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Kingston, and soon became very eminent in the line of his profession. In 1764, a field was opened for the useful display of his skill. The cynanche maligna became very prevalent in many towns of New Hamphshire, and was a fatal disease among children. The method of treating it was as a highly philogistic complaint; but he was led from his own reason and observations, to manage it differently. He made use of the Peruvian bark, as an antidote and preventative, and his practice was successful. This afterwards become general among physicians.
In 1765, Dr. Bartlett was chosen a member of the legislature, and from this time was annually elected till the revolution. He soon after was made a justice of the peace. In 1770, he was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 7th regiment of militia. These commissions he was deprived of in 1774, on account of the active part he took in the controversy with Great Britain. This was a time when "the clashing of parties excited strong passions, which frequently gained the mastery of reason." The governor and council of New Hampshire, saw fit to dissolve the house of assembly, supposing that a new one might become more flexible, or be more subservient to their wishes. In the meanwhile, colonel Bartlett, with several others, planned a kind of authority, which was called a committee of safety. They met at Exeter, and in the course of events, were obliged to take upon themselves the whole executive government of the state. When a provincial congress had again organized the government, colonel Bartlett received a new appointment as justice of the peace, and colonel of the 7th regiment.
He was one of the first members who were chosen to represent the state in congress. Colonel Bartlett was prevented from accepting this honourable trust by the unhappy condition of his do
mestic affairs; his house having been burnt, his family were obliged to seek a shelter without any thing but the clothes they had upon them. He
was elected member of the second congresse
assembled at Philadelphia the next year, and also attended his duty in the same station, 1776. He was the first that signed the declaration of independence after the president.
In 1777, colonel Bartlett and general Peabody, were appointed agents to provide medical aid and other necessaries for the New Hampshire troops, who went with general Stark, and for this purpose repaired to Bennington, a spot distinguished by a battle very important in its consequences. In April, 1778, he again went as a delegate to congress. He returned in November, and would no longer appear as a candidate for that office.
When the state of New Hampshire was organized, under a popular government, colonel Bartlett was appointed judge of the common pleas; in June, 1782, a judge of the supreme court; in 1788, chief justice.
In June, 1790, he was elected president of the state, which office he held till the constitution abrogated the office of president, and substituted the title of the chief magistrate, governor. He was then chosen the first governor of New Hampshire since the revolution. He resigned the chair in 1794, o account of his infirm state of health, and then retired from public business.
He had been the chief agent in forming the medical society of New Hampshire, which was incorporated in 1791, of which he was president, till his public labours ceased, and when he resigned, he received a warm acknowledgment of his services and patronage, in a letter of thanks, which is now upon the records of the society. He was always a patron of learning and a friend to learned men. Without the advantages of a college education, he
was an example to stimulate those who have been blessed with every advantage in early life; but cannot exhibit such improvement of their talents, or such exertions in the cause of literature. It was his opinion that republics cannot exist without knowledge and virtue in the people.
He received an honorary degree of doctor of medicine from Dartmouth University.
Governor Bartlett did not live long after he resigned his public employments. His health had been declining a number of years. He died suddenly, May, 1795.
BIDDLE, NICHOLAS, captain in the American navy, during the revolutionary war, was born in the city of Philadelphia, in the year 1750. Among the brave men, who perished in the glorious struggle for the independence of Amerca, captain Biddle holds a distinguished rank. His services, and the high expectations raised by his military genius and gallantry, have left a strong impression of his merit, and a profound regret that his early fate should have disappointed, so soon, the hopes of his country.
Very early in life he manifested a partiality for the sea, and before the age of fourteen he had made a voyage to Quebec. In the following year, 1765, he sailed from Philadelphia to Jamaica, and the Bay of Honduras. The vessel left the Bay in the latter end of December, 1765, bound to Antigua, and on the second day of January, in a heavy gale of wind, she was cast away on a shoal, called the Northern Triangles. After remaining two nights and a day upon the wreck, the crew took to their yawl, the long-boat having been lost, and with great difficulty and hazard, landed on one of the small uninhabited islands, about three leagues distant from the reef, upon which they struck. Here they staid a few days. Some provisions were proeured from the wreck, and their boat was refitted.
As it was too small to carry them all off, they drew lots to determine who should remain, and young Biddle was among the number. He, and his three companions, suffered extreme hardships for want of provisions and good water; and, although various efforts were made for their relief, it was nearly two months before they succeeded.
Such a scene of dangers and sufferings in the commencement of his career, would have discouraged a youth of ordinary enterprise and perseveOn him it produced no such effect. The coolness and promptitude with which he acted, in the midst of perils that alarmed the oldest seamen, gave a sure presage of the force of his character, and after he had returned home, he made several European voyages, in which he acquired a thorough knowledge of seamanship.
In the year 1770, when a war between Great Britain and Spain was expected, in consequence of the dispute relative to Falkland's Island, he went to London, in order to enter into the British navy. He took with him letters of recommendation from Thomas Willing, Esquire, to his brother-in-law captain Sterling, on board of whose ship he served for some time as a midshipman. The dispute with Spain being accommodated, he intended to leave the navy, but was persuaded by captain Sterling to remain in the service, promising that he would use all his interest to get him promoted. His ardent mind, however, could not rest satisfied with the inactivity of his situation, which he was impatient to change for one more suited to his disposi
In the year 1773, a voyage of discovery was undertaken, at the request of the Royal Society, in order to ascertain how far navigation was practicable towards the North Pole, to advance the discovery of a north-west passage into the south seas, and to make such astronomical observations as might prove serviceable to navigation.
Two vessels, the Race Horse and Carcase, were fitted out for the expedition, the command of which was given to captain Phipps, afterwards lord Mulgrave. The peculiar dangers to which such an undertaking was exposed, induced the government to take extraordinary precautions in fitting out, and preparing the vessels, and selecting the crews, and a positive order was issued that no boys should be received on board.
To the bold and enterprising spirit of young Biddle, such an expedition had great attractions. Extremely anxious to join it, he endeavoured to • procure captain Sterling's permission for that purpose, but he was unwilling to part with him, and would not consent to let him go. The temptation was, however, irresistible. He resolved to go, and laying aside his uniform, he entered on board the Carcase before the mast. When he first went on board, he was observed by a seaman who had known him before and was very much attached to him. The honest fellow, thinking that he must have been degraded and turned before the mast in disgrace, was greatly affected at seeing him, but he was equally surprised and pleased when he learned the true cause of the young officer's disguise, and he kept his secret as he was requested to do. Impelled by the same spirit, young Horatio, afterwards lord Nelson, had solicited and obtained permission to enter on board the same vessel. These youthful adventurers are both said to have been appointed cockswains, a station always. assigned to the most active and trusty seamen. The particulars of this expedition are well known to the public. These intrepid navigators penetrated as far as the latitude of eighty-one degrees and thirty-nine minutes, and they were, at one time, enclosed with mountains of ice, and their vessels rendered almost immoveable for five days, at the hazard of instant destruction. Captain Biddle