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
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MAXWELL, William, soldier, died 12 November, 1798. Little is known of his personal history. It is believed that he was born in Ireland and brought to New Jersey in his early years. He entered the colonial service in 1758, serving in the French war and until the Revolution, when he became colonel of the 2d New Jersey battalion, with which he served in the disastrous campaign of 1776 in Canada. On 16 July, 1774, he was appointed one of the committee on the part of Sussex county. N. J., to act with committees from other counties to appoint deputies to represent New Jersey in the general congress. In 1775-'6 he was a member of the provincial congress of New Jersey from Sussex county. Colonel Maxwell was one of the remonstrants against the decision of the council of officers that was held on 7 July, 1776, to abandon Crown Point. In a memorial to congress dated 28 August, 1776, he says that he had been in "constant service in the army fifteen years, since the spring of 1758; had served his country to the utmost of his power and hopes with some good effect, which he can make himself appear if requisite; notwithstanding, he feels himself much aggrieved by having a younger officer, St. Clair, promoted over him." Congress appointed him brigadier-general, 23 October, 1776. He was with General Schuyler on Lake Champlain, harassed the enemy after the battle of Trenton, and, during the winter and spring of 1777, was stationed near the enemy's lines in Elizabethtown. In the autumn of that year he commanded a New Jersey brigade at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown, was with the army at Valley Forge, and pursued Sir Henry Clinton across New Jersey the following summer, sustaining an important part in the battle of Monmouth, after which he was left to annoy the enemy's rear in their retreat toward Sandy Hook. In August, 1779, he was engaged in Sullivan's expedition against the Indians. Soon after the action of Springfield he resigned his commission, and his resignation was accepted by congress on 25 June, 1780. He is spoken of as a man of great bravery, and was much esteemed by Washington, who said:" I believe him to be an honest man, a warm friend to his country, and firmly attached to its interests."
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