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James Swan, born in 1754, moved to Boston from Fifeshire, Scotland at a young age. His trade was as a clerk in counting houses and various shops. He was a member of the Sons of Liberty, the St. Andrew’s Lodge of Freemasons, the Scots Charitable Society of Boston, and enlisted in the Revolutionary Army. He rose to the rank of Colonel in the Battle of Bunker Hill and he also held positions on the Massachusetts Board of War and Legislature. His close compatriots included distinguished figures such as Perez Morton and Henry Knox. He later died in Paris in July of 1830.