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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 2 0 Browse Search
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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Alexander, William, 1726-1783 (search)
ly distinguished at Germantown and Monmouth, commanding the left wing of the American army in the last-named engagement. He was one of the most faithful of Washington's soldiers during the war. William Alexander married a daughter of William Livingston, of New Jersey, and had been, like his father, surveyor-general. He was also an excellent mathematician and astronomer. He was one of the founders of the New York Society Library, and also of King's College (now Columbia University). Alexander Humphreys, born in Birmingham, England, in 1783, claimed the earldom of Stirling. In 1824 he obtained the royal license to assume the name of Alexander, because he had a maternal grandfather of that name, and his deceased mother was a great-great-granddaughter of John Alexander, fourth son of William Alexander, the last earl of Stirling, and all intermediate heirs had become extinct. For a short time he exercised the privileges of an earl, and he even claimed vast possessions in Nova Scotia;