Another Author to Write A Biography of Washington in 1807 Was David Ramsay


David Ramsay, M.D. was twice elected as a delegate to the Continental Congress. In 1789, he became one of the first historians of the American Revolution, publishing his two volume “History of the American Revolution.” In 1807, he then published his biography of George Washington. David Ramsay was the son-in-law of John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and delegate to the Continental Congress. John Witherspoon was one of the most important philosophers behind the American Revolution, having come from Scotland and been influenced by the writers of the Scottish Enlightment. In fact, Witherspoon was a descendant of John Knox, the founder of the Scottish Presbyterian Church. As President of the College of New Jersey (later renamed Princeton University), John Witherspoon was to have an important influence on many others, included both James Madison and Aaron Burr who were students who studied under him at Princeton. David Ramsay was also the son-in-law of Henry Laurens, and thus was related to South Carolina Governor Charles Pinckney. Finally, he was the brother of Congressman Nathaniel Ramsay, who was the brother-in-law of the famous painter Charles Willson Peale who had served on Washington’s staff during the American Revolution and who went on to become along with Gilbert Stuart and John Trumbull one of the three primary painters of portraits of George Washington.


~ by americanpresidents on May 23, 2009.

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