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ARMSTRONG, John [1758-1843] -- American soldier, politician and diplomat, General

Relationship to me: 14C7 (by marriage)
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A Senator from New York, he was born in Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pa., November 25, 1755; attended Princeton College but left college to enter the Revolutionary Army; served on the staffs of Generals Mercer and Gates; secretary of state of Pennsylvania 1783-1787; adjutant general for several years; moved to Dutchess County, N.Y., in 1789 and settled near Lexington Manor; elected to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy in the term ending March 3, 1801, caused by the resignation of John Laurance; reelected in 1801 and served from November 6, 1800, to February 5, 1802, when he resigned; was appointed to fill the vacancy in the term ending March 3, 1807, caused by the resignation of his successor, De Witt Clinton; subsequently elected to fill the vacancy in the term ending March 3, 1809, caused by the resignation of Theodorus Bailey, and served from November 10, 1803, until June 30, 1804, when he again resigned, to enter the diplomatic service; Minister to France from June 30, 1804, to September 14, 1810; also acted as Minister to Spain in 1806; during the War of 1812 was commissioned brigadier general on July 6, 1812; appointed Secretary of War in the Cabinet of President Madison during his two administrations and served from January 13, 1813, until September 27, 1814, when he resigned; engaged in literary pursuits; died in Red Hook, Dutchess County, N.Y., April 1, 1843; interment in Rhinebeck Cemetery, Rhinebeck, N.Y. BDAC

As Secretary of War, he was hampered by insufficient Congressional appropriations, Monroe's enmity, and his own unwise decisions. He has been considered responsible for the failures of the Montreal and Plattsburg campaigns and, in part, for the capture (1814) of Washington. NCCN  -30-
 

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