Thomas Conway

Conway, Thomas, Count, was born in Ireland, 27th February 1733. He was educated in France, entered the army, attained the rank of Colonel, and received the decoration of St. Louis. In 1777, on the recommendation of Silas Deane, he went to America to take service in the war of the revolution. He was almost immediately made Brigadier-General, and led his brigade at Brandywine and Germantown. He was Major-General the end of the same year; but resigned in 1778. Conway was one of the most active of the secret enemies of Washington, being the moving spirit of the "Conway cabal," that sought to elevate Gates to the supreme command. His course made him unpopular, and much to his chagrin his resignation was accepted. Afterwards, when, as he supposed, fatally wounded in a duel with General Cadwallader (4th July 1778), he wrote a letter of apology to Washington, containing the words: "You are, in my eyes, the great and good man." He recovered, returned to France, and in 1784 was Marechal-de-Camp, and was appointed Governor of Pondicherry and all the French possessions in India. His design, in 1788, of assisting the republican party in the Dutch settlements was effectually thwarted by the Marquis Cornwallis. When the French Revolution broke out he was obliged to fly, and his life was only saved by the efforts of the British authorities. Conway, who had been made a Count before the Revolution, is supposed to have died about 1800.


37a. Biographical Dictionary—American Biography: Francis S. Drake. Boston, 1876.