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Thomas Nelson Jr. is born

Today in Masonic History Thomas Nelson Jr. is born.

Thomas Nelson Jr. was an American solider and politician.

Nelson was born in Yorktown, Virgina. Like many men of the time period he was educated in England attending the Eton in 1754 and attending Christ's College at Cambridge University in 1758.

Nelson returned to Virginia in 1761 and shortly after was elected the first time to the Virginia House of Burgesses, the first elected body in North America.

Nelson served in the Continental Congress until in early 1776 he became ill and was forced to leave the congress. Fortunately his health improved by late spring and returned to Congress for the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

In June of 1776 Nelson was appointed to a thirteen member committee whose job was to "prepare and digest the form of confederation.” The resulting document from the committee would become the Articles of Confederation.

In June 1781 Nelson succeeded Thomas Jefferson as the governor of Virginia. That same year in October Nelson as commanding General of the Lower Virginia Militia took part in the final siege at Yorktown. According to legend Nelson urged George Washington or Marquis de Lafayette (depending on the version of the story) to fire upon his family home, Nelson House, where Cornwallis had made his headquarters. He also allegedly offered 5 guineas to the first man to hit the house.

Both Nelson's father and Nelson's son were politicians as well. Nelson's father was a governor of the Virginia colony. Nelson's son was a member of the United States Congress.

Nelson was a member of Williamsburg Lodge No. 6 in Williamsburg, Virginia.