Anthony Wayne


Anthony Wayne
Anthony Wayne was born in Pennsylvania, where he received a surveyor’s education at his uncle’s private school before attending the College of Philadelphia. He never received his degree, but after four years of study he was sent by associates of Benjamin Franklin to survey lands in Nova Scotia and assist the settlers there. That same year, he married Mary Penrose, and after the completion of his duties in Canada, he returned home, where he resumed his old position in his father’s tannery alongside a few surveying jobs.

In 1775, at the onset of the Revolutionary War, Wayne raised a militia troop and soon became colonel of the Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment. He was sent northward, where his men failed to invade Canada but helped Benedict Arnold in an impressive victory at the Battle of Trois-Rivières. Wayne was promoted to brigadier general, and he later led the American attack during the Battle of Monmouth. The highlight of Wayne’s military career, however, came in 1779, when he and four regiments of light infantrymen led a midnight attack on the British fortress at Stony Point. The success of this mission significantly boosted American morale, and Wayne was given a medal for his brave leadership. Unfortunately, Anthony’s good fortune did not last; only two years later, the Army’s Pennsylvania Line, of which he was now commanding officer, mutinied, forcing Wayne to dismiss nearly half the line and recruit new men. The extra work delayed his journey in Virginia, where he had been sent to assist the Marquis de Lafayette, but he arrived in time to lead the troops into Green Spring and defeat the superior British force. After the British surrender at Yorktown, Wayne travelled southward, organizing treaties with the various Indian tribes and severing their alliances to the British. In 1783, He was promoted to major general.

After the war, Wayne returned home, serving in the Pennsylvania state legislature for a year in 1784. He next travelled to Georgia, where he had been given land in return for his military service, and a few years later he participated in the state convention to ratify the Constitution. He served in the Second U.S. Congress as a Representative of Georgia, but after debates began concerning his residency qualifications, he was removed from the post and did not run for re-election. He returned for a time to civilian life, until he was called upon by George Washington to lead an expedition in the Northwest Indian War. Wayne took command of the "Legion of the United States," and he established the first facility created solely for the training of recruited soldiers. His men were then sent out to Ohio, where he ended the war with a victory at the Battle of the Fallen Timbers. The resulting Treaty of Greenville gave almost all of present-day Ohio to the United States. Wayne died of gout in 1796, and although he was buried in Erie, Pennsylvania, his bones were later moved to the family burial plot in Radnor. Legend tells that many of the bones were lost along the route, and every January 1, the ghost of Wayne Anthony is said to prowl the region, searching for the lost pieces.

Key events during the life of Anthony Wayne:

Attended the College of Philadelphia.
Was sent to Canada to survey lands in Nova Scotia.
  Married Mary Penrose.
Rasied a militia unit at the start of the American Revolution.
Battle of Trois-Rivières.
Promoted to brigadier general.
Victory at Stony Point.
Pennsylvania Line mutinied.
  Assisted the Marquis de Lafayette at Green Spring.
Promoted to major general.
Served in the Pennsylvania state legislature.
Helped ratify the U.S. Constitution.
Served in the Second U.S. Congress as a Georgia Representative.
Led the Legion of the United States during the Northwest Indian War.
Defeated the Native Americans at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, ending the war.
Died of complications from gout.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
War with the Western Indians  in  Indian History for Young Folks  by  Francis S. Drake
Indians Join Britain against the Colonies  in  Indian History for Young Folks  by  Francis S. Drake
Mad Anthony  in  America First—100 Stories from Our History  by  Lawton B. Evans
Washington's Troubles  in  Story of the Great Republic  by  H. A. Guerber
Indian Cruelty  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A. Guerber

Book Links
Hero of Stony Point  by  James Barnes

Image Links

Wayne aimed and fired one of the field pieces himself
 in  The Hero of Stony Point

The Great Snow Fight
 in  The Hero of Stony Point

Forward, my brave fellows, forward!'
 in  The Hero of Stony Point

The treaty with the Indians
 in  The Hero of Stony Point

General Wayne's Escape
 in Indian History for Young Folks

General Wayne
 in Indian History for Young Folks

The capture of Stony Point
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies
Anthony Wayne
Anthony Wayne
 in Back Matter

The defeat of the Indians by General Wayne
 in True Stories of Our Presidents

Short Biography
Benedict Arnold Hero of the Revolutionary War, but tragically turned traitor. He escaped to the British before discovery.
George Washington Leader of the Continental Army of the U.S. during the Revolutionary War, and first President.
Molly Pitcher When her husband was killed, she took over his position and helped man a cannon at the Battle of Monmouth.
Lafayette French soldier who fought in American Revolution, and early leader of French Revolution.
Benjamin Franklin Statesman, publisher, inventor, and non-conformist. Founding father, and benefactor of Philadelphia.