United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs
The United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs was a position that existed in the United States government from January 10, 1781, to September 15, 1789. The Articles of Confederation permitted the Confederation Congress to select "such committees and civil officers as may be necessary for managing the general affairs of the United States." On January 10, 1780, the Confederation Congress created the Department of Foreign Affairs. On August 10, 1781, Congress selected Robert R. Livingston, a delegate from New York, as the first Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Livingston was unable to take office until October 20, 1781, he served until June 4, 1783 when he was succeeded by John Jay, who served until March 4, 1789, when the government under the Articles of Confederation gave way to the government under the Constitution. The office of Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Foreign Affairs were reinstated by a law signed by George Washington on July 27, 1789. John Jay retained the post pending the return of Thomas Jefferson from France.
However, on September 15, 1789, before Jefferson could return to take the post, Washington signed into law another act which changed the name of the office from "Secretary of Foreign Affairs" to "Secretary of State," changed the name of the department to the Department of State, added several domestic powers and responsibilities to both the office of secretary and the department. On March 22, 1790, Thomas Jefferson took office as the first United States Secretary of State. For subsequent office holders, see List of Secretaries of State of the United States
Benjamin Franklin was an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a leading author, political theorist, freemason, scientist, humorist, civic activist and diplomat; as a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod and the Franklin stove, among other inventions, he founded many civic organizations, including the Library Company, Philadelphia's first fire department and the University of Pennsylvania. Franklin earned the title of "The First American" for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies; as the first United States Ambassador to France, he exemplified the emerging American nation. Franklin was foundational in defining the American ethos as a marriage of the practical values of thrift, hard work, community spirit, self-governing institutions, opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment.
In the words of historian Henry Steele Commager, "In a Franklin could be merged the virtues of Puritanism without its defects, the illumination of the Enlightenment without its heat." To Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin "the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become."Franklin became a successful newspaper editor and printer in Philadelphia, the leading city in the colonies, publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette at the age of 23. He became wealthy publishing this and Poor Richard's Almanack, which he authored under the pseudonym "Richard Saunders". After 1767, he was associated with the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a newspaper, known for its revolutionary sentiments and criticisms of British policies, he pioneered and was first president of Academy and College of Philadelphia which opened in 1751 and became the University of Pennsylvania. He organized and was the first secretary of the American Philosophical Society and was elected president in 1769.
Franklin became a national hero in America as an agent for several colonies when he spearheaded an effort in London to have the Parliament of Great Britain repeal the unpopular Stamp Act. An accomplished diplomat, he was admired among the French as American minister to Paris and was a major figure in the development of positive Franco-American relations, his efforts proved vital for the American Revolution in securing shipments of crucial munitions from France. He was promoted to deputy postmaster-general for the British colonies in 1753, having been Philadelphia postmaster for many years, this enabled him to set up the first national communications network. During the revolution, he became the first United States Postmaster General, he was active in community affairs and colonial and state politics, as well as national and international affairs. From 1785 to 1788, he served as governor of Pennsylvania, he owned and dealt in slaves but, by the 1750s, he argued against slavery from an economic perspective and became one of the most prominent abolitionists.
His colorful life and legacy of scientific and political achievement, his status as one of America's most influential Founding Fathers, have seen Franklin honored more than two centuries after his death on coinage and the $100 bill and the names of many towns, educational institutions, corporations, as well as countless cultural references. Benjamin Franklin's father, Josiah Franklin, was a soaper and candlemaker. Josiah was born at Ecton, England on December 23, 1657, the son of blacksmith and farmer Thomas Franklin, Jane White. Benjamin's father and all four of his grandparents were born in England. Josiah had seventeen children with his two wives, he married his first wife, Anne Child, in about 1677 in Ecton and immigrated with her to Boston in 1683. Following her death, Josiah was married to Abiah Folger on July 9, 1689 in the Old South Meeting House by Samuel Willard. Benjamin, their eighth child, was Josiah Franklin's fifteenth tenth and last son. Abiah Folger was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on August 15, 1667, to Peter Folger, a miller and schoolteacher, his wife, Mary Morrell Folger, a former indentured servant.
She came from a Puritan family, among the first Pilgrims to flee to Massachusetts for religious freedom, when King Charles I of England began persecuting Puritans. They sailed for Boston in 1635, her father was "the sort of rebel destined to transform colonial America." As clerk of the court, he was jailed for disobeying the local magistrate in defense of middle-class shopkeepers and artisans in conflict with wealthy landowners. Ben Franklin followed in his grandfather's footsteps in his battles against the wealthy Penn family that owned the Pennsylvania Colony. Benjamin Franklin was born on Milk Street, in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 17, 1706, baptized at Old South Meeting House, he was one of seventeen children born to Josiah Franklin, one of ten born by Josiah's second wife, Abiah Folger. Among Benjamin's siblings were his older brother James and his younger sister Jane. Josiah wanted Ben to attend school with the clergy, but only had enough money to send him to school for two years, he did not graduate.
Although "his parents talked of the church as a career" for Franklin, his schooling e
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney was an early American statesman of South Carolina, Revolutionary War veteran, delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He was twice nominated by the Federalist Party as its presidential candidate in 1804 and 1808, losing both elections. Pinckney was born into a powerful family of aristocratic planters, he was elected to the colonial legislature. A supporter of independence from Britain, Pinckney served in the American Revolutionary War, rising to the rank of brigadier general. After the war, he won election to the South Carolina legislature, where he and his brother Thomas Pinckney represented the landed elite of the South Carolina Lowcountry. An advocate of a stronger federal government, Pinckney served as a delegate to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, which wrote a new federal constitution. Pinckney's influence helped ensure. Pinckney declined George Washington's first offer to serve in his administration, but in 1796 Pinckney accepted the position of Minister to France.
In what became known as the XYZ Affair, the French demanded a bribe before they would agree to meet with the American delegation. Pinckney returned to the United States, accepting an appointment as a general during the Quasi-War with France. Though he had resisted joining either major party for much of the 1790s, Pinckney began to identify with the Federalist Party following his return from France; the Federalists chose him as their vice presidential nominee in the 1800 election, hoping that his presence on the ticket could win support for the party in the South. Though Alexander Hamilton schemed to elect Pinckney president under the electoral rules in place, both Pinckney and incumbent Federalist President John Adams were defeated by the Democratic-Republican candidates. Seeing little hope of defeating popular incumbent President Thomas Jefferson, the Federalists chose Pinckney as their presidential nominee for the 1804 election. Neither Pinckney nor the party pursued an active campaign, Jefferson won in a landslide.
The Federalists nominated Pinckney again in 1808, in the hope that Pinckney's military experience and Jefferson's economic policies would give the party a chance of winning. Though the 1808 presidential election was closer than the 1804 election had been, Democratic-Republican nominee James Madison nonetheless prevailed. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney was born into the Pinckney family of elite planters in Charleston, South Carolina, on February 25, 1746, he was the son of Charles Pinckney, who would serve as the chief justice of the Province of South Carolina, Eliza Lucas, celebrated as a planter and agriculturalist, credited with developing indigo cultivation in this area. His younger brother, Thomas Pinckney served as Governor of South Carolina, as did his first cousin once removed, Charles Pinckney. In 1753, Pinckney's father moved the family to London, where he served as the colony's agent. Both Charles and his brother Thomas were enrolled in the Westminster School, where they continued as students after the rest of the family returned to South Carolina in 1758.
Pinckney enrolled in Christ Church, Oxford in 1763 and began studying law at the Middle Temple in 1764. After a short stint at a military academy in France, Pinckney completed his studies in 1769 and was admitted to the English bar, he practiced law in England before establishing a legal practice in Charleston. After returning to the colonies, in 1773, Pinckney married Sarah Middleton, her father Henry Middleton served as the second President of the Continental Congress and her brother Arthur Middleton signed the Declaration of Independence. Sarah died in 1784. In 1786, Pinckney married again, to Mary Stead, who came from a wealthy family of planters in Georgia. Pinckney had three daughters. After returning to South Carolina from Europe, Pinckney began to practice law in Charleston, he was first elected to a seat in the colonial legislature in 1770. In 1773 he served as a regional attorney general; when war erupted between the thirteen American colonies and Great Britain in 1775, Pinckney stood with the American Patriots.
During the American Revolutionary War, he served in the lower house of the state legislature and as a member of the South Carolina Senate, in addition to his military service. Pinckney joined the colonial militia in 1772, he helped organize South Carolina's resistance to British rule. In 1775, after the American Revolutionary War had broken out, Pinckney volunteered for military service as a full-time regular officer in George Washington's Continental Army; as a senior company commander with the rank of captain, Pinckney raised and led the elite Grenadiers of the 1st South Carolina Regiment. He participated in the successful defense of Charleston in the Battle of Sullivan's Island in June 1776, when British forces under General Sir Henry Clinton staged an amphibious attack on the state capital. In 1776 Pinckney took command of the regiment, with the rank of colonel, a position he retained to the end of the war. After this, the British Army shifted its focus to the Mid-Atlantic states. Pinckney led his regiment north to join General Washington's troops near Pennsylvania.
Pinckney and his regiment participated in the Battle of Germantown. Around this time he first met fellow officers Alexander Hamilton and James McHenry, who became future Federalist statesmen. In 1778, Pinckney and his regiment, returning to the South, took part in a failed American expedition attempti
John Watts (New York politician)
John Watts Jr. was an American lawyer and politician from New York City who represented New York in the U. S. House of Representatives. John Watts was born on August 1749 in New York City, he was the son of John Watts, a Scottish immigrant from a wealthy family, Ann DeLancey, a descendant of the Schuyler family and Van Cortlandt family. His elder brother, Robert Watts, was married to the daughter of Lord Stirling, his younger siblings included Anne Watts, married to Archibald Kennedy, 11th Earl of Cassilis, Susannah Watts, married to Phillip Kearney, Mary Nicoll Watts, married to Sir John Johnson, 2nd Baronet, Stephen Watts, married to Sarah Nugent, Margaret Watts, married to Robert Leake. His maternal grandfather was the French born Etienne de Lancy, a minor member of the French nobility, Anne van Cortlandt, the third child of Gertrude Schuyler and Stephanus van Cortlandt, the Chief Justice of the Province of New York, he completed preparatory studies, graduated with an A. M. degree from King's College in May 1769, studied law.
In 1774, he was appointed the Recorder of New York City under Mayor David Mathews, was the last to serve in this role under the English Crown. The role included serving as a "mayoral assistant, in sundry administrative and judicial functions."His father, a Loyalist, fled the colonies to England during the Revolutionary War. In 1779, his properties, including his "Rose Hill" estate, were seized by the New York State Legislature. Watts and his brother Robert petitioned for the attainder to be overturned, they were unable to have it were allowed to buy back their father's properties. From 1788 to 1789 and again from 1791 to 1793, Watts was a member of the New York State Assembly serving as Speaker of the Assembly from 1791 to 1793, he was a member of the commission to build Newgate Prison in New York City, in use between 1797 and 1829. In 1793, he was elected as a Federalist to the 3rd United States Congress succeeding John Laurance to represent New York's 2nd congressional district, he served in the U.
S. Congres from March 4, 1793 until March 3, 1795, he was defeated in his run for re-election by Edward Livingston. He was a judge of Westchester County, New York from 1802 to 1807. In 1831, Watts organized the Leake and Watts Orphan Asylum after his friend, John George Leake, died with no children or living siblings. Leakes had left his personal property and real estate, to Watts' son provided he change his name to "Robert Leake." While Watts son made the change, he died a few months leaving no will. The real estate was escheated to the State because of technical problems of the "will", the personal property passed to Watts who used it to found the Orphan Asylum. In 1775, Watts married Jane Delancey in a double wedding, along with her sister, Susannah Delancey, who married Thomas Henry Barclay; the sisters were daughters of Peter DeLancey and Elizabeth Colden, granddaughters of Stephen Delancey making them first cousins to John. Together and Jane were the parents of eleven children, his grandson would write that "Watts was a monument of affliction, in that he had seen his wife, six handsome and gallant sons, four daughters precede him to the grave.
One childless daughter survived him and three grandchildren." The children included: George Watts, a First Lt. and aide-de-camp to General Winfield Scott from 1814 to 1815. Robert J. Watts, a Captain in the 41st Infantry to whom John G. Leake left his extensive properties. Robert inherited Leake's estate but died soon after. John Watts III. Ann Watts. Susan Watts, who married her cousin Philip Kearny. Elizabeth Watts, who married Henry Laight. Mary Justina Watts, who married Frederic de Peyster in 1820. John Watts died at his longtime home, 3 Broadway in New York City, on September 3, 1836, he was interred in a vault in Trinity Churchyard. In 1839, his family's Rose Hill estate and manor house were purchased by the Catholic Church to establish St. John's College. Through his daughter Susan, he was the grandfather of Gen. Philip Kearny, a United States Army officer notable for his leadership in the Mexican–American War and American Civil War, killed in action in the 1862 Battle of Chantilly, he was interred in Watts's vault until being removed to Arlington National Cemetery.
Through his daughter Mary, he was the grandfather of John Watts de Peyster, a New York City author and philanthropist who married Estelle Livingston in 1841. United States Congress. "John Watts". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. John Watts at Find a Grave
The Hudson River is a 315-mile river that flows from north to south through eastern New York in the United States. The river originates in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York, flows southward through the Hudson Valley to the Upper New York Bay between New York City and Jersey City, it drains into the Atlantic Ocean at New York Harbor. The river serves as a political boundary between the states of New Jersey and New York at its southern end. Further north, it marks local boundaries between several New York counties; the lower half of the river is a tidal estuary, deeper than the body of water into which it flows, occupying the Hudson Fjord, an inlet which formed during the most recent period of North American glaciation, estimated at 26,000 to 13,300 years ago. Tidal waters influence the Hudson's flow from as far north as the city of Troy; the river is named after Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Dutch East India Company, who explored it in 1609, after whom Hudson Bay in Canada is named.
It had been observed by Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano sailing for King Francis I of France in 1524, as he became the first European known to have entered the Upper New York Bay, but he considered the river to be an estuary. The Dutch called the river the North River – with the Delaware River called the South River – and it formed the spine of the Dutch colony of New Netherland. Settlements of the colony clustered around the Hudson, its strategic importance as the gateway to the American interior led to years of competition between the English and the Dutch over control of the river and colony. During the eighteenth century, the river valley and its inhabitants were the subject and inspiration of Washington Irving, the first internationally acclaimed American author. In the nineteenth century, the area inspired the Hudson River School of landscape painting, an American pastoral style, as well as the concepts of environmentalism and wilderness; the Hudson was the eastern outlet for the Erie Canal, when completed in 1825, became an important transportation artery for the early-19th-century United States.
The source of the Hudson River is Lake Tear of the Clouds in the Adirondack Park at an altitude of 4,322 feet. However, the river is not cartographically called the Hudson River until miles downstream; the river is named Feldspar Brook until its confluence with Calamity Brook, is named Calamity Brook until the river reaches Indian Pass Brook, flowing south from the outlet of Henderson Lake. From that point on, the stream is cartographically known as the Hudson River; the U. S. Geological Survey uses this cartographical definition; the longest source of the Hudson River as shown on the most detailed USGS maps is the "Opalescent River" on the west slopes of Little Marcy Mountain, originating two miles north of Lake Tear of the Clouds, several miles, past the Flowed Lands, to the Hudson River. And a mile longer than "Feldspar Brook", which flows out of that lake in the Adirondack Mountains. Popular culture and convention, more cite the photogenic Lake Tear of the Clouds as the source. Using river names as seen on maps, Indian Pass Brook flows into Henderson Lake, the outlet from Henderson Lake flows east and meets the southwest flowing Calamity Brook.
The confluence of the two rivers is. South of the outlet of Sanford Lake, the Opalescent River flows into the Hudson; the Hudson flows south, taking in Beaver Brook and the outlet of Lake Harris. After its confluence with the Indian River, the Hudson forms the boundary between Essex and Hamilton counties. In the hamlet of North River, the Hudson flows in Warren County and takes in the Schroon River. Further south, the river forms the boundary between Saratoga Counties; the river takes in the Sacandaga River from the Great Sacandaga Lake. Shortly thereafter, the river leaves the Adirondack Park, flows under Interstate 87, through Glens Falls, just south of Lake George although receiving no streamflow from the lake, it next goes through Hudson Falls. At this point the river forms the boundary between Saratoga Counties. Here the river has an elevation of 200 feet. Just south in Fort Edward, the river reaches its confluence with the Champlain Canal, which provided boat traffic between New York City and Montreal and the rest of Eastern Canada via the Hudson, Lake Champlain and the Saint Lawrence Seaway.
Further south the Hudson takes in water from the Batten Kill River and Fish Creek near Schuylerville. The river forms the boundary between Saratoga and Rensselaer counties; the river enters the heart of the Capital District. It takes in water from the Hoosic River. Shortly thereafter the river has its confluence with the Mohawk River, the largest tributary of the Hudson River, in Waterford; the river reaches the Federal Dam in Troy, marking an impoundment of the river. At an elevation of 2 feet, the bottom of the dam marks the beginning of the tidal influence in the Hudson as well as the beginning of the lower Hudson River. South of the Federal Dam, the Hudson River begins to widen considerably; the river enters the Hudson Valley, flowing along the west bank of Albany and the east bank of Rensselaer. Interstate 90 crosses the Hudson into Albany at this point in the river; the Hudson leaves the Capital District, forming the boundary between Greene and Columbia Counties. It meets its confluence with Schodack Creek, widening at this point.
After flowing by Hudson, the river forms the boundary between Ulster and Columbia Counties and Ulster and Dutchess Counties, passing Germantown and Kingston. The Delaware and Hudson Canal meets the river at t
Morgan Lewis (governor)
Morgan Lewis was an American lawyer and military commander. The second son of Francis Lewis, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Lewis fought in the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, he served in the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate and was New York State Attorney General and governor of New York. Morgan Lewis was born on October 16, 1754, of Welsh descent, the second son of Francis Lewis and Elizabeth Lewis. Lewis grew up in New Jersey, where he decided to dedicate himself to the ministry. However, based on his father's advice, he attended the College of New Jersey, graduating in 1773, began to study law, he read law alongside John Jay. His studies were interrupted by military service during the American Revolutionary War, he was admitted to the bar in 1783. From September 1, 1776, to the end of the war he was a colonel and the Quartermaster General for the Northern Department. In 1774, he joined the American Revolution as a volunteer in the Continental Army.
Lewis was made a captain of a regiment of the New York militia. Once the 2nd New York militia regiment was organized, he was promoted to the rank of major, he was appointed chief-of-staff to General Horatio Gates, with the rank of colonel, accompanied him into Canada, soon after congress appointed him quartermaster-general of the Northern Army. In 1775, he planned and executed the night attack on Stone Arabia, was in command at the battle of Crown Point, where he was accompanied by New York Governor George Clinton, he was prominent throughout the campaign. After the Revolution, Lewis completed his legal studies while living in Albany, New York, boarding at the riverside home of James Bloodgood. In 1779, the tax list showed him living there with personal property valued at $2,000, one of the city's highest assessments, he qualified for a "bounty right" as a member of the city regiment of the Albany County Militia. During that time, he acquired some Albany property, he was elected to the New York State Assembly, 1789 and 1792, the New York State Senate from 1811 to 1814.
He was New York State Attorney General and Justice and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New York. He served as governor of New York from 1804 to 1807, defeating Vice President Aaron Burr in the race to succeed future vice president George Clinton as governor. In the New York gubernatorial election, 1804, he was responsible for splitting the Jeffersonian Republican Party in New York into "Lewisites" and the "Clintonians" with his combination of Lewisites and Federalists. During his tenure, the United States Military Academy at West Point was established, the state's militia system was restructured, educational improvements were sanctioned. On April 30, 1807, he was defeated in his run for re-election by Daniel D. Tompkins a future vice president. Tompkins received 35,074 votes, Morgan Lewis received 30,989 votes, he returned home to Staatsburg, Dutchess County, New York, where he turned his attention to agriculture. Having given up the practice of law, Lewis established a cloth factory, for several years devoted himself to manufacturing.
The failure of a mercantile house to which his goods were assigned caused him to discontinue the business. Prior to the War of 1812 Lewis declined the office of Secretary of War under President James Madison. Instead, he served in western New York, he was commissioned as a brigadier general on April 3, 1812, promoted to major general on March 2, 1813, as part of his service on the Niagara Frontier. He commanded the American forces at the Battle of Fort George. Although the British position was captured, Lewis ordered Colonel Winfield Scott to break off the pursuit of the defeated British troops, but for Lewis's over-caution, Scott might have been able to capture Major General John Vincent's entire division and weaken the British defense of the Niagara Peninsula. Lewis was appointed as commander of upstate New York, he procured the release of the American prisoners in Canada, advancing from his private fortune the money for its accomplishment, rewarding his own tenants who had served in or sent sons to the war, by allowing them free rent for the time they served in the army.
After the war, Lewis was discharged from the Army on June 15, 1815. Lewis was a presidential elector in the presidential election of 1828. Lewis was a Freemason, served as Grand Master in the Grand Lodge of New York from 1830-1843. From 1832 to 1835 he was the President of the Historical Society of New York. Lewis was an original member of the New York Society of the Cincinnati and served as the Society's President General from 1839 to 1844, he helped to found New York University in New York City. In 1779, he married Gertrude Livingston, the daughter of Margaret Beekman and Judge Robert Livingston, they lived in Rhinebeck and in Hyde Park in Dutchess County, New York. In 1790, his Rhinebeck household was served by eight slaves. Together and Gertrude had: Margret Lewis, who married Maturin Livingston, a lawyer and politician from New York. Lewis died in New York City April 7, 1844; the following communities have been named in Lewis' honor: Lewis County, New York, The Town and Village of Lewiston, in New York, The Town of Lewis in Essex County, New York Morgan Lewis from Notable Names Database Governor Morgan Lewis Morgan Lewis at Find
Aaron Burr Jr. was an American politician and lawyer. He was the third vice president of the United States, serving during President Thomas Jefferson's first term. Burr served as a Continental Army officer in the American Revolutionary War, after which he became a successful lawyer and politician, he was elected twice to the New York State Assembly, was appointed New York State Attorney General, was chosen as a U. S. senator from the State of New York, reached the apex of his career as vice president. In the waning months of his tenure as president of the Senate, he oversaw the 1805 impeachment trial of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase. Burr shot his political rival Alexander Hamilton in a famous duel in 1804, the last full year of his single term as vice president, he was never tried for the illegal duel and all charges against him were dropped, but Hamilton's death ended Burr's political career. Burr left Washington, D. C. and traveled west seeking new opportunities, both political. His activities led to his arrest on charges of treason in 1807.
The subsequent trial resulted in acquittal, but Burr's western schemes left him with large debts and few influential friends. In a final quest for grand opportunities, he left the United States for Europe, he remained overseas until 1812, when he returned to the United States to practice law in New York City, where he spent the rest of his life in relative obscurity. Aaron Burr Jr. was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1756 as the second child of the Reverend Aaron Burr Sr. a Presbyterian minister and second president of the College of New Jersey, which became Princeton University. His mother Esther Edwards Burr was the daughter of noted theologian Jonathan Edwards and his wife Sarah. Burr had an older sister Sarah, named for her maternal grandmother, she married founder of the Litchfield Law School in Litchfield, Connecticut. Burr's father died in 1757, his mother died the following year, leaving him and his sister orphans when he was two years old, he and his sister first lived with their maternal grandparents, but his grandmother died in 1757, his grandfather Jonathan Edwards died in 1758.
Young Aaron and Sally were placed with the William Shippen family in Philadelphia. In 1759, the children's guardianship was assumed by their 21-year-old maternal uncle Timothy Edwards; the next year, Edwards married Rhoda Ogden and moved with the children to Elizabeth, New Jersey near her family. Burr had a strained relationship with his uncle, who employed physical punishment; as a child, he made several attempts to run away from home. Burr was admitted to Princeton as a sophomore at age 13 where he joined the American Whig Society and the Cliosophic Society, the college's literary and debating societies, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1772 at age 16 but continued studying theology at Princeton for an additional year. He undertook rigorous theological training with Joseph Bellamy, a Presbyterian, but changed his career path after two years. At age 19, he moved to Connecticut to study law with his brother-in-law Tapping Reeve, who had married Burr's sister in 1771. News reached Litchfield in 1775 of the clashes with British troops at Lexington and Concord, Burr put his studies on hold to enlist in the Continental Army.
During the American Revolutionary War, Burr took part in Colonel Benedict Arnold's expedition to Quebec, an arduous trek of more than 300 miles through the frontier of Maine. Arnold was impressed by Burr's "great spirit and resolution" during the long march, he sent Burr up the Saint Lawrence River when they reached Quebec City to contact General Richard Montgomery, who had taken Montreal, escort him to Quebec. Montgomery promoted Burr to captain and made him an aide-de-camp. Burr distinguished himself during the Battle of Quebec on December 31, 1775, where he attempted to recover Montgomery's corpse after the General had been shot. In the spring of 1776, Burr's stepbrother Matthias Ogden helped him to secure a place on George Washington's staff in Manhattan, but he quit within two weeks on June 26 to be on the battlefield. General Israel Putnam took Burr under his wing, Burr saved an entire brigade from capture after the British landing on Manhattan by his vigilance in the retreat from lower Manhattan to Harlem.
Washington failed to commend his actions in the next day's General Orders, the fastest way to obtain a promotion. Burr was a nationally known hero, but he never received a commendation. According to Ogden, he was infuriated by the incident, which may have led to the eventual estrangement between him and Washington. Burr defended Washington's decision to evacuate New York as "a necessary consequence." It was not until the 1790s. Burr was promoted to lieutenant colonel in July 1777 and assumed virtual leadership of Malcolm's Additional Continental Regiment. There were 300 men under Colonel William Malcolm's nominal command, but Malcolm was called upon to perform other duties, leaving Burr in charge; the regiment fought off many nighttime raids into central New Jersey by Manhattan-based British troops who arrived by water. That year, Burr commanded a small contingent during the harsh winter encampment at Valley Forge, guarding "the Gulph," an isolated pass that controlled one approach to the camp.
He defeated an attempted mutiny by some of the troops. Burr's regiment was devastated by Brit