Lewis Nicola

Lewis Nicola (1717 – August 9, 1807) was an Irish-born American military officer, merchant, and writer who held various military and civilian positions throughout his career. Nicola is most notable for authoring the Newburgh letter, which urged George Washington to assume a royal title. Born in Dublin, Ireland, Nicola had been an officer in the British Army, serving in Europe before immigrating to the Thirteen Colonies. Establishing a residence in Philadelphia with his family, Nicola opened a library in 1767 and was active in colonial philosophical organizations. As a result of his work to establish the American Philosophical Society, he was elected as one of its curators. When the American Revolution broke out, Nicola offered his services to the colonial government, which eventually appointed him to various positions with local forces.

In 1777, Nicola proposed that the Continental Congress establish the Invalid Corps. The Congress accepted his proposal and appointed him as its commander. The Corps was stationed at various Pennsylvania locations before moving to West Point, New York. In 1782, after the end of most hostilities but before the signing of the Treaty of Paris, Nicola wrote the Newburgh letter, which was received coldly by Washington. Returning to civilian life, Nicola nevertheless was still active in military affairs, and was recalled to service during the 1790s, despite his advanced age. During this period, he continued to research for the American Philosophical Society, writing an especially controversial document entitled ''The Divinity of Jesus Christ Considered, From Scripture Evidences,'' in which he claimed that the divinity of Jesus Christ is not supported by scripture. He died in 1807, in the possession of only $55. Provided by Wikipedia