Born November 25, 1754, York (Adams) County, Col. John Hamilton was the son of John and Florence Hamilton. Relocated in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1783 and became sheriff and Colonel of the Mingo Creek Militia in 1793 during the Whiskey Insurrection. He was wrongly accused of helping rioters burn the Neville home, consequently suffering trials in Philadelphia and Washington (County) with no meaningful evidence pointing to his participation. Acquitted, he developed a loyal following from local “democratic” clubs; was elected to the state Senate, 1796-1800, and the Ninth Congress, 1805-1807; became Lieutenant Colonel of the county militia in 1796; was appointed Associate Judge of Washington County by Governor McKean, 1802; trustee of Jefferson College in the same year; elected to Congress, 1804-1806; reappointed associate judge, 1820; and tapped as a Presidential Elector for Jefferson, 1804, and Monroe, 1820. In 1800, he was elected Brigadier General of the state militia, and in 1806, Major General of the Fourteenth Division, Washington-Greene Militia. He was described as a man of “medium stature, heavy build, inclining to corpulence of benign expression of countenance, scrupulously neat dress, and never appearing in public without … snow white ruffles and an ivory mounted cane.” The Honorable John Hamilton passed on August 22, 1837, interred in the old Mingo Cemetery.
Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County (Chicago: J.H. Beers, 1893), 60-61.