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Pierce, John



  • Existence: 1752-1788

John Pierce Jr. was the first and only son of John Pierce and Mary Paterson Pierce. He was born at his maternal grandfather's home in Farmington, Connecticut on December 3, 1752. Soon after his birth, his parents moved to Litchfield, Connecticut. In 1770 John Pierce, Jr.'s mother passed away. His father remarried two years later to Mary Goodman.

In 1775 Pierce joined the Continental Army. By 1776 he had become Assistant Paymaster General, and in 1779 was appointed to the position of Deputy Paymaster General. In 1781 he was named Paymaster General, and ably served his duty until his death in 1788. As Paymaster General John Pierce, Jr. oversaw the paying of more than 93,000 certificates amounting to more than 10 million dollars in deferred pay. Additionally, in 1781 Pierce was entrusted with the task of settling the armies accounts after it was disbanded. By 1787 Congress combined the offices of the Paymaster General and the Commissioner of Army Accounts.

In 1783, Pierce's father passed away and as heir and the oldest of 8 children, he became responsible for his step-mother and younger siblings. Working to achieve financial stability for his family to enable himself to marry Ann Bard in 1786, Pierce brought his sisters Sarah and Nancy (or Anna) to New York City to receive a higher education and to train to become teachers. After John Pierce, Jr.'s sisters returned home to Litchfield, Connecticut, his sister Sarah began the school that would become known as the Litchfield Female Academy. John Pierce Jr. died August 1, 1788. He was thirty five years old and was only married for two years. John's early death left the Pierce family again in financial troubles, but due to John Pierce Jr.'s funding and motivation, the Pierce family found great success in the Litchfield Female Academy, which educated more than three thousand young adults.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Pierce Family Correspondence

Identifier: 1978-39-8
Dates: Other: 1775-1880

Pierce family correspondence

Identifier: 1978-39-8
Scope and Contents The Pierce Family Correspondence consists primarily of letters to and from the children of John Pierce and his first wife, Mary (Paterson) Pierce, as well as of his second wife, Mary (Goodman) Pierce. The collection documents events of national importance: John Pierce, a colonel and paymaster in the Continental Army, received letters from numerous correspondents concerning military, administrative, and political news of the American Revolution. Moreover, the Pierce brothers traveled...
Dates: Created: 1775-1825; Other: Majority of material found in 1776-1825; Other: Date acquired: 01/01/1978