General John Morin Scott

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General John Morin Scott's Geni Profile

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John Morin Scott, Brigadier General

Birthdate: (54)
Birthplace: New York, NY, USA
Death: September 14, 1784 (50-58)
New York, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Scott and Marian Scott
Husband of Helena Scott
Father of Lewis Allaire Scott and Mary Morin Litchfield McKnight

Occupation: General
Managed by: Stephen Rosenmeier
Last Updated:

About General John Morin Scott

DAR Ancestor #: A101650

Scott was born in Manhattan and attended public school there. His father died when he was three years old, and his mother never remarried.

He graduated Yale College in 1746, at the age of 16. After further study he was admitted to the New York bar association in 1752, and practiced law in Manhattan, where he also served as an alderman from 1756 to 1761.

During the Revolutionary War, John Scott was a member of the New York Provincial Congress while also serving as a brigadier general under George Washington in the New York and New Jersey campaign. He commanded the 1st New York (Independent) Battalion, the 2nd New York (County) Battalion, and several New York Militia Regiments. He fought with Putnam's division at the Battle of Brooklyn on August 27, 1776, and was the last of Washington's generals to argue against surrendering Manhattan to the British—possibly due to his large landholdings there, including what is now Times Square and New York City's Theater District.

Twenty days later, on September 16, 1776, Scott led the same battalions and regiments at the Battle of Harlem Heights, an American victory. On October 28, 1776, his forces participated in the inconclusive Battle of White Plains.

After the war, Scott regained his Manhattan estate and was a candidate for the first governorship of New York State, losing to George Clinton. He became, instead, New York's first Secretary of State, a state senator, and served as an active delegate to the Continental Congress. Scott's headstone

His body is interred at the north entrance of Trinity Church, New York. His inscribed slab is visible from the corner of Wall Street and Broadway. An equestrian statue is erected in his honor in Upper Manhattan.

Lewis Allaire Scott, John's son, was one of the two Deputy Secretaries of State during his father's tenure, and in 1784 was appointed to succeed him, dying in office in 1798.

Extract from "The prominent families of the United States of America" (1908) page 336 (

JOHN MORIN SCOTT (1730-1784), b. 1730 ; graduated at Yale College, 1746 ; licensed to practise law, 23 Jan. 1752; Member Provincial Congress, 17756; Secretary for State of N.Y., 1778-1784; Brigadier-General N.Y. Militia; m., about 1750, Helena, dau. of Petrus Rutgers, and, by her (who m. (2), 9 Jan. 1789, John R. Myer, and d. I Aug. 1798).

Gen. John Morin Scott, besides filling many honorable positions in the Province and State of New York, was a prominent figure in the social life of New York City. In March, 1754, together with Philip Livingston, William Alexander, (Earl of Stirling) Robert R. Livingston, William Livingston and William Smith, all by the way except Smith of Scottish descent, he started the New York Society Library, which is still in existence, and a worthy monument to its illustrious founders. Mr. Scott adhered to the faith of his more recent Scottish progenitors, and in 1776 was made a trustee of the Presbyterian church. He was one of the forty-seven founders of the St. Andrew's Society of New York, November 19, 1756, and its third president, 1758-9. An interesting entry concerning him was made by John Adams in his diary, 1774-75 : "Mr. Scott is a lawyer of about fifty years of age; a sensible man, but not very polite. He is said to be one of the readiest speakers on the continent, * * * Jhis morning rode three miles out of town to Mr. Scott's to breakfast, a very pleasant ride. Mr. Scott has an elegant seat there, with Hudson's river just beyond the house and a rural prospect all around him. We sat in a fine, airy entry until called into a front room to break- fast. A more elegant breakfast I never saw ; rich plate, a very large silver teapot, napkins of the very finest materials, toast and bread and butter in great perfection. After breakfast a plate of beautiful peaches ; another of pears, and another of plums, and a water-melon was placed before the table." This country place was located at what is now Thirty-third street and Ninth avenue, and consisted of one hundred and twenty-three acres of land.

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General John Morin Scott's Timeline

New York, NY, USA
July 15, 1753
Age 23
New York, New York, United States
February 11, 1759
Age 29
New York, NY, USA
September 14, 1784
Age 54
New York, New York, United States