Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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SIMCOE, John Graves, British soldier, born near Exeter, England, 25 February, 1752; died in Torbay, 26 October, 1806. His father, a captain in the navy, was killed at Quebec during its siege by Wolfe. The son entered the army as ensign in 1770, and at the beginning of the American war purchased a captaincy in the 40th foot, which regiment he commanded at the battle of Brandywine, where he was wounded, as also at Monmouth. He raised a battalion called the Queen's rangers, which was drilled and disciplined in a superior manner for light and active service, and with which he did important service to the royal cause in the south. On 23 June, 1779, Sir Henry Clinton gave him the rank of lieutenant-colonel. In October, 1779, while on an expedition to destroy some boats, he was taken prisoner and narrowly escaped death. Colonel Simcoe's corps was constantly in advance of the army, and performed a series of skilful and successful enterprises. He was with Cornwallis at Yorktown, and was included in the capitulation. After the war Simcoe's corps was disbanded, and the officers were placed on half-pay. He was governor of Upper Canada in 1791-'4, and has been accused of promoting Indian hostilities against the United States in the northwestern territories. He was promoted colonel, 18 November, 1790, major-general, 3 October, 1794, lieutenant-general, 3 October, 1798, and was governor and commander-in-chief of Santo Domingo from December, 1796, till July, 1797, exerting himself successfully against the French, and to establish the financial and other interests of the colony. A lake of considerable size in Ontario and a county and town bear his name. He wrote and printed for private distribution a "History of the Operation of a Partisan Corps called the Queen's Rangers" (Exeter, 1787: reprinted, with a memoir of the author. New York, 1844).
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