John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg (1746 - 1807)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Trappe, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: Died in Gray's Ferry, Montgomery, Pennsylvania, United States
Occupation: Clergyman, Major General in Continental Army & Member of U.S.Congress
Managed by: Paul Douglas Van Dillen
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About John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg

Peter Muhlenberg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Muhlenberg

John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg (October 1, 1746 – October 1, 1807) was a clergyman, a soldier and a politician of the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Post-Revolutionary eras in Pennsylvania.

Muhlenberg was born to Anna and Henry Muhlenberg in Trappe, Pennsylvania, and received a classical education from the Academy of Philadelphia. Then, following his father's example, he studied at the University at Halle (Saale) in Germany from 1763 to 1766. He also served briefly in the German dragoons before returning to Philadelphia. He was ordained in 1768 and headed a Lutheran congregation in Bedminster, New Jersey, before moving to Woodstock, Virginia. In 1770 he married Anna Barbara "Hannah" Meyer, the daughter of a successful potter. Together they had six children. He visited England in 1772 and was ordained into the priesthood of the Anglican Church. Besides his new congregation, he led the Committee of Safety and Correspondence for Dunmore County, Virginia. He was elected to the House of Burgesses in 1774, and was a delegate to the First Virginia Convention.

Military career

Toward the end of 1775, Muhlenberg was authorized to raise and command as its Colonel the 8th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army. After Washington personally asked him to accept this task, he agreed.

According to a biography written by his great nephew in the mid 1800's,.[1] on January 21, 1776 in the Anglican church in Woodstock, Virginia, Reverend Muhlenberg took his sermon text from the third chapter Ecclesiastes, which starts with "To every thing there is a season...". As the story goes, he read the eighth verse, "...a time of war, and a time of peace,... and this is the time of war". According to the story, he then removed his clerical robe to reveal his Colonel's uniform, and the next day led out 300 men from the county to form the nucleus of the Eighth Virginia. Muhlenberg's unit was first posted to the South, to defend the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. In early 1777, the Eighth was sent north to join Washington's main army. Muhlenberg was made a Brigadier General of the Virginia Line and commanded that Brigade in Nathanael Greene's division at Valley Forge. Muhlenberg saw service in the Battles of Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth. After Monmouth, most of the Virginia Line was sent to the far south, while General Muhlenberg was assigned to head up the defense of Virginia using mainly militia units.

At the Battle of Yorktown, he led the first brigade of Lafayette's Light Infantry division. His brigade was made up of units drawn from Massachusetts (10 companies), Connecticut (5 companies), New Hampshire (5 companies), and 1 company each from Rhode Island and New Jersey. They held the right flank, and manned the two trenches built to move American cannons closer to Cornwallis defenses.

At the end of the war (1783), he was brevetted to major general and settled in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

Muhlenberg was also an original member of the Pennsylvania Society of the Society of the Cincinnati.

Political career

After the war, Muhlenberg was elected to the Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1784. He was elected Vice-President of the Council, a position comparable to that of Lieutenant Governor, on 31 October 1787. His term as Vice-President ended on a mysterious note. On 14 October 1788 the minutes of the Executive Council report that Muhlenberg had left Philadelphia without tendering his resignation—why his resignation was needed or expected is not noted—so a messenger was sent after him. That night, after the messenger returned with the resignation, the Council met at President Benjamin Franklin's home to chose Muhlenberg's successor, electing David Redick to the position.

Muhlenberg was elected to the first U. S. Congress (1789-1791) by the entire state of Pennsylvania as an at-large representative. (His brother Frederick was the Speaker for that same Congress.) He was the first founder of the Democratic-Republican Societies in 1793. He served in Congress as a Republican from 1793 to 1795 and 1799-1801 for the 1st district. He entered the U.S. Senate in January 1801, but resigned on June 30 of that same year.

President Jefferson appointed him the supervisor of revenue for Pennsylvania in 1781 and customs collector for Philadelphia in 1802. He served in the later post until his death.

Death and legacy

Peter Muhlenberg died in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania on 1 October 1807 and is buried at the Augustus Lutheran Church in Trappe, Pennsylvania.

Muhlenberg is the namesake of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.

-------------------- John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg (October 1, 1746 – October 1, 1807) was an American clergyman, Continental Army soldier during the American Revolutionary War, and political figure in the newly-independent United States. A Lutheran minister, he served in the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate from Pennsylvania. Toward the end of 1775, Muhlenberg was authorized to raise and command as its colonel the 8th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army. After George Washington personally asked him to accept this task, he agreed. However, his brother Fredrick Augustus Mulenberg, who was also a minister, did not approve of him going into the army until the British burned down his own church in front of him. Then he joined the military himself. According to a biography written by his great nephew in the mid-19th century,.[2] on January 21, 1776 in the Lutheran church in Woodstock, Virginia, Reverend Muhlenberg took his sermon text from the third chapter Ecclesiastes, which starts with "To every thing there is a season..."; after reading the eighth verse, "a time of war, and a time of peace," he declared, "And this is the time of war," removing his clerical robe to reveal his Colonel's uniform. After the war, Muhlenberg was elected to the Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1784. He was elected Vice-President of the Council, a position comparable to that of Lieutenant Governor, on October 31, 1787. Muhlenberg was elected to the 1st Congress (1789–1791) as one of the at-large representatives from Pennsylvania. His brother Frederick was the Speaker of the House for that same Congress. He was the first founder of the Democratic-Republican Societies in 1793. Muhlenberg served in Congress as a Republican during the 3rd Congress 1793-1795 and 5th Congress 1799-1801 for the 1st district. President Thomas Jefferson appointed him the supervisor of revenue for Pennsylvania in 1801 and customs collector for Philadelphia in 1802. He served in the latter post until his death.

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Gen. Peter Muhlenberg (Cont. Army), U.S. Senator's Timeline

1746
October 1, 1746
Trappe, Pennsylvania, United States
1770
1770
Age 23
1775
1775
Age 28
1785
1785
Age 38
1787
1787
Age 40
1795
1795
Age 48
1807
October 1, 1807
Age 61
Gray's Ferry, Montgomery, Pennsylvania, United States
????
Augustus Lutheran Church Cemetery Trappe Montgomery County Pennsylvania