SKINNER, CORTLANDT. (1728–1799). Loyalist officer. New Jersey. Related to prominent families of New Jersey and New York, Skinner served briefly as attorney general of New Jersey in 1775. As speaker of the assembly, he cast the deciding vote to petition King George for a redress of grievances in an effort to avoid more radical measures. As a major of Loyalist troops he was captured, and in September 1776 he and Governor Montfort Browne of New Providence in the Bahamas were exchanged for General William Alexander. The British then made him a brigadier general of provincials, and he was authorized to raise a body of Loyalists. These were organized into the several battalions of Skinner's Brigade (one commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Abram Van Buskirk). After the war he was put on half pay as a brigadier general for life. Skinner died in Bristol, England, in 1799. One of his daughters married Sir William Robinson, commissary general of the British army, and another married Field Marshal Sir George Nugent. His son, Philip Kearny Skinner, was a British lieutenant general in 1825.
SEE ALSO Cowboys and Skinners.
revised by Michael Bellesiles