Benjamin Contee may have only been a role-player in the American Revolution, but as an original member of the First Congress he deserves recognition as a Founding Father.
At the outset of the American Revolution, Benjamin Contee joined the Continental Army. The bravery and intelligence he demonstrated led to several promotions.
Eventually, Contee was appointed Captain of the 3rd Maryland Regiment. They were a feared fighting force which served in many major battles, including Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth.
Contee’s regiment suffered severe casualties in the disastrous Battle of Camden but recovered and served one more time in the Victory at Yorktown.
Member of Congress
After the war’s end, Benjamin Contee (with his brother Alexander) would build a merchant business, most of the trade going from Maryland to London.
Contee would be elected to the Maryland House of Delegates. He proved his value and was later sent to the Continental Congress, where he served through that body’s final sessions.
Contee was elected as an original member of the United States House of Representatives. He played a fairly small role in the First Congress, mostly recommending nominees to George Washington. None of his recommendations were appointed.
Benjamin Contee chose to run for reelection after the end of his term in the House of Representatives and instead traveled through Europe.
Upon his return to the United States, Contee studied theology. He became an Episcopal minister and remained with the clergy throughout the remainder of his life.
While his accomplishments may have been few, Benjamin Contee deserves to be revered as a Founding Father of the United States.
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