McHenry, James (1753–1816), a United States public official and a signer of the federal Constitution. McHenry was born in Ireland, emigrating to America in 1771. During the American Revolution he was a Continental Army surgeon and later a secretary to George Washington. McHenry served in the Confederation Congress, 1783–86, and in the Maryland legislature, 1781–86 and 1789–96. As secretary of war in the John Adams administration, 1796–1800, he was a staunch Federalist and favored war with France. Fort McHenry, in Baltimore harbor, is named for him.
In the dark of night on Dec. 16, 1773, residents of Boston poured more than 90,000 pounds of tea into the harbor. But they weren't trying to set a world record for the most cups of tea made at one time. They were protesting the British government.
President Jefferson sent a couple of his representatives over to France to buy the city of New Orleans. What he got was the Louisiana Purchase, a patch of land that nearly doubled the size of the young nation.