Phillis Wheatley (1753 – December 5, 1784?) was the first African American poet and the first African-American woman whose writings were published. Born in Gambia, Senegal, she was enslaved at age eight. She was purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write, and helped encourage her poetry.
Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703 – March 22, 1758) was a preacher, theologian, and missionary to Native Americans. Edwards "is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian," and one of America's greatest intellectuals. Edwards's theological work is very broad in scope, but he is often associated with his defense of Reformed theology, the metaphysics of theological determinism, and the Puritan heritage.
Abigail Adams (née Smith; November 11, 1744 – October 28, 1818) was the wife of John Adams, who was the second President of the United States, and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth. She was the first Second Lady of the United States, and the second First Lady of the United States. Abigail Adams is remembered for the many letters she wrote to her husband while he stayed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the Continental Congresses.
John Winthrop (12 January 1587/8– 26 March 1649) obtained a royal charter, along with other wealthy Puritans, from King Charles for the Massachusetts Bay Company and led a group of English Puritans to the New World in 1630. He was elected the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony the year before. Between 1639 and 1648, he was voted out of the governorship and then re-elected a total of 12 times.
Sir Henry Vane (Harry Vane) (1613 – June 14, 1662), son of Henry Vane the Elder, served as a statesman and Member of Parliament in a career spanning England and Massachusetts. A constant theme of his life was religious tolerance. He was a leading Parliamentarian during the English Civil War. Vane served on the Council of State during the Interregnum, but refused to take the oath which expressed approval of the king's execution.
Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, FRS (March 26, 1753 – August 21, 1814) was an Anglo-American physicist and inventor whose challenges to established physical theory were part of the 19th century revolution in thermodynamics. He also served as a Colonel in the Loyalist forces in America during the American Revolutionary War, and in 1784 received a knighthood from King George III. A prolific designer, he also drew designs for warships.
William Shirley (2 December 1694– 24 March 1771) was a British colonial administrator who served twice as Governor of Massachusetts (1741-1749 and 1753-1756) and as Governor of the Bahamas between 1761 and 1766. For a few months he also gained experience as a military commander serving as Commander-in-Chief, North America.
William Prescott (February 20, 1726 – October 13, 1795) was an American colonel in the Revolutionary War who commanded the rebel forces in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Prescott is one of a number of persons to whom the order to his soldiers, "Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes", is attributed, in order that the rebel troops may shoot at the enemy at shorter ranges, and therefore more accurately and lethally, and so conserve their limited stocks of ammunition.
Artemas Ward (November 26, 1727 – October 28, 1800) was an American major general in the American Revolutionary War and a Congressman from Massachusetts. President John Adams described him as "... universally esteemed, beloved and confided in by his army and his country. " Ward was much more effective as a political leader than as a soldier.
Enoch Poor (June 21, 1736, Old Style – September 8, 1780) was a brigadier general in the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. He was a ship builder and merchant from Exeter, New Hampshire.
Solomon Stoddard (September 27, 1643, baptized October 1, 1643 – February 11, 1728 or 1729) was the American colonial minister who succeeded Rev. Eleazer Mather as pastor at Northampton, Massachusetts, where he died, after Mather's death. Stoddard significantly liberalized church policy while promoting more power for the clergy, decrying drinking and extravagance, and urging the preaching of hellfire and the Judgment.
Thomas Hooker (July 5, 1586 – July 7, 1647) was a prominent Puritan religious and colonial leader, who founded the Colony of Connecticut after dissenting with Puritan leaders in Massachusetts. He was known as an outstanding speaker and a leader of universal Christian suffrage. Hooker also had a role in creating the "Fundamental Orders of Connecticut", one of the world's first written constitutions.
Increase Mather (June 21, 1639 – August 23, 1723) was a major figure in the early history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay (now the Commonwealth of Massachusetts). He was a Puritan minister who was involved with the government of the colony, the administration of Harvard College, and most notoriously, the Salem witch trials. He was the son of Richard Mather and father of Cotton Mather, both influential Puritan ministers.
John Thomas (1724 – 2 June 1776) was an American doctor and soldier from Massachusetts who became a major general in the Continental Army. He was a leader during the siege of Boston. Thomas briefly commanded the withdrawal from Canada after the unsuccessful invasion by the Continental Army. He died from smallpox during the retreat. Thomas was born in Marshfield, Massachusetts. As a young man he studied medicine with Doctor Tufts in Medford before beginning his own practice in Kingston.
John Oldham (1592–1636) was an early Puritan settler in Massachusetts. He was a captain, merchant, and Indian trader. His death at the hands of the Indians was one of the causes of the Pequot War of 1636-37.
Thomas Dudley (October 12, 1576 – July 31, 1653) was a colonial magistrate who served several terms as governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, during which he sometimes clashed with his rival John Winthrop. Dudley was the chief founder of Newtowne, later Cambridge, Massachusetts, and built the town's first home. As Governor, Dudley signed the Charter creating Harvard College. Thomas Dudley Gate at Harvard College was named in his honor, as is the non-residential Dudley House.
John Cotton (December 29, 1585 – August 30, 1652) was a principal among the New England Puritan ministers, who also included Thomas Hooker, Increase Mather (who became his son-in-law), John Davenport, and Thomas Shepard and John Norton, who wrote his first biography. Cotton was the grandfather of Cotton Mather, who was named after him.
John Wise (August 15, 1652 – April 8, 1725) was a Congregationalist reverend and political leader in Massachusetts during the American colonial period. Wise was noted for his political activism, specifically his protests against British taxation, for which he was once jailed As the pastor of the Chebacco Parish from 1680 to his death in 1725, Wise lived in Ipswich, Massachusetts, often called "the birthplace of American independence."
The progenitor of the Delano family in the Americas was Philippe de Lannoy whose family name was anglicized to Delano. The 19-year-old Pilgrim of Flanders descent arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts on November 9, 1621 on the second Pilgrim ship, Fortune. His descendants include Philip Delano Jr. , Frederic Adrian Delano, Jonathan Delano and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant, Calvin Coolidge, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Robert Redfield, Captain Paul Delano, and Alan B. Shepard.