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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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Samuel Miles

MILES, Samuel, soldier, born in Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, 11 March, 1740: died in Chesterham, Pennsylvania, 29 December, 1805. He received, according to his own statement, a "common country education," in the sixteenth year of his age enlisted in Captain Isaac Wayne's company, which was formed after Braddock's defeat. He was discharged, February, 1756, re-enlisted as sergeant in Captain Thomas Lloyd's company, served as captain-lieutenant in the expedition to Fort Duquesne, was wounded at Ligonia in an attack made by the French and Indians, was commissioned captain in 1760, and at the end of the campaign was left in command of the forces at Presque Isle (now Erie), Pennsylvania In 1761 he became a wine-merchant in Philadelphia, where in 1766 he was chosen one of the wardens and a manager of the House of employ, and in 177298 a member of the assembly. He was one of the first to espouse the cause of independence. "I took," he says in his autobiography, "an early and active part in opposition to the parliament of Great Britain, who claimed the right, of binding by their acts this country in all cases, and raised a company, ... the second company of militia that was raised on that occasion, and was appointed a member of all the committees in the county, and when the militia was formed into a regiment I was elected colonel." in 1775 he was again chosen to the assembly, in which, and as a member of the council of safety, he served until the spring of 1776, when he was chosen colonel of the Pennsylvania rifle regiment, composed of two battalions, and was shortly afterward sent with a force to quell an insurrection in Sussex county, Delaware His command was tendered to congress, placed in the flying camp, and marched to Long Island, where it participated in the battle of 27 August, 1776, in which he was taken prisoner, and held until he was exchanged in April, 1778. He was appointed in December, 1776, brigadier-general of state forces, but after his exchange, not being able to obtain his rank, he retired from active service, and was appointed auditor for settling public accounts and deputy quartermaster-general for Pennsylvania, which latter office he held until 1782. He was appointed one of the judges of the high court of errors and appeals in 1783, in 1787 to the council of censors at Philadelphia, in 1788 to the city council, in 1789 an alderman and a member of the council of property, and in 1790 became mayor, to which office in 1791 he was unanimously re-elected, but declined to serve. In 1805 he was again chosen to the assembly. He was a large land-owner in Center county, Pennsylvania, where the town of Milesburg was laid out by him. His autobiography, written in 1802 and published in the "American Historical Record" (Philadelphia, 1873), is an interesting pa per, and a valuable contribution to the history of the battle of Long Island. It has been claimed that, if his advice had been taken, this battle would have resulted in the defeat of the British.

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