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