Armstrong, John,1758–1843, American army officer, U.S. Secretary of War (1813–14), b. Carlisle, Pa.; son of John Armstrong, "hero of Kittanning." In the American Revolution he was on the staff of Horatio Gates. In 1783, Armstrong wrote the "Newburgh Addresses," or "Newburgh Letters"; these anonymously issued appeals urged the restive Continental officers to force Congress to pay salary arrears and adjust other grievances. General Washington denounced the appeals, and the officers soon followed his lead. After marriage (1789) to Alida, sister of Robert R. LivingstonLivingston,
family of American statesmen, diplomats, and jurists. Robert R. Livingston (1654–1728)
Robert R. Livingston, 1654–1728, b. Roxburghshire, Scotland, was raised in Holland and immigrated to America in 1673 after his father died.
..... Click the link for more information. , Armstrong moved to Red Hook, N.Y., and became a political supporter of George ClintonClinton, George,
1739–1812, American statesman, vice president of the United States (1805–1812), b. Little Britain, N.Y. Before he was 20 he served on a privateer and, in the French and Indian War, accompanied the regiment of his father, Charles Clinton, in the
..... Click the link for more information. and De Witt ClintonClinton, De Witt
, 1769–1828, American statesman, b. New Windsor, N.Y.; son of James Clinton. He was admitted (1790) to the New York bar but soon became secretary to his uncle, George Clinton, first governor of the state, and in that position (1790–95) gained
..... Click the link for more information. . He was U.S. Senator (1800–1802, 1803–4), minister to France (1804–10), and then Secretary of War. In the War of 1812 he was held responsible for the disasters of 1813–14, notably the failure of the expedition to Canada and the British capture of the city of Washington. He resigned in public disfavor. Armstrong wrote Notices of the War of 1812 (1836–40), biographies of Richard Montgomery and Anthony Wayne, and other books.