John Wilkins, Jr.
At age 15 the younger Wilkins enlisted for the American Revolution, and was assigned as Surgeon's Mate of the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment. He served in the position from April 8, 1780 until the close of the war on November 3, 1783.As a result of this service Wilkins earned the nickname "Doctor".
President George Washington appointed Wilkins as Quartermaster General of the United States Army in June, 1796. In October Wilkins attempted to resign, pleading the necessity of attending to personal business. His resignation was not accepted and he continued to serve, overseeing the supplying and equipping of an expanded Army in anticipation of war with France. Although the act of March 3, 1799 provided for a Quartermaster General with rank of major general, Wilkins was not appointed to that rank and served in the position as a civilian. The dispute with France was resolved without fighting, and Wilkins served until his position was abolished in March, 1802 as part of a downsizing of the Army.
After leaving the Army, Wilkins returned to his business interests in Pennsylvania, including serving as President of the Pittsburgh branch of the Bank of Pennsylvania.
Wilkins was the son of John Wilkins, Sr. (1733 – 1810), a Captain in the American Revolution. He was the brother of Senator William Wilkins. He was the father of Judge Ross Wilkins. His grandson Wilkins F. Tannehill (1787-1858), served as the Mayor of Nashville, Tennessee from 1825 to 1827.
The town of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania is named for General Wilkins, his father and his brother.
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