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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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John Bayard

BAYARD, John, patriot, born at Bohemia Manor, Cecil County, Maryland, 11 August 1738; died in New Brunswick, New Jersey, 7 January 1807. He was the great great-grandson of Samuel Bayard, a rich merchant of Amsterdam, of French Huguenot extraction, who married a sister of Peter Stuyvesant, the last governor of New Amsterdam. The widow of Samuel, with her three sons and a daughter, accompanied Stuyvesant, who was himself married to Judith Bayard, a sister of Samuel, to the new world in 1647. His grandson Samuel, son of Peter, one of the three brothers who came to New York with their uncle Stuyvesant, lived in New York and alienated his relatives by joining the sect of the Loyalists, removed in 1698 to Bohemia Manor, Maryland His grandson, John, was christened John Bubenheim, but afterward dropped the middle name. James Asheton, twin brother of the latter, became a physician and died 8 January 1770, leaving James Asheton negotiator of the treaty of Ghent, and three other children who were adopted and educated by their uncle. John Bayard went with his brother to Philadelphia at the age of eighteen, entered the counting house of John Rhea, a merchant, and, in the course of a few years, became one of the leading merchants in the city. He was among the signers of the non-importation agreement of 25 October. 1765, was a member of the provincial congress held in July 1774, and in January 1775, of the convention of the province, which had for its object the care of the conduct of the assembly. He early joined the Sons of Liberty, organized in 1766, and was a leader of the movement for independence in Philadelphia. His firm, Hedge & Bayard, was engaged in furnishing arms to congress, and the privateer that took one of the first valuable prizes was fitted out by him and a friend. In September 1776, he was appointed a member of the council of safety by the constitutional convention, and was continued in that place by the assembly the following year. When three regiments of infantry were raised in Philadelphia in 1775, he was chosen colonel of the second. In the winter of 1776-'7 he was in the field. He was present at the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, and Princeton, and for his gallantry in the last action was personally complimented by General Washington. On 13 March 1777, Colonel Bayard was appointed a member of the state board of war, and on 17 March was elected speaker of the house of assembly, to which office he was re-elected the year following. He removed his family for safety to a farm at Plymouth, on the Schuylkill, before the capture of Philadelphia by the British in September 1777. When Princeton College was broken up, his son, James Asheton (b. 5 May 1760; died at sea in June 1788), was arrested while returning home and committed to prison in Philadelphia, but was released as being a non-combatant. When a British detachment passed over the Schuylkill at Swede's Ford, they plundered Bayard's house at Plymouth. In 1780 Colonel Bayard was appointed on a committee to inquire into the causes of the falling off in the revenue of the state. In 1781 he was a member of the supreme executive council, and in 1785 he was elected to the continental congress, then holding its sessions in New York. In 1780 he lost his wife, Margaret Hedge, and in 1781 married the widow of John Hodgson, of South Carolina. His second wife died suddenly in 1785, and two years later he married Johannah White, sister of General Anthony W. White, of New Brunswick, New Jersey In 1788, having retired from active business in Philadelphia, and having been compelled to part with his estate in Cecil County, Maryland, in consequence of his patriotic sacrifices during the war, he removed to New Brunswick, and built there a handsome house, in which he entertained many distinguished guests. In 1790 the citizens elected him mayor of New Brunswick. A few years later he was appointed presiding judge of the court of common pleas of Somerset County He was interested with his friend Alexander Hamilton, Judge Patterson, his brother-in-law, and others, in a company organized in 1791 to manufacture cotton in Paterson, but it was dissolved in 1795. Colonel Bayard was a firm federalist, with strong aristocratic predilections. Bancroft says that he was "a patriot of singular purity of character." See " Colonel John Bayard and the Bayard Family of America," by General Jas. Grant Wilson (New York, 1885).

 

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