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Daniel Roberdeau (1727 – January 5, 1795) was an American merchant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He represented Pennsylvania from 1777 to 1779 in the Continental Congress and served as a brigadier general in the state militia during the Revolutionary War.

Biography

Roberdeau was born on the Island of St. Christopher (Saint Kitts) in the West Indies. His parents were a Huguenot immigrant named Isaac Roberdeau and Mary Cunningham from Scotland. After the death of his father, he came to Philadelphia with his mother and sisters. He became a timber merchant and, for a number of years, served on the Board of Managers for the hospital in Philadelphia.

Roberdeau was active in establishing the Masons in Philadelphia, which brought him to the attention of Benjamin Franklin and other civic leaders. He was elected to the Colonial Assembly from 1756 to 1760, but declined further service. When the war neared he joined the Associators as the rebel militia was known, and was elected colonel of his regiment. In May of 1776 he presided at public meetings which ultimately forced the Pennsylvania delegation to the Continental Congress to be replaced with members who supported the Declaration of Independence. As a result he was named to the Committee of Safety, and on July 4 was named a brigadier general in the state militia.

Daniel was first elected to the Continental Congress in February of 1777 and served there until 1779. Later that year, when the Continental Army entered winter quarters at Valley Forge, he worked with General Washington to set up a militia support network known as the Flying Camp, and served as its commander.

In April of 1778 Roberdeau took a short leave from Congress. He had noted the shortage of powder and shot in the army, and established a lead mine in Bedford County. To protect the mine and camp from Indian attacks he built a palisade, Fort Roberdeau, at his own expense. Historically, the Roberdeau's fort was known as the Lead Mine Fort. It has been reconstructed near its original site in Sinking Valley, near Altoona, Pennsylvania (now Blair County).

After the war he visited England, then moved to Alexandria, Virginia and later still removed to Winchester where he died in 1795. He is buried in the Mt. Hebron Cemetery in Winchester. His son, Isaac became a civil engineer and U.S. Army officer, who helped L'Enfant to lay out the plan for Washington, D.C..

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