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Joseph Reed
Birth: Aug. 27, 1741
Mercer County
New Jersey, USA
Death: Mar. 5, 1785
Philadelphia County
Pennsylvania, USA

Revolutionary War Army Officer, Continental Congressman. He was leading lawyer in Trenton, New Jersey in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War. Initially a proponent of compromise with England when conflict brewed in America, he became a full supporter of Independence, and was elected the President of the 2nd Continental Congress in January 1775. When the war started in April 1775, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Pennsylvania Militia. When George Washington was made commander of the Continental forces by the Congress, Joseph Reed became his military secretary. On June 5, 1775 he was made Adjutant General of the Continental Army (a position he held for much of the war). Served with Washington in the disastrous campaign on Long Island and in New York in the summer of 1776, and was the General's representative when British commander Admiral Howe tried to negotiate the surrender of the Americans. He was critical of the capture of Forts Washington and Lee on the Hudson River by the British, and for the fact that New York City, New York was left standing for the British to occupy. A letter Joseph Reed wrote to Major General Charles Lee detailing these criticism produced a corresponding critical letter from General Lee that fell into George Washington's hands. Reed was much vilified by many in the Army and Government for his critical views, but George Washington continued to fully supported his adjutant, and the criticism died out. Because he was intimately knowledgeable of Trenton, Joseph Reed's participation in the Christmas 1776 surprise attack there was of immense value. He continued to serve with Washington's Army through the Battles of Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. In 1777 he was elected as a delegate from Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress. In December 1778 he was chosen as president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania (which at the time was the chief executive of the State), serving to 1781. His administration was highlighted by his abolishing slavery in Pennsylvania, the placing of Revolutionary soldiers on half pay for life, and the prosecution of Benedict Arnold in absentia for his corruption while commander of Philadelphia. In 1778 he became embroiled in a scandal when he was erroneously accused of traitorous correspondence with England. This led to the belief that he had questionably loyalties until historians in the 1880s corrected the fallacy. He was one of the few officers and figures of the Revolution who had the respect and trust of George Washington. He was originally buried in the Arch Street Presbyterian Burial Ground in Philadelphia, but was removed to Laurel Hill when that cemetery was built over in 1867. (bio by: Russ Dodge) 
Family links: 
  Theodosia Bowes Reed (1720 - 1753)
  Esther De Berdt Reed (1746 - 1780)
  Esther Reed (____ - 1847)*
  Joseph Reed (1771 - 1846)*
  Theodosia Martha Reed (1775 - 1778)*
  Denis De Berdt Reed (1778 - 1805)*
  George Washington Reed (1780 - 1813)*
  Bowes R. Reed (1740 - 1794)*
  Joseph Reed (1741 - 1785)
*Calculated relationship
Laurel Hill Cemetery
Philadelphia County
Pennsylvania, USA
Plot: Section I, Lot 33
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Feb 22, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 20308
Joseph Reed
Added by: henry reed
Joseph Reed
Added by: Russ Dodge
Joseph Reed
Added by: Russ Dodge
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- Robert Saulino, Sr.
 Added: Aug. 27, 2016
Joseph Reed
- Jonathan Robert De Mallie, Historian
 Added: Jul. 8, 2016

- Zina ♥︎ Bee
 Added: Jul. 4, 2016
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