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Christian Febiger was born on the island of Funen in 1746 or 1749. By 1768 he was living on St. Croix in what was then the Danish West Indies (now the U.S. Virgin Islands), where he likely clerked for an uncle employed in the island’s administration. Early in the 1770s he arrived in North America, where he made a trip in 1772 from Cape Fear, in North Carolina, to Penobscot, Maine. By the Revolutionary War he had settled down in the Boston area as a dealer in lumber, fish and horses. Ten days after shots were fired in Lexington Febiger had offered his services to the Massachusetts State militia. He was made a junior officer and participated in the Battle of Bunker Hill, and then accompanied Gen. Arnold’s expedition to Quebec, where he was captured. After he was paroled Febiger was appointed an officer in the 11th Regiment of the Virginia Continental Line, serving under Daniel Morgan. In this position he saw action in a number of battles, including at Brandywine, where he achieved distinction. He saw Cornwallis surrender at Yorktown, and ended the war as a colonel. (Actually, he was promoted to Brigadier General, but never used the title.)
Fibiger settled in Philadelphia as a businessman and trader and also served in local political positions. He married a woman of Scottish extraction, Elizabeth Carson. The couple had no children, but adopted one of her nephews, who then carried this early Danish name forward in America. Christian Febiger died in Philadelphia in 1796. A video about him may be found on the museum's YouTube channel.