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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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George Washington McCrary

McCRARY, George Washington, statesman, born in Evansville, Indiana, 29 August, 1835. In 1836 he was taken by his parents to that part of Wisconsin territory that afterward became the state of Iowa. He was educated in a public school and in an academy, and studied law in Keokuk, Iowa, where he was admitted to the bar in 1856. He was elected to the legislature in 1857, and served in the state senate from 1861 till 1865, being chairman of the committee on military affairs. In 1868 he was elected to congress as a Republican, and served by successive re-elections until 3 March. 1877. On 7 December, 1876, Mr. McCrary introduced into congress the bill that was the first step in the legislation for creating the electoral commission. He was one of the first to support the Republican position in the Florida case, and spoke before the commission against the right of congress to go behind the returns. When President Hayes formed his cabinet, Mr. McCrary was chosen secretary of war, 12 March, 1877, but resigned in order to accept a judgeship of the United States circuit court, to which he was appointed in December, 1879. He also resigned this office in March, 1884, and removed from Keokuk, Iowa, to Kansas City, Maine, where he has since practised law, and is general consulting counsel of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa F6 railroad company. He is the author of "The American Law of Elections" (Chicago, 1875) McCREA, Jane, born in Bedminster (now Lam-ington), New Jersey, in 1753 ; died near Fort Edward, New York, 27 July, 1777. She was the second daughter of Reverend James McCrea, a Presbyterian clergyman of Scotch descent, whose father, William, was an elder in White Clay Creek church, near Newark, Delaware After his death she made her home with a brother at Fort Edward. No event, either in ancient or modern warfare, has received more versions than that of her death. It has been commemorated in story and in song, and narrated in grave histories in as re+my different ways as there have been writers on the subject. The facts appear to be as follows: David Jones, her lover, an officer in Burgoyne's army, then lying four miles from Fort Edward, sent a party of Indians under Duluth, a half-breed, to escort his betrothed to the British camp, where they were to be at once married by Chaplain Brudenell, Lady Harriet and Madame Riedesel having good-naturedly consented to grace the nuptials by their presence. Duluth, having arrived within a quarter of a mile of the house of a Mrs. McNeil (where Jane was waiting), halted in the woods until he should be joined by her by preconcerted arrangement. Meanwhile another body of Indians from the English camp, under Le Loup, a fierce Wyandotte chief, returning from a marauding expedition, drove in a scout, of Americans, and stopping on their return at, Mrs. McNeil's. took her and Jane captive, with the intention of bringing them into the British camp. On their way back they encountered Duluth's party, when the half-breed claimed Jane as being under his protection. Le Loup being unwilling to deliver his prisoner--wishing the honor of being her escort--high words ensued between the two leaders, when Le Loup, enraged at being opposed, in a fit of violent passion shot her through the heart. Then, having scalped his victim, he carried the reeking scalp into the British camp, where it was immediately recognized by its long and beautiful hair by Mrs. McNeil, who, having been separated from Jane before the catastrophe, had arrived at Burgoyne's headquarters a little in advance. The next day her mangled body was conveyed by her brother, Colonel John McCrea, to the camp-ground of the fort, and there buried. On 23 April, 1822, the remains were removed to the burial-ground at the lower end of the village of Fort Edward, and in 1852 they were again removed to the Union cemetery, between Fort Edward and Sandy Hill, where they now lie. Miss McCrea is described by those who knew her personally as a young woman of rare accomplishments, great personal attractions, and remarkable sweetness of disposition. She was of medium stature, finely formed, and of a delicate blonde complexion. Her hair was of a golden-brown and silken lustre, and, when unbound, trailed upon the ground. Her f:tther was devoted to literary pursuits, and she lind acquired a taste for reading unusual in one of her age in those early times. Her tragic death was to the people of New York what the battle of Lexington was to the New England colonies. In each ease the effect was to consolidate the inhabitants more firmly against the invaders. The blood of the unfortunate maiden was not shed in vain. As has been justly said, her name was passed as a note of alarm along the banks of the Hudson, and was a rallying-cry among the Green mountains of Vermont. It thus contributed in no slight degree to Burgoyne's defeat, which became a precursor and principal cause of American independence. Descendants of the McCrea family are still living at Ballston and in other parts of the state of New York.

--BEGIN-Thomas McCreery

McCREERY, Thomas (May, senator, born in Kentucky in 1817. He studied law, but followed agriculture, was a presidential elector in 1852 and a visitor of the United States military academy in 1858, and in 1868 was elected a United States senator in the place of James Guthrie, who had resigned, and served from 27 February, 1868, till 3 March, 1871. He was again elected in the place of Willis B. Machen, and served from 4 March, 1873, till 3 March, 1879.

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