James McHenry


James McHenry was born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom on November 16th, 1753 and is the Politician. At the age of 62, James McHenry biography, profession, age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, measurements, education, career, dating/affair, family, news updates, and networth are available.

Date of Birth
November 16, 1753
United States
Place of Birth
Ballymena, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Death Date
May 3, 1816 (age 62)
Zodiac Sign
Politician, Statistician
James McHenry Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

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James McHenry Religion, Education, and Hobbies
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James McHenry Spouse(s), Children, Affair, Parents, and Family
Peggy Caldwell
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James McHenry Career

McHenry served as a skilled and dedicated surgeon during the American Revolutionary War. On August 10, 1776, he was appointed surgeon of the Fifth Pennsylvania Battalion, stationed at Fort Washington (New York). He was taken prisoner the following November when the fort was taken by Sir William Howe. While in British custody, he observed that prisoners were given very poor medical attention and initiated reports to that effect, to no avail.

He was paroled in January 1777, then released from parole in March 1778. Having sufficiently impressed George Washington, he was appointed aide as secretary to the commander-in-chief in May 1779. McHenry was present at the Battle of Monmouth. In August 1780, he was transferred to Lafayette's staff, where he remained until he retired from the army in the autumn of 1781.

Although eligible, McHenry did not join The Society of the Cincinnati as an original member when it was established in 1783. His son John was admitted as a member in the state of Maryland in 1816, representing his father.

Political career

He was elected by the legislature to the Maryland Senate on September 17, 1781, and as delegate to Congress on December 2, 1784. In 1787, he was a Maryland delegate to and secretary of the Constitutional Convention, which drafted the United States Constitution. After a controversial campaign, he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates on October 10, 1788. Two years later he retired from public life and spent a year actively engaged in mercantile business. On November 15, 1791 he accepted a second term in the Maryland Senate and served five years.

During Washington's second term as president (1793–97), political events created a number of vacancies in his cabinet. After several other candidates had declined the office, Washington appointed McHenry secretary of war in 1796 and immediately assigned him the task of facilitating the transition of Western military posts from Great Britain's control to that of the United States under the terms of the Jay Treaty.

McHenry advised the Senate committee against reducing military forces. He was instrumental in reorganizing the United States Army into four regiments of infantry, a troop of dragoons, and a battery of artillery. He is credited with establishing the United States Department of the Navy, based on his recommendation that the "War Department should be assisted by a commissioner of marine" on March 8, 1798.

During President John Adams's administration (1797–1801), McHenry continued as Secretary of War, as Adams had decided to keep the newly established institution of the presidential cabinet intact. Adams gradually found that three members of the cabinet repeatedly opposed him: McHenry, Secretary of State Timothy Pickering, and Treasury Secretary Oliver Wolcott Jr. They appeared to listen more to Alexander Hamilton than to the president and publicly disagreed with Adams about his foreign policy, particularly with regard to France. Instead of resigning, they stayed in office to work against his official policy. It is unknown if Adams knew they were being disloyal. Although many liked McHenry personally, Washington, Hamilton, and Wolcott were said to have complained of his incompetence as an administrator.

McHenry attributed Adams's troubles as chief executive to his long and frequent absences from the capital, leaving business in the hands of secretaries who bore responsibility without the power to properly conduct it. After a stormy meeting with his cabinet in May 1800, Adams requested McHenry's resignation, which he submitted on May 13. To succeed McHenry, Adams named Samuel Dexter. During the election of 1800, McHenry goaded Hamilton into releasing his indictment against the president, which questioned Adams's loyalty and patriotism, sparking public quarrels over the major candidates and eventually paving the way for Thomas Jefferson to be elected as the next president. The pamphlet leaked past its intended audience, giving the people reason to oppose the Federalists, since that group seemed to be dividing into bitter factions.