Francis Gurney (1738-1815)

Francis Gurney (1738-1815)

Francis Gurney was born in 1738 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. At the age 18 he enlisted in the Provincial Army. Gurney served during the French and Indian War, participating in the Canadian campaign, in action against the French West Indies islands, and in the capture of Guadeloupe.

After the war, Gurney returned to Philadelphia where he began his career as a merchant. During the American Revolution, he donated heavily to the cause both monetarily and in military service. He served as a captain with the Grenadier Company, 3rd Regiment, Philadelphia Militia, and was later promoted to lieutenant colonel. He resigned his commission on October 22, 1777 after a failure to receive an expected promotion. Gurney served throughout the remainder of the war and its aftermath in civilian offices.

During the Whiskey Rebellion his military services were again called upon. For three months, Gurney led 600 militia against rebelling farmers in western Pennsylvania. In 1799, he was promoted to brigadier general.

In addition to his other civic and military duties, Gurney served on the Board of Trustees of Dickinson College from 1798 until his death. He was often entrusted with College business in Philadelphia and Washington, D. C. Francis Gurney died on May 25, 1815.

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Dickinson College Archives
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