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Anthony Wayne family papers (1681-1913)


Anthony Wayne

Anthony Wayne was born January 1, 1745, in Easttown Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, the son of a wealthy tanner, Isaac Wayne, and his wife, Elizabeth Iddings. After studying at a school run by his uncle, Gilbert Wayne, and at the Academy of Philadelphia, Wayne found work as a surveyor in Chester County and then in Nova Scotia. Upon his return to Pennsylvania in 1766, he married Mary ("Polly") Penrose (1749-1793), with whom he had two children, Margaretta (1770-1810) and Isaac (1772-1852). In 1774, he inherited his father's substantial estate, known as Waynesborough.

On the eve of the Revolution, Wayne was a member of the Chester County Committee of Safety and the Provincial Assembly of Pennsylvania, active in both through 1775. In 1776, Congress appointed him a colonel and he received command of the 4th Battalion of the Pennsylvania Line. In this capacity he participated in the unsuccessful Canada expedition and the Battle of Trois Rivières in 1776, and then led the disgruntled forces at Fort Ticonderoga in the following winter. In February 1777, he was promoted to brigadier general, and saw heavy action at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown later in the year and at Monmouth in June of 1778. At Stony Point in July 1779, he won one of the most impressive victories of the war with his Corps of Light Infantry. In January 1781, he proved his ability as a leader with his settlement of the mutiny of the Pennsylvania Line.

Wayne left the army in 1783 with the rank of brevet major general, and was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly and to the Council of Censors the next year. In March of 1785, he moved to Georgia, where he had received a 1600-acre rice plantation near Savannah, called Richmond and Kew, for his services to the state. He served as part of the state convention, which ratified the United States Constitution in 1787. In 1791, he returned to service, appointed by President George Washington as commander of the Legion Army, and given the responsibility of suppressing Native Americans in the Northwest Territory. His campaign against the Indians culminated in victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in August 1794. On December 15, 1796, he died during a fit of gout at Presque Isle, Pennsylvania, at the age of 51.

Isaac Wayne

Isaac Wayne, son of Anthony Wayne and Mary Penrose, was born near Paoli, Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1772. After graduating from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1792, he studied law, and in 1795 was admitted to the Chester County Bar. He served as a member of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives for the years 1799-1801 and 1806, and as a state senator in 1810. In 1802, he married Elizabeth Smith, with whom he had six children: Charles, Anthony, William, Richard, Sidney, and Mary. At the outbreak of the War of 1812, he raised, equipped, and commanded a Pennsylvania cavalry troop, and then served as captain of the Second Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. In 1814, he ran unsuccessfully as a Federalist for the governorship of Pennsylvania. He died on October 25, 1852.

William Wayne

William Wayne Evans, who later took the name William Wayne, was born December 6, 1828, in Willistown, Chester County, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Issachar Evans and Mary Wayne Atlee, and thus the grandson of Margaretta (Wayne) Atlee, and great-grandson of General Anthony Wayne. He worked as a farmer, and in 1853 he married Hannah J. Zook. Around this time, he inherited Waynesborough from Isaac Wayne and changed his name to William Wayne. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he was an avid supporter of the Union Cause, and shortly after the fall of Fort Sumter, he helped organize a home guard unit among the farmers and other citizens of Paoli, Pennsylvania, and began regular drilling in town. In August of 1861, Wayne was authorized to help raise a company of recruits for the 97th Pennsylvania Infantry. Wayne recruited Company K in mid-November 1861 and served as its captain.

In December of 1861, the 97th Pennsylvania Infantry received orders to proceed to South Carolina to participate in the follow-up to Du Pont's Port Royal expedition. In the first six months of 1862, Wayne led his company through the operations at Warsaw Sound, Georgia; Fort Clinch and Jacksonville, Florida; and Edisto, John, and James Islands, South Carolina. On September 10, 1862, while posted at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Wayne was detailed to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for recruiting duty, after suffering health problems due to exposure. He remained quite active at Harrisburg, but submitted his resignation at the end of the year, which the War Department accepted in January 1863. Wayne thereafter returned to Paoli and resumed farming. He died November 20, 1901.