Known variously as Hercules, Herculas, or Uncle Harkness by members of George Washington’s family, Hercules was the head chef at Mount Vernon and the presidential mansion at Philadelphia. Like other enslaved individuals who were very successful at their trade, such as Thomas Jefferson’s blacksmith Joseph Fossett, slavery was not a desired state of being. They were among the many thousands of enslaved women and men who ran away, while less fortunate individuals were captured and returned to their owners or sold to new owners. (Image: Gilbert Stuart, Portrait of George Washington's Cook, ca. 1795-97. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid).
Howe, William, 5th Viscount
Howe is among more than 1,600 British-born people. He has extensive biography across seven different documentary editing projects outlining his military career as Commander in Chief of the British forces from 1775 to 1778. Less well known is the fact that he and sixty-three others in People of the Founding Era attended Eton College, one of more than 200 educational institutions. (Image: Color mezzotint by Charles Corbutt 1777, Anne S. K. Brown Military History Collection, Brown University. Image from Wikimedia Commons.)
Otis, Elizabeth Gray
Users of PFE can locate Elizabeth Gray Otis through a variety of searches including gender (woman), surname (Otis), birth year (1746), or more precisely by all three constraints. From her record, you can locate twelve of her extended family members, including her spouse Samuel Allyne Otis. Likewise, you can locate her record from her husband Samuel's record as well as connections to the Adams Family through her cousins (Image: Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Portrait by John Singleton Copley, c. 1764).
Cornplanter (Garganwahgah; John O'Bail)
The Seneca Indian can be retrieved by searching his alternative names or the surname O'Bail. From his record, users can locate the seventy other Native Americans whose occupation was Indian chief, four of whom lived to be seventy years or older. A search on Cornplanter reveals the other individuals with whom his life intersected during the American Revolution (Image: Collection of The New-York Historical Society, Portrait by Frederick Bartoli, 1796).