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opinions of which the world had not yet dreamed, he was sneered at by the sciolist, and ridiculed by shallow upstarts in science. He was thoroughly appreciated in Europe, where almost every literary and scientific institution thought it an honor to enrol his name upon its list of members. Dr. Mitchill died at his residence, in New York City, on the 7th of September, 1831, in the sixty-seventh year of his age.


DURING the early years of the War for Independence, and for many months

much indebted to secret observers of political men and things in Europe, who kept the former continually and accurately informed of passing events. One of the most efficient of these observers was Arthur Lec, of Virginia, brother of Richard Henry Lee, author of the resolution proposing independence for the United States of America. He was born at Stratford, in Westmoreland county, Virginia, on the 20th of December, 1740. He was educated in the Edinburgh University, where he studied the science of medicine, for some time. On his return, he commenced its practice at Williamsburg, then the capital, and centre of fashion, of Virginia. In 1766, while the Americans were yet greatly excited concerning the Stamp Act, he went to London, and commenced the study of the law, in the Temple. There he formed a close intimacy with Sir William Jones, (the eminent Oriental scholar), and many other men of note. During all the agitations from that period until the beginning of the war, Dr. Lee kept the Americans informed, chiefly through his brother, Richard Henry, of the plans and measures of the ministry, and was of essential service to the cause of popular liberty in America. He wrote much for the press in favor of the colonies; and, in 1775, he was accredited agent of Virginia, in England. In the Summer of that year, he presented the second petition of the American Congress to the king: and, in the Autumn of 1776, he was appointed a commissioner of the United States at the French court, as colleague of Dr. Franklin and Silas Deane. He held that position until 1779, when Franklin was appointed sole minister. In the meanwhile, Dr. Lee had been appointed a special commissioner to Spain to solicit a loan; and in the same capacity, and for the same purpose, he visited the capital of Prussia, but the king, unwilling to offend Great Britain, would not oponly receive him.' Dr. Lee returned to America, in 1780, when Silas Deane was laboring to blacken his character. The people believed in their hitherto frithful friend, and, early in 1781, Dr. Lee was elected to a scat in the House of Burgesses, of Virginia. That body sent him to Congress, where he held a seat until 1785. In 1784, he was appointed one of the commissioners to treat with the representatives of the Six Nations of Indians, at Fort Schuyler (now Rome), and soon afterward he was called to a seat at the Treasury Board. Early in 1790, he was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, but his earthly career was almost closed. He purchased a farm near Urbana, on the Rappahannock, and there he died, on the 14th of December, 1792, at the age of almost fifty-two years.

1. Dr. Lee was successful in his mission to both Spain and Prussia. Although the King of Prussia would not receive him openly, he had continual correspondence with the court, and his brother William was a resident agent of the United States there. While in Berlin, his papers were stolen, and he charged the British minister with the theft. The king ordered an investigation, and they were soon secretly returned. At the request of the Prussian monarch, the Bri ish minister was realled. D. Lee received warm assurances of friendship from the king, and obiained favors for the United States.

2. See sketch of Deane.



CHRISTOPHER COLLES. TN that superb Offering of Intellect to Worth and Genius, the Knickerbocker 1 Gallery, published at the close of 1854, Dr. John W. Francis has given an cxceedingly interesting sketch of Christopher Colles, a name but little known to tiis generation, while the influence of his genius is everywhere felt in the great pulsating arteries of our national enterprise, for it was in the highest degree suggestive. This kindly ombalming by an appreciating hand, has saved a name deserving of honor from that forgetfulness which the world too often indulges toward genius in linsey-woolsey.

Mr. Colles was born in Ireland about the year 1757. Under the card and instructions of Richard Pococke, the celebrated Oriental traveller, he acquired much scientific knowledge and considerable expertness in the use of different languages. His patron died in 1765, and Colles came to America soon afterward. He first appeared in public here as a lecturer on canal navigation, at about the year 1772; and he is unquestionably tho first man who suggested, and called public attention to the importance of a navigable water-communication between the Hudson river and the Lakes. He presented a memorial on the subject to the New York State legislature, in the Autumn of 1784, and in April Collowing, a favorable report was made. Colles actually made a survey of tho Pohawk, and the country to Wood creek, by which a water-communication with Oneida and Ontario lakes might be effected. The results of that tour were published in a pamphlet, in 1785. More than ten years before, Colles had matured a plan for supplying the city of New York with wholesome water, and steps were taken for tho purpose, when the Revolution interfered. Year after year he was engaged in his favorite projects. In 1797, his name appeared among applicants for a contract to supply the city of New York with water; and it was unquestionably his fertile mind that conceived the idea, then first put forth, of obtaining water from Westchester county. The Bronx, instead of the Croton, was the proposed fountain of supply. In 1808, he published an interesting pamphlet on canals.

In 1789, Mr. Colles published a series of sectional Road Maps, for the use of travellers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia; and, in 1794, he issued the first number of "The Geographical Ledger." But these undertakings were far from profitable to him, and he eked out a comfortable subsistence by land-surveying and itinerant public instruction in the various branches of practical science. He also constructed band-boxes for a living, when he made New York his permanent residence, and frequently assisted almanac makers in their calculations. He manufactured painters' colors, and proof-glasses to test the quality of liquors. Finally “ we find our ubiquitous philosopher in good quarters and in wholesome employment,” says Dr. Francis, as actuary of the American Academy of Fine Arts. He also made profitable exhibitions of a telescope and microscope of his own construction, and had a marino telegraph on the Government House at the Bowling-green. These humble employments did not lessen him in the esteem of the eminent men of that time, who knew and admired the profundity of his acquirements; and De Witt Clinton always regarded him as among the most prominent and efficient promoters of internal improvements. Dr. Mitchill was his warm friend; Jarvis thought it an honor to paint his portrait;? and Dr. Hosack commemorated him

1. A volume composed of contributions from the surviving writers for The Knickerbocker Magazine, and embellished with their portraits. It was prepared as & testimonial of esteem for Lewis Gaylord Clarke, the editor of the Maguzine, and for his benefit the profits of the work are to be devoted. The above sketch is the substance of Dr. Francis Memoir of Colles.

2. That picture is now (1855) in the possessioa of the New York Iistoricul Society.

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in his Life of Clinton. And finally, in the great celebration which took place in New York, in November, 1825, when the waters of Erie were united with the Atlantic, “the efligy of Colles was borne with appropriate dignity among the emblems of that vast procession.” He had then been in the grave four years, having gone to his rest in the Autumn of 1821. Of all the people of that great city where the inanimate effigy of Colles was so soon to be honored, only two besides the officiating clergyman followed his body to the grave! These honored two were Dr. Francis and John Pintard. The Rev. Dr. Creighton (who declined the bishopric of New York, in 1852), officiated on the occasion, and the remains of Christopher Colles were deposited in the Episcopal burial-ground in Hudson Street. No memorial marks the spot, and the place of his grave is doubtless forgotten!


THE "South Carolina Game-Cock," as Sumter was called, was, next to Marion, 1 the most useful of all the southern partisans during the latter part of the Revolution. Of his early life and habits we have no reliable record, and the place of his birth is unknown. That event occurred, as some circumstances indicate, about the year 1734. His name first appears in public as lieutenantcolonel of a regiment of riflemen, in March, 1776, and he appears to have been in Charleston until within a few days before its surrender to the British, in May, 1780. He was not among the prisoners, and was doubtless in the vicinity of the Catawba, at that time, arousing his countrymen to action. He was in the field early in the Summer of 1780, and was actively engaged in partisan warfare with the British and Tories, when Gates approached Camden, in August. At the close of July he had attacked the British post at Rocky Mount, on the Catawba; and, early in August, he fought a severe battle with the British and Loyalists at Hanging Rock. Immediately after the defeat of Gates, Sumter was attacked by Tarleton, near the mouth of the Fishing Creek, and his little band was utterly routed and dispersed. With a few survivors and new volunteers, he hastened across the Broad River, ranged the districts upon its western banks, and, in November, defeated Colonel Wemyss, who attacked his camp at the Fish Dam Ford, in Chester district. Twelve days afterward, he defeated Tarleton in an engagement at Blackstocks, on the Tyger river; but, being severely wounded, he proceeded immediately to North Carolina, where he remained until his wounds were healed.

Early in February, 1781, Sumter again took the field, and while Greene was retreating before Lord Cornwallis, he was aiding Marion, Pickens, and others, in humbling the garrisons of the enemy on the borders of the low country. He continued in active service during the whole campaign of 1781, and did much toward humbling the British posts near Charleston; but ill-health compelled him to leave the army before the close of the war. He was for a long time a member of the House of Representatives of the United States, and also of the Senate in the earlier years of the Republic. Finally, when he retired from public life, he took up his abode near Bradford Springs, on the High Hills of Santee (now Statesburg), South Carolina. There he lived until he had almost reached centenary honors. He died there, on the 1st of June, 1832, when in the ninety. eighth year of his age. When the writer visited that region, in 1849, the house and plantation of General Sumter were owned by a mulatto named Ellison, a man greatly esteemed. He had purchased the freedom of himself and family in carly life, and was then the owner of a large estate in land, and about sixty slaves.

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WILLIAM PINKNEY. ONE of the most profound and brilliant of the orators and statesmen of his age, U was the equally-renowned diplomatist, William Pinkney, of Maryland. He was born at Annapolis, on the 17th of March, 1764. Although his father was a staunch loyalist, William, as soon as he reached young manhood toward the close of the Revolution, warmly espoused the cause of the patriots. He possessed great strength of mind, but his early education was sadly neglected. By severe study he soon made amends, and took front rank among his more fortunate companions. He first studied the science of medicine, but, regarding the law with more favor, not only as more agreeable to his inclinations but as more promising in personal distinctions, he abandoned the former, and devoted his energies to the latter. He was admitted to the bar at the age of twenty-two years, and soon afterward he commenced the practice of his profession in Harford county, Maryland, where, in 1789, he married a sister of (afterward) Commodore Rodgers.

In 1792, Mr. Pinkney was elected to a seat in the executive council of Maryland; and, in 1795, was chosen a delegate to the State legislature. The following year, President Washington appointed him one of the commissioners under

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the provisions of Jay's treaty, and he proceeded to England. He performed his arduous and varied duties with great ability and success. Soon after his return to America, in 1805, he removed to Baltimore, and was immediately appointed attorney-general of Maryland. Tho following year he was again sent to England to treat concerning the impressment of American seamen into the British service, and other matters which finally resulted in war. After remaining in Europe several years, he returned in 1811, and became one of the most ardent supporters of Mr. Madison's administration. He was chosen a member of the Maryland Senate, and toward the close of 1811, President Madison appointed him attorney-general of the United States. He went to the field in defence of his native State, in 1814, and fought the British bravely at Bladensburg. He was soon afterward clected to Congress; and, in 1816, he was appointed minister to the court of St. Petersburg. There he remained until 1820, when he returned home, and was immediately chosen to a seat in the United States Senate. In that body, and in the Supreme Court of the United States, he labored intensely until the close of 1821, when his health suddenly gave way. He died on the 25th of February, 1822, in the fifty-ninth year of his age.


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UJENRY WOLCOTT was one of the earliest and most active settlers in the

Connecticut Valley, whither he went from Dorchester, near Boston, in 1736, and made his residence at Windsor. There, on the 26th of November, 1726, his distinguished descendant, Oliver Wolcott, was born. At the age of seventeen years he entered Yale College, as a student, and left it in 1747, bearing the usual college honors. The contest with the French and Indians, known as King George's War, was then in progress, and young Wolcott obtained a captain's commission, raised a company, and joined the provincial army. Peace soon came, but he held his commission, and arose regularly to the rank of majorgeneral. At the close of the war he studied medicine, and when about to commence its practice, he was appointed sheriff of Litchfield county, Connecticut, where he resided. He was distinguished for his early advocacy of the cause of the colonists in the dispute with Great Britain, and was a member of the council of his native State from 1774 until 1786. In the meanwhile he was a member of the Continental Congress, chief justice of Litchfield county, and judge of probate, of that district. As a member of Congress, he signed the Declaration of Independence; and he was also appointed, by that body, one of the commissionors of Indian affairs for the northern department. As umpire and active participator in the matter of dispute between Connecticut and Pennsylvania, concerning the Wyoming Valley, Judge Wolcott performed an important service, in procuring a settlement.

At home Judge Wolcott was very active in recruiting men for the continental service, and he was in command of a body of troops in the army of Gates, at Saratoga, when Burgoyne was captured. In 1786, he was elected lieutenant

1. When, in July, 1776, the American soldiers pulled down and broke in pieces the leaden equestrian statue of George the Third, which stood in the Bowling-green at the foot of Broadway, New York, a greater portion of it was sent to Governor Wolcott, at Litchfield, to be converted into bullets. This service was performed by a son and two daughters of Governor Wolcott, Mr. and Miss Marvin, and Mrs. Beach. According to an account.current of the cartridges made from that statue, found among the papers of Governor Wolcott, it appears that it furnished materials for forty-two thousand bullets. RePrring to this matter, Ebenezer Hazzard, in a letter to Gates, said, “His (the king's) troops will probably

voolted majesty fired at them."

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