Nathaniel Scudder


I was a member of the Continental Congress who earned a deadly distinction.

I was born in 1733, and by 1751 I had moved to Monmouth and set up my practice as a physician. When the Revolution broke out I was very active in the protests against Parliament. When the British arrived off of New York in 1776, I rode clear across central New Jersey to alert the Provincial Congress. I took command of the Monmouth County militia after our commanding officer became a Loyalist. I then put down a Loyalist uprising before my men were surprised at night by British regulars, resulting in 25 of my men killed and 73 captured.

In November 1777 I was selected to serve in the Continental Congress and served two one-year teams. I strongly supported the Articles of Confederation, despite their weakness, and in the fall of 1778 after our great victory at the Battle of Monmouth, I wrote that our new alliance with France required our confederation, and that “no Plan can or will ever be adopted more equal, or less generally injurious in the confederating States than the present.”

The violence continued in 1779-1780, when I led a vigilante group that brought retaliation to Loyalists. In the fall 1780 election, I was elected to the New Jersey legislature. But then, it all came to an end for me, on October 17, 1781, in a skirmish with Loyalists, I was struck in the head with a musket ball and was killed instantly.

I am the only person to have served in the Continental Congress to be killed in combat.


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