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Biographical Sketch of General William Winds, Of Morris Co., New Jersey

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Biographical Sketch of General William Winds, Of Morris Co., New Jersey


This document is included in Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society, Series 1. Vol. VII. 1853-1855. The biography was read by Tuttle in front of the New Jersey Historical Society on May 19, 1853. The author painted a very complex image of the revolutionary general using evidence from contemporaries of Winds who, at the time of his research, were quite elderly in age.


Tuttle, Joseph


Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society, Series I. Vol. VII. 1853----1855. The Daily Advertiser Office: Newark, 1855, 14-37.


The Daily Advertiser Office




Ward, Christopher


This book is in the public domain.








Morris County

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General William Winds was a very complex man, according to Reverend Joseph F. Tuttle. He was born in Southhold, Long Island in 1727 and died October 12, 1789 in Morris County. Winds moved to Morris County in his twenties and purchased a large tract of land in, what is today, the Union Hill area of Denville Township. He had money and land to donate to the creation of the First Presbyterian Church in Rockaway. After founding the church, Winds went off to serve in the Royal Army during the French and Indian War. When he returned home, the now-captain was appointed by King George III as Justice of the Peace for Morris County. Winds' relationship with the Crown ended then. He expressed his distaste for the King's policies by refusing to enforce the notorious Stamp Act and, by the end of the 1760s, Winds was a full-blooded Patriot. He went on to chair freeholders meetings in the lead up to the American Revolution and was partially responsible for sending New Jersey delegates to the Continental Congress. Winds was promoted to Brigadier-General at the start of the conflict and served as a leader of New Jersey's regiments until the Battle of Monmouth in 1778 when he fell out of favor with Washington. He continued to serve and fight for the cause of freedom until the end of the conflict. Winds died in 1789 and is buried at the church he founded.

Tuttle ends his sketch with a complex image of the man. "Full of genuine courage, yet too hasty and impetuous for great military deeds; self-reliant as "a self-made man," yet sometimes the dupe of the designing; truly generous, yet most exacting; a friend to the poor, yet imperious as a tyrant; the patron of morality and religion, yet detracting from these noble virtues by the neglect of gentleness and meekness; a whole-hearted patriot, holding his life and property at the call of his country, yet doing his country a wrong from heady incosiderateness; such as this remarkable man."

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