Major General Benjamin Lincoln

Nationally known patriot, General Benjamin Lincoln of the Continental Army, was born in Hingham at 181 North Street, where his descendants live even today. Schooled locally, he was a farmer and active town citizen: at age 24 he served as Town Clerk, then Selectman, Representative, and delegate to the Provincial Congress. In 1775, at 42, he began his military career, and a year later was made a Major General of the Continental Army, commanding the right wing of General Gates’ army against General Burgoyne. Imprisoned by the British after his defeat at Charleston, S.C., in 1778, he was exchanged and joined George Washington’s staff. At Yorktown, he accepted the sword of surrender for George Washington (as seen in John Trumbull’s famous picture “Surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown? hanging in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.) After the Revolution he served as Secretary of War, Army Commander at Shay’s Rebellion, Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts, and first Collector of the Port of Boston. He was given an honorary degree by Harvard College, was one of the first members of both the Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Mass. Historical Society. He was the first President of the Society of Cincinnati and an original Trustee of Derby Academy. In response to the highly controversial installation of the Rev. Joseph Richardson at the Old Ship Church, in 1806 with others he founded the New North Church across from his home in Hingham. His pew markers remain in both churches.

Benjamin Lincoln