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Casebook: The War of 1812
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Maj. Gen. Henry Dearborn
Maj. Gen. Henry Dearborn
 Maj. Gen. Henry Dearborn 
Dearborn, Maj. Gen. Henry
b. 1751 - d. 1829

Nationality: American

Allegiance: American

Category: Soldier

Summary:

   Henry Dearborn was born in Hampton, New Hampshire in 1751. Appointed one of the major generals of the U.S. Army shortly before the War of 1812, he would prove a failure as a military leader and his presence in the U.S. Army command helped contribute to the failures the United States experienced in the opening stages of the war.

A Republican, Dearborn served as Secretary of War under Jefferson. He was named Collector of the port of Boston by President Madison in 1809.

He was appointed a major general in the U.S. Army in February 1812 before the war. The 61-year-old Revolutionary War veteran was one of a number of elderly generals, mostly political appointees, who held the top positions in the U.S. Army at the beginning of the war. The United States would not begin to see success in land engagements until these men were removed from their positions of power.

After the war, in the administration of President John Quincy Adams, Dearborn served as minister to Portugal in 1822-4. He died in 1829. He is also remembered for his Revolutionary War Journals. Fort Dearborn, present-day Chicago, was named after him.

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Related pages:
  Dearborn, Maj. Gen. Henry
       Dissertations: A Rather Unsuitable Crew: American General Officers at the Start of the War of 1812 

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Copyright © Christopher T. George, 2012