Osgood, Samuel, 1747-1813

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Samuel Osgood (February 3, 1747 – August 12, 1813) was an American merchant and statesman. He served in the Massachusetts and New York State legislatures, represented Massachusetts in the Continental Congress and was the fourth Postmaster General of the United States (the first under the current Constitution), serving from 1789 to 1791.

Born in Andover in the Colony of Massachusetts Bay (now North Andover, Massachusetts), Osgood attended Dummer Academy (now The Governor's Academy) and Harvard College. Later, he returned to Andover to follow a mercantile career. He joined the local militia, was elected to represent the town in the colonial assembly, and in 1775 to the provincial congress that functioned as a revolutionary government. Osgood led a local company of minutemen into the Battle of Lexington and Concord in the spring of 1775, later being named Major of a brigade, serving as an aide to General Artemas Ward, and being promoted to Colonel before leaving the Continental Army in 1776.

The Provincial Congress named Osgood to the Massachusetts Board of War and he served there until 1780 when the government was reorganized. He was a delegate to the state's constitutional convention in 1779-1780. Under the new Constitution he was elected to the Massachusetts State Senate in 1780 and served two terms. The new government named Osgood as one of their delegates to the Continental Congress and he served there from 1782 until 1784. After a brief term in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1784, the governor appointed Osgood a judge in 1785 but he soon resigned when the National Congress made him a commissioner of the United States Treasury later that year. He moved to New York City to take up this office, serving in that role from 1785 to 1789.

When a new American government was installed in 1789, President Washington appointed Osgood the first Postmaster General under the new U.S. Constitution; Osgood served in this role until the Federal Government moved to Philadelphia in 1791. Remaining in New York City, he served as a member of the New York State Assembly in 1800-01 and 1802, and was Speaker in 1800-01. In 1803, he was appointed by President Thomas Jefferson as Naval Officer of the Port of New York, a position he held until his death. For the last year of his life he was President of the new City Bank of New York. Osgood died in New York City. Originally interred in New York's Brick Presbyterian Church, his remains were reinterred in Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery in 1856.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Osgood, Samuel, 1748-1813. Samuel Osgood papers, 1775-1812. New-York Historical Society
referencedIn Harvard University. Mathematical theses, 1782-1839 Harvard University Archives.
creatorOf United States. Board of Treasury. Resolution : whereas in consequence of certain intelligence that a combination of numerous tribes of hostile Indians had actually commenced war on the western frontier ..., 1786 Nov. 23. Newberry Library
creatorOf Osgood, Samuel, 1748-1813. Letter, 1808 February 6. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn Field-Osgood Family Papers, 1702-1938, (bulk 1780-1930) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Gerry, Elbridge, 1744-1814. Gerry-Townsend papers, 1675-1846. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn United States. Post Office Dept. United States. Post Office Dept. records, 1789-1912. Library of Congress
referencedIn Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Portraits, ca. 1852-ca. 2004 Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Letters of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., collected and edited by George Birkbeck Hill, extra-illustrated, 1413-1900 (inclusive), 1775-1839 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Gilman, Nathaniel, 1759-1847. Papers of Nathaniel Gilman, 1776-1824. Library of Congress
creatorOf Osgood, Samuel, 1748-1813. ALS : Boston, to Gen. [Artemas] Ward, 1780 Nov. 24. Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square
creatorOf Osgood, Samuel, 1748-1813. Circular : Board of Treasury, to James Ewing, Esq., 1787 July 17. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Osgood, Samuel, 1748-1813. Autograph letter signed : New York, to The Cashier of the Bank of Albany, 1803 Jul. 25. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Peabody, Ephraim, 1807-1856. Autograph Book, 1717-1849. Andover-Harvard Theological Library
creatorOf Porter, Elisha, 1742-1796. Elisha Porter papers, 1762-1822. Library of Congress
referencedIn Frederick M. Dearborn collection of military and political Americana, Part I: The Revolution and the Administration, 1669-1958. Houghton Library
referencedIn Peale-Sellers family collection, 1686-1963 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866. Jared Sparks collection of American manuscripts, 1582-1843 Houghton Library
creatorOf United States. Board of Treasury. Letter : New York, N.Y., to Thomas Smith, 1787 May 15. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Thomas Addis Emmet collection, 1483-1876 (bulk:1700-1800) New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Vol. VII (ff. ii+259). N-Skinner.includes:ff. 1-6 George W. Napier, hymnologist: Letters to D. Sedgwick from George W. Napier: 1863-1876.ff. 7-12 John Mason Neale, hymnologist and translator: Letters to D. Sedgwick from John Mason Neale: 1862-186... British Library
referencedIn Letters concerning John Keats, 1794-1958 (inclusive) 1822-1895 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Osgood, Samuel, 1748-1813. Papers of Samuel Osgood, 1781-1787. Library of Congress
referencedIn Eagle Fire Company of New-York. Record book, 1806 July-1814 June. New-York Historical Society
referencedIn Swett, Samuel, 1782-1866. Revolutionary War miscellaneous collection, 1774 - ca. 1847. New-York Historical Society
referencedIn Washington Irving's Life of George Washington Volume XII, Miscellany, 1769-1838 Cornell University Library
creatorOf Voorhees, John Vredenburgh, 1819-1899. New Jersey correspondence, 1773-1954. Rutgers University
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, John, 1735-1826. person
leaderOf Citibank (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Clinton, DeWitt, 1769-1828. person
associatedWith Dearborn, Frederick M. (Frederick Myers), b. 1876 person
associatedWith Eagle Fire Company of New-York. corporateBody
associatedWith Emmet, Thomas Addis person
associatedWith Ewing, James, Esq., 1736-1806, person
associatedWith Field family family
associatedWith Gilman, Nathaniel, 1759-1847. person
associatedWith Gordon, William, 1728-1807. person
associatedWith Hancock, John, 1737-1793 person
associatedWith Hardy, Joseph, Jr. person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Harvard University. corporateBody
associatedWith Higginson, Stephen, 1743-1828. person
associatedWith Houghton, Richard Monckton Milnes, Baron, 1809-1885 person
associatedWith Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826. person
associatedWith Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784 person
memberOf Massachusetts. General Court. House of Representatives corporateBody
memberOf Massachusetts. General Court. Senate corporateBody
memberOf New York (State). Legislature. Assembly corporateBody
memberOf Osgood family family
correspondedWith Peabody, Ephraim, 1807-1856 person
associatedWith Peale-Sellers families. person
associatedWith Porter, Elisha, 1742-1796. person
associatedWith Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866 person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf The Governor's Academy corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Board of Treasury. corporateBody
memberOf United States. Continental Army corporateBody
memberOf United States. Continental Congress corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Postmaster General corporateBody
correspondedWith United States. Post Office Dept. corporateBody
subordinateOf Ward, Artemas, 1727-1800 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Byfield MA US
New York City NY US
Essex County MA US
Cambridge MA US
Banks and banking
Debts, Public
Finance, Public
Finance, Public
Patronage, Political
Army officers
Bank presidents
Cabinet officers
Delegates, U.S. Continental Congress
Federal Government Official
State Representative
State Senator


Birth 1747-02-03

Death 1813-08-12






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