Soldier and politician.
Adjutant-general in Washington’s army (1777-78). President of the Board of War (1778-80). Quartermaster general of the Continental army (1780-85).
Moved to the Wyoming valley near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (1787). Became involved in local politics. Delegate to the federal ratifying convention for the United States Constitution. Postmaster general of the United States (1791-95). Secretary of War (1795). Secretary of State (1795-1800).
Senator from Massachusetts (1803-11). Representative from Massachusetts (1813-17).
Correspondence with Franklin largely concerned Wyoming valley politics.
Born in Salem, Massachusetts. Married in 1776 to Rebecca White; ten children.