Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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McKINLY, John, governor of Delaware, born in Ireland, 24 February, 1724; died in Wilmington, Delaware, 31 August, 1796. He studied medicine, emigrated to this country, and began practice in Wilmington early in life, soon attaining eminence in his profession. He filled several important offices, and in 1777 was elected the first governor of Delaware. On 12 September, the night after the battle of the Brandywine, a party of British soldiers were sent to Wilmington to seize Governor McKinly, and secure such plunder as might fall in their way. They took the governor from his bed, and, taking possession of a shallop that was lying in the stream laden with plunder, together with the public records of the county, plate, and jewets, returned to camp. The invaders were marching on Philadelphia, and all lower Pennsylvania and Delaware were in a state of panic. In August, 1778, McKinly was allowed to return on parole to Wilmington, where he remained until the end of the war.
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