Reed, Joseph,1741–85, American Revolutionary political leader and army officer, b. Trenton, N.J. He studied law, was admitted (1763) to the bar, and then went to London to study at the Middle Temple. After returning (1765) to practice law in Trenton, he took an active part in pre-Revolutionary affairs. After settling (1770) in Philadelphia Reed became a member of the committee of correspondence (1774) and president of the Pennsylvania provincial congress (1775). In the war he served as military secretary to George Washington and as adjutant general and took part in a number of battles. He served in the Continental Congress (1777–78). As president (1778–81) of the supreme executive council of Pennsylvania he abolished slavery in Pennsylvania and caused (1778) Benedict ArnoldArnold, Benedict,
1741–1801, American Revolutionary general and traitor, b. Norwich, Conn. As a youth he served for a time in the colonial militia in the French and Indian Wars. He later became a prosperous merchant.
..... Click the link for more information. to be prosecuted on charges of corrupt practices. He was a trustee and founder of the Univ. of the State of Pennsylvania (later the Univ. of Pennsylvania).
See biography by J. F. Roche (1957, repr. 1968).
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Reed, Joseph(1741–85) governor; born in Trenton, N.J. A prosperous Philadelphia lawyer and businessman, married to an Englishwoman, he tried to change British attitudes through correspondence, but by 1775 came to believe that independence was worth a revolution. Washington's military secretary (1775), and later the adjutant general, he helped guide the troops through the arduous campaign that moved across New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He served in the Continental Congress (1777–78). As president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania (1778–81), he abolished slavery, provided veterans' benefits, and prosecuted Benedict Arnold for embezzlement.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.