Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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OSGOOD, Samuel, statesman, born in Andover, Massachusetts, 14 February, 1748 ; died in New York city, 12 August, 1813. John Osgood, from whom he was fifth in descent, came from Andover, England, to this country about 1630, and was the second settler in Andover, Massachusetts, to which he gave its name. Samuel was graduated at Harvard in 1770, and began to study theology, but abandoned it for commerce on account of impaired health. He was often in the legislature, a delegate to the Essex county convention in September, 1774, and served on many important committees in the Provincial congress. He commanded a company of minutemen at Lexington and Concord in 1775, and soon after the gathering of the troops at Cambridge was made major of brigade. He was then aide to General Artemas Ward, with the rank of colonel, till February, 1776, when he refused the command of a regiment, and left the army to enter the Massachusetts Provincial congress, he was appointed by that body a member of the board of war, and served till 1780, when he was elected a state senator under the new constitution that he had helped to frame. He was a member of the Continental congress in 1780-'4, and in 1782 headed a delegation that was sent to urge the assent of Rhode Island to Alexander Hamilton's resolution concerning the duty on imports and prizes. On the expiration of his term he was again elected to the Massachusetts legislature, and on 31 January, 1785, he was appointed a judge by the governor, but a few months later he became first commissioner of the United States treasury, which office he held till 1789. In the latter year he was made post-master-general, but he resigned in 1791, on the removal of the government to Philadelphia, and continued to reside in New York city. He was afterward a member of the New York legislature, and speaker of the house, supervisor of the state in 1801-'3, and from the latter year till his death naval officer of the port of New York. Mr. Osgood devoted much of his time to literary pursuits, and his correspondence with eminent men, including George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, was extensive. He was an original member of the American academy of arts and sciences, and a founder of the New York dispensary. His house in New York. which stood on Franklin square, became Washington's headquarters on his arrival in the city. Mr. Osgood was buried in the church on the corner of Nassau and Beckman streets, of which he had been an elder. His publications include "Letter on Episcopacy" (1807); "Remarks on Daniel and Revelation"; "Chronology"; and " Theology and Metaphysics."
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