Overlooked Hero: John Glover and the American Revolution

Drawing of John Glover

John Glover. There’s a name that’s familiar to people with an interest in the Revolutionary War, and that local residents might know as the namesake of the Pelham athletic fields. But who was he? What are his connections to the War for American Independence and to New York?

Well, John Glover’s a great American success story. Born to humble circumstances in 1732, he was reared in Marblehead, Massachusetts and developed a very successful merchant and ship enterprise. Glover’s wealth and prominence led to political leadership and military involvement as the conflict between Britain and the colonies reached the precipice.

It would be difficult to surpass his great achievements as an officer in the Revolutionary War, especially in the critical year of 1776. All of the leadership military knowledge and maritime skills he had developed were -- fortunately for the Patriot cause -- brought to bear in three dramatic episodes that helped to save the budding American independence movement. Twice on the water -- at Brooklyn in August and a Trenton in December -- and once on land (the nearby Battle of Pell’s Point in October) Glover guided operations that helped to salvage the Revolution at some of its darkest hours.

His contributions in the latter part of the war were impressive, but, as you’ll discover, actually hindered by a mysterious illness.

After the great American victory, he enjoyed the fruits of independence, returning to Marblehead as an honored citizen and political leader. But his sacrifice in terms of family, health and fortune was considerable, a prime example of the high cost of American independence. We invite you to learn about Glover’s inspiring experiences through sound, models, artwork, historic images and prints, artifacts and text. This display was made possible by the following:

  • The National Park Service/Department of the Interior
  • The New York Council for the Humanities
  • Society of the National Shrine of the Bill of Rights
  • John and Jean Heins
  • Ball Chain

Last updated: March 31, 2012

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