American civil leaders, such as Patrick Henry and Paul Revere, played important roles in the fight to gain independence. This section contains information about some of the people involved in the birth of the new country.

William Alexander

Alexander, William (1726-1783), an American Revolutionary War general. He was also known as Lord Stirling, a title he assumed in 1761, although his claim to the earldom of Stirling was later disapproved by the British House of Lords.

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  • 10 Little-known Facts About the Founding Fathers

    10 Little-known Facts About the Founding Fathers

    Forget George Washington’s cherry tree and Ben Franklin’s inveterate womanizing. You're about to meet patriots you've never heard of, plus a few you thought you knew. See more »

  • Patrick Henry

    Patrick Henry

    Henry, Patrick (1736-1799), a United States orator and statesman. He was one of the first American patriots to speak out against taxation by Britain. See more »

  • Benedict Arnold

    Benedict Arnold

    Arnold, Benedict (1741 - 1801), an American Revolutionary War general who turned traitor. See more »

  • John Paul Jones

    John Paul Jones

    Jones, John Paul (1747-1792), a Scottish-American naval officer who has been called the Father of the United States Navy. See more »

  • Paul Revere

    Paul Revere

    Revere, Paul (1735-1818), an American patriot, silversmith, and engraver. His fame as a hero of the American Revolution is largely due to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's popular, though somewhat inaccurate, poem Paul Revere's Ride. See more »

  • Robert Livingston and William Livingston

    Robert Livingston and William Livingston

    Livingston, a family distinguished in colonial New York and in early United States history. See more »

  • Rutledge


    Rutledge, the family name of two brothers who were active in government affairs in the early days of the United States. See more »

  • The Brown Family

    The Brown Family

    Brown, the name of a family important in Rhode Island history. See more »

  • The Pinckney Family

    The Pinckney Family

    Pinckney, the name of a mother and two sons who were prominent in South Carolina history. See more »

  • Thomas Paine

    Thomas Paine

    Paine, Thomas (1737-1809), an Anglo-American political writer and philosopher. Paine's writings helped turn American opinion to the cause of independence during the Revolutionary War. See more »

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