1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Muhlenberg, John Peter Gabriel

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MUHLENBERG, JOHN PETER GABRIEL (1746-1807), American preacher and soldier, son of H. M. Muhlenberg (q.v.), was born at Trappe, Pennsylvania, on the 1st of October 1746. With his two brothers he was educated in Germany. He entered the Lutheran ministry, had charge of churches at New Germantown and Bedminster, New Jersey, and after 1772 of a church in Woodstock, Virginia, and there in 1775 raised the 8th Virginia (German) regiment, of which he was made colonel; in February 1777 he became a brigadier-general in the Continental Army; and in September 1783 was breveted major-general. He took part in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth, and at Yorktown commanded the first brigade of light infantry. After the war he removed to Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Virginia convention of 1776, was vice-president of the supreme-executive council of Pennsylvania in 1787-1788, and was a representative in Congress in 1789-1791, in 1793-1795, and in 1799-1801. In 1801 he was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the United States Senate, but immediately resigned to become supervisor of revenue for the district of Pennsylvania. He became collector of the port of Philadelphia in 1803. He was a friend of Thomas Jefferson and of James Monroe.

See Life by Henry A. Muhlenburg (Philadelphia, 1849).

His brother, Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg (1750-1801), became his father's assistant in Philadelphia in 1770; was pastor of the Christ (or Swamp) German Lutheran Church of New York City from 1773 to 1776; and in 1777-1779 was assistant to his father at New Hanover. In 1779-1780 he was a member of the Continental Congress, in 1780-1783 of the Pennsylvania general assembly (then consisting of only one house), and in 1780-1790 of the state constitutional convention. He was president of the Pennsylvania convention which ratified the federal constitution, and was a member in 1789-1797 of the national House of Representatives, of which he was speaker in 1780-1791 and 1793-1795. On the 29th of April 1796, as chairman of the committee of the whole, he cast the deciding vote for the laws necessary to carry out Jay's treaty.

Another brother, Gotthilf Henry Ernest Muhlenberg (1753-1815), was a prominent Lutheran clergyman, and was pastor of a church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, from 1779 to his death; but he is best known as a botanist, and published Catalogus plantarum Americae septentrionalis (1813) and Descriptio uberior graminum et plantarum calamariarum Americae septentrionalis indignarum et circurum (1817).

See John M. Maisch, G. H. E. Muhlenberg als Botaniker (1886).

Gotthilf's son, Henry Augustus Muhlenberg (1782-1844), was pastor of a Lutheran Church in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1802-1828, was a Democratic representative in Congress in 1829-1838, and was United States minister to Austria in 1838-1840.