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Henry Wisner

1720-1790

New York Delegate who voted for the Declaration of Independence

WISNER, Henry - A Klos Family Project - Revolutionary War General

WISNER, Henry, patriot, born in Goshen, Orange County, New York, about 1725; died there in 1790. He was the grandson of a Swiss soldier who settled in Orange county in 1715. Henry was appointed in 1768 one of the assistant justices of the court of common pleas, and represented Orange county in the New York general assembly in 1759-'69. He strenuously espoused the side of colonial rights against the pretensions of the British parliament, and was a member of the Continental congress of 1774 and of the 2d Continental congress, which adopted the Declaration of Independence. For that measure Wisner voted, and he was the only New York delegate who acquired that honor, but before the Declaration was engrossed on parchment and ready for signing, he went to New York to attend the Provincial congress, of which he had been elected a member.

He studied the art of making gunpowder and erected three powder-mills in the neighborhood of Goshen, from which large quantities of powder were supplied to the Revolutionary army. He was otherwise of practical service to the patriot cause by having spears and gun-slints made and by repair-mg the roads in orange county, thus facilitating the transportation of provisions and military material to the American troops. He also, at his own expense, erected works and mounted cannon on the banks of Hudson river, which greatly impeded British vessels in their passage of the Highlands. He was one of the committee that framed the first constitution of New York in 1777, state senator in 1777-'82, and a member of the New York convention of 1788, which ratified the United States constitution. On that occasion he voted in the negative, fearing, in common with other stanch patriots, that a strong Federal government would overpower state and individual rights. In person Wisher was tall, with pleasing manners, and a frame that was vigorous even in old age. He possessed a strong intellect and an energetic character. See "A Memorial of Henry Wisner," by Franklin Burdge (New York, 1878).

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

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