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Biography JOHN SULLIVAN

JOHN SULLIVAN

Second day cover Washington D.C.
SULLIVANX.jpg
Cachet by A.C. Roessler 6/18/1929

John Sullivan,  was the 3rd son of Irish immigrants born in Somersworth, N.H., February 17, 1740. He received a good yet limited education, studied law with Samuel Livermore, and in 1760 John was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Durham N.H.in 1760; became the town's first lawyer.He bought three acres on the bank of the Oyster River in Durhamin 1764 and hung out his shingle there. As the years passed, Sullivan increased his holdings in the Durham area.  In the late 1760s Sullivan supported Britain and became a favorite of Royal Governor John Wentworth. Because of his friendship with Wentworth, Sullivan was commissioned as a major in the militia. He had attained all the things he had worked for since his arrival in Durham: wealth, power, respect and leadership. Logically, John Sullivan should have been content to help maintain the status quo, but he was an ambitious man and seldom happy with what he had.

As relations between Britain and America eroded in the early 1770s, Sullivan joined the ranks of the dissidents. On July 21, 1774, the First Provincial Congress of New Hampshire met in Exeter. Sullivan attended, representing Durham, and was elected as a delegate to the First Continental Congress. Member of the Continental Congress in 1774 and 1775; during the Revolution was appointed as a brigadier general; later promoted to major general, and from June 1775 until early in 1780; again a Member of the Continental Congress in 1780 and 1781; attorney general of New Hampshire 1782-1786; president of New Hampshire in 1786 and 1787; member of the state ratification convention in 1788; speaker of the state house of representatives; again chosen president of New Hampshire; appointed by President Washington judge of the United States District Court of New Hampshire in September 1789 and held that office until his death in Durham, N.H., January 23, 1795; interment in the Sullivan family cemetery.

Though the state of NH remembers him for these many accomplishments he has become best known in American history for the"Sullivan-Clinton Expedition".
(Sullivan served as a major general in the Continental Army and  He commanded the Sullivan Expedition in 1779, a scorched earth campaign against the Iroquois towns that had taken up arms against the American revolutionaries.Though the campaign remains relatively unknown,the 1779 Sullivan Expedition emerged as one of the largest offensives of the continental Army during the American Revolution. General George Washington developed a plan to attack the Iroquois Six Nations Confederacy in its heartland of Central New York. This he predicted would eliminate a key British ally and weaken the British in the North.)

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