Talk:Horatio Gates

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Ancestry and birth[edit]

Micheal Boatner's 1974 book, the Encyclopedia of the American Revolution gives a different ancestry. It has been picked up by a number of web sites, but I still accept my older notes. As a defense, many libraries have dropped the Boatner book due to other inaccuracies. In fairness, however, I must report there are no other specific challenge to his version of Gates' biography. Lou I 19:45, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Was Gates born in 1726 or 1727? I've seen 1728 cited as well. Perhaps the change from Julian to Gregorian has something to do with it, but because no month and day of birth are given, one can't be sure. -- Flauto Dolce 01:14, 11 Jan 2004 (UTC)
On calendars: Old Style Calendar, New Year began March 26 versus January 1; Britain made the switch from Julian to Gregorian in 1752. Factoring in the O.S. versus N.S. shift applies only to dates falling in Jan-March in a given year before 1752. The date 26 Feb 1728 O.S. is 26 Feb 1729 N.S., whereas the date 26 July 1728 is the same in both Old Style and New Style. However, a high degree of confusion has been introduced into historical documents because earlier generations of note-takers and document-transcribers had a tendency to over-correct Old Style dates without observing the demarcation between months of Jan-March (needed correction) versus April-December (no correction needed) (UTC)

Does anyone have any information on where General Gates was from? The article makes no mention of that, save that he was an officer in the British regular army and served in Europe, America, and the West Indies.--Raguleader 08:19, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

The precise year, location, and circumstances of Gates's birth are undocumented, hence the variations. Any source that reports this data as fact rather than tradition is apparently telling you more than can be proven. In the American National Biography, Gates biographer Paul David Nelson gives 1728 as his best guess, and says that he was "born, according to tradition, in Maldon, England, the son of Robert Gates, a customs collector, and Dorothy Reeve, a housekeeper." —Kevin Myers 05:10, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
This edit seems to say differently, -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 04:41, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Regardless of his ancestry, Horatio Gates is a true bastard. He proved it at Camden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.78.139.30 (talk) 19:26, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

From Eileen Scully 18 July 2011, we now have an authoritative document recording HG's baptism. A digital image of the baptismal ledger from St Nicholas Parish (see below) can readily be found on Ancestry.com. Date of christening is not equivalent to date of birth, and HG might have been one month or even one year old when baptized. On the other hand, the timing and location of his baptism corroborates the general narrative and scenario recorded by Horatio-Horace Walpole, i.e. that Walpole was about ten when HG was born, and that Walpole's mother (who resided largely in Kent county, was the channel by which HG's mother arranged for Walpole to be godfather. The original baptismal entry for HG reads, "Horatio s of Rt Gates." Ancestry's transcription includes Parish and location information taken from the St Nicholas Parish register itself:

Name: Horatio Gates
Baptism Date: 30 Apr 1728
Parish: St Nicholas, Deptford
County: Kent
Borough: Greenwich
Parent(s): Rt Gates
Record Type: Baptism

Over the decades and centuries, the original English connotations of a "housekeeper" for Lord of Here or Lady of There have been lost, and so we get people saying and assuming that HG's mother was a maid, or domestic servant. It's probably more correct to say, as some have, that HG's mother had some small but credible claim to important ancestors, and she made the most of it.

HG's papers include correspondence with his parents of record, i.e. Robert & Dorothy Gates, spanning 1759 to 1766 (HG to Robert and Dorothy Gates, c 1759, 1:175; Robert and Dorothy Gates to HG, 8 Aug 1765, 1:748; ditto, 23 Jan 1766, 1:803; HG to R& DG, 4 May 1766, 1:828 (HGP, NYPL). There is also a 21 March 1767 court order appointing HG as executor to his father Robert’s estate in England (Patterson; HGP 1:979). It would be helpful to have those documents online.

Mintz makes a strong case that Dorothy Gates was Dorothy Hubbock, daughter of John Hubbock, postmaster at Fulham. Checking on this family through Google-books, we find that John Hubbock SR and JR belonged to the same St Nicholas Parish in which HG was baptized. Mintz also states that Dorothy Hubbock had at least one prior marriage, to one Thomas Reeve, and that years before HG was born she borrowed the name "Peregrine" from her employer, the second Duke of Leeds (Peregrine Osborne). Records (on Ancestry) show one PEREGRINE REEVES christened at St. Alfege, Greenwich, London, on 23 March 1712 O.S./1713 N.S., the son of Thomas (a shipwright) and Dorothy Reeves. This same Peregrine Reeves was buried in St Dunston and All Saints Parish, Middlesex County, on 20 February 1776.

Not to denigrate the work being documented here, but: until it is published in a reliable source, it is of marginal use here. Unfortunately, images posted to ancestry.com do not qualify -- if the baptismal record image were available from an authoritative source (either a scholarly source or an official source for such records), the story would be different. This means that the material added to the article reflecting this work is subject to being challenged (or removed) by another editor. I recommend the researcher find a way to get this information into a scholarly publication. Magic♪piano 02:44, 21 July 2011 (UTC)


From Eileen Scully....7-22-2011

HG's father Robert Gates (1697-1767)

Name: Robert Gates
Baptism Date: 17 Nov 1697
Parish: St Alfege, Greenwich
County: London
Borough: City of London
Parent(s): Thomas Gates, Ann Gates

Source Citation: London Metropolitan Archives, SAINT ALFEGE, GREENWICH, Register of baptisms, including baptisms at the Queen's House 1690 - 1693, 1680 May-1721 Dec, P78/ALF/002

SIBLINGS of Robert Gates:

Name: Thomas Gates
Baptism Date: 29 Nov 1696
Parish: St Alfege, Greenwich
County: London
Borough: City of London
Parent(s): Thomas Gates, Ann Gates

Source Citation: London Metropolitan Archives, SAINT ALFEGE, GREENWICH, Register of baptisms, including baptisms at the Queen's House 1690 - 1693, 1680 May-1721 Dec, P78/ALF/002

Name: Elizabeth Gates
Baptism Date: 25 Mar 1705/1706
Parish: St Alfege, Greenwich
County: London
Borough: City of London
Parent(s):Thomas Gates, Anne Gates

Source Citation: London Metropolitan Archives, SAINT ALFEGE, GREENWICH, Register of baptisms, including baptisms at the Queen's House 1690 - 1693, 1680 May-1721 Dec, P78/ALF/002

HG's parents, Robert & Dorothy Gates, offspring included:

Name: John Gates
Baptism Date: 11 May 1721
Parish: St Alfege, Greenwich
County: London
Borough: City of London
Parent(s): Robert Gates, a victualler, Dorothy Gates

Source Citation: London Metropolitan Archives, SAINT ALFEGE, GREENWICH, Register of baptisms, including baptisms at the Queen's House 1690 - 1693, 1680 May-1721 Dec, P78/ALF/002

Name: Thomas Gates
Baptism Date: 3 Jul 1722
Parish: St Olave, Bermondsey
County: Surrey
Borough: Southwark
Parent(s): Robert, Dorothy

Source Citation: London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Olave, Bermondsey, Composite register: baptisms, marriages, burials, P71/OLA, Item 013

Name: Horatio Gates

Baptism Date: 30 Apr 1728
Parish: St Nicholas, Deptford
County: Kent
Borough: Greenwich
Parent(s): Rt Gates

Source Citation: London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Nicholas, Deptford, Composite register: baptisms Jun 1717 - Oct 1786, burials May 1718 - Nov 1786, P78/NIC, Item 005 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.68.212.212 (talk) 03:36, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Newburgh Conspiracy[edit]

Question about the line that Gates "had no obvious connection" to the Newburgh Conspiracy. Joseph J. Ellis has Gates not only complicit in the Newburgh Conspiracy but actually leading the radical faction that wanted to act out the military takeover. p. 142 His Excellency, Knopf, New York:2004. Ellis cites Richard H. Kohn, Eagle and Sword: The Beginnings of the Military Establishment in America, New York:1975. --Hilander 03:40, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Gallery[edit]

Shouldn't this be moved to wikipedia commons? Fawcett5 16:07, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

This doesn't seem correct.[edit]

"The political maneuverings of Washington's underlings were unintentionally exposed to Washington by Gates' adjutant, James Wilkinson."

It seems like this should read "Gate's underlings" — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.170.137.158 (talk) 05:30, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

The word "underling" may be less than ideal. The principal "underling" in question was Brigadier Thomas Conway, who was technically subordinate to Washington. Another major figure implicated in the cabal was Thomas Mifflin, although he left the army in October 1777, at least in part because of his dissatisfaction with Washington's (lack of) appreciation of his talents. I don't recall offhand what other officers may have been involved. Thomas Fleming's Washington's Secret War goes into the Conway Cabal in some detail, and specifically mentions Daniel Brodhead IV as another unhappy officer. But it was Wilkinson's big mouth that exposed the circle of discontent to Washington. Magic♪piano 13:13, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
"Underlings" comes across as a little unencyclopaedic and sneering in tone. I've changed it to the more neutral-sounding "opponents". Lord Cornwallis (talk) 10:46, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Unsourced passage under "Conway Cabal" section[edit]

This information was not sourced, tagged since July 2011:

In July of 1780, Gates was involved in a minor skirmish with Loyalists in southern Connecticut, the center of the American textiles trade, for which Britain was a major export market. No casualties were reported, though stores of Loyalist livestock were destroyed, depriving the British of those provisions.

I researched this, and found absolutely nothing to substantiate it. If anyone does find this information, please add it and provide the reference! Monsieurdl mon talk 15:57, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Misleading in its ambiguity concerning Gates' integrity[edit]

Gates was the greatest American traitor known to date, yet this article uses clever words and irony to just infer that. Simply put, he was one of the best weapons the British had against the colonies, since he discredited Arnold (one of the best field commanders of the war on either side) and almost took out Washington. If not for his abject cowardice at Camden, Gates may have succeeded in subverting Washington and effectively handing America to the British. Amply documented in PBS' http://www.pbs.org/ktca/liberty/ and many other documentaries that speak more plainly and accurately to the true depth of Gates' depravity and amorality in seeking self-advancement at any cost. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.11.85.188 (talk) 00:27, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

That he was "the greatest American traitor known to date" is an opinion I've not seen widely stated; name a few historians who agree with that assessment. Seeking self-advancement "at any cost" would suggest Gates did (or was prepared to do) things that Arnold (and other genuinely treasonous individuals) did: betraying actual military secrets to the enemy. Did Gates? No? So much for that idea... Magic♪piano 18:19, 7 November 2012 (UTC)


Missing material[edit]

How is it that there is not a single thing in here between 1772 and 1780? Where is the account of Gates during the Revolution? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 47.17.75.51 (talk) 04:19, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Because some vandalism was missed; now fixed. Thanks for noticing. Magic♪piano 15:09, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Allegedly?[edit]

I think the word "allegedly" should be added to the lede when talking about the Conway Cabal - either Gates's involvement is alleged or the cabal itself should be labeled thus. There is a good deal of doubt whether the cabal actually existed as described.Purplethree (talk) 22:33, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

See two quotations and citations now in two footnotes concerning Conway cabal. Donner60 (talk) 03:38, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

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