Most Important Family in America


My Ancestors are Part of this


Playing Major Roles

During the American Revolution War


in Westward Expansion

of the United States


Biddle Brothers, Sisters and Cousins


Three Biddle Brothers

Nicholas Biddle, Major Thomas Biddle and Major John Biddle

and other Biddle relatives


History along the Missouri River around Ft. Calhoun, Nebraska near where I live.

Please click Under-Lined items to select:

The William Biddle family including my ancestors played major roles in the American Revolution and in Westward Expansion of the United States and contributed more than any other family during the early years of this country. I think this makes my Biddle family one of the most important families of the United States.

The following Biddle Tree is how some of the different family members are connected. Those shown as 2 below in the Biddle Tree are brothers and sisters. Those shown as 3 below in the Biddle Tree are either brothers and sisters or first cousins of other 3's. Those shown as 4 below in the Biddle Tree are either brothers and sisters or second cousins of other 4's.

Biddle Tree

Descendants of William BIDDLE II and his wife Lydia Wardell


  • 1- William BIDDLE II (4 Oct 1669-1743)(His father William Biddle I acquired rights to more than 43,000 acres of land in New Jersey)

  • sp: Lydia WARDELL (abt 1671-1707) Her Uncle Samuel Wardwell was hung at Salem, for witchcraft on Sep 22, 1692

    • 2 -Joseph BIDDLE (Jun 1705-9 Feb 1776) (my ancestor)

      • 3 -Arney BIDDLE (1735 New Jersey - died Sep 11, 1777 Battle of Brandywine, Chester, Pennsylvania, United States defending Philadelphia) (my ancestor)

        • 4 -Jonathan Biddle (May 1765 - 13 May 1847) (my ancestor)

    • 2-William BIDDLE III (1697-1756)

    • sp: Mary SCULL (2 Aug 1709-9 May 1789)

      • 3-Commodore Nicholas Biddle (Sep 10, 1750-Mar 7, 1778 died during a battle in the Revolutionary War when his ship exploded)(One of the first Captains of the Continental Navy)

      • 3-Edward Biddle (1739-Sep 5, 1779)(soldier, lawyer and statesman) (Delegate to the Continental Congress, Served in the French and Indian War as Lieutenant and Captain)

      • 3-Captain Charles BIDDLE (24 Dec 1745-4 Apr 1821)(During the Revolutionary was a captain in the merchant service and work on going around the British blockages of American ports) (He hid Aaron Burr after duel and death of Alexander Hamilton)

      • sp: Hannah SHEPARD (abt 1762-13 Jan 1825)

        • 4-Nicholas Biddle (8 Jan 1786-) (at age 18 went to Paris, France to work on the financial details for Louisiana Purchase negotiations with Napoleon, Editor of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Journals, Head of the Second Bank of the United States in Philadelphia)(Became one of the riches person in the United States, said why should I run for president because I already have more power than the President of the United States)

        • 4-Major Thomas Biddle (21 Nov 1790-29 Aug 1831)(War of 1812) (paymaster at Fort Atkinson in Ft. Calhoun, Nebraska)(died in a dual defending the honor of his brother Nicholas Biddle on Bloody Island in the middle of the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri)

        • 4-Major John Biddle (2 Mar 1792-25 Aug 1859)(War of 1812) (Official Journalist of Long's Expedition up the Missouri River) (on the first steamboat to up the Missouri "Western Engineer" (page down to the article on Western Engineer) (Spent the winter in 1819 at a winter camp called "Engineer Cantonment" at a place a few miles South of a town we now call Fort Calhoun, Nebraska)(Elected mayor of Detroit, Governor of Michigan and to the United States Senate)

        • 4-Commodore James Biddle (USN)(Feb 18, 1783-Oct 1,1848)Naval Officer and Diplomat, On board the frigate Philadelphia when it wreck near Tripoli and all on board taken prisoners by Barbary Pirates, upon his release, he served in the navy until the War of 1812, He was on a ship that captured a British ship which was badly damaged and he was given command of it. Being badly wrecked it was captured and he was captured by the British, upon his release, he returned and was given a gold metal by Congress, took control of the Oregon coast for the United States in 1817/18, negotiated the first treaty between the United States and China in 1846, Commanded a squadron of ships off the West coast of Mexico during the Mexican War from 1838 to 1842)

        • 4-Charles Biddle (Aug 9,1787-Dec 21,1836)commissioner from the United States government for exploring a route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans

        • 4-Richard Biddle (Mar 25,1796-Jul 6, 1847)(Lawyer, Congressman and Author) Served as a volunteer in the Washington Guards during the War of 1812

      • 3-Lydia Biddle (1734-1767)

      • sp: William MacFunn (1732-died 1767/1768 of yellow fever)(Officer of the British Royal Navy, later Governor of the Island of Antigua, British West Indies)

    • 2-John BIDDLE (1707-1789)

    • sp: Sarah OWEN (-1789)

      • 3-Owen BIDDLE (Apr 11, 1737-Mar 10, 1799)(clock and watchmaker, astronomer, scientist) In 1775 was member of a Committee of Safety for raising Troops, supplies, and river defenses, had 3 ships captured and destroyed by the British, and provided so much financial support to the war that he was almost ruined financially, Colonel in the American Revolutionary War

      • 3-Colonel Clement BIDDLE (1740-Jul 14, 1814) quartermasters authorized by Congress and later he was made its deputy quartermaster, As such he received the swords of the Hessian prisoners captured at the battle of Trenton, was with Washington's army at Valley Forge, fought in the Battle of Brandywine

        • 4-Colonel Clement Cornell BIDDLE (Oct 24,1784-Aug 21,1855)In 1812 he raised a company of volunteers, the State Fencibles was elected its captain, and subsequently was colonel of the first Pennsylvania infantry

        • 4-Ann Wilkinson BIDDLE (1791-1878)

        • sp: Thomas Dunlap (1793-1864)lawyer and banker, President of the second United States Bank in Philadelphia

      • 3-Ann BIDDLE (-3 Feb 1807)

      • sp: General James Wilkinson (1757-1828) (served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and in the War of 1812)(Organized the Pike Wilkinson Expedition to explore the South and Western part of the Louisiana Purchase)

        • 4-Captain James Biddle WILKINSON (abt 1783-7 Oct 1813) (died at the Battle of Mobile, Dauphin Island,Alabama, USA) (part of the Pike Wilkinson Expedition, most of this Expedition was captured by the Spanish except for a small party of about five who were under Captain James Biddle WILKINSON and returned to St. Louis and not captured)

        • 4-Col. Joseph Biddle WILKINSON (4 Dec 1785-8 Nov 1865)

        • 4-Captain Walter WILKINSON (1791-)Captain in the US Army

      • 3-Sarah Biddle (-24 Oct 1794)

      • sp: Rudolph Tillier (-)In charge Camp Bellefontaine Army Post factory where goods were stored and sold to Indians and solders

      • sp: James Penrose (23 Feb 1738-7 Sep 1771))was a ship-builder and ship-merchant.)

        • 4-Hon. Clement Biddle Penrose (20 Feb 1771-abt 1820) One of 3 Louisiana Purchase land commissioners in St. Louis, Missouri

This is how my family is connected to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Fort Atkinson and Long’s Expedition. My Grandmother Martha (Mattie) (Biddle) Picton along with her three sisters Lulu, Bessie and Mary are daughters of Henry Biddle (1841-1920). Joseph Biddle (there Great Great Great Grandfather) had a nephew Charles Biddle and two nieces who are sisters Ann Biddle and Sarah Biddle. Joseph Biddle also had many other nephews and nieces not listed. Three of the sons of nephew Charles Biddle were Nicholas Biddle, Major Thomas Biddle and Major John Biddle. The husband of niece Ann Biddle was General James Wilkinson and son Captain James Biddle Wilkinson. The husbands of niece Sarah Biddle were Rudolph Tillier and James Penrose and son Hon. Clement Biddle Penrose. See all the family connections above.

It is reported that Charles Biddle (nephew of Joseph Biddle and the father of the below three brothers) hid the setting United States Vice President Aaron Burr in his home after the famous Burr duel and death of Alexander Hamilton (each man claimed the other shot first). Aaron Burr some believe was later trying to set up a separate nation on land owned by the United States. General James Wilkinson (husband of Ann Biddle, niece of Joseph Biddle) was a friend of Aaron Burr. I have read hints that General James Wilkinson and his son Captain James Wilkinson may have been involved with plans of Aaron Burr, but it could not be proven. This my also be true when Captain James Wilkinson was on an expedition to Kansas. Could the influence General James Wilkinson have enabled Nicholas Biddle to obtain his appointment to go at the age of 18 to France to work on financial details of the Louisiana Purchase? What about the Major John Biddle and the Major Thomas Biddle appointments?

Lewis and Clark Expedition Journals

Nicholas Biddle was the editor of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Journals. Example of how to search in the Lewis and Clark Journals at University of Nebraska in Lincoln:

Google Search:

"UNL and Lewis and Clark Journals"

Then select: Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Then enter: August 4, 1804 into search field, for the date they past Blair or July 27, 1804 for Council Bluffs.

Then page down to: Floyd

Floyd writes about Fish Creek Council on August 4, 1804 just before he dies.

Note: Spelling was not good


Satturday august 4th 1804 Set out erly this morning after the Rain was over it Rained Last night with wind and thunder from the N. W. it Lasted about an ouer prossed on the morning Clear passed a Creek on the South Side 〈Colled〉 as it has no name and the Council was Held below it about 7 miles we Call it Fish Creek Council or Pond [13] this Creek Comes out of a

Large Pond which Lays under the High prarie Hills the wood Land is not plenty hear ondley along the River Banks in places, passed Som bad Sand bares en[c]amt on the South Side a Large prarie that on the N. is prarie Land

Nicholas Biddle at the age of 18 went to France to work on financial details of the Louisiana Purchase and became friends with Lafayette. After returning to the United States, Nicholas Biddle took over duties of the editor of "The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition" (one of the more important publications of the 19th century - enter date to find location of Lewis and Clark during there expedition) where this effort which included his "Biddle Notes" were very important because these journals opened up the West). He took over these duties of editor after Meriwether Lewis's death. Nicholas Biddle is one of the fathers of both the central banking system in the United States and developing a trading system which became our stock exchanges. He became the president of the Second Bank of the United States ("The Bank") at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania which evolved into our current Federal Reserve System. "The Bank" was blamed for all financial problems of the United States at that time and he was hated by almost everyone in the United States, but now history may be rewriting how he is viewed.

More on information Nicholas Biddle worked with as editor related to the Lewis and Clark Expedition journal. This effort included his "Biddle Notes" and what the members of the expedition did. Lewis sailed the Missouri River with a Sextant just as one would sail the ocean. Clark has two writeup's for each day. The first are his notes and the second is his writeup for the book that was published. You can move through the journal by putting in other dates by going to the web site above. July 10, 1804 brings up the a writeup for the day they arrived at what is now the Nebraska - Kansas state line. Other members of the Expedition also have notes. Floyd was the only member of the Expedition to die. He died at what is now Sioux City, Iowa from what is believed was appendicitis. - "The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition on July 21, 1804" on the University of Nebraska website, talks about arriving at the mouth of the Plate River in what is now Nebraska.

"The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition on July 27, 1804" is believed near the location of present Douglas Street in Omaha,Nebraska.

"The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition on July 30, 1804" at the place they called Council Bluff at what is now Fort Calhoun, Washington County, Nebraska. They would hold council at this spot with the Indians. They prepared the pipe for peace on August 1, 1804. On August 3, 1804 Clark listed the known Indians Tribes in the area, which ones had similar languages and left on that afternoon. The Indians said they were 25 days travel from Santa Fe.

"The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition on August 4, 1804" is where they passed the location where Blair, Nebraska is now located. Floyd (who died at what is now Sioux City, Iowa) wrote in his notes that they passed a stream called Fish Creek Council or Pond which must be the place we now call Fish Creek at Blair, Nebraska. A man went back for his knife and by August 7, 1804 they realized that the man had deserted. Clark then sent four men to bring him back and gave orders that if he did not give up peaceably, to put him to death. Now Nicholas Biddle left out of the journal the command "to put him to death" and someone, most likely Nicholas Biddle drew a red line through the command "to put him to death".

Major John Biddle was part of what became known as Long's Expedition. J. C. Calhoun, Secretary of War ordered an Expedition lying West of the Allegheny and East of the Rocky Mountains by going up the Missouri River to the Rocky Mountains for the Years 1819, 1820 under the Command of Maj. S. H. Long. The expedition went up the Missouri River and setup a winter camp called "Engineer Cantonment" at a place a few miles South of a town we now call Fort Calhoun, Nebraska (town named after J. C. Calhoun, Secretary of War). Major John Biddle was the official journalist of this expedition of 1819, but he withdrew from this assignment before the end of the year because of a situation that had happen to him. On the way up the Missouri River with the expedition, he and his party had gone ashore and were captured by the Indians. The steamboat "Western Engineer" (page down to the article on Western Engineer) of the expedition did not wait for them (as intended at the mouth of the Platte River) and continued on up the river to where they setup the winter camp at "Engineer Cantonment". The Indians robbed Major John Biddle and his party of their horses and equipment and then released them. Major John Biddle and his party had to then find their own way up the Missouri River (past the intended meeting place at the mouth of the Platte River) to the expedition winter camp and he was not a happy camper. Major John Biddle wrote a letter complaining about Maj. S. H. Long and then was discharged from the service in 1821 (One does not write such a complaint letter in the military). He eventually was elected mayor of Detroit, Governor of Michigan and to the United States Senate. The steamboat "Western Engineer", had construction which was calculated to cause astonishment to the Indians. The bow of the boat was in the form of a giant sized serpent, having a carved head reared as high as the boat's deck. Smoke was forced out of the mouth of the monster causing a great roar heard for miles, and the craft was setup to appear as a huge serpent carrying the boat on its back with guns and canon pointing out the portholes. The expedition changed its plans after Major John Biddle left and went up the Platte River to explore to the Rocky Mountains then down the Arkansas River. This became known as Long's Expedition.

Major Thomas Biddle in 1820 was the paymaster at Fort Atkinson along the Missouri River located in the town now called Fort Calhoun, Nebraska (a few miles North of Omaha) at a place formally called Council Bluffs where Lewis and Clark had held council with the Indians. After leaving Fort Atkinson a few years later, he loaned his two white horses to help pull a carriage around St. Louis, Missouri for Lafayette when Lafayette visited St. Louis. He died in a duel fought at St. Louis, Missouri, in which he killed Spencer Pettis (a Missouri U.S. Congressman) in a duel on August 29,1831 over an argument about "The Bank" of his brother Nicholas Biddle who had "The Bank" of the United States of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The duel (which was against the law in both Missouri and Illinois) was fought on Bloody Island in the middle of the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri with hundreds looking on. As a result of Major Biddle's poor eyesight, they decided to fight the duel at a paced off distance of only five feet. The two killed each other on the first shot.

Book on General James Wilkinson - He was the husband of Ann Biddle, Ann Biddle is the niece of my ancestor Joseph Biddle. General James Wilkinson was a brother-in-law to Rudolph Tillier with Hon. Clement Biddle Penrose his nephew. General James Wilkinson was in charge of all United States explorations in the late 1700's and early 1800's. Rudolph Tiller was in charge of the Camp Bellefontaine Army Post factory where goods were stored and sold to Indians and solders. The Hon. Clement Biddle Penrose was one of three Louisiana purchase land commissioners in St. Louis right after the Louisiana Purchase (so he had a lot of power related to the Louisiana Purchase). The book is also about Meriwether Lewis and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. General James Wilkinson was also the first appointed US Governor of Louisiana Territory.

PIKE-WILKINSON EXPEDITION - Time period 1806-1807. General James Wilkinson ordered this expedition and the James Wilkinson on this expedition was his son James Biddle Wilkinson. The Mother of James Biddle Wilkinson was Ann Biddle the niece of my ancestor Joseph Biddle.

The exploration of the Missouri River at Fort Atkinson located in the town now called Fort Calhoun, Nebraska (a few miles North of Omaha) had roles played by Nicholas Biddle, Major Thomas Biddle and Major John Biddle. The following three paragraphs relate stories how the three Biddle brothers (Nicholas Biddle, Major Thomas Biddle and Major John Biddle) are connected to exploration of the Missouri River.

Mythological Genealogy from Charlemagne to my Grandmother Martha Biddle- The genealogy of the three brothers listed above are shown under Charles Biddle.

Biddle Old Published Items- Example: Books published by Nicholas Biddle

E-Mail to Owen Picton

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Last Modified December 2022

This site designed and maintained by Owen Picton.