Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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SPROAT, Ebenezer, soldier, born in Middle-borough, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, in 1752; died in Marietta, Ohio, in February, 1805. He entered the Provincial army as a captain early in 1775, was promoted major and lieutenant-colonel, and finally given command of the 2d Massachusetts regiment. He was in General John Glover's brigade at the battles of Trenton, Princeton, and Monmouth, and was appointed brigade-inspector by Baron Steuben. After the war he was a surveyor at Providence, Rhode Island, where he married a daughter of Commander Abraham Whipple. Subsequently he went to the west, and in 1786 began a survey of the territory now within the borders of the state of Ohio. In 1788 he led the party of emigrants that settled Marietta, and he was for fourteen years sheriff and colonel of militia. He was tall and commanding in person, and was known among the Indians as "The Big Buckeye."
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