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Bigadier General Jonathan Dayton LLD


Original Member, admitted 1783

Bigadier General Jonathan Dayton, LLD

Began his service in the Revolutionary War as Ensign in the 3rd Regiment NJ Line on 7 Feb 1776. Marched off to support the army invading Canada, but the unit was diverted to the Mohawk Valley and upstate New York. Detached along the frontier constructing Fort Schuyler and Fort Dayton. Regimental Paymaster 26 Aug 1776. Fought at the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown. 1st Lieutenant 1 Jan 1777. Served at Valley Forge. Captain-Lieutenant 7 Apr 1779. Aide de Camp to General Sullivan 1 May 1779 and during his expedition against the Indians. Captain in the 3rd Regiment NJ Line 30 Mar 1780. Taken prisoner at the Battle of Elizabethtown 5 Oct 1780 and after a winter imprisonment in New York was exchanged. Transferred to the 2nd Regiment NJ Line 1 Jan 1781. Fought in many battles, including being in command of a unit at the Battle of Yorktown and serving under Lafayette. Led his unit in a crucial nighttime bayonet attack on Redoubt 10, under the command of his old classmate Alexander Hamilton, and their teacher Francis Barber. He was retained in and last served in Cumming’s New Jersey Continental Battalion from Apr 1783. He served to 3 Nov 1783. Born in Elizabethtown, NJ on 16 Oct 1760 and died in Elizabeth, NJ on 9 Oct 1824. Princeton graduate 1776, MA Degree 1783 and received an Honorary LLD in 1798. Attorney. Member of the New Jersey General Assembly 1786-1787 and 1790. Speaker of the Assembly in 1790. Delegate to the Continental Congress 1787-1788. Delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Along with David Brearly and two other delegates he attended both the Society of the Cincinnati meetings and the Constitutional Convention at the same time. He was the youngest signer of the United States Constitution. Member of the US Congress 1791-1799. The third Speaker of the House in the 4th and 5th Congresses 1795-1799. Supporter of the Jay Treaty. Brigadier General of the US Army 1798- 1799. Member of the US Senate 1799-1805. Member of the New Jersey Assembly 1814-1815. Speculated in land in the Ohio area, owning 250,000 acres. This involvement caused him to lend money to his other old classmate, Aaron Burr. Arrested in the Burr Conspiracy in 1807 but exonerated by a grand jury and not tried. After 1807 served repeated terms in the New Jersey Council. Board of Trustees for the Old First Church in Elizabethtown, NJ for eight years. Freemason and member of Temple I Lodge of Massachusetts, in Elizabethtown, NJ. Owner of Boxwood Hall in Elizabeth, NJ from 1795-1824. Dayton, Ohio is named for him. Married Susan Williamson in 1782. [Sources: ; ; (66); (98); (C); www.famousamericans.net; “Church of the Founding fathers of New Jersey: A History First Presbyterian Church, Elizabeth, New Jersey, 1664-1964”, by Harry Ellison. Pic: Engraving by Charles B. J. Fevret de Saint-Memin; www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/revwar/ss/dayton.htm; (J).]