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 went on to become a longtime member of the Congress of the United States.
Thomas Sumter was born near Charlottesville
Charlottesville is an independent city geographically surrounded by but separate from Albemarle County in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States, and named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the queen consort of King George III of the United Kingdom.The official population estimate for...
in Hanover County
Hanover County, Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 86,320 people, 31,121 households, and 24,461 families residing in the county. The population density was 183 people per square mile . There were 32,196 housing units at an average density of 68 per square mile...
, Virginia in 1734. His father, William Sumter was an emigrant from Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...
who operated a mill. Given a rudimentary education, Sumter enlisted in the Virginia militia, and served in the disastrous 1755 Braddock Expedition
The Braddock expedition, also called Braddock's campaign or, more commonly, Braddock's Defeat, was a failed British military expedition which attempted to capture the French Fort Duquesne in the summer of 1755 during the French and Indian War. It was defeated at the Battle of the Monongahela on...
In 1761 Sumter was invited to join an expedition organized by Colonel Adam Stephen
Adam Stephen was a Scottish-born doctor and military officer. He came to North America, where he served in the Virginia colonial militia under George Washington during the French and Indian War. He served under Washington again in the American Revolutionary War, rising to lead a division of the...
to visit the Overhill Cherokee
The term Overhill Cherokee refers to the former Cherokee settlements located in what is now Tennessee in the southeastern United States. The name was given by 18th century European traders and explorers who had to cross the Appalachian Mountains to reach these settlements when traveling from...
(in present-day Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...
) to verify that war with the Cherokee
The Anglo-Cherokee War , also known as the Cherokee War, the Cherokee Uprising, the Cherokee Rebellion, was a conflict between British forces in North America and Cherokee Indians during the French and Indian War...
had actually ended in the Virginia backcountry.