Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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GERMAINE, Lord George, Viscount Sackville, English statesman, born in England, 26 January 1716; died there, 26 August, 1785. He was the third son of the first Duke of Dorset. His father being lord-lieutenant of Ireland, he was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He served in the British army in Germany, attaining the rank of lieutenant-general, but was cashiered for cowardice at the battle of Minden. He entered parliament in 1761, and on the accession of George III., with whom he was a favorite, was made colonial secretary, in which office he had charge of the conduct of the war with the colonies. He zealously supported all vigorous measures against the colonists, and sternly opposed every attempt to effect a termination of hostilities. He advocated the hiring of mercenaries, urged the Six Nations to unite against the rebels, rejoiced over the massacres by the Indians, praised British rapacity and cruelty in the colonies, and applauded the plot to buy Arnold and others. He was so consistently an opponent, of all liberal measures that he became highly unpopular in his own country, and during the London riots of 1780 he was compelled to barricade his house. In 1783 he became Viscount Sackville. He was one of the supposed authors of the Junius letters. Bancroft, in his "History of the United States," represents Lord George as ambitious, opinionated, and full of envy, arrogant in speech and combining contemptuous haughtiness toward his inferiors with meanness of spirit. Without, fidelity, fixed principles, or logical clearness of mind, and unfit to conduct armies or affairs, he joined cowardice to love of superiority and a dislike of those who thwarted him. "Apparelled on Sunday morning in gala," says the historian, " as if for the drawing-room, he constantly marched out all his household to his parish Church, where he would mark time for the singing-gallery, chide a rustic chorister for a discord, stand up during the sermon to survey the congregation or overawe the idle, and gesticulate approbation to the preacher or cheer him by name."
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