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When you've got a lot of people together, it makes sense to pick someone to be in charge. As exploration expanded, individuals were chosen to oversee colonies and settlements. This section highlights those men (and some women), as well as the leaders and attendant ruling class -- nobles, peerage, wannabes and hangers-on --back home.
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Henri Francois d'Aguesseau

aka: Henri François
borndied
1668, Nov 271751, Feb 5
The Chancellor of France three times between 1717 and 1750 and pronounced by Voltaire to be "the most learned magistrate France ever possessed". In February 1717 d'Aguesseau was made chancellor by the regent Philip II, Duke of Orléans; but was deprived of the seals in January of the following year and exiled to his estate of Fresnes in Brie, on account of h...
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Cross-listed in Pirates

Charles Francois d'Angennes

aka: Charles François, Marquis de Maintenon
bornactivedied
1648, Dec 61672-16761691
a French nobleman who became a buccaneer in the Caribbean and who sold his castle and title to to Françoise d'Aubigné. At the end of 1676, he gathered a fleet of 10 ships with 800 buccaneers and attacked Isla Margarita and Cumaná. He became Governor of the island of Marie-Galante (1679–1686).
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Alfonso I d'Este

aka: Duke of Ferrara
borndied
1476, Jul 211534, Oct 31
Duke of Ferrara during the time of the War of the League of Cambrai. In the first year of his rule he uncovered a plot by his brother Ferrante and half-brother Giulio d'Este, directed against him and his other brother Ippolito. In September 1506 a trial for lèse majesté and high treason was held and, as expected, the death sentence was passed, but just as ...
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Alfonso II d'Este

aka: Duke of Ferrara
borndied
1533, Nov 241597, Oct 27
Duke of Ferrara from 1559 to 1597. He was a member of the House of Este. As a young man, he fought in the service of Henry II of France against the Habsburgs. Soon after his accession, he was forced by Pope Pius IV to send back his mother to France due to her Calvinist creed. The 1570 Ferrara earthquake fell into his reign. In 1583 he allied with Emperor Rud...
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Cross-listed in Clergy

Jean d'Estrees

aka: d'Estrées
borndied
16661718, Mar 3
a French priest and politician. In 1692, Jean d'Estrées was given his first diplomatic mission, being responsible for the assurance of Portuguese neutrality during the War of the Grand Alliance. Earning a doctorate in theology in 1698, he became the abbot of Évron. In 1703, he joined his uncle in Spain, who was the ambassador to France, and succeeded him a...
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Herman Willem Daendels

borndied
1762, Oct 211818, May 2
a Dutch politician who served as the 36th Governor General of the Dutch East Indies between 1808 and 1811. Louis Bonaparte made Daendels colonel-general in 1806 and Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies in 1807. After a long voyage, he arrived in the city of Batavia (now Jakarta) on 5 January 1808 and relieved the former Governor General, Albertus Wiese....
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Cross-listed in Legal

George M. Dallas

bornactivedied
1792, Jul 101813-18611864, Dec 31
an American politician and diplomat who served as Mayor of Philadelphia, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania (1831–33) and the 11th Vice President of the United States (1845–49). Dallas did not have much enthusiasm at the time for legal practice, and wanted to fight in the War of 1812, a plan that he dropped due to his father's objection. Just after this, Dal...
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Francisco de Bobadilla

borndied
1450 ca1502, Jul 1
As a member of the Order of Calatrava, in 1499, de Bobadilla was appointed to succeed Christopher Columbus as the second Governor of the Indies, Spain's new territories in America, by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Upon his arrival in the Colony of Santo Domingo on Hispaniola in August 1500, de Bobadilla upheld accusations of mismanagement made against C...
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Pieter de Carpentier

borndied
1586, Feb 191659, Sep 5
a Dutch, administrator of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) who served as Governor-General there from 1623 to 1627. The Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia is named after him. He studied philosophy in Leiden, from 1603. In 1616 he sailed on board the sailing vessel De Getrouwheid to Indonesia. There he had a number of functions, including Direc...
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Cross-listed in Military

Dominique Jacques de Eerens

borndied
1781, Mar 171840, May 30
a Dutch major general, politician and administrator, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies and knight of the Military William Order. He entered the army at a young age and served under Schimmelpenninck, Louis Napoleon and emperor Napoleon. Was captured as a member of the Imperial Staff in Russia and was injured in Dantzig. Moisted as Major General in the...
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Johannes de Graaff

aka: Johannis de Graeff
borndied
17291813
a Dutch Governor of Sint Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten in the Netherlands Antilles during the difficult time of the American Revolutionary War. De Graaff was born in Sint Eustatius, the son of Simon de Graaff', a member of the island council. De Graaff received his education in the Netherlands. After he returned to Sint Eustatius, he married Maria Heylige...
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Mattheus de Haan

borndied
1663, Oct 191729, Jun 1
Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1725 to 1729. On 26 October 1671 he left for the Indies, where his father had been appointed as Underbuyer (onderkoopman) in the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He then quickly went through posts in the lower levels of that organisation in Dutch Suratte. There, in 1676, he was made Provisional Assistant (provisi...
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Reynier de Klerck

aka: Reinier
bornactivedied
1710, Nov1730-17801780, Sep 1
Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1778 until 1780. De Klerk's date of birth is not known but he was baptised on 19 November 1710 in Middelburg. He worked as midshipman aboard the Kamer van Zeeland, a warship, whose duty was to protect the routes of homeward bound cargo ships. He made two trips to India as a sailor in the service of the D...
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Juan de la Cerda

aka: 4th Duke of Medinaceli, Viceroy of Sicily, Viceroy of Navarre
borndied
15141575
a Spanish nobleman. In 1557, King Philip II of Spain appointed him Viceroy of Sicily, a position he held until 1564. During that time he besieged with a fleet the North-African harbor of Tripoli, now in Libya, dealing with Dragut, a Turkish privateer and Ottoman admiral. The force, including ships from Spain, Genoa, Tuscany, the Knights of Malta and the Papa...
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James De Lancey [1]

bornactivedied
1703, Nov 271725-17601760, Jul 30
served as chief justice, lieutenant governor, and acting colonial governor of the Province of New York. In 1733, on the removal of chief justice Lewis Morris, De Lancey was appointed in his stead, and served as chief justice of New York for the remainder of his life. He presided over the 1735 trial of journalist John Peter Zenger on charges of sedition and l...
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Cross-listed in Military

James De Lancey [2]

bornactivedied
17321758-17911800
a colonial politician, turfman, and the son of Lieutenant Governor James De Lancey and Anne Heathcote. He was born in 1732 in New York City in a house built by his grandfather, Stephen De Lancey. This house later became famous and known as Fraunces Tavern. James was sent abroad for his education, first to Eton, and, in 1750, to his father’s college, Corpus...
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Cross-listed in Military

James De Lancey [3]

aka: Delancey, de Lancey, DeLancey
borndied
1746, Sep 61804, May 2
a political figure in Nova Scotia. He represented Annapolis township in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1786 to 1794. He was born in Westchester County, New York, the son of Peter De Lancey, who was the son of Etienne de Lancey and Elizabeth Colden. He served as sheriff of Westchester County from 1769 to 1776 and as an officer in the militia. Because ...
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Eugenie de Montijo

aka: Eugénie, María Eugenia Ignacia Augustina de Palafox y KirkPatrick, 16th Countess of Teba, 15th Marchioness of Ardales
borndied
1826, May 51920, Jul 11
the last Empress consort of the French, from 1853 to 1871, as the wife of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French. Eugénie de Montijo, as she became known in France, was formally educated mostly in Paris, beginning at the fashionable, traditionalist Convent of the Sacré Cœur from 1835 to 1836. A more compatible school was the progressive Gymnase Normal, Civil...
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Cross-listed in Naval

Philip de Montmorency

aka: Count of Horn, Hoorne, Hoorn
borndied
unknown1568, Jun 5
a victim of the Inquisition in the Spanish Netherlands. He became stadtholder of Guelders in 1555, an Admiral of Flanders, and a knight of the Golden Fleece in 1556. In 1559 he commanded the stately fleet which conveyed Philip II from the Netherlands to Spain, and he remained at the Spanish court until 1563. On his return he placed himself with the Prince of...
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Cross-listed in Clergy

Louis de Rohan

aka: Cardinal de Rohan
borndied
1734, Sep 251803, Feb 16
a French bishop of Strasbourg, politician, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, and cadet of the Rohan family (which traced its origin to the kings of Brittany). His parents were Hercule Mériadec, Prince of Guéméné and Louise Gabrielle Julie de Rohan. He was born in Paris. Members of the Rohan family had filled the office of Bishop of Strasbourg since...
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Johan de Witt

aka: Jan
borndied
1625, Sep 241672, Aug 20
a key figure in Dutch politics in the mid-17th century, when its flourishing sea trade in a period of globalisation made the United Provinces a leading European power during the Dutch Golden Age. De Witt controlled the Netherlands political system from around 1650 until shortly before his death in 1672 working with various factions from nearly all the major ...
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Ferdinando II de' Medici

aka: Grand Duke of Tuscany
bornactivedied
1610, Jul 141621-16701670, May 23
grand duke of Tuscany from 1621 to 1670. He was the eldest son of Cosimo II de' Medici and Maria Maddalena of Austria. His 49-year rule was punctuated by the beginning of Tuscany's long economic decline. He married Vittoria della Rovere, a first cousin, with whom he had two children who reached adulthood: Cosimo III de' Medici, his eventual successor, and F...
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Cross-listed in Commerce

Silas Deane

bornactivedied
1737, Dec 241759-17841789, Sep 23
an American merchant, politician, and diplomat, and a supporter of American independence. Deane served as a delegate to the Continental Congress, then as the first foreign diplomat from the United States to France. Near the end of the war, Congress charged Deane with financial impropriety, and the British intercepted and published some letters in which he ha...
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Juw Dekama

aka: Dekema
borndied
1449/501523, Oct 24
a Frisian chieftain and Schieringer in Weidum and Baard, who was elected as potestate of Friesland in 1494 at the diet of Sneek. In 1498 he asked Albrecht of Saxony to rule the land. Juw served as a councilor at the Court of Friesland (1500–1515) and magistrate of Baarderadeel (1510–1512).
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Cross-listed in Writers

Jean-Nicolas Demeunier

aka: Démeunier, Desmeuniers
bornactivedied
1751, Mar 151789-18081814, Feb 2
a French author and politician. It was as a member of the Constitutional Committee that Démeunier had the biggest impact. He presented to the Assembly on behalf of the Committee a report (7 March 1791) on the need for the ministerial responsibility, and later declared support (26 August 1791) for the eligibility of the members of the royal family to hold el...
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Cross-listed in Military

Jean-Jacques Dessalines

borndied
1758, Sep 201806, Oct 17
a leader of the Haitian Revolution and the first ruler of an independent Haiti under the 1801 constitution. Initially regarded as governor-general, Dessalines later named himself Emperor Jacques I of Haiti (1804–1806). He is regarded as a founding father of Haiti. Dessalines served as an officer in the French army when the colony was trying to withstand Sp...
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Edward Devereux

aka: 1st Baronet of Castle Bromwich
borndied
1544 ca1622 ca
an English politician who sat in the House of Commons, and was an English Baronet. He inherited little property on the death of his father, but purchased in 1572 from his half-nephew, Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex, the reversion of the Warwickshire manor of Castle Bromwich, which formed part of the jointure of his mother Margaret, the Dowager Viscountes...
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Richard Devereux

borndied
1513 ca1547
a rising political figure during the reign of Henry VIII and Edward VI when his career was cut short by his sudden death during the life of his father. His son would complete the family's ascendency when he was created Earl of Essex. He was Deputy steward of the lordships of Arwystli and Cyfeiliog in Montgomeryshire in 1537. He supported his father in his di...
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Cross-listed in Military

Robert Devereux

aka: 2nd Earl of Essex
borndied
1565, Nov 101601, Feb 25
an English nobleman and a favourite of Elizabeth I. Politically ambitious, and a committed general, he was placed under house arrest following a poor campaign in Ireland during the Nine Years' War in 1599. In 1601, he led an abortive coup d'état against the government and was executed for treason. He is an ancestor of Queen Elizabeth II.
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Walter Devereux [1]

aka: 1st Viscount Hereford, 9th Baron Ferrers of Chartley
borndied
14881558, Sep 17
an English courtier and parliamentarian. He was appointed High Steward of Tamworth on 20 November 1510, and joint Constable of Warwick Castle on 15 Feb 1511 with Sir Edward Belknap. He was also Joint Steward of the Manor, or Borough of Warwick. On 27 January 1513, he was appointed Keeper of Netherwood Park; Councillor and Royal Commissioner of Wales and the ...
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Cross-listed in Military

Walter Devereux [2]

aka: 1st Earl of Essex
borndied
1541, Sep 161576, Sep 22
an English nobleman and general. From 1573 until his death he fought in Ireland in connection with the Plantation of Ulster, where he ordered the Rathlin Island massacre. He was the father of Elizabeth I's favourite of her later years, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex. On his grandfather's death, Devereux became on 27 September 1558 the 2nd Viscount Herefo...
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Walter Devereux [3]

aka: 5th Viscount Hereford, 2nd Baronet of Castle Bromwich
borndied
1575 ca1656
an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times, between 1614 and 1624, before succeeding to the family Viscountcy in the peerage of England. Devereux previously served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Stafford in 1614, before being elected in 1621 as MP for Marlborough, and in 1624 as MP for Worcestershire then in 1625 MP for Worceste...
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Walter Devereux [4]

borndied
15911641, Jul 26
an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1614 and 1641. Walter was a close companion of his half-brother, Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex, and played a significant role in Essex's actions on behalf of Parliament. Walter Devereux was sent in 1608 to a riding academy in Angers, France.[5] He had returned by May 1613 whe...
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Walter Devereux [5]

borndied
1621 ca1683, Dec
an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1679. He was commissioner for sewers for Norfolk and Suffolk in 1658 and 1659 and became a freeman of Orford in 1660. In 1660, Devereux was elected Member of Parliament for Orford in the Convention Parliament. He became a Justice of the Peace for Suffolk in July 1660. He was re-elected MP for...
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Cross-listed in WritersLegal

John Dickinson

borndied
1732, Nov 81808, Feb 14
a solicitor and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware known as the "Penman of the Revolution" for his twelve Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, published individually in 1767 and 1768. As a member of the First Continental Congress, where he was a signee to the Continental Association, Dickinson drafted most of the 1774 Petit...
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Cross-listed in Military

Diponegoro

aka: Dipanegara
borndied
1785, Nov 111855, Jan 8
a Javanese prince who opposed the Dutch colonial rule. He played an important role in the Java War (1825–1830). In 1830, the Dutch exiled him to Makassar. Dutch colonial rule was becoming unpopular among local farmers because of tax rises, crop failures and among Javanese nobles because the Dutch colonial authorities deprived them of their right to lease l...
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Cross-listed in Writers

Benjamin Disraeli

bornactivedied
1804, Dec 211826-18801881, Apr 19
a British politician and writer, who twice served as Prime Minister. He played a central role in the creation of the modern Conservative Party, defining its policies and its broad outreach. Disraeli is remembered for his influential voice in world affairs, his political battles with the Liberal Party leader William Ewart Gladstone, and his one-nation conserv...
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False Dmitry I

aka: Dimitriy Ivanovich
borndied
1582, Oct 191606, May 17
the Tsar of Russia from 10 June 1605 until his death on 17 May 1606 under the name of Dimitriy Ivanovich. According to historian Chester L. Dunning, Dmitriy was "the only Tsar ever raised to the throne by means of a military campaign and popular uprisings". He was the first, and most successful, of three "impostors", samozvanets) who claimed during the Time ...
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Cross-listed in Military

False Dmitry II

borndied
unknown1610, Dec 11
historically known as Pseudo-Demetrius II and also called the "rebel of Tushino", was the second of three pretenders to the Russian throne who claimed to be Tsarevich Dmitry Ivanovich, the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible. The real Dmitry had died under uncertain circumstances, most likely an assassination in 1591 at the age of nine at his widowed mother's ...
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Cross-listed in Military

False Dmitry III

borndied
unknown1612, Jul
historically known as Pseudo-Demetrius III, was the last and most enigmatic of three pretenders to the Russian throne who claimed to be the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible, Tsarevich Dmitry.
Links (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Thomas Dongan

aka: 2nd Earl of Limerick
borndied
16341715, Dec 14
a member of the Irish Parliament, Royalist military officer during the English Civil War, and Governor of the Province of New York. He is noted for having called the first representative legislature in New York, and for granting the province's Charter of Liberties. While in France, he served in an Irish regiment with Turenne. He stayed in France after the Re...
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Neal Dow

borndied
1804, Mar 201897, Oct 2
an American Prohibition advocate and politician. Nicknamed the "Napoleon of Temperance" and the "Father of Prohibition", Dow was born to a Quaker family in Portland, Maine. From a young age, he believed alcohol to be the cause of many of society's problems and sought to ban it through legislation. In 1850, Dow was elected president of the Maine Temperance Un...
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Cross-listed in ClergyMilitaryWriters

Sir George Downing

aka: 1st Baronet
borndied
16231684, Jul 22
an Anglo-Irish preacher, soldier, statesman, diplomat, turncoat and spy, after whom Downing Street in London is named. As Treasury Secretary he is credited with instituting major reforms in public finance. His influence was substantial on the passage and substance of the mercantilist Navigation Acts. The Acts strengthened English commercial and Naval power, ...
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Dragging Canoe

aka: Tsiyu Gansini
borndied
1738 ca1792, Feb 29
a Cherokee war chief who led a band of disaffected Cherokee against colonists and United States settlers in the Upper South. During the American Revolution and afterward, Dragging Canoe's forces were sometimes joined by Upper Muskogee, Chickasaw, Shawnee, and Indians from other tribes/nations, along with British Loyalists, and agents of France and Spain. The...
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Cross-listed in Military

Leonard du Bus de Gisignies

aka: Viscount du Bus de Gisignies
borndied
1770, Mar 11849, May 31
a soldier and politician in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. He was born as Leonard Pierre Joseph Dubus, but on 14 June 1822, de Gisignies was added to his name. On 20 September 1816, he was raised to Dutch nobility and on 22 May 1819 he became a Viscount. He probably started to study law at Douai, but did not finish his education, because universities...
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Lord Guildford Dudley

aka: Guilford
borndied
1535 ca1554, Feb 12
the husband of Lady Jane Grey who, declared as his heir by King Edward VI, occupied the English throne from 10 July until 19 July 1553. Guildford Dudley enjoyed a humanist education and was married to Jane in a magnificent celebration about six weeks before the King's death. After Guildford's father, the Duke of Northumberland, had engineered Jane's accessio...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in MilitaryNaval

John Dudley [1]

aka: 1st Duke of Northumberland, Viscount Lisle, Earl of Warwick
borndied
15041553, Aug 22
an English general, admiral, and politician, who led the government of the young King Edward VI from 1550 until 1553, and unsuccessfully tried to install Lady Jane Grey on the English throne after the King's death. The son of Edmund Dudley, a minister of Henry VII executed by Henry VIII, John Dudley became the ward of Sir Edward Guildford at the age of seven...
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Diederik Durven

borndied
1676, Sep 131740, Feb 26
a Dutch colonial administrator and Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1729 to 1732. Durven studied Law at Leiden University where he graduated on 19 July 1702. He became an advocate in Delft in 1704. In 1705, he was nominated as a member of the Council of Justice at Batavia in the Indies. He left for Batavia on the Grimmestein on the 4 Jan...
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Albertus Jacobus Duymaer van Twist

borndied
1809, Feb 201887, Dec 3
the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1851 to 1856. In the middle of the nineteenth century led the moderate liberals (moderates) in the Lower House. As a member of parliament, he kept well-informed speeches. In 1850 Second Chamber President. As Governor-General he refused to receive Douwes Dekker when he wanted to complain about corruption and ...
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Cross-listed in MilitaryLegal

Eliphalet Dyer

borndied
1721, Sep 141807, May 13
a lawyer, jurist, and statesman from Windham, Connecticut. He was a delegate for Connecticut to many sessions of the Continental Congress. In the French and Indian War Dyer was a Lt. Colonel in the militia. As the revolution began, Dyer was named to the state’s Committee of Safety, and named a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1774. He would serve in...
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Timeline (1)Links (5)Notes (1)

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