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James Bowdoin (1726–1790) by Robert Feke, 1748 Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine, Bequest of Mrs Sarah Bowdoin Dearborn

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Bowdoin, James (1726–1790), merchant and revolutionary politician in America, was born on 7 August 1726 in Boston, Massachusetts, the youngest child of James Bowdoin (1676–1747), a prosperous merchant and landowner, and his second wife, Hannah Portage (d. 1734). Known in his youth as ...

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Bryan, George (1731–1791), merchant and revolutionary politician in America, was born on 11 August 1731 in Dublin, the fourth of eight children, and eldest son, of Samuel Bryan, merchant, and his wife, Sarah Dennis. His parents were Irish Presbyterians. In 1752 his father thought him sufficiently schooled in trade and sent him to ...

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Ellery, William (1727–1820), merchant and revolutionary politician in America, was born on 22 December 1727 in Newport, Rhode Island, the son of William Ellery (1701–1764), a successful merchant and politician, and Elizabeth, the daughter of a prominent Newport figure, Colonel Job Almy. Like his father ...

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Ewen, William (c. 1720–1777), merchant and revolutionary politician in America, was born in England; details of his parents and upbringing are unknown. Ewen moved to the American colonies as an apprentice to the trustees of the Georgia corporation in 1734. After working in the public stores in ...

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Gadsden, Christopher (1724–1805), merchant and revolutionary politician, was born on 16 February 1724 in Charles Town, South Carolina, the fourth and only surviving son of Thomas Gadsden (1688–1741) and Elizabeth (1694–1727), daughter of Christopher Terrey, a man of Irish extraction. Thomas Gadsden served in the ...

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Gorham, Nathaniel (1738–1796), merchant and revolutionary politician in America, was born in May 1738 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the eldest of five children of Nathaniel Gorham, packet boat operator, and his wife, Mary Soley (b. c.1714). After a six-year apprenticeship to Nathaniel Coffin...

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John Hancock (1737–1793) by John Singleton Copley, 1765 Copyright 2004 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Deposited by the City of Boston

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Hancock, John (1737–1793), merchant and revolutionary politician in America, was born on 12 January 1737 in Braintree, Massachusetts, the son of John Hancock (1702–1744), a Congregational minister, and Mary Thaxter Hawke, who later married Daniel Perkin, and who outlived her son. Upon the death of his father his mother sent him to live in ...

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Harnett, Cornelius (1723–1781), merchant and revolutionary politician in America, was born on 20 April 1723 in Chowan county, North Carolina, the son of Cornelius (d. 1742), colonial official, planter, and tavern-keeper, and Elizabeth Harnett. With his family Harnett moved in 1726 to ...

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Huntington, Jabez (1719–1786), merchant and revolutionary politician in America, was born on 7 August 1719 at Norwich, Connecticut, the eldest son of Joshua Huntington, merchant, and his wife, Hannah Perkins. The large Huntington family was prominent in eastern Connecticut, and especially important in the settling and growth of ...

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Henry Laurens (1724–1792) by John Singleton Copley, 1782 National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

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Laurens, Henry (1724–1792), revolutionary politician in America and merchant, was born on 6 March 1724 in Charles Town, South Carolina, the first son and third of the six children of Esther (Hester) Grasset (1700–1742) and John Samuel Laurens (1696–1747). Descended from French Huguenot refugees, the family had moved to ...

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Leisler, Jacob (bap. 1640, d. 1691), merchant and rebel leader in America, was baptized on 31 March 1640 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, the first of eight children of the Revd Jacob Victorian Leisler (1606–1653), and his wife, Susanne Adelheid, née Wissenbach (1612–1694)...

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Sherman, Roger (1721–1793), merchant and revolutionary politician in America, was born on 19 April 1721 at Newton, Massachusetts, the fourth child, and third son, of William Sherman (1692–1741), farmer and cordwainer, and his second wife, Mehetabel Wellington (1688–1776). As a young man Roger...

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Ward, Samuel (1725–1776), merchant and revolutionary politician in America, was born on 27 May 1725 in Newport, Rhode Island, the ninth of fourteen children of Richard Ward (1689–1763), farmer, merchant, and secretary (1714–30) and governor (1740–43) of the colony of Rhode Island, and ...