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Boudinot, Elias

BOUDINOT, ELIAS (1740-1821), American revolutionary leader, was born at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, of Huguenot descent, on the 2nd of May 1740. He studied law at Princeton, New Jersey, in the office of Richard Stockton, whose sister Hannah he married in 1762, and in November 1760 he was licensed as a counsellor and attorney-at-law, afterwards practising at Elizabethtown, New Jersey. On the approach of the War of Independence he allied himself with the conservative Whigs. He was a deputy to the provincial congress of New Jersey from May to August 1775, and from May 1777 until July 1778 was the commissary-general of prisoners, with the rank of colonel, in the continental army. He was one of the New Jersey members of the continental congress in 1778 and again from 1781 until 1783, and from November 1782 until October 1783 was president of that body, acting also for a short time, after the resignation of Robert R. Livingston, as secretary for foreign affairs. From 1789 to 1795 he sat as a member of the national House of Representatives, and from 1795 until 1805 he was the director of the United States mint at Philadelphia. He took an active part in the founding of the American Bible Society in 1816, of which he became the first president. He was a trustee and a benefactor of the college of New Jersey (afterwards Princeton University). In reply to Thomas Paine's Age of Reason, he published the Age of Revelation (1790); he also published a volume entitled A Star in the West, or a Humble Attempt to Discover the Long Lost Ten Tribes of Israel (1816), in which he endeavours to prove that the American Indians may be the ten lost tribes. Boudinot died at Burlington, New Jersey, on the 24th of October 1821.

See The Life, Public Services, Addresses and Letters of Elias Boudinot, edited by J.J. Boudinot (Boston and New York, 1896).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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