|Birth: ||Mar. 11, 1739|
|Death: ||Dec. 29, 1805|
American Revolutionary War general and statesman. A native Pennsylvanian of Welsh Quaker stock, Samuel Miles served as a young man in the militia during the French and Indian War. Despite his youth, not yet being 20, Miles rose to the command of a company in 1759 and was appointed Captain in 1760.
By 1761, Miles left the army, married, and settled in Philadelphia to sell dry goods, rum and wines. He held various elective offices, including the General Assembly (1772-1774), but took an early and active part in the movement for independence. Once again elected to the General Assembly in 1775, Miles continued to serve there and on the Committee of Safety until helping to raise and command a regiment of riflemen in the Spring, 1776. Dispatched to Long Island, however, Miles and 159 members of his regiment were taken prisoner near Flatbush on August 27, 1776, having been cut off from American lines by British forces. He was held in New York until his exchange in April 1778. During his imprisonment, he was promoted to Brigadier General for services rendered.
After being released from prison, Miles served as Deputy Quartermaster for Pennsylvania until 1782, was appointed Judge of the High Court of Errors and Appeals in 1783, to the Council of Census at Philadelphia (1787), the City Council (1788), and Alderman and a member of the Council of Property (1789), succeeding Benjamin Franklin. In 1790 he became the 81st Mayor of Philadelphia, and continued taking an active role in politics until becoming a Federalist Presidential elector in 1796. In that year, Miles chose to support Jefferson for the Presidency over John Adams, reasoning that Jefferson's attitudes toward France would more likely prevent America from entering war. His stand, however, was not viewed well by his Federalist peers. In 1792, Miles retired to Cheltenham, Pa., where he died at the age of 67 on December 29, 1805. He was originally buried in the cemetery of the First Baptist Church in Philadelphia, PA, but reinterred at Mount Moriah Cemetery in southwest Philadelphia in about 1860.
Samuel Miles' obituary from Poulson's American Daily Advertiser (Philadelphia, PA), January 6, 1806:
"On Tuesday morning were deposited in a vault, in the graveyard of the First Baptist Church of this city, the remains of Col. Samuel Miles, of Cheltenham, who departed this life the 29th inst., aged 68. The deserved character of this excellent man is drawn by the Dr. Rev. Rogers, who delivered an address at his grave, in the substance as follows. "Under the impression of the truth and importance of these principles, (referring to the Christian system), lived and died our dear friend, our beloved brother. They were regarded by him not merely as subjects of speculation, but designed to sanctify the heart, and direct he life and conversation. In all his relationships of society their effect was visible. As a citizen he was respected and beloved. Not only might I call the immediate circle of his acquaintance, but the inhabitants of this city, and of this Commonwealth, to look into yonder vault, and there see the mortal part of one whose heart was bent on their prosperity. As a soldier hen not only distinguished himself in the important revolution which broke our chains and established our triumphing independence, but, before the revolution, in the field of contest, he was known to be an officer never tardy in the service of his country. His military character, till he laid down the sward, was preserved without a blot. As a Representative to this state, he discharged, it is believed, his official duties ins such a way, as must awaken in the hearts of all his constituents at the recital of his loss. The duties of husband was fulfilled with fidelity and affection, until death tore his amiable companion from his embrace. As a father he was indulgent, and as a friend sincere. But the character in which he pre-eminently shows, and in which these were but appendages, was that of a Christian. Often I heard him relate the story of his pious experience and as often declare his entire confidence in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. His pilgrimage is now closed..."
Catherine Wister Wister Miles (1743 - 1787)*
Hannah Miles McKean (1764 - 1845)*
James Miles (1769 - 1797)*
John Wister Miles (1778 - 1829)*
Mount Moriah Cemetery
Plot: Lot 112
Created by: Geoffrey D. Decker
Record added: May 30, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14448006