John Nixon

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John Nixon was a Revolutionary War Veteran and financier, the son of Richard Nixon who came from Wexford, Ireland, and Sarah Bowles. There is a record of Richard and Sarah's marriage at Christ Church by the Rev Archibald Cummings on 7 Jan 1727. The date of their arrival in America is not known; however, in 1738 he "purchased the property on Front Street below Pine extending into the Delaware River afterwards known for nearly a century as Nixon's Wharf." Richard and Sarah had four children. John was the only child who survived.

Richard Nixon, a prominent Philadelphia shipping merchant and owner of Nixon's Wharf on the Delaware River. After being educated in the business rather than in a formal school setting, Nixon inherited his father's shipping and mercantile business in 1749. He soon became involved in public affairs, chosen a lieutenant of the Dock Ward Company in 1756, a warden of the port in 1766, one of the signers of paper money issued by Pennsylvania in 1767, and a manager of Pennsylvania Hospital, 1768-1772. In 1765 he married Elizabeth Davis; together they had five children.

John Nixon Signed March 1, 1769 Pennsylvania Note
During early conflicts with the mother country, Nixon was an ardent proponent of the colonies. He signed the Non-Importation Agreement in 1765 and actively opposed the Stamp Act. When the Revolutionary War began, he joined the Committee of Safety, often acting as its chairman. As a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Third Battalion of Associators (a unit comprised of wealthy "Silk Stockings"), saw military action at the Battles of Trenton and Princeton. He commanded the defenses of the Delaware at Fort Island (later called Fort Mifflin) and the Philadelphia city guard.

John Nixon reading the Declaration of Independence to the people in front of the State House immediately after its passage.
Nixon, however, is best known as the first person to publicly read the Declaration of Independence, which he did from the steps of the State House on 8 Jul 1776. In that year, he was promoted to the rank of colonel, serving on the Navy Board and with General George Washington at the Battle of Trenton on 26 Dec 1776, the Battle of Princeton on 3 Jan 1777, and again at Valley Forge during the winter of 1778-1779.

In 1789 Nixon was one of the organizers and a director of the Bank of Pennsylvania, organized to supply the United States army with provisions and supplies. In 1784 he became a director of of the Bank of North America, the first national bank, serving as its president from 1792 until his death in 1808.

Family Group

Colonel John Nixon
Birth: 1733 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, British Colony of Pennsylvania
Death: 31 Dec 1808 in West Chester, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
WikiNo: Nixon-3652

Married: 3 Oct 1765 in British Colony of New York
Elizabeth Davis
Birth: 1737 in Prince Edward, British Colony of Virginia
Death: 31 Aug 1795 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
WikiNo: Davis-61770


Mary Davis (Nixon) West
Birth: 29 Sep 1770, British Colony of Massachusetts
Death: 07 Oct 1848, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
WikiNo: Nixon-3656

Sarah (Nixon) Cramond
Birth: Abt. 1774
Death: 30 Oct 1865
WikiNo: Nixon-3663

Jane (Nixon) Willing
Birth: 30 Jun 1775
Death: 4 May 1823, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
WikiNo: Nixon-2189

Henry Nixon
Birth: 09 Aug 1776, Philadelphia, Delaware, Pennsylvania
Death: 18 Aug 1840, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
WikiNo: Nixon-2049

Elizabeth (Nixon) Bollmann
Birth: Unknown
Death: 14 May 1802
WikiNo: Nixon-3662


Economic History in the Philadelphia Region, PEASE Guide: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania,PDF(Page 20)

An Illustrated History of the State of Oregon: Containing a History of Oregon from the Earliest Period of Its Discovery to the Present Time, Together with Glimpses of Its Auspicious Future; Illustrations and Full-page Portraits of Some of Its Eminent Men and Biographical Mention of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Citizens of To-day, Harvey Kimball Hines, Lewis Publishing Company, 1893 - Oregon - 1300 pages (page 921)

Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Volume 4, James Grant Wilson, John Fiske, D. Appleton, 1898, America (Pages 525-526)

Daughters of the American Revolution: Ancestor #A083888 (copy this number before you leave this page), Service: Pennsylvania Rank(s): Colonel, Birth: 1733 Pennsylvania, Death: 12-31-1808 Philadelphia, Philadelphia CO Pennsylvania, Service Source: PA ARCH, 2ND SER, VOL 13, P 585, Service Description: 1) 3RD Battalion

Find A Grave, Elizabeth Davis Nixon, Birth unknown, Death 31 Aug 1795, Burial Saint Peter's Episcopal Churchyard, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA, Memorial ID 88007374

Find A Grave, John Nixon, Birth 1733, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA, Death 31 Dec 1808 (aged 7475), Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA, Burial Saint Peter's Episcopal Churchyard, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA, Memorial ID 11311197

Journal Article: Colonel John Nixon, Charles Henry Hart, The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 1, No. 2 (1877), pp. 188-202 (15 pages), Published by: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania; University of Pennsylvania Press

Marriage - New York Marriages Previous to 1784, New York (State), Genealogical Publishing Com, 1968 - Reference - 618 pages, (Page 281)

Memoir of the Life and Services of Colonel John Nixon, Charles Henry Hart, 1877 - United States - 17 pages

U.S., Newspaper Extractions from the Northeast, 1704-1930 for John Nixon New York New York Evening Post Death 1801-1819 (Published on 3 Jan 1809) Penn University Archives and Records Center

Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 1, Historical Society of Pennsylvania., 1877 - Pennsylvania, (Pages 188-201

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Portrait of Colonel John Nixon, after Gilbert Stuart, Edward Greene Malbone, American, 1777 - 1807