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Daniel Brodhead IV

Daniel Brodhead IV (October 17, 1736 – November 15, 1809) was an American military and political leader during the American Revolutionary War and early days of the United States.

Daniel Brodhead IV
Daniel Brodhead NYPL Emmett Collection 1886.JPG
Daniel Brodhead IV
Born17 October 1736
Marbletown, New York, US
Died15 November 1809
Milford, Pennsylvania, US
Milford Cemetery
AllegianceUnited States United States
Service/branch Continental Army
Years of service1776–1783
RankUS-O7 insignia.svg Brevet Brigadier General
Battles/warsBattle of Long Island (1776)
Battle of Bound Brook (1777)
Battle of Brandywine (1777)
Battle of Paoli (1777)
Battle of Germantown (1777)
Fort Laurens (1778–1779)
Sullivan Expedition (1779)
Coshocton Expedition (1781)
Other workSociety of the Cincinnati
Pennsylvania Assembly

Early lifeEdit

Brodhead was born in Marbletown, New York, the son of Daniel Brodhead III and Hester (Wyngart) Brodhead. Brodhead's father moved his family to what is now East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1737. Life in the frontier settlement was difficult, as Native American bands, mostly Lenape and Susquehannock, resisted settlers' encroachment. The Brodhead homestead was attacked by natives numerous times during Daniel's youth. When his father died in 1755, Brodhead was left with 150 acres from the estate. He sold his land share to brother Garret. This became the residence of the Flory family for many years at 81 North Courtland Street, the oldest home in East Stroudsburg. The home is now privately owned and renovated by Joel Smith.

Marriage and familyEdit

Brodhead married Elizabeth Dupui of Northampton County in April 1756. To this union was born one child, Ann Garton Brodhead. Upon the death of his first wife Elizabeth, he was married to Rebecca Mifflin the widow of Samuel Mifflin. Samuel's brother Thomas Mifflin was the first Governor of Pennsylvania. To this union was born two sons, Charles Brodhead and Richard Brodhead.

Career and activitiesEdit

Brodhead had a relatively unremarkable career before the American Revolutionary War. He farmed, ran a grist mill, and worked as a deputy surveyor for Pennsylvania.

In the years leading up to the outbreak of hostilities, Brodhead began to take part in the protest movements against British taxation. In 1774, Brodhead was elected to represent Bucks County at a provincial meeting held in Philadelphia on July 15, 1774.

American RevolutionEdit

In 1776 as war broke out, Brodhead was commissioned as an officer of the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment of colonial troops with the rank of lieutenant colonel. His first action came at the Battle of Long Island, where he was recognized by George Washington for his bravery and initiative. At the battle, Brodhead's only son, also named Daniel, was wounded and captured. He was later exchanged in 1778, and retired as a Captain in 1779 from the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment.

Brodhead took over command of the 8th Pennsylvania after the death of its commander, Aeneas Mackay, and was promoted to colonel. Brodhead led his troops during the defense of Philadelphia in 1777 and wintered with the Continental Army at Valley Forge in 1777–79. In April 1778, Brodhead led a successful expedition against the Lenape bands around the Muskingum River in the Ohio Country. In June 1778, Washington sent Brodhead and the 8th Pennsylvania to rebuild and re-garrison the frontier outpost of Fort Muncy, in what is now Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. Brodhead defended local settlers from British-allied tribes.

Brodhead commanded the 8th Pennsylvania in Brig. Gen. Lachlan McIntosh's failed attempt to capture the British stronghold of Fort Detroit. On March 5, 1779, Brodhead replaced McIntosh as commander of the Western Department. His command included frontier forts such as Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh), Fort McIntosh (Beaver, Pennsylvania), Fort Laurens (near Bolivar, Ohio), Fort Tuscarora (near Lisbon, Ohio), Fort Henry (Virginia) (Wheeling, West Virginia), Fort Armstrong (near Kittanning, Pennsylvania), and Fort Holliday's Cove, along with dozens of lesser outposts.[1]

The Wyandot, Mingo, Shawnee, and Lenape allied with the British and regularly raided settlements on the Ohio Country frontier. The British were strong at Fort Detroit and other outposts, and had most of the Iroquois Confederacy as allies. In addition, Brodhead faced a tenuous alliance with Iroquois tribes such as the Oneida who supported the Patriot cause as allies, a large population of Tory-sympathizing settlers, and a delicate truce with the powerful Lenape-Delaware tribe. Its friendly chief had signed a treaty with the US as an ally.

From his headquarters at Fort Pitt, Brodhead directed numerous raids against hostile native tribes, often leading the expeditions personally. His most famous raid came against the Seneca tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy between August 11 and September 14, 1779. Brodhead left Fort Pitt with a contingent of 605 soldiers and militia to go into northwestern Pennsylvania. He followed the Allegheny River up into New York, where he drove the Seneca out of their villages. As most of the warriors were away fighting the Sullivan Expedition further east in New York, Brodhead met little resistance in destroying the villages, crops and people at the heart of the Seneca nation.

In 1781, some of the Lenape-Delaware ended their neutrality and sided with the British. In retaliation, Brodhead mounted the Coshocton Expedition, invading their territory in central Ohio and destroying the main village of Coshocton in what is now east-central Ohio. As a result of Brodhead's campaign, the Delaware fled from eastern Ohio. They also vowed vengeance.[2]

He retained command of the Western Department until September 17, 1781, when he was replaced by John Gibson. He had turned over command in May 1781, but returned in August and tried to regain control from Gibson, in the process arresting Gibson. However George Washington sent orders which led to Brodhead's permanent removal from command at Fort Pitt.[3] Brodhead was removed from his command over allegations of mishandling supplies and money. Brodhead had made impressment (the forced sale of supplies) a policy. He had spent money intended for bonuses to recruit new militiamen to purchase supplies for his existing troops. Brodhead was acquitted of all charges except misspending the recruiting money. George Washington had been aware of the impressment and had given his tacit approval, as the Continental Army was struggling to keep going. Furthermore, the court martial ruled Brodhead justified in spending the recruiting money on supplies, and he was not punished.

A short time later, George Washington brevetted him a brigadier general. Brodhead spent the remainder of the war as commander of the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment.

Later lifeEdit

After the war, Brodhead, by then a widower, married Rebecca Mifflin, the widow of General Samuel Mifflin. Brodhead was one of the founders of the Society of the Cincinnati. He later served in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. On November 13, 1789, he was appointed Surveyor General of Pennsylvania and held the post for the next eleven years.

He died at Milford, Pennsylvania, and was buried in the Milford Cemetery.[4]


  1. ^ General Daniel Brodhead
  2. ^ Daniel Brodhead – Ohio History Central
  3. ^ David Curtis Skaggs and Larry L. Nelson. The Sixty Years' War for the Great Lakes, 1754–1814. (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2001) pp. 196–97
  4. ^ General Daniel Brodhead: Patriot in War, Civil Servant in Peace Archived 2011-05-14 at the Wayback Machine by Dr. John C. Appel Milestones Vol 17 No 2 Summer 1992