Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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VARICK, Richard, soldier, born in Hackensack, New Jersey, 25 March, 1753 ; died in Jersey City, New Jersey, 30 July, 1831. The family name was originally Van Varick. He studied law and was practising in New York city, when, at the opening of the Revolution, he became a captain in Alexander McDougall's regiment He afterward became military secretary to General Philip Schuyler, and on the latter's recommendation was appointed by congress deputy muster master-general, 25 September, 1776, to which post the rank of lieutenant-colonel was attached on 10 April, 1777. He remained with the northern army till the muster department was abolished after the capture of Burgoyne, and was present at the battles of Stillwater and Saratoga. He was inspector-general at West Point after 1780, and first aide-de-camp to General Benedict Arnold, whom he greatly admired as a soldier. It is said that when Arnold's defection was made known, Colonel Varick was almost insane for several days. With Colonel Franks, the second aide, he was examined by a court of inquiry, which exonerated both from suspicion of the least complicity in the treason. Shortly afterward he became a member of Washington's military family, acting as his recording secretary till near the close of the war, and taking charge of his confidential papers. From the evacuation of New York by the British in 1783 till 1789 he was recorder of that city. In the latter year he became attorney-general of the state, and from 1791 till 1801 he was mayor of New York. In 1786 he and Samuel Jones were appointed revisers of the state laws, and they published the result of their labors in a volume (1789). On the organization of the state militia he was made colonel of one of the regiments. Colonel Varick was speaker of the assembly in 1787, for many years president of the Merchants' bank, and a founder and liberal benefactor of the American Bible society, of which he was president from the resignation of John Jay till his death. He was more than six feet high, and of imposing presence, and has a fine monument in his native place.
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