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Burgoyne, dining with general Gates immediately after the convention of Saratoga, and general Schuyler named among the officers presented to him, thought it necessary to apologize for the destruction of his elegant månsion a few days before, by his orders. “Make no excuses, general," was the reply: “ I feel myself more than com pensated by the pleasure of meeting you at this table."
SERGEANT, JONATHAN DICKENSON, a zealous patriot, and eminent lawyer, was born at Princeton, in New Jersey, in the year 1746. His father was Jonathan Sergeant, a highly respectable citizen of New Jersey, and his mother was the daughter of the Rev. Jonathan Dickenson, the first president of Princeton college, whose learned and pious writings are extensively known; and have obtained for his memory the high respect due to so enlightened and faithful a servant in the cause of religion and letters. The subject of this article studied the law with Richard Stockton, Esq., the elder. He be.
noul and with decided success. When gan the pracute cary, auu "** the resistance commenced to the oppression of Great Britain, he took at once an active and distinguished part in favour of the rights of his countrymen, and throughout the whole of the arduous struggle which ensued, was a steadfast and resolute whig, in the darkest periods, preserving a cheerful confidence, and exerting himself with unabated vigour.
In February, 1776, he was returned a delegate from New Jersey to congress, when he became a faithful and industrious member of that illustrious body. He conti nued in this station throughout the perilous period of 1776, and part of 1777. In the month of July of the latter year, he was called by the state of Pennsylvania to the office of attorney-general of that state, which he ać. cepted, with a full sense of the laborious and critical nature of the service he was thus required to render, but feeling, too, that the cause of the revolution might in some measure be considered as turning upon á vigor.
ous exertion of judicial authority in Pennsylvania, for it was' then a very prevalent opinion that her laws against treason could not be enforced. On the departure of the British from Philadelphia, he removed to that city with his family, and there resided until his death. In the distressing period that passed during the occupation of Philadelphia by the British, he bore a leading and prominent part in the administration of the affairs of the state, and then became intimately acquainted with the leading whigs of Pennsylvania, with whom he delighted, during the remainder of his life, to maintain the relas tions of political and personal friendship, and in concert with them, to devise the measures necessary for strengthening the foundations of liberty which had been laid in the revolution.
In 1778, congress, having directed a court martial for the trial of general St. Clair and other officers, in relation to the evacuation of Ticonderoga, and ordered two counsellors learned in the law, to be appointed to assist the judge-advocate in conducting the trial, selected Mr. Sergeant and Mr. Patterson, attorney-general of New Jersey, to perform that duty.
In the celebrated controversy between the states of Pennsylvania and Connecticut, concerning the Wyoming lands, which was heard and determined in 1782, before a court of commissioners, held under the confederation, Mr. Sergeant was one of the counsel for the state of Pennsylvania.
In 1780, the storm of war having passed away, he resigned the office of attorney-general, and devoted himself to his profession, in which his business was large and lucrative. Declining, after the peace, like many of
the patriots of 1776, to accept of any office, his acquain: tance was courted, and his advice and aid were constantly
sought by the republicans who took part in the important transactions of those days.
"He continued to enjoy good health in the midst of his friends, and a numerous family, till the pestilence of the yellow fever of 1793, visited the city of Philadelphia. Terror, and alarm, and fight, were the effects of the appearance of this appalling visiter, whose strides were too gigantic and marked, not to be perceived. The poor
wore lett destitute, and the children of the poor who fell victims to the disease, were orphans indeed. Mr. Sérgeant, with a few others, obeying the impulse of humani. ty, and facing the danger which
every where surrounded them, took upon themselves the office of a committee of health, and remained to assist the sick, relieve the distressed, and provide the helpless orphans with clothing, and food, and shelter, from funds charitably contributed by themselves and their fellow-citizens. In the performance of this interesting and hazardous duty, he fell a victim to the fever in the month of October, 1793. He died at the age of forty-seven.
As a lawyer, he was distinguished for integrity, learning, and industry; for great promptness, and an uncommonly fine natural elocution. As a man, he was kind, generous, and actively benevolent; free from selfishness and timidity, and at the same time prudent and just; maintaining in his house a liberal hospitality, without ostentation or display. As a citizen and a public man, he was ardent, sincere, and indefatigable; fearless of every consequence of the honest discharge of his duty. He died in the midst of his usefulness, but he fell in the cause of humanity; and the blessings and tears of the orphans whom he had helped to rescue, accompanied his departing spirit
SHERMAN, ROGER, one of the signers of the declaration of independence, was born in Newtown, Massachusetts, on the 19th of April, 1721. He received no other education than the ordinary country schools in Massachusetts at that period afforded. He was apprenticed to a shoemaker, and pursued that occupation for some time after he was twenty-two years of age. It is recorded of Mr. Sherman, that he was aecustomed to sit at his work with a book before him, devoting to study every moment that his eyes could be spared from the occupation in which he was engaged. In 1743, Mr. Sherman traveled, with his tools, on foot, to New Mile
ford, Connecticut, where he continued to work at his trade for somé time.
Several years after this, he applied himself to the study of law, and was admitted to the bar in 1754. The next year, he was appointed a justice of the peace, and soon after, a representative in the general assembly. In 1761, he removed to New Haven. From this time his reputa. tion was rapidly rising, and he soon ranked among the first men in the state.
His knowledge of the human character, his sagacious and penetrating mind, his general political views, and his accurate and just observation of passing events, enabled him on the first appearance of serious difficulties between the colonies and the parent country, to perceive the consequences that would follow; and the probable result of a contest arising from a resistance to the exer. cise of unjust, oppressive, and unconstitutional acts of authority, over a free people, having sufficient intelli. gence to know their rights, and sufficient spirit to defend them. Accordingly, at the commencement of the contest, he took an active and decided part in favour of the colonies, and subsequently in support of the revolution and their separation from Great Britain. In 1774, he was chosen a member of the first continental congress, and continued to be a member, except when excluded by the law of rotation. He was a member of the illus. trious congress of 1776, and was one of the committee that drew up the declaration of independence, which was penned by the venerable Thomas Jefferson, who was also one of the committee. After the peace, Roger Sherman was a member of the convention which formed the constitution of the United States; and he was chosen a representative from this state to the first congress under this constitution. He was removed to the senate in 1791, and remained in this situation until his death, July 23, 1793, in the seventy-third year of his age. The life of Mr. Sherman is one among the many examples of the triumph of industry over all the obstacles arising fram the want of what is generally considered as a regular and systematic education. Yet it rleserves consideration, whether a vigorous mind, stimulated by an ardent thirst of knowledge, left to its own exertions,
anembarrassed by rules of art, and unshackled by systematic regulations, is not capable of pursuing the object of acquiring knowledge more intensely, and with more success; of taking a more wide and comprehensive survey; of exploring with more penetration the fields of science, and of forming more just and solid views. Mr. Sherman possessed a powerful mind, and habits of industry, which no difficulties could discourage, and no toil impair. In early life, he began to apply himself with inextinguishable zeal to the acquisition of knowledge. In this pursuit, although he was always actively engaged in business, he spent more hours than most of those who are professedly students. In his progress, he became extensively acquainted with mathematical science, natural philosophy, moral and metaphysical philosophy, history, logic, and theology. As a lawyer and statesman, he was very eminent, having a clear, penetrating, and vigorous mind; and as a patriot, no greater respect can be paid to his memory, than the fact which has al
ready been noticed, that he was a member of the patri· otic congress of 1776, which declared these colonies to
be free and independenta
STARK, John, was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, 28th of August, (old style,) 1728. John removed with his father to Derryfield, (now Manchester,) about the year 1736, and settled a mile north of Amoskeig Falls, where he was employed occasionally in hunting and husbandry, until the 28th day of April, 1752, when he and three others, while hunting beaver on Baker's. river, were surprised by ten St. Francois Indians. He had separated from his companions, in order to collect the traps. In the act of taking the last trap, he was seized by the Indians, who interrogated him about his companions; but he pointed out a contrary route. He led them nearly two miles from the right place, and was proceeding, when they heard guns fired, which his comrades had commenced, on presumption that he had lost bis.