Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com advises that these 19th Century
biographies, although edited, still contain period bias.
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GRIDLEY, Jeremiah, lawyer, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 10 March, 1702; died in Brookline, Massachusetts, 10 September, 1767. He was graduated at Harvard in 1725, was for several years an assistant in a grammar school in Boston, studied theology, and occasionally preached. He then studied law, and was admitted to the bar. For a year he edited a weekly newspaper called "The Rehearsal," which was established in Boston in 1731. He soon acquired reputation, was elected a member of the general court from Brookline, and became an opponent of the measures of the British ministry. Notwithstanding this he was appointed attorney general for the province of Massachusetts Bay. In 1761 while holding this office he defended the "writs of assistance" which the British custom-house officers had applied for to enable them to enter the dwellings of suspected individuals at their discretion, and encountered the powerful opposition of his former pupil, James Otis. In addition to his legal station he was colonel of militia, grand master of freemasons, and president of the Marine society. He contributed many articles of great merit to the "Rehearsal."--His brother, Richard, soldier, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 3 January 1711 ; died in Stoughton, Massachusetts, 20 June, 1796, had great reputation as an artillerist. He served as engineer in the reduction of Louis-burg in 1745, became in 1755 chief engineer and colonel of infantry in the British army, and in the following year took part in the expedition to Crown Point under Winslow, and constructed the fortifications on Lake George. He served under Amherst in 1758, and subsequently under Wolfe on the plains of Abraham, being at the capture of Quebec. At the conclusion of the war, as a reward for his services, he received Magdalen Island from the "British government, with half pay for life. He espoused the patriot cause in 1775, and was appointed chief engineer and commander of artillery of the colonial army at Cambridge. He planned the works of Bunker Hill the night before the battle of 17 June, 1775. Although sixty-five years of age, he fought during the entire engagement, and was wounded, being exposed to the severest fire of the enemy. He was active in constructing the fortifications around Boston. On 20 September, 1775, he was commissioned major general by the provincial congress, and had command of the Continental artillery until November.
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