Born at Waynesborough, Chester County, Pennsylvania. Married Mary Penrose March 25, 1766. They had two children.
Wayne entered the military in 1776. He served as colonel during engagements at Three Rivers and Ticonderoga. In 1777 he was promoted to brigadier general. His forces were defeated at Paoli's Tavern. On July 15, 1779, he attacked Stoney point at midnight. He was wounded in the head. He prevented the surrender of West Point attempted by Benedict Arnold. He was with Lafayette in the Yorktown campaign. Served in the Pennsylvania Assembly 1784 to 1785. Elected to the House of Representatives and served 1790 to March 21, 1792.
In 1792 he was put in charge of the Western Army in wars with the Indians. Wayne defeated the Miami Indians in the battle of Fallen Timbers near Toledo, Onio, in 1794. Serving under him were William Clark and Meriwether Lewis. He died at Presque Isle, now Erie, Pennsylvania.
Congress honored Wayne with a gold medal by resolution July 15, 1779, for his service at Stoney Point. Dies were cut by Nicholas Gatteau. The 55 mm medal was originally struck in France and the dies were lost or destroyed. The Philadelphia Mint made copy dies and struck 55 mm medals for collectors (Julian MI-3). Modern 55 mm bronze copies (USM 407) were also produced at the mint. A 38 mm pewter Wayne medal was included with "America's First Medals" produced about 1976.
bio: ApCAB; BDC; DAB; Drake; EAB; Failor; NCAB 1; TCBDA; WAB; WWWA-HSource credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies