De Peyster, Abraham

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De Peyster, Abraham

DE PEYSTER, ABRAHAM. (1753–1799). Loyalist officer. New York. Member of a wealthy New York family and nephew of Arent Schuyler De Peyster, Abraham De Peyster was born in New York City. Siding with the British, in December 1776 he was commissioned captain in the Fourth (King's) American Regiment, also called the King's American Rangers, serving through the rest of the war. Second in command of Loyalist forces at the Battle of Kings Mountain, South Carolina, on 7 October 1780, De Peyster succeeded Patrick Ferguson as commander after the latter's death and was forced by the hopelessness of the situation to surrender his force. Wounded and taken prisoner, he was exchanged the following year and returned to New York City, though he saw no further action. In 1783 he was retired at half pay as a captain and settled at St. John, New Brunswick, where he became treasurer of the province. He died there on 19 February 1798.

His brothers Frederick and James also were Loyalist officers. The former distinguished himself during Clinton's expedition to the Highlands in the attack on Fort Montgomery.

SEE ALSO Clinton's Expedition; De Peyster, Arent Schuyler.

                            revised by Michael Bellesiles

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