31 December 1775
General Richard Montgomery
America's First National Hero
The Death of General Montgomery, In the Attack of Quebec, December 1775 by Johan Frederik Clemens (1798)
From the hand of George Washington
"The Major General Schuyler Cambridge January 17th, 1776
I received your favor of the 13th, inst' with its enclosures & am heartily sorry & most sincerely console with you upon the fall of the brave & worthy Montgomery & those gallant officers & men who have experienced a like fate. In the death of this gentleman America has sustained a heavy loss having approved himself a steady friend to her rights & of ability to render her the most essential service.
December 2, 1738 – December 31, 1775
Richard Montgomery was an Irish soldier who first served in the British Army. He later became a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and he is most famous for leading the failed 1775 invasion of Canada.
Montgomery was born and raised in Ireland. In 1754, he enrolled at Trinity College, Dublin, and two years later joined the British Army to fight in the French and Indian War. He steadily rose through the ranks, serving in North America and then the Caribbean. After the war he was stationed at Fort Detroit during Pontiac's War, following which he returned to Britain for health reasons. In 1773, Montgomery returned to the Thirteen Colonies, married Janet Livingston, and began farming.
When the American Revolutionary War broke out, Montgomery took up the Patriot cause, and was elected to the New York Provincial Congress in May 1775. In June 1775, he was commissioned as a brigadier general in the Continental Army. After Philip Schuyler became too ill to lead the invasion of Canada, Montgomery took over. He captured Fort St. Johns and then Montreal in November 1775, and then advanced to Quebec City, where he joined another force under the command of Benedict Arnold.
Our de facto first client
Our Nation's First Monument
St. Paul's Chapel, NYC
• General Richard Montgomery Revolutionary War hero buried beneath the east porch of St. Paul’s.