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Horatio Gates


Born at Malden, England. Joined the British military in 1745 and served during the French and Indian War. Married Elizabeth Phillips October 20, 1754. They had one son. Married Mary Vallance July 31, 1786.

He fought with General Braddock in the battle of Fort Duquesne. Gates was shot during the battle. He returned to England but immigrated to America in 1772.

Appointed brigadier general in the American Army in 1775. He won the battle of Saratoga against General John Burgoyne. At one time he was considered as a replacement for Washington as commander in chief. His defeat at Camden, South Carolina, virtually ended his career. He died on his farm on Manhattan Island.

The reverse of the $500 National Bank Note depicts what is usually described as the surrender of General Burgoyne. What is not always mentioned is that the sword is being accepted by Gates.

Gates was honored with a medal as one of the Comitia Americana series (Betts 557). Dies were cut in Paris by Nicholas Gatteaux. It was restruck in Philadelphia (Julian MI-2). Modern 56 mm bronze copies were produced by the mint (USM 402). A 38 mm pewter Gates medal was included with "America's First Medals" produced about 1976.

bio: ApCAB; DAB; Drake; Failor; Loubat; NCAB 1; TCBDA; WAB; WWWA-H

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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