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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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Brown, John (1736–1803), merchant and politician in the United States of America, was born on 27 January 1736 in Providence, Rhode Island, the third son of James Brown (1698–1739) merchant and shipowner, and Hope Power (1702–1792). John Brown was a member of a distinguished ...

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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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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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Hancock, Thomas (1703–1764), merchant and politician in America, was born on 17 July 1703 in Cambridge Farms, Massachusetts, the son of John Hancock (1671–1752), the local pastor, and Elizabeth Clark (c.1681–1760). Having been apprenticed to Boston bookseller Samuel Gerrish between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one, ...

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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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Hewes, George Robert Twelves (1742–1840), cordwainer and revolutionary activist in America, was born on 25 August 1742 at the sign of the Bull's Head and Horns, Water Street, Boston, Massachusetts, the sixth of nine children of George Hewes (1701–1749), tallow chandler and erstwhile tanner, and his wife, ...

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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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Langdon, John (1741–1819), merchant and politician in the United States of America, was born on 26 June 1741 near Portsmouth, New Hampshire, one of six children of John Langdon, farmer, and Mary Hall of Exeter. He was educated in the classics at Samuel Hale's Latin Grammar School...

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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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Livingston, Philip (1716–1778), merchant and politician in America, was born on 15 January 1716 in Albany, Albany county, New York, the fourth of nine children of Philip Livingston (1686–1749), merchant and proprietor of Livingston Manor, and his wife, Catrina, née Van Brugh (1689–1756)...

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Nelson, William (1711–1772), merchant and politician in America, was born in Yorktown, Virginia, the son of Thomas Nelson (1677–1745), a merchant, and Margaret Reade (d. 1719×23). He was sent to England for his education; it is not known which school he attended, but he spent some time in ...

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James Otis senior (1702–1778) by John Singleton Copley, c. 1758 The Roland P. Murdock Collection, Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas

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Otis, James, senior (1702–1778), merchant and politician in America, was born in Barnstable, Massachusetts, on 14 June 1702 to John Otis (1657–1727) and Mercy Bacon. The leading merchant of Barnstable county (Cape Cod), John Otis left his son a sizeable fortune, upon which he improved by practising law, beginning in 1730. About 1723 he married ...

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Pemberton, Israel (1715–1779), merchant and politician in America, was born on 19 May 1715 in Philadelphia, the first son of Israel Pemberton and his wife, Rachel, daughter of Charles Read of Burlington, New Jersey. The elder Israel was a leading Philadelphia merchant, Pennsylvania...