Alexander, William, 1726-1783

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American Revolutionary soldier; Lord Stirling.

From the description of Document signed : [n.p.], 1772 July 27. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270132554

Revolutionary soldier; better known as Lord Stirling. During the French and Indian War, he was aide and secretary to Governor Shirley, and defended Shirley before the House of Commons in 1756.

From the description of Letter : on board the sloop Massachusetts, to Governor Robert Hunter Morris, 1755 July 6. (Buffalo History Museum). WorldCat record id: 56357674

American general; claimed title of sixth Earl of Stirling.

From the description of ALS, 1778 Sept. 15, Camp White Plains, New York, to Benjamin Lincoln. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 86165751

William Alexander (1726-1783) of New York City, popularly known as Lord Stirling, was a merchant, public official, the first governor of King's (Columbia) College, and a soldier in the American Revolution. He joined the British army at the onset of the French and Indian War, acting as commissary, aide and secretary to Governor William Shirley. In 1757 the House of Lords officially revoked his appeal as rightful heir of the earldom of Stirling; despite the ruling, Alexander assumed the title of Lord Stirling. On his return to America in 1761 he was made a member of the New Jersey Council and he acted as surveyor-general and assistant to the governor of the colony. He subsequently became the leader of the first New Jersey Regiment of the Revolutionary army. Alexander fought throughout the war in the Battles of Long Island, Trenton, Princeton, Matouchin, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth. In 1781 Alexander took command of a battalion in Albany, New York, and two years later he died after preliminary peace negotiations were drafted.

From the guide to the William Alexander papers, 1709-1835, 1762-1812, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

General in the Revolutionary War.

From the description of William Alexander papers, 1717-1783 (bulk 1746-1783). (New York University). WorldCat record id: 58781985

William Alexander was an astronomer and member of the New Jersey Council. He served in the Continental Army as a major general.

From the description of Variation of the compass, 1773. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 86138558

Continental Army officer. Unsuccessfully claimed earldom of Sterling but was commonly known as Lord Sterling.

From the description of William Alexander papers, 1776-1826. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79455585

From the description of Papers of William Alexander, 1774-1782. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71070210

American general, claimed title of sixth Earl of Stirling.

From the description of LS, 1782 May 20, Fishkill, N.Y., to George Clinton. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122616986

From the description of ALS : Highlands of the Hudson, N.Y., to Robert Hunter Morris, 1755 July 6. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 86165755

William Alexander (1726-1783) of New York City, popularly known as Lord Stirling, was a merchant, public official, the first governor of King's (Columbia) College, and a soldier in the American Revolution.

He joined the British army at the onset of the French and Indian War, acting as commissary, aide and secretary to Governor William Shirley. In 1757 the House of Lords officially revoked his appeal as rightful heir of the earldom of Stirling; despite the ruling, Alexander assumed the title of Lord Stirling. On his return to America in 1761 he was made a member of the New Jersey Council and he acted as surveyor-general and assistant to the governor of the colony. He subsequently became the leader of the first New Jersey Regiment of the Revolutionary army. Alexander fought throughout the war in the Battles of Long Island, Trenton, Princeton, Matouchin, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth. In 1781 Alexander took command of a battalion in Albany, New York, and two years later he died after preliminary peace negotiations were drafted.

From the description of William Alexander papers, 1709-1835, bulk (1762-1812). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122626550

Known as the "Republican Earl", William Alexander, "Lord Stirling", was born in 1726 to James and Mary Sprat Proovost Alexander in New York City. Though he studied law with his father, he later joined his mother in her New York merchant house. He solidified his ties to the merchant and political elite with his marriage to Sarah Livingston.

During the Seven Years' War, Alexander served as an aide to Governor Shirley. In 1756, he accompanied the Governor to England, remaining there until 1761. During this time, Alexander applied to Parliament to assume his family title as the sixth Earl of Stirling and to claim the substantial North Amercan land grants accruing to it. His request was denied, but Alexander adopted the title nonetheless. Upon his return to the colonies, he became involved in land speculation and iron manufacturing and built a county seat at Basking Ridge, NJ. He served on the Provincial Councils of New York and New Jersey, and in 1775, joined the Whigs in rebellion against the Crown.

After serving as colonel of the 1st New Jersey Regiment, in March 1776 Alexander was appointed brigadier general and took chief command of the defense of New York City. In this capacity, he advised General Washington. In 1777, he was promoted to major-general. In October 1782, Alexander received his first independent field command, the Northern Department headquartered at Albany. He died in January 1783 of fever and gout.

From the description of Selected papers, 1767-1782. 1776-1782 (bulk). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 476442328

Earl of Stirling, William Alexander, was a prominent politician in colonial New Jersey who served as a general in the Continental Army. Alexander was born in New York City in 1726. He was the sole heir to the earldom of Stirling. He was born into wealth and further secured his standing amongst the elite of New York by marrying into the Livingston family.

He worked as a merchant for much of the colonial period. He provided supplies to William Shirley’s Canadian offensive during the Seven Years’ War. As a result, he received some of the blame for Shirley’s failure. In 1757, he traveled to London, in part to clear his name.

He returned to the colonies in 1761 and served in a variety of political positions in New York and New Jersey. But with the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, he resigned all British appointments and served in a number of revolutionary organizations in New Jersey. He was put in charge of the New Jersey militia and eventually became a brigadier general in the Continental Army, serving under Washington, with whom he began a close friendship.

From the guide to the Variation of the compass, 1773, 1773, (American Philosophical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Washington, George, 1732-1799. Letter signed : Head Quarters [Valley Forge], to Major General, Lord Stirling, 1777 Dec. 28. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Washington, George, 1732-1799. George Washington collection of papers, 1777-1792. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. William Alexander papers, 1709-1835, bulk (1762-1812). Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Duer family. Papers, 1784-1937. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Rosengarten, J. G. (Joseph George), 1835-1921. The German allied troops in the North American war of independence, and related materials, ca. 1767-1893. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn Livingston, Peter Van Brugh, 1710-1792. Account book, 1751-1752, 1775-1778. New-York Historical Society
creatorOf Willett, Marinus, 1740-1830. Orderly and letter book, 1781-1783. New-York Historical Society Library
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. Document signed : [n.p.], 1772 July 27. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Spire American Revolutionary War Collection, 1667-1878, 1748-1799 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
referencedIn Parker family. Papers, 1680-1936. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Stewart, Walter, d. 1796. Papers, 1776-1795 (bulk 1776-1783). New-York Historical Society
referencedIn Parker, James, 1725-1797. New Jersey manuscripts, 1669-1840. New Jersey Historical Society Library
referencedIn Vaughan, Petty. Letter : London, to Professor Cleaveland, Brunswick, Me., 1832 Jan. 12. Bryn Mawr College, Mariam Coffin Canaday Library
referencedIn De Witt, Simeon, 1756-1834. Collection, 1778-1834. Rutgers University
creatorOf Burnside, James. James Burnside letters, Morristown, N.J., 1778-1779. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
creatorOf Daughters of the American Revolution. Nova Caesarea Chapter (Newark, N.J.). Records, 1731-1962. New Jersey Historical Society Library
referencedIn Muhlenberg family papers, 1769-1866, 1769-1866 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Sullivan, John, 1740-1795. Papers, 1769-1792. New Hampshire Historical Society Library
referencedIn Muhlenberg Family. Papers, 1769-1866. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Washington, George, 1732-1799. Letter [manuscript] : Middlebrook, N.J., to William Alexander, Lord Stirling, 1777 July 2. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. Proceedings of a court of inquiry held at Morristown, N.J., 1779. New-York Historical Society
referencedIn Tuttle, Timothy, 1746-1816. Journal, 1775-1776. New Jersey Historical Society Library
referencedIn New York and New Jersey boundary dispute, [ca. 1750]-1866. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Washington, George, 1732-1799. LS : Wrights Mills, N.Y., to William Alexander, Lord Stirling, 1778 July 25. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Washington Irving's Life of George Washington, Volume IX, Miscellany, 1766-1808. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. William Alexander papers, 1717-1783 (bulk 1746-1783). Churchill County Museum
creatorOf Parker family (Perth Amboy, N.J.). Parker family papers, 1676-1946 1760-1820. New Jersey Historical Society Library
referencedIn Stevens family. Papers, 1669-1959 [microform]. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Ward, Grace Louise Cadmus. Hoff family records : including Ford? Tuttle and Beach families of Hunterdon and Morris Counties, New Jersey / presented by the Genealogical Records and Historical Research Committee of the Nova Caesarea Chapter. Joint Free Public Library, Morristown/Township
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. ALS : Highlands of the Hudson, N.Y., to Robert Hunter Morris, 1755 July 6. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Washington Irving's Life of George Washington, Volume VIII, miscellany, 1776-1816. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Stark, John, 1728-1822. Papers, 1758-1819. New Hampshire Historical Society Library
creatorOf Livingston, William, 1723-1790. William Livingston family papers, 1695-1788. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Anderson family. Anderson family papers, 1762-1950. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Alexander family. Alexander papers, 1668-1818 (bulk 1717-1786). Churchill County Museum
referencedIn Schley, Reeve, 1881-1960. Papers, 1670-1969. New Jersey Historical Society Library
referencedIn Hoff, Joseph, fl. 1773-1775. Furnace and ironwork records, 1773-1870. Rutgers University
referencedIn Great Britain. Army. Order-books, 1758-1780 (inclusive), 1778-1780 (bulk). Historical Society of Pennsylvania
referencedIn Autograph File, A, 1518-2002. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Chew family. Papers, 1735-1796. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Alexander, James, 1691-1756. James Alexander and William Alexander papers, 1711-1909 1711-1770. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Clark, Donald F., d. 1980,. Donald F. Clark Collection. New-York Historical Society Library
creatorOf McHenry, James, 1753-1816. Autograph letter signed : Middle brook, to Lord Stirling, 1778 Dec. 24. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Willett, Marinus, 1740-1830. Autograph letter signed : Fort Rensalear, to Major-Gen. Lord Stirling, 1782 Oct. 21. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Washington, George, 1732-1799. ALS : Newburgh, N.Y., to Sarah Alexander, 1783 Jan. 20. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, 1668-1983, Bulk, 1750-1850, 1668-1983 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. Variation of the compass, 1773. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Map of lots in the Great Swamp 1779 : Lord Stirling. New-York Historical Society
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. William Alexander collection 1778-1813. Princeton University Library
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. Letter : on board the sloop Massachusetts, to Governor Robert Hunter Morris, 1755 July 6. Buffalo History Museum, Research Library
referencedIn Niagara expedition collection. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Rutherfurd family. Rutherfurd family papers, 1721-1879. Churchill County Museum
creatorOf Ely, Edwin A., 1836-1927,. Autograph collection, ca. 1663-1890. New Jersey Historical Society Library
referencedIn Greg & Cunningham (Firm). Greg, Cunningham & Co. letter to Newton & Gordon, June 18, 1774 and Jan. 13, 1775. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library
creatorOf William Alexander papers, 1709-1835, 1762-1812 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Clark, Jonathan, 1750-1811. Draper manuscripts: Jonathan Clark papers, 1728-1810. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Smith family. Papers, 1667-1960. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf United States. Congress. William Alexander papers, 1776-1778. Litchfield Historical Society
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. Records of Batteau-men, 1756. Churchill County Museum
creatorOf Livingston, William, 1723-1790. William Livingston papers, 1749-1782. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Boggs family. Papers, 1737-1942. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Lewis, Francis, 1713-1803. Correspondence, 1778 Nov. 20-Dec. 16, with George Clinton. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn De Witt, Simeon, 1756-1834. Papers, 1778-1832. Rutgers University
referencedIn Allinson family. Papers, 1761-1909 (bulk 1761-1798, 1809-1811, 1824-1883). Rutgers University
referencedIn William Livingston papers, 1749-1782 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Jared Sparks collection of documents concerning the American Revolution, 1740-1866 . Houghton Library.
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. Selected papers, 1767-1782. 1776-1782 (bulk). New-York Historical Society Library
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. William Alexander papers, 1771-1787. Detroit Public Library, Detroit Main Library
creatorOf New York (State). New York and New Jersey boundary papers, 1672-1807. Churchill County Museum
referencedIn William Heath papers, 1777-1782 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Schuyler, Philip John, 1733-1804. ALS : Albany, N.Y., to William Alexander, 1781 Dec. 8. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Miller, Alice Duer, 1874-1942. Alice Duer Miller papers 1899-1942. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Stevens family. Papers, 1663-1959. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. Constitution Island. United States Military Academy, USMA Library
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. LS, 1782 May 20, Fishkill, N.Y., to George Clinton. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn United States. Continental Army. North Carolina Battalion, 6th. Orderly book, 1777-1778. The Filson Historical Society
referencedIn Duer family Papers, 1784-1937. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Boggs family. Boggs family papers, 1737-1950. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. Autograph letter signed : to the Commissary General, 1779 Jan. 13. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Johnson, Reverdy, 1796-1876. Opinion in the Stirling Case, 1854 May 5, Washington. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn Alexander Papers, 1668-1818 (bulk 1717-1786) @ 2011 New-York Historical Society
creatorOf Stevens family. Stevens family papers, 1663-1959. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Massachusetts. Governor (1741-1757 : Shirley). Military commission certificate for Peter Midleton, 1755 July 10. New England Historic Genealogical Society
referencedIn Plan of Lord Stirlings property in Broad Street N York. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. William Alexander papers, 1776-1826. Library of Congress
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. [Hudson River highlands from West Point to Stony Point]. United States Military Academy, USMA Library
referencedIn Frederick M. Dearborn collection of military and political Americana, Part I: The Revolution and the Administration, 1669-1958. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Washington Irving's Life of George Washington, Volume VI, miscellany, 1774-1807. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Greg, Cunningham, and Company (Firm). Greg, Cunningham, and Company, letters to Newton and Gordon, 1774-1775, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. ALS, 1778 Sept. 15, Camp White Plains, New York, to Benjamin Lincoln. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Bedford Historical Society (N.Y.). Bedford document collection, 1770-1967. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Letter of Cunningham, Green, and Company, 18 June 1774 & 8 April 1775 John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. Peapack Tract (N.J.) land records, 1744-1786. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Variation of the compass, 1773, 1773 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn United States. Continental Army. Northern Division. Orderly books, 1776-1782. New-York Historical Society
referencedIn Crossley, Archibald, Mrs. Mrs. Archibald Crossley autograph collection, 1767-1861. Library of Congress
creatorOf Washington, George, 1732-1799. Letter [in the autograph of Tench Tilghman] : Fishkill, to Lord Stirling, 1778 Oct. 2. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. Autograph order signed, 1779 Aug. 6. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn New Jersey boxes, 1700-1888. New-York Historical Society
creatorOf Alexander, James, 1691-1756. Journal, 1718-1769. New-York Historical Society
referencedIn Rutherfurd Family Papers, 1721-1879 @ 2011 New-York Historical Society
creatorOf Alexander, William, 1726-1783. Papers of William Alexander, 1774-1782. Library of Congress
referencedIn Papers, 1768-1877. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Anderson family. Papers, 1762-1950. New Jersey Historical Society Library
referencedIn Pryor, John Edward, d. ca. 1768. Account books, 1759-1772. New-York Historical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abeel, James, 1733-1825. person
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associatedWith Arnold, Benedict, 1741-1801. person
associatedWith Bancker, Gerard, 1740-1799. person
associatedWith Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820 person
associatedWith Barber, Francis, 1750-1783. person
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associatedWith Boggs family. family
associatedWith Boggs family. family
associatedWith Botetourt, Norborne Berkeley, Baron de, ca. 1718-1770. person
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associatedWith Burnside, James. person
associatedWith Byrd, William, 1727-1803. person
associatedWith Caldwell, James, 1734-1781. person
associatedWith Chew family. family
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associatedWith Clark, Jonathan, 1750-1811. person
associatedWith Clinton, George, 1739-1812, person
associatedWith Cooper, Thomas, 1759-1839 person
associatedWith Coues, Elliott, 1842-1899 person
correspondedWith Crossley, Archibald, Mrs. person
associatedWith Curtenius, Peter. person
associatedWith Cuvier, Georges, Baron, 1769-1832 person
associatedWith Darlington, William, 1782-1863 person
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associatedWith Franklin, Samuel. person
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associatedWith Moncrieffe, James. person
associatedWith Monroe, James, 1758-1831. person
associatedWith Moore, Henry, fl. 18th cent. person
associatedWith Morgan, Daniel, 1736-1802. person
associatedWith Morris, Robert, ca. 1745-1815. person
associatedWith Morris, Robert Hunter, ca. 1700-1764. person
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associatedWith Ogden, Matthias, d. 1791. person
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associatedWith Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 1793-1864 person
associatedWith Schuyler, Philip John, 1733-1804. person
associatedWith Scott, Helena Rutgers, fl. 1752-1782. person
associatedWith Seybert, Adam, 1773-1825 person
associatedWith Shirley, John, d. 1755. person
associatedWith Shirley, William, 1694-1771. person
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associatedWith Skinner, Stephen. person
correspondedWith Smith family. family
associatedWith Smith, Williams, 1727-1803. person
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correspondedWith Stark, John, 1728-1822. person
associatedWith Steuben, Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin, Baron von, 1730-1794. person
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correspondedWith Stewart, Charles, 1729-1800 person
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associatedWith Willett, Marinus, 1740-1830. person
associatedWith Woodford, William, 1734-1780. person
associatedWith Yates, Robert, 1738-1801. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Schenectady (N.Y.)
New Jersey
New Jersey
United States
New York (N.Y.)
Oswego County (N.Y.)
Georgia
Delaware
New Jersey
United States
New York (State)
New York (State)
Morristown (N.J.)
New Jersey
United States
United States
United States
New Jersey
United States
Georgia
New York (State)
New Jersey
United States
New York (State)
New York (State)
New York (State)
Subject
Science and technology
Astronomy
Compass
Learned institutions and societies
Embezzlement
Trusts and trustees
Long Island, Battle of, New York, N.Y., 1776
Real property
Courts-martial and courts of inquiry
Subpoena
Trade
Counterfeits and counterfeiting
Lotteries
Trenton, Battle of, Trenton, N.J., 1776
Administration of estates
Waterways
Shipment of goods
Inheritance and succession--Estates
United States--History--French and Indian War, 1755-1763--Campaigns
Surveying and Maps
Embezzlement--New Jersey
Brandywine, Battle of, Pa., 1777
Astronomy--18th century
Lotteries--Delaware
Occupation
Revolutionary army officers
Army officers
Merchants
Function

Person

Birth 1726

Death 1783

Americans

English

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