John Sullivan (1740-1795)
The son of a schoolmaster, John Sullivan was born in Somersworth, New Hampshire, and at age 24 began a law practice in nearby Durham, where he earned a reputation for personal litigiousness that won him few friends but considerable wealth. Despite a close relationship with the royal governor, he joined the Patriot cause and upon the outbreak of the Revolution served as a brigadier at the siege of Boston. In his first independent command, he led an advance on Quebec but was turned back in a sharp action at Trois Rivieres. Later taken captive, he was involved in peace overtures between Admiral Howe and Congress, for which he was widely criticized. Rejoining the army late in 1776, he played a key role in the raids on Trenton and Princeton and served through the end of the war.