William Malcolm

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William Malcolm
William Malcolm.jpg
Member of the New York State Assembly
In office
Personal details
Born (1745-01-23)23 January 1745
Glenrothes, Scotland
Died 1 September 1791(1791-09-01) (aged 46)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Abigail Tingley
(m. 1765; her death 1770)

Sarah Ayscough
(m. 1772; his death 1791)
Children Richard Montgomery Malcolm
Samuel Bayard Malcolm
Parents Richard Malcolm, Bt.
Military service
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch New York (state) New York State Militia
Rank Brigadier General
Battles/wars Revolutionary War

General William Malcolm (January 23, 1745 – September 1, 1791) was a New York City merchant and officer in the American Revolution. He commanded Malcolm's Regiment, with Aaron Burr as his second in command.[1]

Early life

William Malcolm was born in Glenrothes, Scotland on January 23, 1745 and was a member of the Clan Malcolm. He was the third son of Richard Malcolm, Baronet of Balbedie and Innertiel in the county of Fife, Scotland. When he came to America in 1763, he brought a number of family portraits and valuable plates.[1]


In 1763, he moved to New York City as agent of a Glasgow firm of which he was a partner, and established himself as an import/export merchant. His business was in Queen Street, now known as Pearl Street. The same year he joined the Society of St Andrew and was its secretary from 1765 to 1766, treasurer and secretary in 1772 until 1774, one of the managers in 1784, and vice president in 1785 until 1787.[1]

Malcolm grew wealthy, and as his influence increased he took part in politics and government, including serving as a member of the New York Assembly in 1774.[2]

Revolutionary War service

Malcolm was also active in the militia, and volunteered for military service during the American Revolution. He served in New York's military and the Continental Army throughout the Revolution, including assignments as Deputy Adjutant General of the Northern Department under Horatio Gates.[3]

In 1777, Malcolm was appointed to command a regiment. Called Malcolm's Additional Continental Regiment, he raised the organization and used his own funds to pay and equip it.[4][5] He commanded as Colonel, with Aaron Burr as second in command and Lieutenant Colonel, though Burr was often the de facto commander as the result of Malcolm's detached assignments as Deputy Adjutant General or for other duties.[6][7] Malcolm took part in the battles of Long Island, White Plains, Trenton and Princeton. He was with the Army during the 1777-1778 winter at Valley Forge, and he later commanded Continental forces in upstate New York.[8]

Near the end of the Revolution he was appointed commander of the militia in New York, Kings and Richmond Counties with the rank of Brigadier General.[9][10][11]

Post War

In 1784, and again in 1787, he was elected to the New York Provincial Congress where he supported Alexander Hamilton in his motion to restore the elective franchise to the Tories and he favored the United States Constitution.[1] In 1785, he served on New York City's Board of Aldermen.[12][13]

As head of the militia in and around New York City, Malcolm commanded George Washington's escort when Washington took the oath of office as the first President.[14]

Malcolm was a Freemason as a member of St. John's Lodge No. 1 in New York City,[15] a member of the Saint Andrew's Society[16] and the Saint Nicholas Society,[17] and a founder of New York City's Chamber of Commerce.[18]

Personal life

Malcolm was married twice. His first wife was Abigail Tingley, whom he married in 1765, and who died in 1770.[19] His second wife was Sarah Ayscough, the daughter of Richard Ayscough and Catharine Bayard,[1] whom he married on February 5, 1772.[20][21] Together, they were the parents of

William Malcolm died in New York City on September 1, 1791. He was buried in Manhattan's Brick Presbyterian Church Cemetery.[24]


Malcolm's descendants included members of the prominent Bayard, Schuyler and Montgomery families.[25][26][27] His grandchildren, through his son, Samuel, included: Philip Schuyler Malcolm (b. 1804),[28] Catharine Elizabeth Malcolm (b. 1809), William Schuyler Malcolm (1810-1890), and Alexander Hamilton Malcolm (1815–1888).[29]

Through his son, Richard, he was the grandfather of Sarah Ayscough Malcolm (1802–1888), who married Thomas P. Ball (1792–1744).[30] His great-grandson was James Mortimer Montgomery (1855–1926).[27]


  1. ^ a b c d e Baxter, Katharine Schuyler (1897). A Godchild of Washington. F.T. Neely. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  2. ^ Tuttle Company, The Tingley Family, 1910, page 31
  3. ^ Henry Whittemore, The Heroes of the American Revolution and Their Descendants, 1897, page 15
  4. ^ Nancy Isenberg, Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr, 2007, page 37
  5. ^ Proper, Rev. Gordon R. (2017). Once Upon a Time in the American Revolution. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 9781524531164. Retrieved 18 June 2017. [self-published source]
  6. ^ Buckner F. Melton, Aaron Burr: The Rise and Fall of an American Politician, 2004, page 1910
  7. ^ Nathan Schachner, Aaron Burr: A Biography, 1937, page 53
  8. ^ Katharine Schuyler Baxter, A Godchild of Washington, 1897, pages 440 to 443
  9. ^ Thomas Edward Vermilye Smith, The City of New York in the Year of Washington's Inauguration, 1789, 1889, page 66
  10. ^ Heath, William; Heuvel, Sean M. (2014). The Revolutionary War Memoirs of Major General William Heath. McFarland. ISBN 9781476617374. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  11. ^ "General Orders, 14 July 1776". founders.archives.gov. Founders Online. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  12. ^ New York Assembly, Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, Volume 33, 1913, page 697
  13. ^ Oregon Society, Sons of the American Revolution Year Book, 1903, page 51
  14. ^ Michael Brander, The Emigrant Scots, 1982, page 90
  15. ^ William R. Denslow, Harry S. Truman, 10,000 Famous Freemasons, Volume 3, 2004, page 126
  16. ^ George Austin Morrison, History of Saint Andrew's Society of the State of New York, 1756-1906, 1906, page 185
  17. ^ Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York, The History of the Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York, Volume 1, 1905, page 235
  18. ^ Gordon DenBoer, The Documentary History of the First Federal Elections: 1788-1790, 1987, page 457
  19. ^ Committee, New York Colony; (State), New York (1968). New York Marriages Previous to 1784. Genealogical Publishing Com. ISBN 9780806302591. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  20. ^ Province of New York - Marriage Licenses prior to 1784, accessed December 4, 2012
  21. ^ New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Volumes 9-10, 1878, page 96
  22. ^ Bielinski, Stefan. "Catherine Schuyler Malcolm Cochran". exhibitions.nysm.nysed.gov. New York State Museum. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  23. ^ Lange, Allynne (April 14, 2017). "The Women of Schuyler Mansion". Hudson River Maritime Museum. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  24. ^ Henry Collins Brown, Valentine's Manual of Old New York, 1916, page 225
  25. ^ Sons of the Revolution. New York Society, Year Book, 1893, page 365
  26. ^ New England Historic Genealogical Register, The Weaver Family of New York City, Volume 47, 1893, page 53
  27. ^ a b The Minute Man. Chicago: The Sons of the Revolution in the State of Illinois. 1921. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  28. ^ Chapter, Sons of the Revolution New York Society Philip Livingston (1910). Year Book. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  29. ^ Schuyler, George W. (1885). Colonial New York: Philip Schuyler and His Family, Volume 2. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 283.
  30. ^ York, Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New (1902). Genealogical Record of the Saint Nicholas Society: Advanced Sheets, First Series. Society. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
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