Burnet, William

Burnet, William,

1688–1729, English colonial governor in America; son of Gilbert Burnet. As governor of New York and New Jersey (1720–28), he advocated extending the trade with Native Americans, thereby seeking to bind the Iroquois to the British and keep them from French influence—a move that was to be of significance in the French and Indian WarsFrench and Indian Wars,
1689–1763, the name given by American historians to the North American colonial wars between Great Britain and France in the late 17th and the 18th cent.
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. He had the first English fort on the Great Lakes built at Oswego. His efforts to regulate trade were opposed by Albany merchants who made great profit in selling English goods to French traders. Burnet was embroiled in arguments with the assembly over policies and finance. After he dissolved the assembly in 1727, he was transferred to govern Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Burnet, William,

1730–91, political leader in the American Revolution, b. near the present Elizabeth, N.J.; father of David G. Burnet. A physician practicing in Newark, Burnet was chairman of the Revolutionary committee of safety there. He set up (1775) a military hospital and helped to furnish troops and supplies for the Continental army. He became surgeon general of the army for the eastern district and was also a member of the Continental Congress in 1776 and in 1780.
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Much of the success of this message is attributable to the Whig Bishop Gilbert Burnet, William's leading spin-doctor.