Lincoln, Benjamin,1733–1810, American Revolutionary soldier, b. Hingham, Mass. He served under Horatio Gates in the Saratoga campaign before becoming (1778) commander in the South. In 1779 he failed, in conjunction with a French fleet under Admiral d'Estaing, to take Savannah and was beaten back to Charleston, where he surrendered (1780) to an overwhelming force commanded by Sir Henry Clinton. Lincoln was exchanged in time for the Yorktown campaign and received General Cornwallis's sword at the surrender. From 1781 to 1783 he was Secretary of War. In 1787 he commanded the Massachusetts state militia that helped suppress Shays's RebellionShays's Rebellion,
1786–87, armed insurrection by farmers in W Massachusetts against the state government. Debt-ridden farmers, struck by the economic depression that followed the American Revolution, petitioned the state senate to issue paper money and to halt foreclosure
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Lincoln, Benjamin(1733–1810) soldier, politician; born in Hingham, Mass. A farmer's son, modestly educated, he took an early interest in militia and public affairs, serving in the Massachusetts legislature (1772–73) and as secretary of the Provincial Congress (1775). In 1777, as a major general of continental forces, he operated effectively on the flank of the British army in upstate New York, contributing to the American victory at Saratoga. He did not, however, prove a success in a senior independent command. Leading Washington's southern forces, he withdrew his army into Charleston, S.C., where, besieged, he surrendered in May 1779. Exchanged later in the year, Lincoln fought at Yorktown (1781), served a term as war secretary (1781–83), and led militia forces against Daniel Shays's rebels (1787). He was lieutenant governor of Massachusetts (1788) and collector of the port of Boston (1789–1809).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.