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Alsop, John

Alsop, John

ALSOP, JOHN. (1724–1794). Congressman. Connecticut and New York. Born in Middletown, Connecticut, Alsop moved to New York City with his brother and business partner, Richard, becoming a successful merchant. In 1770 he helped establish the New York Hospital Association, serving as its first governor until 1784. A member of the New York assembly and then the Provisional Congress, Alsop was selected as a representative to the Continental Congress (1774–1776). In addition to serving on the Committee of Safety that ran New York City before British occupation, Alsop made enormous efforts to acquire arms and ammunition for the Continental Congress. Despite his many contributions to the war effort, he opposed independence as cutting off any chance of reconciliation with the British. He resigned from Congress rather than opposing the movement toward independence. When the British occupied New York City he withdrew to Middletown until the war was over. He died in Newton, Long Island, on 22 November 1794. One son, Richard (1761–1815), was a member of the "Hartford Wits," a group of poets centered in that city, and another, John (1776–1841), was also a poet. His daughter Mary married the politician Rufus King.

                        revised by Michael Bellesiles

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