James McHENRY, Congress, MD (1753-1816)


McHENRY, James, a Delegate from Maryland; born in Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland, November 16, 1753; pursued classical studies; immigrated to the United States about 1771 and settled in Philadelphia, Pa.; attended Newark Academy in Delaware; studied medicine under Dr. Benjamin Rush, Philadelphia, Pa.; during the Revolution was appointed assistant surgeon in 1776 and later surgeon in the Fifth Pennsylvania Battalion; secretary to General Washington 1778-1780; appointed in 1780 on the staff of General Lafayette and served in that capacity until the end of the war; member of the State senate 1781-1786; Member of the Continental Congress 1783-1785; delegate to the Federal Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787; appointed Secretary of War in the Cabinet of Presidents Washington and Adams and served from January 29, 1796, to May 13, 1800; resided at “Fayetteville,” his country estate, near Baltimore, Md., until his death on May 3, 1816; interment in Westminster (Presbyterian) Churchyard, Baltimore, Md.


Steiner, Bernard C. The Life and Correspondence of James McHenry, Secretary of War under Washington and Adams. 1907. Reprint, New York: Arno Press, 1979.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present