon; the Lenape are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government. They are called Delaware Indians, their historical territory was along the Delaware River watershed, western Long Island, the Lower Hudson Valley. Most Lenape were pushed out of their Delaware homeland during the 18th century by expanding European colonies, exacerbated by losses from intertribal conflicts. Lenape communities were weakened by newly introduced diseases smallpox, violent conflict with Europeans. Iroquois people fought the Lenape. Surviving Lenape moved west into the upper Ohio River basin; the American Revolutionary War and United States' independence pushed them further west.
In the 1860s, the United States government sent most Lenape remaining in the eastern United States to the Indian Territory under the Indian removal policy. In the 21st century, most Lenape reside in Oklahoma, with some communities living in Wisconsin, in their traditional homelands. Europeans came to the Delaware Valley in the early 17th century, with the first settlements founded by the Dutch, who in 1623 built Fort Nassau on the Delaware River opposite the Schuylkill River in what is now Brooklawn, New Jersey; the Dutch considered the entire Delaware River valley to be part of their New Netherland colony. In 1638, Swedish settlers led by renegade Dutch established the colony of New Sweden at Fort Christina and spread out in the valley. In 1644, New Sweden supported the Susquehannocks in their military defeat of the English colony of Maryland. In 1648, the Dutch built Fort Beversreede on the west bank of the Delaware, south of the Schuylkill near the present-day Eastwick neighborhood, to reassert their dominion over the area.
The Swedes responded by building Fort Nya Korsholm, or New Korsholm, named after a town in Finland with a Swedish majority. In 1655, a
Fort Necessity National Battlefield
Fort Necessity National Battlefield is a National Battlefield Site in Fayette County, United States, which preserves the site of the Battle of Fort Necessity. The battle, which took place on July 3, 1754, was an early battle of the French and Indian War, resulted in the surrender of British colonial forces under Colonel George Washington, to the French and Indians, under Louis Coulon de Villiers; the site includes the Mount Washington Tavern, once one of the inns along the National Road, in two separate units the grave of British General Edward Braddock, killed in 1755, the site of the Battle of Jumonville Glen. After returning to the great meadows in northwestern Virginia, what is now Fayette County, George Washington decided it prudent to reinforce his position. Named by Washington as Fort Necessity or Fort of Necessity, the structure protected a storehouse for supplies such as gunpowder and flour; the crude palisade they erected was built more to defend supplies in the fort's storehouse from Washington's own men, whom he described as "loose and idle", than as a planned defense against a hostile enemy.
The sutler of Washington's force was John Fraser, who earlier had been second-in-command at Fort Prince George. He served as Chief Scout to General Edward Braddock and Chief Teamster to the Forbes Expedition. By June 13, 1754, Washington had under his command 295 colonials and the nominal command of 100 additional regular British army troops from South Carolina. Washington spent the remainder of June 1754 extending the wilderness road further west and down the western slopes of the Allegheny range into the valley of the Monongahela River, he wanted to create a river crossing point 41 mi near Redstone Creek and Redstone Old Fort. This was a prehistoric Native American earthwork mound on a bluff overlooking the river crossing; the aboriginal mound structure may have once been part of a fortification. Five years in the war, Fort Burd was constructed at Redstone Old Fort; the area became the site of Nemacolin Castle and Brownsville, Pennsylvania—an important western jumping-off point for travelers crossing the Alleghenies in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
To reach the Ohio River basins' navigable waters as soon as possible on the Monongahela River, Washington chose to follow Nemacolin's Trail, a Native American trail, somewhat improved by colonists, with Nemacolin's help. He preferred this to following the ridge-hopping, high-altitude path traversed by the western part of the route, chosen for Braddock's Road, it jogged to the north near the fort and passed over another notch near Confluence, Pennsylvania into the valley and drainage basin of the Youghiogheny River. The Redstone destination at the terminus of Nemacolin's Trail was a natural choice for an advanced base; the location was one of the few known good crossing points where both sides of the wide deep river had low accessible banks. Late in the day on July 3, Washington did not know the French situation. Believing his situation was impossible, he accepted surrender terms which allowed the peaceful withdrawal of his forces, which he completed on July 4, 1754; the French subsequently occupied the fort and burned it.
Washington did not speak French, stated that if he had known that he was confessing to the "assassination" of Joseph Coulon de Jumonville, he would not have signed the surrender document. During the Great Depression of the 20th century, attempts to preserve the location of Fort Necessity were undertaken. On March 4, 1931, Congress declared the location a National Battlefield Site under management of the War Department. Transferred to the National Park Service in 1933, the park was redesignated a National Battlefield on August 10, 1961; as with all historic sites administered by the National Park Service, the battlefield was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. Subsequent archaeological research helped to uncover the majority of the original fort position and design. A replica of the fort was constructed on site in the 1970s. A new visitor center, home to a National Road interpretive center, opened on October 8, 2005; the battlefield and fort are being improved.
On a hillside adjacent to the battlefield and within the boundaries of the park is Mount Washington Tavern, a classic example of the many inns once lining the National Road, the United States' first federally funded highway. The land on which the tavern was built was owned by George Washington. In 1770 he purchased the site. Around the 1830s, Judge Nathanial Ewing of Uniontown constructed the tavern. James Sampey acquired the tavern in 1840, it was operated by his family until the railroad construction boom caused the National Road to decline in popularity, rendering the inn unprofitable. In 1855, it was sold to the Fazenbaker family, they used it as a private home for the next 75 years, until the Commonwealth Of Pennsylvania purchased the property in 1932. In 1961 the National Park Service purchased the property from the state, making the building a part of Fort Necessity; the Mount Washington Tavern demonstrates the standard features of an early American tavern, including a simple barroom that served as a gathering place, a more refined parlor, used for relaxation, bedrooms in which numerous people would crowd to catch up on sleep.
In a separate unit of the park, lying about one mile northwest of the battlefield, is the grave of General Edward Braddock. The British commander led a major expedition to the area in 1755 which included the construction of Braddock's Road, a useful but ina
Fort Ligonier is a British fortification from the French and Indian War located in Ligonier, United States. The fort served as a staging area for the Forbes Expedition of 1758. During the eight years of its existence as a garrison, Fort Ligonier was never taken by an enemy, it served as a post of passage to the new Fort Pitt, during Pontiac's War of 1763, was a vital link in the British communication and supply lines. It was attacked twice and besieged by the Native Americans, prior to the decisive victory at Bushy Run in August of that year; the fort was decommissioned from active service in 1766. Today, there is a museum next to the reconstructed fort. Inside the museum there are artifacts from the battle. An individual can take a guided tour of the fort, on Fort Ligonier Days, the fort's cannons are fired. French victories over George Washington and Edward Braddock in 1754–55 wrested from Britain control of the strategic forks of the Ohio River. By 1758, General John Forbes was assigned the daunting task of seizing Fort Duquesne, the French citadel at the forks.
He ordered construction of a new road across Pennsylvania, guarded by a chain of fortifications, the final link being the "Post at Loyalhanna," fifty miles from his objective. The fort was constructed in September 1758. By late October, George Washington had arrived at Loyalhanna, but not before the defeat of a British force at Fort Duquesne on September 14, the successful defense of Loyalhanna from a French attack on October 12. Outnumbered and losers in Indian diplomacy, the French abandoned Fort Duquesne, which Forbes occupied on November 25, he designated the site "Pittsburgh" in honor of Secretary of State William Pitt. Forbes named Loyalhanna "Fort Ligonier" after his superior, Sir John Ligonier, commander-in-chief in Great Britain. August 10, 1758—Colonel Bouquet ordered Major James Grant to build a road from Bedford to Ligonier. August 15, 1758—Col. Bouquet sent Ensign Charles Rohr, engineer for General Forbes, to the future site of Fort Ligonier to select a location for a storehouse there.
August 20, 1758—Col. Bouquet sent Major Grant, Col. James Burd and 1,500 men to the site to begin construction. Grant was in overall charge of men. August 21, 1758—Ensign Rohr picked the exact location for the fort. August 22, 1758—Col. Bouquet ordered Col. Burd's men and some artillerymen to build a 120-foot storehouse for supplies and a hospital. August 27, 1758—Burd and Rhor reported the location of a superior site to Ligonier, nine miles to the west; when told of the new site, Forbes directed that work continue on Fort Ligonier, since construction had begun. August 29, 1758—Col. Burd and troops arrived at Fort Ligonier and built trenches around the fort. September 1, 1758—Bouquet sent 100 men to entrench the "Grants Paradise" location south of Latrobe, Pennsylvania. September 9, 1758—Major Grant left Fort Ligonier with troops and headed west to Fort Duquesne. On September 15, he approached within five miles of Fort Duquesne before being beaten by the French, when his deliberate plan to lure out and ambush the fort's defenders went badly wrong.
Bouquet arrived at Fort Ligonier with troops and wrote to Sinclair about the conditions of the fort and supplies, including wagons. October 12, 1758—While the fort was still under construction, the Battle of Fort Ligonier was fought; the French forces attempted to attack again at nightfall, but were forced to retreat by mortar fire from the fort. November 12, 1758—The command of Col. Forbes ran across another squad of De Vitri's French troops lurking around Fort Ligonier; the British attacked, taking three prisoners. One of the prisoners turned out to be an Englishman, taken from his home in Lancaster County by anti-British Native Americans, his information concerning the weak condition of Fort Duquesne was corroborated by that of the French prisoners. Forbes therefore resolved to push forward to capture Fort Duquesne. November 12, 1758—Units led by George Washington and Lieutenant Colonel George Mercer accidentally engaged each other in heavy fog and at night. Two officers and 38 men were wounded.
November 1758—4,000 troops encamped at the fort, making Ligonier the second-largest community in Pennsylvania. November 25, 1758—Forbes captured Fort Duquesne. March 1766—Fort Ligonier was abandoned after the conclusion of the French and Indian War. "The Frontier Forts of Western Pennsylvania," Albert, George Dallas, C. M. Busch, state printer, Harrisburg, 1896. Plan of the fort, pg. 208B. William M. Fowler, Jr. Empires at War: The French and Indian War and the Struggle for North America, 1754–1763. Pennsylvania's Burton K. Kummerow, Christine H. O'Toole, R. Scott Stephenson. Fort Ligonier official website National Register nomination documentation
John Francis Mercer
John Francis Mercer was an American lawyer and politician from Virginia and Maryland. Mercer was born in 1759 at Marlborough, in Stafford County in the Colony of Virginia, to John Mercer and Ann Roy Mercer, he graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1775 and was a delegate for Virginia to the Continental Congress in 1783 and 1784. He married Sophia Sprigg on February 3, 1785. During the American Revolutionary War, Mercer was commissioned a captain in the 3rd Virginia Regiment in the Continental Army, he was wounded at the Battle of Brandywine. In 1778 he became an aide-de-camp with the rank of major to General Charles Lee, he resigned from the army when Lee did, but reentered the war as a lieutenant colonel in the Virginia militia. He served under Lafayette in Virginia and was present at the siege of Yorktown. After the war, Mercer moved to Anne Arundel County and was a Maryland delegate to the Philadelphia Convention in 1787, but withdrew before signing the Constitution, he would represent Maryland in the United States House of Representatives from the second and third districts from 1792 to 1794, served as the tenth Governor of Maryland from 1801 to 1803.
Illness plagued Mercer in his years, went to Pennsylvania to seek medical attention. In August 1821 Mercer died in Pennsylvania, he was the brother of James Mercer. United States Congress. "John Francis Mercer". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Mercer biography at the University of Groningen, Netherlands
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War pitted the colonies of British America against those of New France, each side supported by military units from the parent country and by American Indian allies. At the start of the war, the French colonies had a population of 60,000 settlers, compared with 2 million in the British colonies; the outnumbered French depended on the Indians. The European nations declared a wider war upon one another overseas in 1756, two years into the French and Indian war, some view the French and Indian War as being the American theater of the worldwide Seven Years' War of 1756–63; the name French and Indian War is used in the United States, referring to the two enemies of the British colonists, while European historians use the term Seven Years' War, as do English-speaking Canadians. French Canadians call it the Fourth Intercolonial War; the British colonists were supported at various times by the Iroquois and Cherokee tribes, the French colonists were supported by Wabanaki Confederacy member tribes Abenaki and Mi'kmaq, the Algonquin, Ojibwa, Ottawa and Wyandot tribes.
Fighting took place along the frontiers between New France and the British colonies, from the Province of Virginia in the south to Newfoundland in the north. It began with a dispute over control of the confluence of the Allegheny River and Monongahela River called the Forks of the Ohio, the site of the French Fort Duquesne in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the dispute erupted into violence in the Battle of Jumonville Glen in May 1754, during which Virginia militiamen under the command of 22-year-old George Washington ambushed a French patrol. In 1755, six colonial governors met with General Edward Braddock, the newly arrived British Army commander, planned a four-way attack on the French. None succeeded, the main effort by Braddock proved a disaster. British operations failed in the frontier areas of the Province of Pennsylvania and the Province of New York during 1755–57 due to a combination of poor management, internal divisions, effective Canadian scouts, French regular forces, Indian warrior allies.
In 1755, the British captured Fort Beauséjour on the border separating Nova Scotia from Acadia, they ordered the expulsion of the Acadians soon afterwards. Orders for the deportation were given by Commander-in-Chief William Shirley without direction from Great Britain; the Acadians were expelled, both those captured in arms and those who had sworn the loyalty oath to the King. Indians were driven off the land to make way for settlers from New England; the British colonial government fell in the region of Nova Scotia after several disastrous campaigns in 1757, including a failed expedition against Louisbourg and the Siege of Fort William Henry. William Pitt came to power and increased British military resources in the colonies at a time when France was unwilling to risk large convoys to aid the limited forces that they had in New France, preferring to concentrate their forces against Prussia and its allies who were now engaged in the Seven Years' War in Europe. Between 1758 and 1760, the British military launched a campaign to capture French Canada.
They succeeded in capturing territory in surrounding colonies and the city of Quebec. The British lost the Battle of Sainte-Foy west of Quebec, but the French ceded Canada in accordance with the Treaty of Paris. France ceded its territory east of the Mississippi to Great Britain, as well as French Louisiana west of the Mississippi River to its ally Spain in compensation for Spain's loss to Britain of Spanish Florida. France's colonial presence north of the Caribbean was reduced to the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, confirming Great Britain's position as the dominant colonial power in America. In British America, wars were named after the sitting British monarch, such as King William's War or Queen Anne's War. There had been a King George's War in the 1740s during the reign of King George II, so British colonists named this conflict after their opponents, it became known as the French and Indian War; this continues as the standard name for the war in the United States, although Indians fought on both sides of the conflict.
It led into the Seven Years' War overseas, a much larger conflict between France and Great Britain that did not involve the American colonies. Less used names for the war include the Fourth Intercolonial War and the Great War for the Empire. In Europe, the French and Indian War is conflated into the Seven Years' War and not given a separate name. "Seven Years" refers to events in Europe, from the official declaration of war in 1756—two years after the French and Indian War had started—to the signing of the peace treaty in 1763. The French and Indian War in America, by contrast, was concluded in six years from the Battle of Jumonville Glen in 1754 to the capture of Montreal in 1760. Canadians conflate both the American conflicts into the Seven Years' War. French Canadi
George Mason IV was an American planter and delegate to the U. S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, one of three delegates who refused to sign the Constitution, his writings, including substantial portions of the Fairfax Resolves of 1774, the Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776, his Objections to this Constitution of Government in opposition to ratification, have exercised a significant influence on American political thought and events. The Virginia Declaration of Rights, which Mason principally authored, served as a basis for the United States Bill of Rights, of which he has been deemed the father. Mason was born in 1725, most in what is now Fairfax County, Virginia, his father died when he was young, his mother managed the family estates until he came of age. He married in 1750, built Gunston Hall, lived the life of a country squire, supervising his lands and slaves, he served in the House of Burgesses and involved himself in community affairs, sometimes serving with his neighbor George Washington.
As tensions grew between Britain and the American colonies, Mason came to support the colonial side, used his knowledge and experience to help the revolutionary cause, finding ways to work around the Stamp Act of 1765 and serving in the pro-independence Fourth Virginia Convention in 1775 and the Fifth Virginia Convention in 1776. Mason prepared the first draft of the Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776, his words formed much of the text adopted by the final Revolutionary Virginia Convention, he wrote a constitution for the state. During the American Revolutionary War, Mason was a member of the powerful House of Delegates of the Virginia General Assembly but, to the irritation of Washington and others, he refused to serve in the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, citing health and family commitments. Mason was in 1787 named one of his state's delegates to the Constitutional Convention and traveled to Philadelphia, his only lengthy trip outside Virginia. Many clauses in the Constitution bear his stamp, as he was active in the convention for months before deciding that he could not sign it.
He cited the lack of a bill of rights most prominently in his Objections, but wanted an immediate end to the slave trade and a supermajority for navigation acts, which might force exporters of tobacco to use more expensive American ships. He failed to attain these objectives there, again at the Virginia Ratifying Convention of 1788, but his prominent fight for a bill of rights led fellow Virginian James Madison to introduce one during the First Congress in 1789. Obscure after his death, Mason has come to be recognized in the 20th and 21st centuries for his contributions both to the early United States and to Virginia. George Mason's great-grandfather, George Mason I, had been a Cavalier: militarily defeated in the English Civil War, some of them came to America in the 1640s and 1650s, he had been born in 1629 in the English county of Worcestershire. The immigrant George Mason settled in what is now Stafford County, having obtained land as a reward for bringing his party to the colony as 50 acres were awarded for each person transported into the Colony of Virginia.
His son, George Mason II, was the first to move to what in 1742 became Fairfax County at the frontier between English and Native American areas. George Mason III served in the House of Burgesses and, like his father, was county lieutenant. George Mason IV's mother, Ann Thomson Mason, was the daughter of a former Attorney General of Virginia who had immigrated from London and was of a Yorkshire family; the Masons lived in a colonial Virginia that had few roads, as most commerce was carried on Chesapeake Bay or along the waters of its tributaries, such as the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers. Most settlement took place near the rivers. Thus, colonial Virginia developed few towns, since estates were self-sufficient, could get what they needed without the need to purchase locally; the capital, saw little activity when the legislature was not in session. Local politics was dominated by large landowners like the Masons; the Virginia economy rose and fell with tobacco, the main crop, raised for export to Britain.
Into this world was born George Mason, fourth of that name, on December 11, 1725. He may have been born at his father's plantation on Dogue's Neck, but this is uncertain as his parents lived on their lands across the Potomac in Maryland. On March 5, 1735, George Mason III died, his widow Ann raised their son George and two younger siblings as co-guardian with lawyer John Mercer, their uncle by marriage, having wed George Mason III's sister Catherine. Ann Mason selected property at Chopawamsic Creek as her dower house and there lived with her children and administered the lands that her elder son would control upon reaching his 21st birthday. In 1736, George began his education with a Mr. Williams, hired to teach him for the price of 1,000 pounds of tobacco per annum. George's studies began at his mother's house, but the following year, he was boarded out to a Mrs. Simpson in Maryland, with Williams continuing as teacher through 1739. By 1740, George Mason was again under the tutelage of a Dr. Bridges.
Mason's biographers have speculated that this was Charles Bridges, who helped develop the sc