Wayne, Anthony

Wayne, Anthony

Wayne, Anthony, 1745–96, American Revolutionary general, b. Chester co., Pa. Impetuous and hot-headed, Wayne was sometimes known as “mad Anthony,” but he was an able general.

Early Career

Not inclined toward academic studies, Wayne became a surveyor in 1763. In 1765 he was engaged to survey the land for, and promote the settlement of, a proposed colony in Nova Scotia, a venture from which he withdrew in 1766. He returned to the business of farming and tanning at Waynesborough, on the farm that his grandfather had established and that he inherited. He represented Chester co. in the Pennsylvania assembly (1774–75), was an agitator against British policies, and was active in preparations to defend the cause of the colonists.

During the American Revolution

When the Continental army was formed, Wayne organized and commanded a regiment from Chester co., and in Jan., 1776, he was commissioned a colonel and given command of the 4th Pennsylvania Battalion. As agent for the Pennsylvania committee of safety, he built defenses for the Delaware River. In the spring of 1776 he covered the retreat of the Americans after their failure in the Quebec campaign. The next winter he spent in command at Fort Ticonderoga.

In 1777 he was commissioned brigadier general and joined George Washington's army at Morristown, N.J. In the battle of Brandywine, Wayne commanded a division at Chadds Ford. Later he was defeated by General Howe's forces at Paoli, Pa.; to silence rumors that the defeat had been caused by his negligence, Wayne requested a court-martial and was acquitted with honor. He fought at Germantown, made successful raids on British supplies for the troops encamped at Valley Forge, and served in the battle of Monmouth. His most famous achievement, however, was his capture of the British outpost at Stony Point, N.Y., by a night attack in July, 1779. He aided General Lafayette in Virginia and participated in the Yorktown campaign. Later he fought successfully against Native Americans in Georgia, and, after Nathanael Greene's army had forced the British evacuation of Charleston, S.C., Wayne occupied the city.

Politics and the Indian Wars

In 1783 he returned to Pennsylvania, and in 1784 he was again elected to represent Chester co. in the general assembly. The following year he returned to Georgia and tried unsuccessfully to work the land which the Georgia assembly had given him in gratitude for his services. In 1791 he was elected to Congress as a representative from Georgia but was unseated because of irregularities in the election and in his residence qualification.

In 1792 he succeeded Arthur St. Clair as commander of the American army in the Northwest Territory. After the failure of peace negotiations with the Native Americans there—which Wayne opposed, feeling that war was inevitable—he decisively defeated (Aug., 1794) them at Fallen Timbers near present Toledo, Ohio. He secured (1795) the Treaty of Greenville with the chiefs of the defeated tribes, who ceded lands in the Northwest Territory. This was the first treaty in which Native American title to lands within the boundaries of the new United States was overtly recognized.


Wayne's activities in the Old Northwest are recorded in The Wayne-Knox-Pickering-McHenry Correspondence (ed. by R. C. Knopf, 1960). See also H. B. Dawson, The Assault on Stony Point (1863); J. W. De Peyster, Major General Anthony Wayne (1886); C. J. Stillé, Major General Anthony Wayne and the Pennsylvania Line in the Continental Army (1893, repr. 1968); biographies by T. Boyd (1929), J. H. Preston (1930), H. E. Wildes (1941), and G. Tucker (1973).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Wayne, Anthony

(1745–96) soldier; born in Wayneboro, Pa. A Revolutionary war hero, he was often called "Mad Anthony" because of his courage on the battlefield. He fought in numerous important battles during 1775–78 and demonstrated his military excellence in his surprise attack on and capture of Stony Point in 1779. In 1780 he took quick action that prevented a British seizure of West Point after Benedict Arnold's betrayal of the post. Following his retirement in 1783, he was recalled to military service in 1792 to meet a threat from Indians in the Ohio River valley. He campaigned cautiously in 1793 before winning a decisive battle at Fallen Timbers in 1794. He forced the Indian chiefs to accept the Treaty of Greenville, which opened up new areas to white settlers.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
BRACE Beryl Peacefully on Wednesday, April 12th at Glangwili Hospital, Beryl of Pwll-Trap and formerly Pendine; beloved Wife of the late Basil, much loved Mum of Anthony and Wendy, dear Mother-in-law of Maureen and Bertie, cherished Nannie of Wayne, Anthony, Sally and Lisa, a devoted Great-Nannie, and a sadly missed Sister-in-law and Aunty.
Landau, starring John Wayne, Anthony Quinn, Beulah Bondi, Fely Franquelli, Richard Loo, 1945, 95 minutes, black and white, not rated.
Full browser ?