Sir Henry Clinton

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Henry Clinton
A painting of Sir Henry Clinton.
Portrait of Sir Henry Clinton near 1777.
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of serviceBritish Army: 1746-1803
RankGeneral
Battles/warsAmerican Revolutionary War
AwardsKnighthood

Sir Henry Clinton (1730-1795) was a British fighter. He fought in the American Revolutionary War.[1] He was also a member of the British Parliament[2][3]

Early life[change | change source]

Clinton was born in 1730 in Newfoundland, Canada. His father was Admiral George Clinton,[2] who was friends with the Duke of Newcastle. George Clinton was governor of New York Colony starting in the 1741, and Henry Clinton went to New York Colony in 1743.[4]

Military career[change | change source]

When he was 15 years old, Henry Clinton joined the New York Colonial Militia. In 1749, he had a captain's commission and went to Britain.[4]

Seven Years' War[change | change source]

During the Seven Years' War (French and Indian War), Clinton started as a captain of the Coldstream Guards and later became a lieutenant colonel.[4]

Henry Clinton was aide de camp, or army assistant, to the Prince Brunswick from 1760 to 1762. He learned how German soldiers fought.[2]

Between the wars[change | change source]

Henry Clinton became one of the few North-American-born British citizens to become a member of the British Parliament. He served from 1772. He also became a major general.[4]

American Revolutionary War[change | change source]

In 1775, Clinton fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill and won. In 1776, he fought in the Battle of Long Island and had ideas about how to defeat the Continental Army in New York City. The ideas worked, and George Washington and the Continental Army ran away to New Jersey.[2][5] He was knighted for winning battles in New York.[3]

In 1778, Clinton became General in charge of all the British army in America. He decided to fight mostly near the Atlantic Ocean. He took troops out of Philadelphia and sent them to New York instead. Most of the battles in the later part of the war were in the South, but Clinton stayed in New York and fought in the Hudson Valley.[3]

In June 1778, Clinton made the Philipsburg Proclamation, which said all slaves who joined the British military would be freed.[3]

In 1780, Clinton began communicating with Benedict Arnold, a Continental soldier who wanted to change sides to the British. Clinton, Arnold, and John Andre started a plan for Arnold to give West Point to the British. The plan stopped when Andre was caught as a spy.[3]

Later career[change | change source]

Many Britons blamed Clinton for losing the war. Clinton stayed a member of the British Parliament until 1784.[2] He was offered the job of governor of Gibraltar in 1793, but he died before he could do it.[4]

Family[change | change source]

Clinton married Harriet Carter in 1767. At the time, she was twenty years old. She died in 1772 after having a baby.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Henry Clinton". Britannica. Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Andrew R. Bacas. "Henry Clinton". Mount Vernon. Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 William R. Griffith IV. "Sir Henry Clinton in New York". American Battlefield Trust. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 "Henry Clinton". American Battlefield Trust. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  5. Chris Formant (July 4, 2019). "The Maryland 400 Lost a Battle But Helped Win a War. On the 4th of July, We Should Remember Their Sacrifice". Time. Retrieved June 30, 2021.