Irvine, William ûr´vĭn [key], 1741–1804, American soldier, b. Ireland. He studied medicine in Ireland and after 1764 practiced in Carlisle, Pa. He was called to service as colonel of a Pennsylvania regiment and later as brigadier general in the Continental Army in the Revolution. In 1781 he was given command of Fort Pitt and the Western frontier, serving until 1783. While acting as agent (1785) to select the free lands promised to Pennsylvania troops, he recommended that Pennsylvania purchase the Erie Triangle (see Pennsylvania ) from the United States. He was a member of the Continental Congress (1786–88), was sent (1793) as delegate to the 3d U.S. Congress, and was in command of Pennsylvania troops in the Whiskey Rebellion (1794).
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