When you think of Revolutionary War figures, who do you think of? George Washington? Thomas Jefferson? While some were rewarded more than others, it took more than just a couple people to win the war. One very important figure was Benjamin Lincoln. Benjamin Lincoln, American Revolutionary Major General, was a well respected and hardworking leader. While he may not have always been perfect, he was willing to fight for what he believed in. Born to Benjamin and Elizabeth Lincoln on January 24, 1773, Lincoln lived in a middle class family in Hingham, Massachusetts. In his early years, Lincoln was given a common education. He took use of his school years and became an honorable student in his English studies. Being his father was a farmer, Lincoln took on the family business and followed his father’s footsteps. Just like his father, he was a hardworking man, and was well known in his community. Being a farmer, he learned the values of patience and order, as shown in his later years. As time went on, Lincoln was given the honor of working in the political fields. He was elected town clerk in 1757. Along with being town clerk, Lincoln was elected justice of piece or judicial officer. Being judicial officer, it was Lincoln’s job that while in court, the decisions being made were impartial. After being judicial officer for a short while, Benjamin Lincoln decided to work as a minuteman in the local militia. The militia was a group of untrained soldiers who were willing to fight at a minute’s notice. Being part of the militia had given Lincoln social status as a soldier which would soon become beneficial for him. (Higginbotham 95) A short time after joining the militia, Lincoln received much recognition for his work. In June of 1763, he was commissioned major. Lincoln was also commissioned Lieutenant Colonel in January of 1772. Lincoln was also elected his hometown Hingham’s representative to the General Court until 1775. During this time, he showed a great deal of leadership by speaking for his entire town in front of important leaders. After being so well known in his community, Lincoln soon became recognized by General George Washington himself. Lincoln was then promoted to Third Major General in 1776. He was also given command of all troops in the Boston area. After his work with Washington, Lincoln soon became a Revolutionary figure. He was given the command of many different local militias, including Vermont, New York, and Massachusetts. Lincoln showed his persistence as a soldier after being seriously injured during the Battle of Saratoga and still fighting as Major General as Southern Department commander. Even after all of his accomplishments, Lincoln still had limited success as general in the South. After being captured, he was replaced by General Horatio Gates. Shortly after Saratoga, Lincoln took part in the Battle of Yorktown and was appointed Secretary of War by the Second Continental Congress. This was one of his major achievements. (Kaszynski) Even after Lincoln’s retirement from the Continental Army, he still did good for his country. Lincoln was appointed by Washington once again, to be the collector of the port of Boston. After 20 years of working at the port, Lincoln went into full retirement and went back home to Hingham. Benjamin Lincoln died in the house of his birth on May 9, 1810. (Higginbotham) Benjamin Lincoln was a hardworking man, who put his capabilities ahead to help fight for his country. From the beginning, he put his education to use by studying hard in school and being an exemplary student in English. He then followed the wishes of his father and became a farmer which showed his level of discipline. After that, Lincoln became involved in the political fields which gave him the competence he needed to be in the army. Lincoln was known for being a good fair man during war. After the Revolutionary War, Lincoln lived a peaceful life and still did what he could to help the newfound country. Benjamin Lincoln may not have been as well known as other Revolutionary figures, but he still played an important role in American history and the Revolutionary War. He did many things in terms of war, including taking on roles of Lieutenant Colonel and Major General. One of the things that made Lincoln stand out from the rest is that, “he was a popular man, loved by his troops for his thoughtfulness and integrity.” (Higginbotham 95) While Benjamin Lincoln may not be as well known, he still is one of the many reasons why we are a free country today.
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