A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.


Thomas Mifflin

10 January 1744 - 20 January 1800

Thomas Mifflin was born in Philadelphia to a Quaker family. In 1765, he established a mercantile partnership with his brother, George. His merchant leanings led him to become an outspoken proponent of non-importation, often penning scathing diatribes against British trade policy under the pseudonym, Scaevola. In 1772, Mifflin was elected to the Pennsylvania assembly, where he served until October 1775. One of the youngest members to serve in the First Continental Congress, he was also considered one of the most radical. In June 1775, Mifflin became George Washington's aide-de-camp and, in August, the first quartermaster-general of the Continental Army. The Quakers disowned him for these activities, and he resigned in October 1777 claiming ill health, though at this point he had fallen out of favor with Congress and Washington, who suspected Mifflin of trying to replace him with General Gates. Mifflin returned to public office, serving in Congress 1782-1784, and as Governor of Pennsylvania in 1790-1799. Mifflin died in Lancaster just one month after leaving office.