Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Bayard, John

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BAYARD, John, patriot, b. at Bohemia Manor, Cecil CO., Md., 11 Aug., 1738; d. in New Brunswick, N. J., 7 Jan., 1807. He was the great great-grandson of Samuel Bayard, a rich merchant of Amsterdam, of French Huguenot extraction, who married a sister of Peter Stuyvesant, the last governor of New Amsterdam. The widow of Samuel, with her three sons and a daughter, accompanied Stuyvesant, who was himself married to Judith Bayard, a sister of Samuel, to the new world in 1647. His grandson Samuel, son of Peter, one of the three brothers who came to New York with their uncle Stuyvesant, lived in New York and alienated his relatives by joining the sect of the Labadists, removed in 1698 to Bohemia Manor, Md. His grandson, John, was christened John Bubenheim, but afterward dropped the middle name. James Asheton, twin brother of the latter, became a physician and died 8 Jan., 1770, leaving James Asheton negotiator of the treaty of Ghent, and three other children.who were adopted and educated by their uncle. John Bayard went with his brother to Philadelphia at the age of eighteen, entered the counting-house of John Rhea, a merchant, and, in the course of a few years, became one of the leading merchants in the city. He was among the signers of the non-importation agreement of 25 Oct.. 1765, was a member of the provincial congress held in July, 1774, and in January, 1775, of the convention of the province, which had for its object the care of the conduct of the assembly. He early joined the Sons of Liberty, organized in 1766, and was a leader of the movement for independence in Philadelphia. His firm, Hodge & Bayard, was engaged in furnishing arms to con- gress, and the privateer that took one of the first valuable prizes was fitted out by him and a friend. In September, 1 776, he was appointed a member of the council of safety by the constitutional conven- tion, and was continued in that place by the assem- bly the following year. When three regiments of infantry were raised in Philadelphia in 1775, he was chosen colonel of the second. In the winter of 1776-'7 he was in the field. He was present at the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, and Princeton, and for his gallantry in the last action was personally complimented by Gen. Washington. On 18 March, 1777, Col. Bayard was appointed a member of the state board of war, and on 17 March was elected speaker of the house of assembly, to which office he was re-elected the year following. He removed his family for safety to a farm at Plymouth, on the Schuylkill, before the capture of Philadelphia by the British in September, 1777. When Princeton college was broken up, his son, James Asheton (b. 5 May, 1760 ; d. at sea in June, 1788), was arrested while returning home and committed to prison in Philadelphia, but was re- leased as being a non-combatant. When a British detachment passed over the Schuylkill at Swede's Ford, they plundered Bayard's house at Plymouth. In 1780 Col. Bayard was appointed on a commit- tee to inquire into the causes of the falling oflf in the revenue of the state. In 1781 he was a mem- ber of the supreme executive council, and in 1785 he was elected to the continental congress, then holding its sessions in New York. In 1780 he lost his wife, Margaret llodge, and in 1781 married the widow of John Hodgson, of South Carolina. His second wife died suddenly in 1785, and two years later he married Johannah White, sister of Gen. Anthony W. White, of New Brunswick, N. J. In 1788, having retired from active business in Philadelphia, and having been compelled to part with his estate in Cecil co., Md., in cons juence of his patriotic sacrifices during the war, he removed to New Brunswick, and built there a handsome house, in which he entertained many distinguished guests. In 1790 the citizens elected him mayor of New Brunswick. A few years later he was ap- pointed presiding judge of the court of common pleas of Somerset co. He was niterested with his friend Alexander Hamilton, Judge Patterson, his brother-ia-law, and others, in a company organized in 1791 to manufacture cotton in Paterson, but it was dissolved in 1795. Col. Bayard was a firm federalist, with strong aristocratic predilections. Bancroft says that he was " a patriot of singular purity of character." See " Col. John Bayard and the Bavard Family of America," by Gen. Jas. Grant Wils<in (New York, 1885).