James Wilkinson, an American soldier, born in Maryland in 1757, died near the city of Mexico, Dec. 28, 1825. He studied medicine and began practice, but in 1775 joined a rifle company before Boston, and soon became captain in a New Hampshire regiment. In 1776 he joined Arnold in Canada, and in 1777 served as adjutant general on Gen. Gates's staff. He was brevetted brigadier general in November. In January, 1778, he became secretary of the board of war, but quarrelled with Gates, and resigned. In 1779 he was made clothier general of the army. In 1791 he served as colonel in an expedition against the Wabash Indians; in March, 1792, became brigadier general; commanded the right wing of Wayne's army in the battle of the Maumee, Aug. 20, 1794; and in December, 1796, became general-in-chief. He was governor of Louisiana in 1805-'6, afterward protected the S. W. frontier against Spanish incursions, and at New Orleans was employed to defeat the plans of Aaron Burr. On charges of complicity with Burr and receiving bribes from Spain, he was tried and acquitted in 1811. In 1813 he reduced Mobile, and was then ordered to the northern frontier, where his operations against Canada were totally unsuccessful, mainly, as it appeared, from lack of concert with Gen. Wade Hampton. He was superseded, and on charges preferred by the secretary of war in February, 1814, he was tried by court martial at Troy in 1815, and honorably acquitted.
He published his " Memoirs " in 1816 (3 vols. 8vo), and spent his later years in Mexico.