Maj. General John Sullivan (Continental Army)

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John O'Sullivan, Jr.

Also Known As: "Sullyfun", "Sullefund", "Sullivan"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Somersworth, New Hampshire, United States
Death: Died in Durham, New Hampshire, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Sullivan and Margery Sullivan
Husband of Lydia Remick O'Sullivan and Clarissa Sullivan
Father of Lydia O'Sullivan and George Sullivan
Brother of Governor James Sullivan; Daniel Sullivan and Moses Ebenezr "Eben" Sullivan

Occupation: Pres. of New Hampshire, Member of Continental Congress, military commander
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Maj. General John Sullivan (Continental Army)

John Sullivan (b. February 17, 1740, Somersworth, New Hampshire – d. January 23, 1795, Durham, New Hampshire) was an American general in the Revolutionary War and a delegate in the Continental Congress.

Sullivan served as a major general in the Continental Army and as Governor (or "President") of New Hampshire. He is most famous for leading the Sullivan Expedition in 1779, a scorched earth campaign against the Iroquois towns that had taken up arms against the American revolutionaries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sullivan_Expedition

Early career

Sullivan was the third son of a schoolmaster. He read law with Samuel Livermore of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and began its practice in 1764 when he moved to Durham. He annoyed many neighbors in his early career, when he was the only lawyer in town, with numerous suits over foreclosures. But by 1772, he was firmly established and began work to improve his relations with the community. In 1773 Alexander Scammel joined John Sullivan's law practice.

He was sent by Durham to the colony's general assembly, and built a friendship with the royal governor John Wentworth. As the American Revolution grew nearer, he began to side more with the radicals. In 1774 the first Provincial (or rebel) Congress sent him as a delegate to the Continental Congress.

In 1775 he was returned to the Congress, but when they appointed him a brigadier general in June, he left to join the army at the siege of Boston.

Revolutionary War

Sullivan fired the first shot of the American Revolutionary War, during the Battle of Fort William and Mary in December 1774. After the British evacuated Boston in the spring of 1776, Washington sent General Sullivan north to replace the fallen John Thomas as commander in Canada. He took command of the sick and faltering invasion force, led an unsuccessful counterattack against the British at Trois-Rivières, and withdrew the survivors to Crown Point. This led to the first of several controversies between Congress and General Sullivan, as they sought a scapegoat for the failed invasion of Canada. He was exonerated and promoted to major general on August 9, 1776.

Sullivan rejoined Washington and was placed in command of the troops on Long Island to defend against British General Howe's forces about to envelop New York City. But then, on August 23, Washington split the command between Sullivan and General Israel Putnam. Confusion about the distribution of command contributed to the American defeat at the Battle of Long Island four days later. Sullivan's personal bravery was unquestioned, as he engaged the Hessian attackers with a pistol in each hand, however he was captured.

As a prisoner under parole, he carried letters from Admiral Richard Howe to the Congress. When the resulting peace discussions on Staten Island fell apart in September 1776 some in the Congress, particularly John Adams, found fault with Sullivan.[citation needed]

War with the Main Army

General Sullivan was released in a prisoner exchange in time to rejoin Washington before the Battle of Trenton. There his division secured the important bridge over the Assunpink Creek to the north of the town. This prevented escape and ensured the high number of Hessian prisoners captured. This route is now the main road in Ewing Township, New Jersey called "Sullivans Way". In January 1777, Sullivan also performed well in the Battle of Princeton.

In August, he led a failed attempt to retake Staten Island. Again Congress found fault, but he was exonerated by the court of inquiry. This was followed by American losses at Brandywine and Germantown. Congress was frustrated by the continued British occupation of Philadelphia, but since Washington was the only man holding the army together, they made Sullivan the scapegoat.

In early 1778 he was transferred to the unimportant post of Rhode Island where he commanded the largely unsuccessful Battle of Rhode Island in August 1778.


James Clinton and John SullivanIn the summer of 1779, Sullivan led the Sullivan Expedition, a massive campaign against the Iroquois in western New York. During this campaign, troops destroyed a very large Cayuga settlement, called Coreorgonel, on what is now the southwest side of Ithaca, New York.

He pushed his troops so hard that their horses became unusable, and killed them on this campaign, creating the namesake for Horseheads, New York. The lukewarm response of the Congress was more than he could accept. Broken, tired, and again opposed by Congress, he retired from the Army in 1779 and returned to New Hampshire.

After the war

At home Sullivan was a hero. New Hampshire returned him as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1780. But he still had opponents there. In 1781 when he borrowed money from the French minister to Congress, they accused him of being a foreign agent.[citation needed] He resigned from the Congress in August 1781.

Back home again, he was named the state's attorney general in 1782 and served until 1786. During this same time he was elected to the state assembly, and served as speaker of the house. He led the drive in New Hampshire that led to ratification of the United States Constitution on June 21, 1788. He was elected President of New Hampshire (now Governor) in 1786, 1787, and in 1789.

When the new federal government was created, Washington named him federal judge for the District Court in New Hampshire in 1789. While his health prevented his sitting on the bench after 1792[citation needed], he held the post until he died on January 23, 1795, aged 54, at his home in Durham. He was interred in the family cemetery there.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sullivan -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sullivan

John Sullivan (February 17, 1740 – January 23, 1795) was the third son of Irish immigrants, an American general in the Revolutionary War, a delegate in the Continental Congress and a United States federal judge.

Sullivan served as a major general in the Continental Army and as Governor (or "President") of New Hampshire. He commanded the Sullivan Expedition in 1779, a scorched earth campaign against the Iroquois towns that had taken up arms against the American revolutionaries.

Early career

Born in Somersworth, New Hampshire, Sullivan was the third son of a schoolmaster. He read law with Samuel Livermore of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and began its practice in 1764 when he moved to Durham. He annoyed many neighbors in his early career, when he was the only lawyer in town, with numerous suits over foreclosures. But by 1772, he was firmly established and began work to improve his relations with the community. In 1773 Alexander Scammel joined John Sullivan's law practice.

He was sent by Durham to the colony's general assembly, and built a friendship with the royal governor John Wentworth. As the American Revolution grew nearer, he began to side more with the radicals. In 1774 the first Provincial (or rebel) Congress sent him as a delegate to the First Continental Congress. After Paul Revere alerted the Portsmouth militia of a rumored British movement toward Fort William and Mary in December 1774, Sullivan was one of the leaders of the militia force who raided the fort for its military provisions on December 14.

In 1775 he was returned to the Second Continental Congress, but when they appointed him a brigadier general in June, he left to join the army at the siege of Boston.

Revolutionary War

After the British evacuated Boston in the spring of 1776, Washington sent General Sullivan north to replace the fallen John Thomas as commander in Quebec. He took command of the sick and faltering invasion force, sent some of those forces on an unsuccessful counterattack against the British at Trois-Rivières, and withdrew the survivors to Crown Point. This led to the first of several controversies between Congress and General Sullivan, as they sought a scapegoat for the failed invasion of Canada. He was exonerated and promoted to major general on August 9, 1776.

Long Island

Sullivan rejoined Washington and was placed in command of the troops on Long Island to defend against British General Howe's forces about to envelop New York City. But then, on August 23, Washington split the command between Sullivan and General Israel Putnam. Confusion about the distribution of command contributed to the American defeat at the Battle of Long Island four days later. Sullivan's personal bravery was unquestioned, as he engaged the Hessian attackers with a pistol in each hand; however, he was captured.

General Howe and his brother, Admiral Richard Howe, managed to convince Sullivan that a conference with members of the Continental Congress might lead to peace, and released him on parole to deliver a message to the Congress in Philadelphia, proposing an informal meeting to discuss ending the armed conflict between Britain and its rebellious colonies. After Sullivan's speech to Congress, John Adams cynically commented on this diplomatic attempt, calling Sullivan a "decoy-duck" and accusing the British of sending Sullivan "to seduce us into a renunciation of our independence"; others noted that it appeared to be an attempt to blame Congress for prolonging the war. Congress did agree to a conference, which accomplished nothing.

New Jersey and Pennsylvania

General Sullivan was released in a prisoner exchange in time to rejoin Washington before the Battle of Trenton. There his division secured the important bridge over the Assunpink Creek to the north of the town. This prevented escape and ensured the high number of Hessian prisoners captured. This route is now the main road in Ewing Township, New Jersey and is called "Sullivans Way". In January 1777, Sullivan also performed well in the Battle of Princeton.

In August, he led a raid on Staten Island. Again Congress found fault, but he was exonerated by the court of inquiry. This was followed by American losses at Brandywine and Germantown. Congress was frustrated by the continued British occupation of Philadelphia, but since Washington was the only man holding the army together, they made Sullivan the scapegoat.

In early 1778 he was transferred to the post of Rhode Island where he led troops intended to work together with a French Navy fleet to assault or besiege British-occupied Newport. The attempt was called off when the French fleet was scattered and damaged by a storm, and the British then sortied, forcing the inconclusive Battle of Rhode Island in August 1778.

Expedition against Iroquoia

In the summer of 1779, Sullivan led the Sullivan Expedition, a massive campaign against the Iroquois in western New York. During this campaign, troops destroyed a very large Cayuga settlement, called Coreorgonel, on what is now the southwest side of Ithaca, New York. To reach the enemy homeland, Sullivan's army took a southerly route to western New York through northeast Pennsylania, which required creating a new road through lightly inhabited areas of the Pocono Mountains, which still exists and is known as Sullivan's Trail.

He pushed his troops so hard that their horses became unusable, and killed them on this campaign, creating the namesake for Horseheads, New York. The lukewarm response of the Congress was more than he could accept. Broken, tired and again opposed by Congress, he retired from the army in 1779 and returned to New Hampshire.

After the war

At home Sullivan was a hero. New Hampshire returned him as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1780. But he still had opponents there. In 1781 when he borrowed money from the French minister to Congress, they accused him of being a foreign agent.[citation needed] He resigned from the Congress in August 1781.

Back home again, he was named the state's attorney general in 1782 and served until 1786. During this same time he was elected to the state assembly, and served as speaker of the house. He led the drive in New Hampshire that led to ratification of the United States Constitution on June 21, 1788. He was elected President of New Hampshire (now Governor) in 1786, 1787 and 1789.

When the new federal government was created, President George Washington nominated him on September 24, 1789, to be the first federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire, created by 1 Stat. 73. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 26, 1789, and received his commission the same day. Although his health prevented his sitting on the bench after 1792, he held the post until he died on January 23, 1795, aged 54, at his home in Durham. He was interred in the family cemetery there.

Legacies

Counties in New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Missouri were all named for him, as was Sullivan Street in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. The General Sullivan Bridge spanning Little Bay near his home town of Durham, New Hampshire, as is Sullivan's Trail, a road through northeast Pennsylavnia that in many areas follows the road made by Sullivan's army in 1779. Towns in Illinois, New Hampshire, and New York are named after him.

-------------------- In 1805 he was a member of the State Legislature; in 1811, in U. S. Congress; and for 21 years was Attorney General. As an eloquent advocate he is said to have been unsurpassed in New England, and took high rank in his profession as a sound lawyer. He m. Clarissa Lamson, John, his eldest son, born 8 May, 1800, d. 17 Nov., 1862. From 1848 till his death, he held the office of Attorney General, N.H., which had been long filled by his father and grandfather. He married Olivia Rowe, and left children.

http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=:3115830&id=I2612

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Maj. General John Sullivan (Continental Army)'s Timeline

1740
February 18, 1740
Somersworth, New Hampshire, United States
1760
1760
Age 19
1763
March 17, 1763
Age 23
1772
August 29, 1772
Age 32
Durham, Strafford County, New Hampshire, United States
1786
1786
- 1788
Age 45
New Hampshire, United States
1795
January 23, 1795
Age 54
Durham, New Hampshire, United States
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