Alexander McDougall (1732– June 9, 1786) was an American seaman, merchant, a Sons of Liberty leader from New York City before and during the American Revolution, and a military leader during the Revolutionary War. He served as a major general in the Continental Army, and as a delegate to the Continental Congress.
After the war, he was the president of the first bank in the state of New York and served a term in the New York State Senate. He was born in Scotland, but came to NY in 1738 with his family. His first job was a milk delivery boy in NYC. When he was 14 he signed up to be a Merchant Seaman and worked on ships until he became part of the military during the French and Indian wars in 1756. He gave up the sea life after the death of his father and wife in 1763 and raised his children.
When revolutionary fervor grew with resistance to the Stamp Act, McDougall became active in the Sons of Liberty, and later was a leader in the movement in the colony of New York. After imprisonment for 5 months for libel, McDougall became the street leader of the Sons of Liberty, and organized continued protests until the city came under control of the Patriots in 1775. He organized the city’s reaction to the Tea Tax in 1773 and led their action, similar to the Boston Tea Party. On June 30, 1775, McDougall became a commissioned colonel of the 1st New York Regiment. Eventually, McDougall would rise the rank of Major General in the Continental Army. McDougall was involved in many battles and strategies throughout New York City and upstate NY during the revolutionary war.
Throughout the war, McDougall was an outspoken advocate for the Continental Army and for better conditions for its soldiers. Notably, in the winter of 1783 he was at the head of the committee of army officers who the bore complaints about pay. McDougall was also involved in the establishment of an American navy in 1776.
McDougall street in Greenwich Village is named after him.