Josiah Harmar

Josiah Harmar

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Josiah Harmar was an officer in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 during the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 and the Northwest Indian War
Northwest Indian War
The Northwest Indian War , also known as Little Turtle's War and by various other names, was a war fought between the United States and a confederation of numerous American Indian tribes for control of the Northwest Territory...

. He was the senior officer in the Army for seven years.

Harmar was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 and educated at a Quaker school. He started his military career during the American Revolutionary War, receiving a commission as a captain in 1775. He served under George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 and Henry Lee during the war, and at its conclusion, by then a colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

, was chosen by Congress
Congress of the Confederation
The Congress of the Confederation or the United States in Congress Assembled was the governing body of the United States of America that existed from March 1, 1781, to March 4, 1789. It comprised delegates appointed by the legislatures of the states. It was the immediate successor to the Second...

 in 1784 to relay the ratified Treaty of Paris (1783)
Treaty of Paris (1783)
The Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3, 1783, ended the American Revolutionary War between Great Britain on the one hand and the United States of America and its allies on the other. The other combatant nations, France, Spain and the Dutch Republic had separate agreements; for details of...

 to commissioner Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

 in Paris.

Harmar was the senior officer in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

, from 1784 to 1791, and was given command of the First American Regiment
First American Regiment
The First American Regiment was the first peacetime regular army force authorized by United States Congress after the American Revolutionary War...

 in 1784. He signed the Treaty of Fort McIntosh
Treaty of Fort McIntosh
The Treaty of Fort McIntosh was a treaty between the United States government and representatives of the Wyandotte, Delaware, Chippewa and Ottawa nations of Native Americans...

 in 1785, the same year that he ordered the construction of Fort Harmar
Fort Harmar
Fort Harmar was an early United States frontier military fort, built in pentagonal shape during 1785 at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers, on the west side of the mouth of the Muskingum River. It was built under the orders of Josiah Harmar and took his name...

 near Marietta, Ohio
Marietta, Ohio
Marietta is a city in and the county seat of Washington County, Ohio, United States. During 1788, pioneers to the Ohio Country established Marietta as the first permanent American settlement of the new United States in the Northwest Territory. Marietta is located in southeastern Ohio at the mouth...

. He also supervised the construction of Fort Steuben near present-day Steubenville, Ohio
Steubenville, Ohio
Steubenville is a city located along the Ohio River in Jefferson County, Ohio on the Ohio-West Virginia border in the United States. It is the political county seat of Jefferson County. It is also a principal city of the Weirton–Steubenville, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area...

. Harmar was promoted to brigadier general in 1787. General Harmar directed the construction in 1789 of Fort Washington, Cincinnati, Ohio
Fort Washington, Cincinnati, Ohio
Fort Washington was a fort in the early history of Cincinnati, Ohio. The location is marked by a plaque at the Guilford School building, at 421 E 4th St, Cincinnati, which now occupies the site...

, which was built to protect the settlements in the Northwest Territory
Northwest Territory
The Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, more commonly known as the Northwest Territory, was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 13, 1787, until March 1, 1803, when the southeastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Ohio...

. The fort was named in honor of President Washington.

In 1790, Harmar was sent on expeditions against Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 and remaining British
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 in the Northwest Territory
Northwest Territory
The Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, more commonly known as the Northwest Territory, was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 13, 1787, until March 1, 1803, when the southeastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Ohio...

. After a few initial military successes, his force of Federal troops was defeated by a tribal coalition led by Little Turtle
Michikinikwa
Little Turtle, or Mishikinakwa , was a chief of the Miami people, and one of the most famous Native American military leaders of his time. He led his followers in several major victories against United States forces in the 1790s during the Northwest Indian Wars, also called Little Turtle's War. In...

, in an engagement known as the "Harmar's defeat", "Battle of the Maumee
Maumee River
The Maumee River is a river in northwestern Ohio and northeastern Indiana in the United States. It is formed at Fort Wayne, Indiana by the confluence of the St. Joseph and St. Marys rivers, and meanders northeastwardly for through an agricultural region of glacial moraines before flowing into the...

", Battle of Kekionga
Kekionga
Kekionga, also known as Kiskakon or Pacan's Village, was the capital of the Miami tribe at the confluence of the Saint Joseph, Saint Marys and Maumee rivers on the western edge of the Great Black Swamp...

", or "Battle of the Miami Towns". Later, Harmar returned with a somewhat larger force and engaged the coalition, but fought to a draw. Consequently he was relieved of this command and replaced by General Arthur St. Clair
Arthur St. Clair
Arthur St. Clair was an American soldier and politician. Born in Scotland, he served in the British Army during the French and Indian War before settling in Pennsylvania, where he held local office...

. Harmar was subsequently court-martial
Court-martial
A court-martial is a military court. A court-martial is empowered to determine the guilt of members of the armed forces subject to military law, and, if the defendant is found guilty, to decide upon punishment.Most militaries maintain a court-martial system to try cases in which a breach of...

ed, at his own request, on various charges of negligence, and exonerated by a court of inquiry.

After his retirement from the Army in 1792, Harmar served as adjutant general
Adjutant general
An Adjutant General is a military chief administrative officer.-Imperial Russia:In Imperial Russia, the General-Adjutant was a Court officer, who was usually an army general. He served as a personal aide to the Tsar and hence was a member of the H. I. M. Retinue...

 of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 (1793–1799). He died near Philadelphia at his estate, "The Retreat." He is buried at the Episcopal church of St. James, Kingsessing, in West Philadelphia.

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