McDougall, Alexander(məkdo͞o`gəl), 1731–86, American Revolutionary political leader and general, b. Islay, Inner Hebrides, Scotland. He was taken (1738) as a child to New York. He became a fiery opponent of British restrictions on trade and helped to form the Sons of LibertySons of Liberty,
secret organizations formed in the American colonies in protest against the Stamp Act (1765). They took their name from a phrase used by Isaac Barré in a speech against the Stamp Act in Parliament, and were organized by merchants, businessmen, lawyers,
..... Click the link for more information. in New York City. In 1770 he was arrested on the charge of having written a seditious broadside. In 1774 he presided over the meeting that decided to send New York delegates to the Continental Congress. He served in the army throughout the Revolution and was notable in the battles of White Plains and Germantown and in the fighting in New Jersey. In 1780, after Benedict Arnold's treason, McDougall succeeded to the charge of West Point. After the war he was (1781–82, 1784–85) a member of Congress from New York.
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McDougall, Alexander(1732–86) Revolutionary agitator, soldier, politician; born in Islay, Inner Hebrides, Scotland. Emigrating to America with his family (1738), he commanded two privateers (1756–63). He was an educated merchant and came to public attention by issuing a broadside attacking the New York General Assembly (1769); sued for libel, then jailed (1770–71), he attracted a major radical following. As a founder of the Sons of Liberty who took the lead in prewar agitation, he presided over the famous mass meeting in the "Fields" (1774) that called for New York to send delegates to the First Continental Congress. Appointed colonel of the first New York regiment (1775), and later a brigadier and major-general (1777), he played a major role in the war, relieving Benedict Arnold in command of West Point. He represented New York in the Continental Congress (1781–82, 1784–85), and was an organizer and president of the Bank of New York.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.