Jonathan D. Sergeant, Member Cont. Congress

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Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant

Birthdate: (47)
Birthplace: Newark, Essex County, Province of New Jersey
Death: October 8, 1793 (47)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
Place of Burial: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Hon. Jonathan Sergeant, IV and Abigail Sergeant
Husband of Margaret Sergeant and Elizabeth Sergeant
Father of William Sergeant; Sarah Sargent; John Sergeant, US Congress; Henry Sergeant; Thomas Sergeant and 6 others

Managed by: Private User
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About Jonathan D. Sergeant, Member Cont. Congress

DAR #A100148

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

Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant (1746 – 1793) represented New Jersey in the Second Continental Congress in 1776 and 1777. He later served as Attorney General for the state of Pennsylvania.

Sergeant was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1746, but moved with his parents to Princeton. He completed his initial studies and attended the College of New Jersey (later called Princeton University) there, receiving his degree in 1762. His maternal grandfather, Jonathan Dickinson, had been the first president of the college when it was founded in 1747. After Sergeant's graduation from the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania) in 1763 with an A.B. degree, he read for the law and set up his practice in Princeton in 1767.

From 1774 to 1776 he was a member of the revolutionary New Jersey Provincial Congress. In early 1776 he went as a delegate to the Continental Congress, but he resigned in June to return home and serve on the committee that drafted New Jersey's first constitution. In November he was returned again to the national congress.

In September 1777 he resigned from Congress a second time, this time to accept office as the attorney general of Pennsylvania. He permanently moved to Philadelphia, and opened a law practice there when he returned to private life in 1780.

Sergeant died in Philadelphia in 1793 and was originally buried in the Old Presbyterian Churchyard at Fourth and Pine Streets. In 1878, he was re-interred in the Laurel Hill Cemetery.

His son, John Sergeant, would later represent Pennsylvania in the U.S. Congress.

Source: Downloaded 2011 from Wikipedia.


[From the official Congressional Biography of] Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant was a Delegate from New Jersey. He was born in Newark, N.J., in 1746; moved with his parents to Princeton, N.J., in 1758; completed preparatory studies; was graduated from Princeton College in 1762 and from the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1763; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1767 and commenced practice in Princeton, N.J.; surrogate of Somerset County, N.J., in 1769; secretary of the State provincial convention in 1774; member of the New Jersey Provincial Congress, 1775 and 1776; secretary from May 24 to May 30, 1775, treasurer from August 17 to October 3, 1775, and member of the committee of safety from August 17 to October 3, 1775; appointed as a member of the committee that drafted the first constitution of New Jersey in 1776; Member of the Continental Congress from February 14 to June 22, 1776, when he resigned; again elected a Member of the Continental Congress on November 30, 1776, and served until his resignation on September 6, 1777, to accept the office of attorney general of Pennsylvania; moved to Philadelphia, Pa., in 1777; member of the council of safety of Pennsylvania in 1777; attorney general of Pennsylvania 1777-1780; counsel for the State in the Wyoming land controversy with Connecticut in 1782; died in Philadelphia, Pa., October 8, 1793; interment in the Presbyterian Churchyard, then located at Fourth and Pine Streets; reinterment in Laurel Hill Cemetery in 1878.


Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant (1746 – October 8, 1793) was an American lawyer from Princeton, New Jersey. He represented New Jersey in the Second Continental Congress in 1776 and 1777. He later served as Attorney General for the state of Pennsylvania. Sergeant was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1746, but moved with his parents to Princeton. He completed his initial studies and attended the College of New Jersey (later called Princeton University) there, receiving his degree in 1762. His maternal grandfather, Jonathan Dickinson, had been the first president of the college when it was founded in 1747. After Sergeant's graduation from the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania) in 1763 with an A.B. degree, he read for the law and set up his practice in Princeton in 1767. From 1774 to 1776 he was a member of the revolutionary New Jersey Provincial Congress. In early 1776 he went as a delegate to the Continental Congress, but he resigned in June to return home and serve on the committee that drafted New Jersey's first constitution. In November he was returned again to the national congress. In September 1777 he resigned from Congress a second time, this time to accept office as the attorney general of Pennsylvania. He permanently moved to Philadelphia, and opened a law practicve there when he returned to private life in 1780. Sergeant died in Philadelphia in 1793 and was originally buried in the Old Presbyterian Churchyard at Fourth and Pine Streets. In 1878, he was re-interred in the Laurel Hill Cemetery. His son, John Sergeant, would later represent Pennsylvania in the U.S. Congress.


http://archive.org/stream/jstor-20084368/20084368_djvu.txt

JONATHAN DICKINSON SERGEANT.

BY EDWIN F. HALFIELD, D.D.

(Centennial Collection.)

The subject of this sketch was one of the illustrious Foun- ders of the Great Republic. Young as he was, when the Revolution was inaugurated, no one more ardently espoused the cause of Independence, or labored with a more genuine and zealous patriotism throughout the struggle, than Jona- than Dickinson Sergeant.

He was a descendant of Jonathan Sergeant, one of the founders of Branford, Ct., who died in 1652, and whose son Jonathan was one of the founders of Newark, N. J., in 1667. His father, Jonathan (brother of Rev. John Sergeant, Mis- sionary to the Stockbridge Indians), married Hannah, daughter of the Rev. John Nutman, of Hanover, N. J. She died in 1743, leaving two daughters, Hannah (who married Rev. John Ewing, D.D.), and Sarah (who married Jonathan Bald- win, a graduate of the College of New Jersey). In 1745, Mr. Sergeant became the happy husband of Abigail, the second child and eldest daughter (born 1711) of the Rev. Jonathan and Joanna (Melyn) Dickinson, of Elizabethtown, N. J. Mr. Dickinson had long ranked as among the most eminent divines of America. He was the principal founder, and the first President of the College of New Jersey.

The first fruit of this second marriage received the name of the honored grandfather. The child was bom in 1746, at Newark, N. J. Soon after his birth, his parents removed to Princeton, N. J., where he resided until the "War of the Revo- lution. He was educated for the law, having graduated when only sixteen (1762) at the College of New Jersey. His legal studies were prosecuted in the office of the Hon. Richard Stockton, of Princeton, N. J. Having been duly admitted to the bar, he entered on the practice of his profession with high promise of distinction.

In the excitement consequent on the passage (Mar. 22, 1765) of the Stamp Act, young Sergeant, not yet twenty years of age, took an active and determined part. When the first Provincial Convention of New Jersey, chosen to elect Dele- gates to the Continental Congress, met a*t New Brunswick, N. J., July 21, 1774, Sergeant was chosen the Clerk of the Convention. On a visit to Princeton, August, 1774, John Adams (afterwards President of the United States) became quite interested in the " young lawyer," and spoke of him as " a cordial friend of American liberty."

The second Provincial Convention of the Colony met at Trenton, N. J., May 23, 1775, when Sergeant was chosen the principal Secretary. Subsequently, at their meeting in August of the same year, he was appointed Treasurer, and a member of the Committee of Safety. February 14, 1776, he was chosen to represent the Province in the Congress, then sitting in Philadelphia. Of this body he continued an active and useful member, until having been duly elected on the fourth Monday of May, 1776, a member of the Provincial Congress of New Jersey, and believing that he could thus better sub- serve the noble cause of American Independence, to which he had devoted all his energies, he resigned his seat in the Con- tinental Congress. It thus appears that the very fervor of his patriotism, and not a want of it, deprived him of the honor of being enrolled among "the Signers of the Declara- tion of Independence."

In the Provincial Congress that met June 10, 1776, at Burlington, N. J., he distinguished himself from the first as an advocate of Liberty. Writing from Burlington, June 15th, to his friend, John Adams, he says: " Jacta est alea! We are passing the Rubicon, and our Delegates in Congress on the first of July will vote plump. The bearer is a staunch Whig, and will answer any questions you may need to ask. I have been very busy here, and have stolen a minute from business to write this." On the 24th of June, he was ap- pointed one of a Committee to prepare a Constitution for the new State. The Committee reported on the 26th, and the Constitution was adopted July 2d, the very day of the adoption, at Philadelphia, of the Declaration of Independence. On the 21st, he wrote again to Adams, as follows: " We want wisdom here — Raw, young, and inexperienced as your humble servant is, I am really forced to bear a principal part. "Would to Heaven that I could look round here, as when with you, and see a number in whose understanding I could confide." " We are mending very fast here. East Jersey was always firm. West Jersey will now move with vigor. The tories in some parts disturbed us ; but they have hurt us more by impeding the business of the Convention, and harassing with an infinity of hearings. But for this we have provided a remedy, by an ordinance for trying treasons, seditions, and counterfeitings." "However, we have formally ratified Inde- pendence, and assumed the style of the Convention of The Slate of New Jersey. This very unanimously."

He was chosen Nov. 30, 1776, by the Legislature of the new State, with Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Abraham Clark, and Jonathan Elmer, to represent them for one year in the Congress of the United States. In the course of the following year, he became a resident of Pennsylvania, and was appointed by the Supreme Executive Council of Penn- sylvania, July 28, 1777, the Attorney-General of the Common- wealth of Pennsylvania, with a salary of £2000, a high mark of distinction and confidence. As such, He was appointed by the Congress of the United States, Feb. 8, 1778, with William Patterson, Attorney-General of New Jersey, as Counsellor, to co-operate with the Judge Advocate, in conducting the trial of several general officers of the Northern Army, for evacuating Ticonderoga. He resigned the oflice Nov. 20, 1780.

Through all the trying period of the Revolution, Mr. Ser- geant proved himself the inflexible patriot, and the devoted friend of his country. " Declining after the peace, like many of the patriots of '76, to accept of any oflice, his acquaint- ance was courted, and his advice and aid were constantly sought by the republicans who took part in the important transactions of those days." His zeal for republican principles led him to espouse, with characteristic ardor, the cause of the French Revolution, and to hail it as the harbinger of a glo- rious era for the Old World.

In the summer of 1793, Philadelphia was visited with that desolating scourge — " The Yellow Fever." In concert with a few other philanthropic citizens, Mr. Sergeant devoted him- self, as a member of the Committee of Health, to the care of the sick and the dying, and of the widows and orphans of the victims of the pestilence. In the faithful and indefatigable discharge of these self-imposed duties, he became himself a subject of the fatal disease, and died October 8, 1793, in the 48 th year of his age.

" As a lawyer, he was distinguished for integrity, learning, and industry, for great promptness, and an uncommonly fine natural elocution. As a man, he was kind, generous, and actively benevolent; free from selfishness and timidity, and, at the same time, prudent and just, maintaining in his house a liberal hospitality, without ostentation or display. As a citizen and a public man, he was ardent, sincere, and indefati- gable ; fearless of every consequence of the honest discharge of his duty."

He was remembered by his son, the late Hon. John Sergeant, as " of a cheerful, and, at times, even playful disposition." " From other sources," says the eon, "I know that he had at- tained the highest professional eminence, that he took an earnest and decided part in public affairs, was a public-spirited citizen, an excellent husband and father, a good neighbour, and cordial friend."

He married, March 14, 1775, Margaret, the sixth child of the Rev. Elihu Spencer, D.D., and Joanna, daughter of John and Joanna Eatton, of Shrewsbury, New Jersey. Dr. Spencer was then of Trenton, N. J., and previously the successor of President Dickinson, at Elizabeth town, N*. J. She was born January 5, 1759, and died June 17, 1787. Their children were —

1. William, born January 1, 1776 ; member of the Phila. bar* Married, Sept. 3, 1801, Elizabeth Morgan, and had issue one daughter, Mary Valeria, who intermarried with George W. Blight, and had issue. He died March 7, 1807.

2. Sarah, born January 1, 1778, and married October, 1801, to the Rev. Samuel Miller, D.D., one of the pastors of the Presbyterian Church of the city of New York, and subse- quently Prof, in the Theo. Sem. at Princeton. She was the mother of eleven children.

3. John, born December 5, 1779, and a graduate (1795) of the College of New Jersey ; an eminent lawyer, and a dis- tinguished statesman. Married June 23, 1813, Margaretta Watmough. He died November 25, 1852, at Philadelphia, Pa. ; had ten children.

4 and 5. Thomas and Henry (twins), born January 14, 1782, both grads. of the Col. of N. J., 1798. Thomas became an honored member of the bar, and a Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Married Sept. 14, 1812, Sarah Bache, granddaughter of Benjamin Franklin. He died May 8, 1860 ; had issue three sons and one daughter. Henry died March 24, 1824. S. p.

6. Elizabeth, born January 3, 1784; died December 31, 1845. S. p.

7. Jonathan, born January 4, 1786 ; died July 4, 1786.

8. Elihu Spencer, born May 29, 1787, a grad. of the Col. of N. J., 1804 ; member of the Phila. bar. Married July 1, 1819, Elizabeth Fox Norris; died August 4, 1824. Had three children.

Mr. Sergeant married, as his second wife, Dec. 20, 1788, Elizabeth Rittenhouse, daughter of David Rittenhouse. They had three children: —

1. Esther, born October 16, 1789 ; died June 4, 1870. Mar- ried, 1814, William P. C. Barton, M. D., a grad. of the Col. of N. J., 1805, who organized the Bureau of Med. and Surg. IT. S. Navy, and became its first Chief. He was Prof, of Botany Univ. Pa., and Prof, of Mat. Med. and Bot. Jefferson Med. Coll., Phila. They had fourteen children.

2. David Rittenhouse, born July 1, 1791 ; died August 8, 1872. S. p.

3. Frances, born November 17, 1793, and married to Mr. John C. Lowber, member of the Phila. bar, 10th Nov. 1819, and died November 3, 1847. Had five children.

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Jonathan D. Sergeant, Member Cont. Congress's Timeline

1746
January 23, 1746
Newark, Essex County, Province of New Jersey
1776
January 1, 1776
Age 29
1778
January 1, 1778
Age 31
1779
December 5, 1779
Age 33
Philadelphia, PA, USA
1782
January 14, 1782
Age 35
Philadelphia, PA, USA
January 14, 1782
Age 35
Philadelphia, PA, USA
1784
January 3, 1784
Age 37
1786
January 4, 1786
Age 39
1787
May 29, 1787
Age 41