George Mercer (military officer)

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For the murderer, see George Mercer.

George Mercer (June 23, 1733 – April 1784) was an American (then British colonial subject) surveyor, military officer, and politician from Virginia.

Born at Marlborough Plantation, Virginia, to John Mercer and Catherine Mason Mercer,[1] he became a surveyor of Virginia, he then joined the provincial First Virginia Regiment in 1754, during the French and Indian War, as a lieutenant. Serving with George Washington as his aide-de-camp.[2][3] He was wounded at the battle to defend Fort Necessity,[4] following which he rose to the rank of captain. His younger brother, Lt. John Fenton Mercer, was killed and scalped at Edwards's Fort, April 1756.[5] He then became the commander of the newly formed Second Virginia Regiment, in 1758, and a lieutenant colonel.

In 1758 the two Virginia Regiments were assigned to regular British Army Brigadier General John Forbes to march from Philadelphia westward and take Fort Duquesne in the western Pennsylvania frontier. On November 12 while on patrol, from Fort Ligonier, to repel French and Indian raids, the 2nd Virginia accidentally engaged Washington and the 1st Virginia in a heavy fog and at night. Two officers and 38 men were killed or wounded.[6]

After the war Mercer became Assistant Deputy Quartermaster-General for Maryland and Virginia (1759). Then in 1761 became a Burgess to the Virginia General Assembly. During this time he also became a land speculator in the Ohio River Valley and became the Ohio Company of Virginia's agent sent to England.[7] Washington, and George's father, John, were also members of the company.

He was appointed Stamp Collector for Maryland and Virginia in 1765, to help enforce the Stamp Act, but resigned amidst violent protests,[8] and then he was appointed Governor of North Carolina, but never assumed that position.

George had two other brothers, Judge James Mercer (1735–93) and John Francis Mercer, Captain of the 3rd Virginia, Anti-Federalist at the Constitutional Convention, and Governor of Maryland, 1801-03.[9][10] A maternal cousin to George Mason. In 1767 he married Mary Neville at Scarborough, England, who died a year later.[11]

He died in London.

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