Cousins of the Golden West

Ancestors, Uncles, Aunts and Cousins who migrated west of the Rockies prior to 1900.

1850 – Sacramento

William Lewis BLAIR’s son-in-law  John George Anderson was born in Jul 1859 in Monroeville, Colusa, California.  He was 35 years older than Beulah.  His parents were John George Anderson Jr. and Mary Williams Diffenderffer. His parents were married 27 Jun 1851 in Sacramento, California in a romantic gold rush story. In the 1860 census, he was living with his parents who were farming in Monroeville, Colusa, California

John Anderson first married in 1894 to Ida C. [__?__] (b. Jul 1870 New York)  Ida’s parents were born in Scotland.  In 1879 he was a 21 year old tinsmith living in Alameda County’s second ward (North Oakland).  In the 1900 census John and Ida were living in Salt Lake City where he was a real estate agent and in the 1910 census they were living in Seattle where John was the proprietor of an apartment house.

Beulah met her husband when she did private nursing for him. He had forty acres of oranges in Lindsay (20 valencia, 20 navel) and was a rich man in good years. He thought his daughter Alice was a miraculous wonder. He had no children by his first wife.

John’s father John George Anderson Sr.  was born 13 Mar 1823 in St. Alban’s, Vermont. His parents were William Anderson (b. 1799 in Scotland – d. 11 Dec 1891 in Salt Lake City) and Agnes [__?__]. John died 15 Feb 1910 in Seattle, Washington.

John’s mother Mary Williams Diffenderffer was born 12 Nov 1832 in Baltimore, Maryland. Her parents were Dr. Michael Nicholas Diffenderffer (b. 22 Apr 1812 Baltimore, Maryland – d. Nov 1850 Diamond Springs, El Dorado, California) and Mary Barney Williams (b. 14 Aug 1813, Maryland – d. 8 Aug 1850 12 miles east of the sink of Humboldt River in Nevada.) Mary died 15 Oct 1893 in Chicago, Illinois.

John George Anderson Sr. arrived in Sacramento ca 1850, from New Orleans, via the Isthmus of Panama, then by clipper ship, to San Francisco, then up the River. There he met Mary Williams Diffenderffer. She had arrived in Sacramento from Placerville, where her father, Dr. Michael Nicholas Diffenderffer, died after a long and ardous wagon train trip had brought the family from St. Charles, Missouri. Her mother had died and was buried 12 miles east of the sink of Humboldt River in Nevada. Free Masons brought Mary (age 18) and three younger siblings to the home of the Worshipful Master of their Lodge in Sacramento, where he cared for them.  Mary and John George were married in Sacramento on 23 Jun 1851. Family stories say that they lived in a log cabin where the State Capitol now stands.  In the 1880 census, John George Sr was a hardware merchant in Oakland, Calif.

Children of Dr. Michael Nicholas Diffenderffer and Mary Barney Williams who were left on their own in the California Gold fields in 1850

i Mary Williams Diefenderfer (Age 18) See above

ii. Barrach Diffenderfer Age 14 (1836 Somerset, MD – 1890)

iii. Catherine Rogers Diffenderfer  Age 12 (1838 – 1890)

iv. Amelia Handy Diffenderfer Age 10 (1840 – 1890)

v. Michael Nicholas Diffenderfer Age 8 (1842 – 1890)

1851 – Gold Fields

William SHAW  was born in 1830 in Edinburgh Scotland according to the 1880 census.  On the other hand, he is recorded to be 44 years old in the 1870 census, putting his birth at 1826 and there was a single farmer William Shaw from Scotland in Vienna Township, Dane County, Wisconsin age 36 in the 1860 census which would put his birth at 1824.   William left behind 2 sisters in Edinburgh and came to New York City when he was 15 .  Later, when he was 21, he sailed around Cape Horn to California gold fields and clerked in a store.

William Shaw

William  made enough money to go to Dane County, Wisconsin (cherry belt) where there was a Scottish community and purchased a farm in Vienna Township. William married Ruth Agnes FOSTER 3 Aug or 27 Jul 1861 when he was 34 and she was 18.

1851 Suisun City, California

David WING IV’s grandson Capt. Josiah Wing was born  3 Apr 1799 in Harwich, Barnstable, Mass.  Josiah died. 4 Oct 1874 Suisan, Solano, California;    He first married  12 Oct 1822 in Brewster, Barnstable, Mass. to Phebe Lincoln (1800-1837) Josiah and Phebe had five children born between 1824 and 1836 in Brewster, Mass. These children stayed in the midwest

After Phebe died, he married  5 Nov 1837 to Mrs. Mercy Hurd.     Mercy Foster Crosby (b. 1808 in Brewster, Barnstable, Mass. – d. 9 Jan 1885 in Suisun, Solano, California; Burial: IOOF Block 44 Grave 7, Fairfield-Suisun Cemetery)   Josiah and Mercy and six more children born between 1838 and 1848, two in South Perinton, Monroe, New York, three in Medina, Orleans, New York and one in Wheatland, Hillsdale, Michigan. These children came with their parents to California.

Jerry Bowen and Sabine Goerke-Shrode ”Solano: The Way It Was,” Sunday, Jan 07, 2007 – Capt. Wing steered Suisun City’s early course

After Phebe’s death, Josiah went back to Brewster, Mass., where he married a widow, Mercy Hurd. He sold the farm in New York and moved to Michigan.

The gold discovery in California drew him away from farming to try his hand at the more lucrative business of transporting passengers and cargo to the gold fields. He moved the family to Cape Cod, Mass.

Once in California, he went into the business of supplying building materials, goods and food for the miners. He established a very profitable business when he began sailing out of San Francisco to Sacramento. Josiah also converted the ship that he sailed around the horn, The Diantha, into a store ship and then built the Pine Street Hotel in San Francisco from the timber that he had brought with him.

San Francisco Harbor 1851

Evidently The Diantha never sailed again and was broken up or allowed to sink in the bay, the fate of hundreds of ships whose crews jumped ship to pursue the lure of gold.

Followed the acquisition of the schooner Ann Sophia, in 1852, Josiah Wing  came to Suisun. He purchased Suisun “Island” and a tract of adjoining marshland, about 600 acres in all, for $500. He established a permanent wharf at Suisun and built a warehouse with sleeping quarters, then moved   his wood-frame home from its location on Pine Street in San Francisco to Suisun.

He also discovered, that at low tide, Suisun was not an island. Using willow logs, he raised the low-tide connection between the island and the Suisun Valley shoreline. Later this connection would be called Union Avenue.

Next, he sent for his family back in Massachusetts. His wife, Mercy, and children reached San Francisco in August of 1852..

With wife Mercy, and the 10 children from both their marriage and his previous marriage, the family became the founders of Suisun City.

The embarcadero quickly grew into a bustling business district, especially for the farming community in the upper county area. During the first summer of 1851, the settlement’s first store opened, operated by John W. Owens and A.W. Hall.

Records of 1852 note shipments of potatoes, another of the early local attempts to develop a variety of agricultural commodities.

In 1854, Capt. Wing began plans for the layout of the new town, with street grids and lot subdivisions with assistance by Owens to be called Suisun City.

Suisun waterfront, today

By 1857, the old wood-frame home became too small for the Wing family. Never hesitating to acquire new land and to settle anew, Capt. Wing purchased a 23-acre farm west of the town, built a new house and moved his family [to what is now Fairfield]. This would remain their home until 1874.

An early settler, James Thomas Wells, recalled in 1925 “There was not much here” except a slaughter house and Captain Wing used to have the wild grain around here harvested and then take it down to San Francisco in his schooner. Allen Miller and J. B. Lemon, his brother-in-law, were already settled here, having come to California in search of gold.

“They were then engaged in stock raising. Wing’s schooner used to carry away the grain which was brought in from the valleys, being hauled to Suisun by teams of sixteen to twenty mules. I can remember when the stagecoaches came in here, one line running from Benicia to Fairfield and the other from Napa to Sacramento.”

By 1855, the Solano Herald already said about the flourishing town: “It is the point of embarkation of the produce of the county and has for the past few months been the busiest place in the county.”

Suisun became a bustling port of commerce where fortunes were made. At the time, there was a wheat boom. There was a huge demand in Europe for flour.

Entrepreneurs moved to Suisun to set up mills with stone grinding wheels to meet the demand. These mills would have run round the clock – 24/7, if it wasn’t for the fact that the steam boilers that ran the grinding stones had to be cleaned out periodically

In the 1850 census, Josiah was ship master in Brewster, Barnstable, Massachusetts. In the 1860 census, Josiah was a seaman in Suisan, California.

By the late 1850s, he sold part of his landholdings in Suisun, including the wharf.  Josiah kept sailing his new ship, The Ann Sophia, on the Sacramento River, and was especially busy at harvest time. He found the land holdings to be a distraction from his first love of shipmaster,   He continued to use the wharf for his business until 1864, when he also sold the Ann Sophia.

In 1857 he purchased a 23-acre farm a few miles west of town, put it in Mercy’s name and connected it to Rockville Road by a plank lane built by Chinese workers. The new farmhouse would remain the Wing home until after Josiah’s death in October of 1874, when Mercy went to live with her son.

In 1868, residents petitioned the Solano County Board of Supervisors that steps be taken to grant the country town the rights and privileges of a city. The big moment came on Oct 9, 1868, when the Solano County Board of Supervisors voted to accept the petition. To do so, petitioners had to prove that Suisun had more than 200 residents, all of whom had lived there for more than 30 days, and that a majority of these residents supported the incorporation by signing the petition. The drive to incorporate was spearheaded by Samuel Breck, who was the supervisor representing the area on the Board of Supervisors.

Surprisingly, Capt. Wing’s name is not among the petitioners recorded in the Board of Supervisors’ minutes. Nor is his name among the list of voters for the federal election or the election to form the first Suisun City government, although his son, Chillingsworth Wing, is listed.

Instead of local politics, Josiah’s interests had shifted back to the sea. Over the previous decade, he had made changes to his holdings that eventually allowed him to be gone for much of the year.

In the spring of 1866, at age 67, Josiah Wing went back to sea. This time, the North Pacific beckoned with its highly profitable fishing grounds.   . He mastered the brig Pride of the West to catch fish in the North Pacific. His voyage was “crowned with success,” according to news reports.For the next five years, he fished the Pacific Northwest, sailing all the way to the Okhotsk Sea, off the Russian Coast. In some years, he would return with nearly 100,000 caught codfish.

The next year he took command of the Dominga and for the next five years he sailed to Petropoulski, on the Okhotsk Sea, returning each autumn with 70,000 to 100,000 codfish.  Other fishing expeditions took him to New Zealand.

In 1871, he planned on arriving back in Suisun to give the bride away, when his daughter Laura married, but he was delayed for 18 days by calm winds.   His final voyage ended in November 1871. At age 72, he left the sea for good  and he decided to open a fish market.

Some of the earlier historical resources sometimes hint at a rivalry between the two local sea captains and city founders, Capt. Robert Waterman of Fairfield and Wing of Suisun. Looking at Wing’s life and interests, especially in his later years, I don’t see this as a factor in his life.

Both men had very different experiences as captains. Captain Waterman was a clipper ship captain sailing to China, where he met his partner, Capt. Archibald Ritchie. Wing on the other hand was a packet captain sailing along the East Coast. It is doubtful that the two knew each other prior to coming to Solano County.

Wing chanced onto the land in Suisun Bay while sailing between San Francisco and Sacramento and recognized the location as an opportunity to establish a good home base for his business and his family.

Although this decision resulted in the founding of Suisun, after the first few years, he seemed not to have participated actively in its growth or political formation. Rather, he continued to do what he loved best – raise his family, farm his land, and – foremost – sail the high seas.

Wing died on Oct. 4, 1874, and was mourned by the community as a well-liked member, according to his obituary in the Weekly Solano Republican on Thursday, Oct. 8, 1874.

Josiah Wing Gravestone — Burial: IOOF Block 44 Grave 6, Fairfield-Suisun Cemetery;

“The early settlers of this county will regret to learn of the demise of one of their number in the person of Capt. Josiah Wing, of this place, who died on the morning of the 4th instant, at the age of 76 years and five months, having been born on the 4th day of April 1798, at Brewster, a town on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Capt. Wing came to California in 1850, bringing with him in his vessel the frame and material of a house which he erected in San Francisco, but which was subsequently – 1852 – taken down and brought to this place and occupied by his family (which arrived earlier that year) and is the one now occupied by E. Littrell as a restaurant.

“He was the first person who ever navigated Suisun Slough, and he erected the first dwelling-house and the first warehouse in this place. A few years later he removed to a farm about two miles from town, where his family has ever since resided, though he was usually absent at sea until within the last two years.

‘He was a person of a robust constitution and enjoyed excellent health until quite recently, and was able to walk about town within six or eight hours of his death. His genial social qualities made him a favorite with old and young and he was held in the highest estimation by all who knew him. His funeral took place on Wednesday, and was more largely attended than any that has ever occurred here. The flags in town were at half-mast on Wednesday in token of respect for the deceased.”

Here’s a side note — Increasing prosperity allowed the Wings, like many families at the time, to employ a number of servants to run the family home and farm.

Among the earliest servants mentioned is Adam Willis, whose personal history illustrates an often-ignored aspect of California history. Willis was of African-American descent and came to Solano County as a slave. Willis was born in Missouri in 1824 and was later either inherited or bought by the Vaughn family in Saline County, Mo. In 1846, Maj. Singleton Vaughn decided to move west, accompanied by Willis. Vaughn first settled in Woodland and then moved to Benicia.

In 1852, he decided to bring his whole family. Willis, then age 23, was put in charge of the overland trek.

Willis remained with the Vaughn family until he was given his freedom on Sept. 25, 1855. The letter recording his manumission recently was discovered in the Solano County Historical Archives and will be part of an upcoming exhibit at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.

Once free, Willis set out as a cook, working in the Suisun area. One of the families he cooked for was that of Capt. Wing. Willis also worked as a cook for various other families, several hotels and the Solano County Hospital in Fairfield. He died Nov. 20, 1902.

1852 Oregon Trail

William L. LATTA’s grandsons John and Thomas Latta went to Oregon in 1852.    During the latter part of the trip Thomas with others rode forward for help, as provisions were low.  He was 48 hours in the saddle without food.  Died shortly after from exhaustion and mountain fever. John had a cattle ranch near Prineville OR and was a prominent man there.

John G. Latta b. 1823 Pennsylvania; d. 1873 in Cow Creek, Douglas, Oregon

Thomas Latta b. 1829 Pennsylvania d. 1852 Oregon Trail

1852 Butte Creek Canyon, Butte County, California

Joseph COLEMAN’s grandson Daniel Bryant Coleman was born in Jan 1826 in Vassalboro, Kennebec, Maine;. Daniel married 1858 Butte County, Calif to Mary Elizabeth Moore (b. 22 Sep 1839 in Springfield, Sangamon, Illinois – d. 14 Jul 1910 in Kimshew, Butte, California) Daniel and Mary had seven children born between 1858 and 1881.   Daniel died in 1905 in Kimshew, Butte, California (Near Chico).

Daniel’s brother Henry Coleman was born in 1828 in Vassalboro, Kennebec, Maine and died 1 May 1861 in Vassalboro, Kennebec, Maine.

Colman Museum  13548 Centerville Road 
Chico, CA

Colman Museum Location Butte Canyon Creek

Inside Colman Museum

Henry and his brother Daniel came to the California Gold fields in 1852. Henry returned to Maine, but Daniel stayed.

49er “Pioneer Day” Faire in Butte Creek Canyon at Colman Museum

In 1976, Lois Colman, granddaughter of D.B. Colman, canyon pioneer, realized her dream of preserving the history of Butte Creek Canyon came true, with the opening of the Colman Memorial Community Museum. The museum was financed with the profits of her book “Tailings of Butte Creek Canyon“. (Not cheap collectible editions $172 – $200 at Amazon.)

Tailings of Butte Canyon First Edition 1972

Interesting things to see at the Museum at 13548 Centerville Road, Chico, CA:

  • Civil War Memorabilia
  • Gold Mining Equipment
  • Indian Basket Collection
  • Antique Tools
  • Old School Material
  • 1800’s Clothing
  • Chinese Artifacts
  • Antique Cooking Utensils
  • New Maidu Exhibit
  • Bridges of Butte Creek Canyon Exhibit
  • Museum Collection Index

Charles’ oldest sons Daniel and Henry came to California in the Gold Rush

The Honey Run Covered Bridge crosses Butte Creek and intersects with Centerville Road in Butte County, California leading to Butte Canyon where Daniel’s family lived. It is located about halfway in between Chico and Paradise in northern California. It is one of the few covered bridges left in California and is the only tri-span bridge in the United States.

1854 – Foreman’s Ranch (near Linden) San Joaquin

John HENRY was born about June 1835 in Ireland. John married Hannah LARKIN. John and Hannah arrived in San Joaquin, California in 1854.  John died 23 Dec 1865 in Linden, California.

Hannah Larkin was born in 1829 in Ireland.  Hannah was recorded as living in San Joaquin County, 51,  widowed and head of household in the 1880 census.  It must have been very difficult to raise five daughters on your own as a single mom in a new country in 1865.

The 1860 census showing John 24, Hannah 26, Ellen 2, and Margaret 1, living with the John Fagin family near Foremans Ranch (later Peters halfway between Linden and Farmington)  in Douglass Township in San Joaquin County. Within Douglass Township lie the towns of Peters, Linden and Farmington. The Fagins were about the same age as the Henrys:  John (27) Kate (17) and Michael (20),  Lawerence Larkin age 23 (Hannah’s brother?) was living there too as a farm laborer.

The village of Linden of about 400 population is situated on what was known in the early days as the Mokelumne Hill road twelve to thirteen miles from Stockton in a northeasterly direction, and two miles south of the Calaveras river.   Originally this point was known as the Fifteen-Mile House, and then as Foreman’s ranch up to August, 1862, when it was laid out by Mr. Foreman and given its present name by J. Wasley.  In the spring of 1849, when water covered nearly all the country around, two brothers named William D. (a doctor) and John Trebilcock, who were freighting to  the mines, noticed the highest point of land in the valley on this route, and, soon afterward locating here, opened a public house, which was at first merely a rough board shanty.  It was named the Fifteen-Mile House, on account of its distance by road at that time from Stockton.  In the summer of 1851 they put up a better building, and afterward made additions.  Subsequently these brothers sold the house to C. C. Rynerson,  who married their cousin, Mary Wasley, and who was afterward sheriff of this county.  The latter sold to Foreman & Beritzhoff, and it was long known as the Foreman ranch.

After Mr. Rynerson, the second settler, came John Haines, Samuel Foreman and A. C. Beritzhoff, the last two being the later proprietors of the tavern just mentioned.

The Moore school-house was the first built in the township, Linden being a part of the district: it was on Charles Hayden’s ranch.  In August, 1858, the Jefferson school district was formed, taking in the present village sites, and that year the first school-house was built.  In 1862 the name of Linden was given to the district.  In 1864 the old school-house was burned down, and since then several new ones have been erected.

1878/79 business directory of Douglass Township, San Joaquin, California shows Mrs. Hannah Henry as a farmer with 160 acres in Linden.  According to the directory, Hannah arrived in San Joaquin and California in 1854.

1880 Census  Douglas Township, San Joaquin, California – Hannah Henry 51, Maggie Henry 21, Delia Henry 20, Agnes Henry 18, Kitty Henry 15   Ellen either died or got married by 1880.

Agnes and Kathryn Henry

1860 Weaverville, Trinity, California

Nathan BALCOM’s granddaughter Julia Ann Balcom was left behind when her husband Jeremiah went to seek his fortune in California.  Julia Ann Balcom b: 1827 in Sutton, Merrimack, New Hampshire – d. 30 Mar 1896; m. 7 Sep 1845 in Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts to Jeremiah Hedges (b. 15 Jul 1819 in Chelsea, Orange, Vermont – d. 15 Feb 1888 in Clinton, Barron, Wisconsin) His parents were Herman Hedges and Clarissa Wright.

Julia Ann Balcom Hedges (1827-1896)

In the 1860 census, Julia was living in Newton, Middlesex, Mass with three children Horace (b. 31 Dec 1846 North Chelmsford, Mass – d. 2 Mar 1932 Riverview Cemetery, Trenton, New Jersey), Julia Isabella (b. 1848 Mass – d. 13 Dec 1941 San Diego) and Lucinda “Lillie” E (b. 1853 Mass.) Meanwhile, in 1860, Jeremiah was trying his luck as a blacksmith in Weaverville, Trinity, California. His household of nine men and women included a saloon keeper, some miners, a housekeeper and another blacksmith. The motley crew were from Pennsylvania, Ireland, Maine, New Hampshire and Prussia and France.

In the 1870 census, Jeremiah was farming in Big Rock, Kane, Illinois, joined by his son Horace who had married in 1869 to Kate Mutchler (b. 2 May 1844) and daughter Julia J who in 1867 had married John R Atwood (b. 1842 Maine) Horace had enlisted in 1866 for three years of service in the army. John Atwood was a Civil War veteran who had enlisted in Company E, Maine 19th Infantry Regiment on 25 Aug 1862 and mustered out on 15 Apr 1864. In the 1910 census, John and Julia were farming in Lemon Grove, San Diego, California.

Meanwhile in 1870 Julia was a housekeeper for Thomas Ranney in Newton, Middlesex, Mass.

Horace J Hedges (1846-1930)

1860 Nevada City, California

William L. LATTA’s grandsons Reuben G. and Robert Wallace Latta both died in early California accidents.

Reuben G Latta b. 27 Apr 1826 in Ross, Ohio; d. 14 Aug 1860 Nevada City, California.  Reuben was killed in a hydraulic mining accident near Nevada City, Calif. August 14, 1860. Buried in the Grandview Cemetery, Louisa County, Iowa.

Robert Wallace Latta b. 24 May 1828 in Ross, Ohio; d. 11 Nov 1877 in Nevada City, Nevada; m. Sarah Alameda Darling (1835  Michigan – 1887, Covina, Calif)  Killed in November 1875 near Nevada City, Calif. by being struck on the head with a green pile pole in construction a fence to confine some cattle; In 1851 went to Calif.

In the 1860 census, R W was a merchant in Napa, Napa, California.

In the 1870 census, R W was a stage proprietor in Nevada City, California.

1864 Virginia City and Red Bluff, Montana

Josiah Harvey FOSTER’s daughter Jeanette was born 14 Apr 1832 in New York.

In the 1860 census, Jeanette and her husband Charles Bradley were farming in Arlington, Columbia, Wisconsin.

They moved to Montana Territory where their  son John J. Bradley was born about 1866. In the 1870 census, Charles and Jeanette were farming near Virginia City, Montana.

In 1863, the area around Virginia City was part of the Dakota Territory until March, when it became part of the newly formed Idaho Territory. On May 26, 1864, the Territory of Montana was formed, with Bannack briefly becoming the territorial capital, Virginia City would quickly take that title from Bannack.

In May 1863, a group of prospectors were headed towards the Yellowstone River and instead came upon a party of the Crow tribe and were forced to return to Bannack. Gold was discovered on the retreat trip when Bill Fairweather stuck a pick near Alder Creek joking he might find something to fund some tobacco.

The prospectors could not keep the site a secret. They were followed on their return to the gold bearing site and set up the town in order to formulate rules about individual gold claims. On June 16, 1863 under the name of “Verina” the township was formed a mile south of the gold fields. The name was meant to honor Varina Howell Davis, first and only First Lady of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. Verina, although in Union territory, was founded by men whose loyalties were thoroughly Confederate. Upon registration of the name, a Connecticut judge, G. G. Bissell, objected to their choice and recorded it as Virginia City.

Within weeks Virginia City was a veritable boomtown of thousands in the midst of a gold rush with no law enforcement whatsoever, except for vigilantism. Most of Montana became under the rule of a Vigilance committee, the infamous Montana Vigilantes, which operated on both sides of the law. Their secret motto, 3-7-77 is still on the badges, patches, and car door insignia of the Montana Highway Patrol.

In 1864, the Montana Territory was carved out of Idaho Territory. Virginia City, claiming 10,000 citizens, was made the capital of the new territory in 1865. The first public school was built in 1866, but already the most easily accessible gold from placer mining had been exploited and development and population in the territory was moving towards Helena.

In the 1880 census, Jeanette was widowed and keeping a hotel in Red Bluff, Madison, Montana. (About 30 miles north of Virginia City and 30 miles south of Bozeman on Montana State Route 84.)

Red Bluff was settled in 1864 as a mining town and stage stop on the Bozeman road.  During it’s hey day, Red Bluff had two gold mills, various stores, businesses and 12 saloons. The town existed with it’s school and post office until 1890 when the railroad came to the Alex Norris Ranch three miles to the west.

Red Bluff Montana Historic Sign

Red Bluff Tanners Hotel & Livery stable

Could this have been Jeannette’s hotel?  I haven’t found out, but a clue is  Bradley Creek Road is the main highway running south from Red Bluff. The  Tanner brother initials were A.W. and C.E.

The Red Bluff Tanners Hotel & Livery stable was destroyed by Fire in 2006

Red Bluff Cemetery – Notice the “green” countryside of May & June compared to the “yellow-wheat” color of the other ten months of the year.

Today Red Bluff is a Montana State University Research Ranch located near Norris in Madison County, Montana, along the west side of the Madison River.

1870 – San Francisco, California.

Samuel FOSTER’s grandson John Hiram Fuller ( b. 7 Aug 1806 in Livermore, Androscoggin, Maine; d. 1887 San Francisco); m. Hannah C. Hinds (b. 18 Apr 1809 in Livermore, Androscoggin, Maine – d. Aft 1880 Census, San Francisco) In the 1860 census John H and Hannah C. were keeping a hotel in LaGrange, Penobscot, Maine. In the 1870 census, John, Hannah, Hinds and Florette were living with their son-in-law and daughter James and Eliza McKinley in San Francisco Ward 10, San Francisco, California. James was a dealer in wood and coal. In the 1860 census, James McKinley (b. 1834) was mining with his brothers in White Oak, El Dorado, California so it looks like Eliza might have met him in California.

In the 1871 voter registration, John Hiram’s sons Hinds (b. 1834) and Frederick Oldham (b. 1836) were living together in Oakland, California. Hinds was a teamster and Frederick was a policeman.

1877 Pendleton, Oregon

Seth RICHARDSON II’s   grandson Seth M Richardson  was born  29 Sep 1816 in Attleborough, Bristol, Mass and died 27 Jan 1899 Pendleton, Umatilla, Oregon; burial Olney Cemetery, Plot: Block 14 Lot 75 Grave 1; m. 1838 in Vassalboro, Maine to Philena Dearborn (b. 19 Apr 1819 in Augusta, Kennebec, Maine – d. 17 Jan 1901 in Pendleton, Oregon)

Seth Richardson, Sr., married Philena Dearborn, at Augusta, Maine and was the father of 12 children. He removed to Oregon in 1877, arriving with father, mother, children, and grandchildren in Portland on May 13. He came to Pendleton the following August, arriving here on the 7th, where he has since resided almost continuously. Seth Richardson, of the Klondike Restaurant, is the oldest child of the deceased.

In the 1880 census, Seth and Philena were living in Pendleton, Umatilla, Oregon with six children at home ages 18 to 39. Seth was a stone mason, his son Gardner (age 39) was a carpenter, his son John (age 37) was a laborer, his son Seth (age 34) worked in a saddle shop, and his son Edward (age 23) was a stage driver

Pendleton, Umatilla, Oregon

Eastern Oregonian Obit 1 Feb 1899 , Pendleton

A victim of paralysis at the age of Eighty-Three. Seth Richardson, Sr., was born at Norton, Mass, on September 20, 1816 and died at his home a short distance west of Pendleton on Friday, January 27, 1899, at 9am. He was stricken with paralysis three or four years ago. Six months ago he had an attack of la grippe, which followed more recently with paralysis of the back, combined to produce death. He live a life of peace ad usefulness and shortly before he died, as he realized that death was near, said to those surrounding his bedside: “I cannot stay much longer; my time is nearly up. I am ready to go.” He died in perfect peace, as though going to sleep. The funeral took place on Sunday forenoon from the late home of deceased, and was conducted by the Rev. FL Forbes, of Pendleton Academy. Interment was in Olney Cemetery.

Seth Richardson, Sr., married Philena Dearborn, at Augusta, Maine and was the father of 12 children. He removed to Oregon in 1877, arriving with father, mother, children, and grandchildren in Portland on May 13. He came to Pendleton the following August, arriving here on the 7th, where he has since resided almost continuously. Seth Richardson, of the Klondike Restaurant, is the oldest child of the deceased.

Sons of Seth Richardson – Alexander Albert (1842 – 1934), Gardiner Daggett (1840 – 1932), & Seth Murray Richardson Jr (1846 – 1924)

By 1900, Pendleton had a population of 4,406 and was the fourth-largest city in Oregon. Like many cities in Eastern Oregon, it had a flourishing Chinatown. The sector is supposed to have been underlain by a network of tunnels which are now a tourist attraction, although its authenticity as a tunnel system has been questioned

1878  – San Francisco

Joseph COLEMAN’s grandson Nathaniel Bryant Coleman was born 13 Oct 1833 in Vassalboro, Kennebec, Maine. He married 1866 to Leonora Wilson (b. Sep 1837 in Gorham, Cumberland, Maine – d. aft 1920 census in Redwood, Santa Clara, California) Nathaniel died 3 Mar 1927 in Redwood Township (Los Gatos), Santa Clara, California.

Nathaniel enrolled in Colby College in 1859 and in 1860 transferred to Princeton. The death of a brother called him back to Maine and the outbreak of war put an end to his college course. He enlisted as a Hospital Steward on 15 Aug 1862 in Company S, 17th Infantry Regiment Maine on 15 Aug 1862. Promoted to Full Assistant Surgeon on 22 Nov 1863. Mustered Out Company S, 17th Infantry Regiment Maine on 4 Jun 1865 at Washington, DC.

In 1865 he graduated in medicine from Dartmouth and practiced medicine and surgery in New Hampshire, California and Washington. (See his bio from Princeton’s Fortieth-year Book)

In the 1880 census, Nathaniel was a physician in San Francisco.

Charles Milton Coleaman’s son Nathaniel was a doctor and Civil War surgeon.

Nathaniel Coleman Bio 2

1880 – Monterey, Monterey, California

George MILLERs son Ira was born 18 Sep 1838 New Brunswick, Canada. In 1845, he immigrated with his family via wagon train to Palmyra, Jefferson County, Wisconsin.   Ira was a private in Company B, 1st Wisconsin Cavalry in  Civil War and in 1870, Ira and his wife Louisa were farming in Sherman, Monona, Iowa. In 1880 Ira and Louisa were living in Monterey, Monterey, California where Ira worked as a laborer.

Ira sold 40 acres of land that he had cleared and planted to orchard in Sebastapol, California to his brothers Eugene and Frank MILLER.  Neighbors who knew of the tremendous effort he made to develop the place said he was a powerful and vigorous man. Ira died 19 Jul 1897 in San Jose Calif.

1880 Lion City, Montana

Isaac MILLER’s grandson Edward T. Tracy (29 Aug 1838, New Brunswick – 12 Oct 1919 Butte, SilverBow, Montana); m1. 21 Jul 1859 in Houlton, Aroostook, Maine to Harriet A. Gilkey (28 Jun 1838 New Brunswick – 1866 New Brunswick) . m2. in 1869 to Almeda Estey (26 Oct 1851 Houlton, Arrostook County, Mainen – 27 Dec 1929 in Butte, SilverBow, Montana.).

In the 1880 census, Edward was a laborer in Lions City, Beaverhead, Montana.  Once a mining camp and now a ghost town.   Here’s today’s satellite view

Lion City was the second community founded in the Bryant Mining District, following the formation of the town named Trapper City. As Lion Mountain proved to be rich in ores, the residents moved their homes and businesses closer to the mining activity. The first post office in the area was at Trapper City and was referred to as the Burnt Pine Post Office. As the mines owned by the Hecla Consolidated Mining Company began to close in the early 1900s, the residents slowly trickled out of the area. Lion City’s neighbors, in Hecla, were often surprised with snowslides that destroy almost everything in thier path. Businesses included, grocers, dry goods, saloons, blacksmith shops, stage operators and brothels.

Lion City Montana

The townsite of Lion City has long been abandoned. It is located about 12 miles west of Melrose at the head of the Trapper Creek drainage, adjacent to Hecla. On your way, you will pass through the old townsite of Glendale, which housed the smelting facilities for the mining district. One should prepare for a slow ride to the site as the road is very primitive and accessible with a 4WD or ATV.

REMAINS: About 15 stuctures remain in the Lion City area

Lion City Today

Bryant Mining District, Montana

This photo taken by Hazeltines (of Butte) shows the three communities of Trapper City, Lion City, and Hecla scattered along the basin floor. When seeing the distance from Trapper to the Mines, it is evident why the men would relocate closer as Trapper City was farther south east. From Another Web by Jacoby Lowney

Lion City Ghost Towns

Lion City Cabin Today – Edward Tracy lived with three other men.  Two brothers Henry and Alfred Blackmore in their early twenties also from New Brunswick  and a fifty year old Italian named Antonio Gereomene.

1880 – San Pasqual, San Diego, California

William L. LATTA‘s grandson James A Latta was born 8 Jun 1821 in Ross, OH and died 11 Apr 1884 in San Pasqual, San Diego.

In the 1880 census, James was a single Apiarist in San Pasqual, San Diego, California.

He raised bees and joined by his nephew, William G. Latta, son of John Briggs Latta who, when James died, found the title imperfect so he filed on it. James died single.

1888 – Great Falls, Montana

Guilford Dudley COLEMAN’s daughter Eleanor married Ernest Wight King 5 Nov 1885 Anoka Minnesota.

Eleanor and Ernest continued to live after their marriage  till after Ruby was born (1886) when the father went west to Great Falls, Montana. After Gladys was born (1888) the mother traveled west with the two little girls and moved onto a homestead. After proving up on it the family moved to Great Falls where Ernest King served as superintendent of the water works and city engineer till he was asked to take charge of the Gilt Edge Mine where the family, now including Dana (1892) and Phoebe (1895) moved.  After three years there, they moved to Lewistown, Montana, for better school facilities, and later to Bozeman where the Montana State College was located. Here Ruby and Gladys attended, Ruby graduating in Domestic Science and Gladys specializing in Music and Art. Ruby and Gladys were both married in Bozeman, having met George Hogan and Ben Law while living there.

Phoebe stayed in Bozeman with Gladys and Ben until she was graduated from high school when she went to Nevada and entered the University of Nevada a year after Dana had started his course there. At the beginning of his third year Dana was drowned while swimming in Manzanita Lake on the University of Nevada campus with some of his fraternity brothers.

Eleanor’s brother Ammi went west too. In the 1900 census, Ammi was a bookkeeeper at a water company in Great Falls, Montana.

1889 – Fowler, Fresno, California

Harvey Latta MINER  always went by his initials H. L. , although in the Miner family, he was just “dad”.  He  was born on 26 Jan 1873 on the banks of the Missouri River in Rock Bluff, Cass County Nebraska.   The minister of the town of Rock Cliff, Nebraska got H.L. a job in a lumber mill in Fowler, California, so he came out by himself as very young man.  His parents Philo Sidney MINER Jr. and Calista Jane LATTA  and brothers joined him in 1890.  He was one of a crew of men who carried the lumber on their shoulders (that was before the days of lift trucks)  His right shoulder was lower than the other, due to carrying lumber for years.  Later on he became boss with over 200 lumbermen working for his business.

HL’s brother Marion Miner (1882-1985) was a farmer in the Central Valley.  He lived to be 103 and died in Dinuba, Tulare County.  His brother Anderson wrote in 1972:

At his 90th birthday celebration that “ol boy” don’t look a day older than he did twenty years ago.  He does all of the irrigating and cultivating on 27 acres of vineyard and sems to thrive on it.  His daughter Avalyn lives close by and he gets some of his meals there, but most of the time, he lives there all alone.  Hope I can do that well.

H.L. MINER married Cora Lorena McCAW in Oct 1895 when he was 22 years old.

1889 – Selma, Fresno, California

Robert McConahay LATTA‘s son James Thompson Latta was in California by 1889.  In 1920 he owned a fruit ranch near Selma.  In the1930 census, James and Mary were living in San Diego where James worked as a janitor. 1937 in San Diego, CA.

1890 – Ophir, Placer, California

Thomas BLAIR’s son Thomas Wesley Blair was born 15 Jul 1866 in Franklin, Huntington, Quebec.

Thomas and his wife  Lizzie immigrated to the United States in 1890 and became naturalized citizens in 1898

In the 1900 census, Thomas was a fruit grower living in Ophir, Placer, California.   Wesley T Blair 33, Lizzie Blair 38, Lillian Blair 1, Margaret Greer 70, F* Ogawa 20, Y* Slakuvane 25.   Like his brother William Lewis, he states that both his parents were born in New York.    Ogawa and Slakuvane (sorry for the misspelling, but those seem to be the letters the census worker wrote) were farm laborers who had come from Japan in 1896 and 1899 respectively.

Ophir, also known as Ophirville, was a ghost town in Placer County, California.  The community was named after King Solomon’s treasure.   Now a suburb of Auburn, it was a boomtown of the California Gold Rush. In 1852 it was the center of the local gold mining industry, and the most populous town in the county. After the gold rush, the area was planted in vineyards and orchards, and during Prohibition just in orchards. Beginning in the 1970s vineyards again returned to the area. Today, local services for Ophir come from Auburn, 3 miles to the east.

1890 – Fresno, California

Robert SMITH’s granddaughter Laura Jane Paul (18 Jan 1867 Illinois – 21 Oct 1943 Los Angeles); m. 1890 to Manuel Vincent (Nov 1863  Azores, Portugal – After 1930 census)

Manuel immigrated in 1869 or 1871. In the 1900 census, Manuel was working as a blacksmith in Selma, Fresno, California. In the 1920 census, Laura and Manuel were still living in Selma and Manuel was now a real estate agent.

1890 – Spanish Creek, Gallatin, Montana

In the 1900 census William SHAW’s son Robert was a tenant farmer in Spanish Creek, Gallatin, Montana. The family employed a servant Roy Kimbal (age 24.)  Spanish Creek is south of Bozeman on US 191 on the road to the west entrance of Yellowstone.  The Greek Creek to Spanish Creek section of Gallatin River in Gallatin County is 13 miles long and it is classified as a class II-IV section by American Whitewater.

1891 – Fresno, California

Frank Nelson MILLER

Wedding Announcement Fresno Republican 5 Jan 1896

The Two Popular Teachers Married in This City

F.N. Miler and Miss Agnes Henry were united in wedlock yesterday noon at the residence of Lester E. Walker on East Ventura Street.  Rev. I.D. Wood performed the ceremony.  Only the relatives of the contracting paries were present.  The ceremony took place in the parlor which had been tastily decorated with trailing vines for the occasion.  The bride was attended by her sister Miss. Kathryn Henry.  Afer the brief, but impressive ceremony had been performed all sat down to a wedding dinner.

Those present were Mr. and Mrs. L. E. Walker, Miss Kathryn Henry, Miss. Alice Miller of Santa Rose, Miss Florence Puffer, Miss Mabel Morris and Ira A. Miller of San Jose.

Mr. and Mrs. Miller left on last evening’s train for San Diego where they will make their home.  Miss. Agnes Henry has been a teacher in the schools of this county for the past ten years, six in the schools of this city.  During this time she has gained a wide circle of friends besides establishing a reputation as a successful teacher.

Frank’s California CV

Principal Fresno County 1891-95

Chairman of all Committees of arrangement for entertainment of State Teachers’ Association at Fresno Holidays of 1892.  Toastmaster at the banquet.  Personally prepared all toasts, quotations and banquet and souvenir cards

Member of Committee on Resolutions at Stockton Holidays, 1893 S.T.A.

Vice President S.T.A. 1896

Principal, Commercial High School San Diego 1895-1902

Principal, Willows High School 1902 – 1903

1891 – Sebastopol, California

George MILLER’s son Eugene Edgar Miller (1850 – aft. 1910)  moved to Sebastopol, California in 1891.  After an especially hard Iowa winter, he threw the snow shovel on the ground and said he was never going to shovel any more   —– snow.  So Eugene and Frank MILLER decided to buy the 40 acres that their brother Ira had cleared and planted to orchard.  Neighbors who knew of the tremendous effort he made to develop the place said he was a powerful and vigorous man. He had moved to Ashland Oregon by the 1910 census.

1893 – Bozeman, Montana

When Howard Irwin SHAW’s father died in Wisconsin in 1886, the family moved to Bozeman, Montana where Howard was a member of the first class at Montana State College.  MSU was founded in 1893 as the state’s land-grant college, and named the Agricultural College of the State of Montana.

MSU – Montana Hall built in 1896

After his education as a mining engineer, he went to work at the mines in Gilt Edge where he boarded at Eleanor and Ernest King’s house.  He met his future wife Nellie Coleman who was visiting her sister Eleanor.  Nellie used to eat her dinner on his plate after he left.   Howard and Nellie drove in a blizzard to Lewistown to be married.  The story of Gilt Edge is told on my Western Pioneers page.

Howard Irwin Shaw 1908 Bozeman

Bef. 1899 Redlands, San Bernardino, California

William A. McCAW’s daughter Iva was born 21 Jul 1865 in Dixon, Preble, Ohio.  She married 10 Apr 1891 Chepeta, KS to Samuel B Lawrence.  After 1895, Samuel and Iva moved to California, but Samuel died in 25 May 1899 in Redlands, California.  In the 1900 census, Iva and her daughter Mabel were living with her father-in-law Samuel Lawrence Sr. and future second husband Lewis W. Morrison in Redlands, San Bernardino, California. Iva was head of household and made a living sewing. Lewis was a farm laborer.

Bef. 1900 Flathead County, Montana

Several of Isaac MILLER’s and Abraham ESTEY’s grandchildren were pioneers in Flathead County, Montana.  Their parents George Dow Estey and Deborah Maria Miller immigrated from New Brunswick to Palmyra, Jefferson County, Wisconsin on 1 Sep 1845.  Our ancestors  George MILLER  and Mary ESTEY (Deborah’s brother and George’s sister) accompanying them on the trip by wagon train to Wisconsin..

In the 1900 census, Amos Estey and his brother Orville were growing fruit in Jocko, Flathead, Montana. Caroline, Amos’ future wife was living in Jocko too, with her first husband George Larkin.

The Jocko Valley (Google Satellite View) is located in western Montana, 30 miles north of Missoula on land of the Flathead Indian Reservation.

Orville Estey’s wife Margaret I. Grant (18 Mar 1865 Pictou, Nova Scotia – 4 Apr 1950 Deer Lodge County, Montana)  came to the Flathead in 1899 and lived on the East Lake Shore until 1921 when she moved to Kalispell. She and her sister, Mrs. J. C. Wood, planted the first cherries on the East Lake Shore shortly after coming here. She was the first teacher at Woods Bay school.

In the 1920 census, Orville still had a fruit farm in Jocko, Flathead, Montana.

Their brother Alvord P. Estey died 13 April 1894, Hunter Hol, Montana.  Alvord’s widow Ella remarried and in the 1900 census, Ella and Philip Smith were farming in Kalispell, Flathead, Montana.

Bef. 1900 Giltedge, Montana

In the 1900 census, Dudley COLEMAN’s grandson Willis H. Hathaway (b. 7 Apr 1859 in Stillwater, Washington, Minnesota; d. 25 Dec 1929 in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon) and his wife Mary Josephine Woods (14 Dec 1865 in Ohio – 1945 in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon )  lived in Giltedge, Montana where Willis was a blacksmith. My grandmother was born in Giltedge that same year.

Willis, Effie and Addie Hathaway in 1870

1935 Yreka City, Siskiyou, California

This one doesn’t meet my 19th Century criteria, but since the story includes gold mining, it was fun to throw in.

Samuel CRUTCHFIELD Jr’s grandson Harvey Samuel Crutchfield  was born 15 Apr 1887 in Hinchinbrook,  Huntingdon,  Quebec.  Harvey died 30 Jul 1957 in Yuba, California,   He married Alma M. Kiel (b. 23 Apr 1894 Washington – d. 13 Oct 1961 Sutter, California) Her parents were born in Germany.

Harvey immigrated in 1925. In the 1930 census, Harvey and Alma were living in Grants Pass, Josephine, Oregon where Harvey was a clerk and Alma was a practical nurse in a private home. Their two children were born in Canada, Harvey Ward in 1917 and Carrie in 1920. By 1935, the family had moved to Yreka City, Siskiyou, California where Harvey was a clerk in a feed seed store and Harvey Jr was a gold miner. Living in Trowbridge, Sutter, California, in 1944.

Posted in Fun Stuff | 2 Comments

Alexander Wignall

Alexander Wignall  (c. 1575 – c. 1640) was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather; one of 4,096 in this generation of the Miller line.

Alexander Wignall Coat of Arms

The family of Alexander Wignall is speculative.  His sketch in The Great Migration Begins contains no reference to other family members.

The Great Migration Begins includes more than one thousand, one hundred sketches, each dedicated to a single immigrant or an immigrant family, arriving in New England between 1620 and 1633.  Each sketch contains information on the immigrant’s migration dates and patterns, on various biographical matters (including occupation, church membership, education, offices, and land holding), and on genealogical details (birth, death, marriages, children, and other associations by blood or marriage), along with detailed comments and discussion, and bibliographic information on the family.

Children of Alexander and [__?__]:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Judith WIGNOL 1597/1602 Essex, England Reginald FOSTER
28 Sep 1619 Theydon Garnon, Essex, England
16 Oct 1664 Ipswich, Essex, Mass.
2. Elizabeth Wignal 1604 in Frating, Essex, England Richard Ingraham
Frating, Essex, England
Bef. 1668 in Northampton, Mass.
3. John Wignal 1606 in Frating, Essex, England 1630 in Charlestown, Suffolk, Mass

From Great Migration Begins:

1. Alexander came to Watertown, Massachusetts about 1628.

2. On October 19, 1630 Alexander asked for and on May 18, 1631 took the oath of Freeman of Massachusetts. In both lists his name has the prefix of “Mr.” showing respect. He was a either a scholar or property owner with his name next above Captain William Jennison who may have been associated with Alexander.

3. “The Great Migration Begins” doubts Alexander was the father of Elizab eth and considers him to be the same “Jno. Wignall a 1630 list of Charlest own inhabitants as included in the following:

“Jno. Wignall” is included in 1630 Charlestown list of inhabitan ts as one of four who “went & built in the main on the northeast side of the northwest creek of this town” [ ChTR 5]. In ne xt list, also for 1630, is Walter Pope, who “bought Jno. Wignall’s house & land” [ ChTR 6].

3 May 1631: “Alex: Wignall” on jury for Dexter vs. Endicott [ MBCR 1: 86].

18 May 1631: “Mr. Alex: Wignall” admitted as a freeman [ MBCR 1:366 ].

16 August 1631: “Mr. Alex: Wignall” fined five marks for drunkenness [ MBCR 1:91].

6 Sept. 1631: “Mr. Alex: Wignall is fined 40sh., bound to his good be havior, & enjoined to remove his dwelling to some settled plantation before the last of May next, for drunkenness & much misdeameanor by him committed at the plantation where he now dwelleth” [ MBCR 1:91].

2 July 1633: “Mr. Woolridge & Mr. Gibbons are appointed to join wi th Mr. Graves & Mr. Geneson to inventory the goods & chattels of Alex: Wignall” [ MBCR 1:106].

COMMENT: In the Charlestown records are two references to John Wignal l, and in the Colony records are five entries for Alexander Wignall, and nowhere else do we see this surname at this ea rly date. John Wignall is said to have “built on the main” with three others, WALTER NORTONEDWARD GIBBONS and WILLIAM JENNINGS [i.e, JENNISON]. Alexander Wignall is seen in the Colony records interacting with this same group, especial ly at the time of the inventory of his estate. Note that the inventory record does not describe him as deceased as it does with ot hers, so he may simply have abandoned his land and goods, realizing that the Puritan commonwealth was not for him. (S ee GMN 2:3, 5-6, 5:32 for further discussion on these points.)

We conclude that all these records refer to one man, and that the Chr istian name given in the Colony records is to be preferred over that in the town records.

In 1935 Raymon Meyers Tingley published an undocumented account of Al exander Wignall, giving him two children – a son John (based on the records discussed above) and a daughter Elizabeth who m arried Richard Ingraham [ Tingley-Meyers 441]. Nothing is known about the wife of Richard Ingraham, and this whole construct ion apparently derived from Tingley’s imagination.


1. Judith WIGNOL (See Reginald FOSTER‘s page)

2. Elizabeth Wignal

Elizabeth’s husband Richard Ingraham was born about 1600 in Barrowby, England. His parents were Arthur Ingraham (1576 – 1655) and Jane Mallory (1580 – ). After Elizabeth died, he married Joan Rockwell in 1668.  Richard died in August 1683 in Northampton, Massachusetts.


Posted in 13th Generation, Immigrant - England, Line - Miller | 1 Comment

Scottish Prisoners

Four of our relatives were captured at the Battles of Dunbar (1650) and Worcester (1651) and sold as indentured servants to America.  Largely unskilled and aged between 19 and 25, these men had been conscripts raised by the Scottish Parliament from villages and clans all over Scotland.


As the civil war in England drew to a close, Scotland proclaimed Prince Charles as their King and Cromwell travelled north to crush this new threat to his power. The Scottish regiments were comprised of clansmen of the Highland chieftains and they formed an army that was valient, but undisciplined. Their defeats at Dunbar and Worcester resulted in the capture of thousands of Covenanters (Scottish Presbyterians) who could not be returned to their homeland, where they might cause more trouble. On the march to England, where they were to be imprisoned and some transported to the colonies, thousands died. The first ship of deportees, including Alexander Ennis and Henry Merrow,  to arrive in New England was the “Unity” ordered to sail Nov 11, 1650 with 150 prisoners, captured at the Battle of Dunbar.

The battle at Worcester was one of the final battles of the civil wars in England and Cromwell described it as a “crowning mercy of the Lord.” Of the prisoners captured there, some 300 including William Cahoon and Thomas Ross were sent to New England in the “John and Sarah“. The ship was ordered to depart on Nov 11, 1651, probably left in early December and arrived in New England sometime in early 1652. Prisoners on this second ship, the “John and Sarah” were to be deliverd to Thomas Kemble of Boston, who would place the prisoners in indentured positions to pay for their voyage.

Battle of Dunbar

The Battle of Dunbar (3 Sep 1650) was a battle of the Third English Civil War. The English Parliamentarian forces under Oliver Cromwell defeated a Scottish army commanded by David Leslie which was loyal to King Charles II, who had been proclaimed King of Scots on 5 Feb 1649.

As a result of the destruction of the Scottish army, Cromwell was able to march unopposed to Edinburgh. He quickly captured the Scottish capital, although Edinburgh Castle held out until the end of December. The prisoners taken at Dunbar were force-marched south towards England in order to prevent any attempt to rescue them. The conditions on the march were so appalling that many of them died of starvation, illness or exhaustion.

Death in Durham Cathedral

By 11 September, when the remnants arrived at Durham Cathedral where they were to be imprisoned, only 3,000 Scottish soldiers were still alive. If Sir Edward Walker’s statement that 6,000 prisoners were taken and 5,000 of them were marched south was correct, then 2,000 captives perished on the way to Durham.

Once Alexander and the other prisoners reached Durham, they were shut up in the city’s cathedral. They were starving and exhausted but the ordeal was not over.

Hasselrigge later wrote,

“I wrote to the mayor and desired him to take care that they wanted for nothing that was fit for prisoners. I also sent them a daily supply of bread from Newcastle . . . but their bodies being infected, the flux increased.”

He wrote to the Parliament that the prisoners were given“pottage made with oatmeal, beef and cabbage—a full quart at a meal for every prisoner” and that his officers set up a hospital, where the wounded were fed “very good mutton broth, and sometimes veal broth, and beef and mutton boiled together. I confidently say that there was never the like of such care taken for any such number of prisoners in England.”

It may have been that this was what he was told by his officers, he being back in Newcastle and not actually in Durham. The general consensus among historians is that he believed what he wrote and had no idea what was really going on. However, whether or not he knew the true situation in the cathedral, his information was false.

The jailers blackmailed the prisoners, withholding the food and coal meant for the Scots. Desperate for warmth and food, the prisoners resorted to anything they could. They traded anything valuable that they had actually retained. The Neville family tomb was ransacked, probably mainly by those looking for valuables to trade. The woodwork in the church, some of it dating from medieval times, was torn down and broken into bits for firewood. Murders were also reported to have taken place. Apparently informed of the prisoners’ and not the guards’ behavior, Hasselrigge reported, “They were so unruly, sluttish and nasty that it is not to be believed. They acted like beasts rather than men.”

The death rate was at an average of 30 men a day and may have reached over a hundred a day. The dead were unceremoniously buried in a mass grave outside the church without coffins or Christian burial. At the end of October, 1,400 of the original 5,000 prisoners were still alive. More had died on the march and in the cathedral than had died fighting at Dunbar.

While thousands of Scotish prisoners died in Durham Cathedral, Alexander Ennes, and Henry Merrow survived

While the prisoners were dying at alarming rates, the Parliament was discussing what to do about them. Stephen P. Carlson, in the Scots of Hammersmith, reported, “The disposition of such a large number of prisoners presented the English authorities with a dilemma: to maintain them as prisoners would prove costly, and to release them could prove dangerous to the security of the Commonwealth.” A committee appointed by the English governing body, the Council of State informed Hasselrigge that he was to send a number of prisoners to the coal mines. Hasselrigge sold some of the Scots as workers in various trades.

Sold to America

Petitions were sent to the Council to send prisoners overseas to be sold as indentured servants. On 18 Sep 1650, Hasselrigge was ordered to send 150 Scots, “well and sound, and free from wounds,” (Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, 1650) to John Becx and Joshua Foote to be shipped to New England. Becx and Foote would be allowed to sell or consign the Scots in America at a cost to them of about £5 per man. The Scots were to be indentured (involuntarily) for a term of seven years. These men were mainly between the ages of nineteen and twenty-five in 1650, according depositions made during their lifetimes. Although these 150 men all seemed healthy, Hasselrigge shipped them to London by water, fearing “they are all infected”.

According to Carlson, “By October 23, when the Council ordered the project stopped ‘until assurance be given of their not being carried where they may be dangerous,’ the Scots were awaiting passage to America in the Thames.” On Nov 11, Augustine Walker of the Unity received sailing orders from the Council “as their ship is ready and the place is without danger”.

What followed was probably an unpleasant ocean voyage that would have taken about six weeks. Carlson stated that while the Unity’s size is not known, it “would have been far from spacious” for the prisoners. It is also unknown how many did not make the journey from London to Boston, as no lists survive. The death rate is estimated at ten percent.

Becx and Foote consigned seventy-seven to eighty-seven men to two businesses in Maine and Massachusetts in which Becx had interest. The rest were sold to local residents for £20-30. Sixty-two of the consigned men, including Alexander Ennis, xxx, were sent to the Saugus Ironworks at Lynn, Massachusetts.

Battle of Worcester

The Battle of Worcester took place on 3 Sep 1651 at Worcester, England and was the final battle of the English Civil WarOliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians defeated the Royalist, predominantly Scottish, forces of King Charles II. The 16,000 Royalist forces were overwhelmed by the 28,000 strong “New Model Army” of Cromwell.

Oliver Cromwell in the Battle of Worcester

About 3,000 men were killed during the battle and a further 10,000 were taken prisoner at Worcester or soon afterwards. The Earl of Derby was executed, while the other English prisoners were conscripted into the New Model Army and sent to Ireland. Around 8,000 Scottish prisoners were deported to New England, Bermuda, and the West Indies to work for landowners as indentured labourers. Parliamentary casualties numbered in the low hundreds.

Once in the city, Charles II removed his armour and found a fresh mount; he attempted to rally his troops but it was to no avail. A desperate Royalist cavalry charge down Sidbury Street and High Street, led by the Earl of Cleveland and Major Careless amongst others, allowed King Charles to escape the city by St. Martin’s Gate.  Charles II escaped after many adventures, including one famous incident where he hid from a Parliamentarian patrol in an oak tree in the grounds of Boscobel House..

Of the prisoners captured there, some 300 were sent to New England in the “John and Sarah“. The ship was ordered to depart on Nov 11, 1651, probably left in early December and arrived in New England sometime in early 1652. Prisoners on this second ship, the “John and Sarah” were to be deliverd to Thomas Kemble of Boston, who would place the prisoners in indentured positions to pay for their voyage..

Saugus Ironworks

Saugus Ironworks was the first ironworks in North America, a great technological achievement in that time and place. It was built about 1646, closed by 1675, and was built near some ore deposits, as well as the Saugus River, which provided power to the ironworks. The site included a dam that provided power for forging, a blast furnace with a bellows, a reverbatory furnace, a trip-hammer forge, and rolling and slitting mills. It produced both cast and wrought iron.  One item produced there was nails, which were especially vital because so many new settlements were being built in the wilderness. They milled thin strips of wrought iron, slit these strips, and sold them. The customers then cut the nails and shaped the heads and points. The ironworkers formed a community there known as Hammersmith.

Saugus Iron Works, Saugus, MA

The Scots arrived in Lynn from Boston by boat. The initial payments for food for the Scots is recorded in the record books of John Giffard, the agent for the undertakers of the iron works, in April of 1651. This indicates that they arrived there around that time. There were also payments recorded for medicine and medical help, suggesting that they were in poor health. One death was recorded.

Once there, some were sold elsewhere. The indentured Scots were employed in a variety of tasks, including acting as forge hands, assisting the colliers (who produced the charcoal for the iron works), and even keeping Hammersmith’s cattle. Giffard was directed to use most of the Scots as woodcutters to supply the colliers. Some were taught the trades of “smiths, colliers, carpenters, sawyers, finers, and hammerman” (according to Carlson). Giffard stated that these men “would neare have managed the Compa(ny’s) business themselves, and have saved them many hundreds of pounds in a yeare.” Carlson stated, “The Scots of Hammersmith were for the most part unskilled laborers. Yet, they played a major role in the support of the skilled iron workers.” If not for the debts that affected business, he says, these Scots would have taken over more and more of the skilled positions there.

Working Forge Hammer at Saugus Ironworks (cover your ears!)

Most of the Scots lived in the “Scotchmen’s house”, a single building one mile from the iron works. This house is believed to have had two rooms around a central chimney with a cellar oven. There were eleven beds and bolsters there and twice that number of coverlets and blankets, suggesting that the Scots slept two to a bed. Others lived with non-Scottish workers, although there is some indication that the company may have had other quarters built for them beside the house.

The company provided the Scots with food, clothing, and tools. Payments were recorded as having been received by local craftsmen and ironworker’s wives for shoes and clothing. Food was either grown on the company farm or purchased by Giffard for the Scots. The latter consisted of “malt, hops, bread, mackerel, wheat, peas, beef, and pork”, according to Carlson. Apparently, the undertakers thought that Giffard fed the Scots too well. They complained, “As for the dietting of the Scotts men:I have advised with some of the Company and they tell me that 3s. 6d. per weeke is a sufficient allowance for every man: Considering the cheapnes of provision thaire…you haveing ther plenty of fish, both fresh and salte and pidgions and venison and corne and pease at a very cheape Rate.” (A Collection of Papers Relating to the Iron Works at Lynn…, Baker Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA) Apparently, he was spending 6s. a week for each man on food. Some of the tools used by the Scots had been shipped with the Scots. Others were made by a local blacksmith. They were even supplied with “strong Waters” and tobacco at the expense of the Company.

Tools in Saugus Ironworks Forge Building

Meanwhile, some claimed the Scots were not receiving their full portion. There were complaints that food and soap meant for the Scots went to other workers and even to the Giffard family.

The Scottish workers were not isolated from Lynn’s community, though it was an “alien environment”. Many married local women both before and after their indentures were finished. In addition, “all Scotchmen, Negroes, and Indians inhabiting with or servants to the English” were to be included in military training, by the order of the colony’s General Court in May 1652. (Dow, George Francis, ed., The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts, Salem, MA, 1920, I, p. 354-5, also A Collection of Papers Relating to the Iron Works at Lynn.

However, William Saxbe, Jr. noted in his article that, “Relations with the surrounding Puritan communities were not always smooth: a local observer noted that ‘At the Iron Works wee founde all the men wth smutty faces and bare armes working lustily…The headmen be of substance and godlie lives. But some of the workmen be young, and fond of frolicking, and sometimes doe frolicke to such purpose that they get before the magistrates. And it be said, much to their discredit that one or two hath done naughtie workes with the maidens living thereabouts.’

Financial difficulties at the iron works led it to be handed over to creditors. The Scots were transferred over along with all of the iron works’ property. Most served the remainder of their terms at Lynn “in a plant that saw little activity conducted until the latter part of the decade” (Carlson).

Our Scottish Prisoners

George POLLEY’s brother-in-law Henry Merrow was born in 1625 in Inverness, Scotland.  He married Jane Lindes (b. Abt. 1635 in Ireland, – d. 1685 in Reading, Mass.). 5 Nov 1685 in Reading, Mass)  George’s son Edward married Henry’s daughter Mary  in 1696 in Reading, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Henry Merrow was captured by Cromwell’s men in the Battle of Dunbar  in 1650, and sent to the US as a prisoner of war/indentured servant (bonded captive worker), and did not come on his own. He came in 1651 on the ship “Unity,” and landed in Massachusetts. He settled in Reading where his children were born and later moved to Dover, NH. He was listed as a freeman in the May 22, 1677 census.

William HOLMAN‘s son-in-law Thomas Ross was born 1630 in Scotland. He married Seeth Holman 16 Jan 1661 in Cambridge, Mass  Thomas died 20 Mar 1695 in Billerica, Middlesex, Mass.

Thomas Ross 1 — Source: Ancestry of Charles Stinson Pillsbury and John Sargent Pillsbury (1938)


Jannetje LOZIER‘s father-in-law Alexander Ennis was born about 1632 in Scotland.  He married Catherine [__-__] about 1657 in Taunton, Mass.  Alexander Innes died in 1679 at the home of his daughter Elizabeth “Enos”, the wife of William Harris, on Block Island, Rhode Island. He made a nuncupative will  in the presence of Robert Guthrie and two others from Block Island, naming William Harris as his heir (New Shoreham Town Book 1:52). Catherine most likely died between 1664 and 1679.

Jannetje  was born 22 Aug 1660 in Ulster, NY.  Her parents were Francios LeSUEUR and Jannatie Hildebrand PIETERSEN.  After Jannetje’s first husband Jan Jansen POSTMAEL died, she married Thomas Ennis  after 1688.

Alexander Ennis, the father of Jannetje Lozier’s second husband, came to America as a prisoner of war after the Battle of Dunbar. It is not known exactly how long Alexander stayed in Durham cathedral. It may have been little over a week. However, he certainly left before 23 October 1650. Sixty-two of the consigned men on the Unity, including Alexander Ennis, were sent to the Saugus Ironworks at Lynn, Massachusetts. Once there, some were sold elsewhere. Alexander Ennis was evidently among those who remained at Saugus. He was listed on an inventory of the iron works dated November 1653. The inventory was a result of lawsuits resulting from financial diffulties. The Scots were valued at £10 each, though Giffard protested that they were worth twice that amount and some of the Scots more than that.

Catherine Ennis

Carlson records that Alexander Ennis “had moved to Taunton by late 1656, later moving to Block Island, Rhode Island.” By this time, Alexander married a woman by the name of Catherine either in the area of Lynn or in Taunton. Her last name and date and place have not been found but her country of origin is known:“an Irish woman named Katheren Aines (Innes)”, according to Plymouth records found by Saxbe. Saxbe also put forth the theory that she was captured and deported by Cromwell and sent with several hundred other Irish to Marblehead, near Lynn, in 1654.

According to Catherine O’Donovan, “Cromwell and his army of well trained and experienced soldiers, called Ironsides, came to Ireland in August 1649 with the intention of subduing the rebellion and stamping out all opposition to parliament. Cromwell, a Puritan, ‘believed he was an instrument of divine retribution for (alleged) atrocities committed by Catholics against Protestants in 1641 and he accordingly gave orders to deny mercy to Catholics.’ His campaign was savage and is remembered for the slaughter of women and children as well as unarmed captives.” Cromwell returned to England in May of 1650 and his son-in-law and another general continued the campaign. The Irish surrendered in 1652.

Several historians have noted that after the wars, the English exiled large numbers of Irish to the colonies in America and the West Indies. Robert West wrote,

“At the end of the war, vast numbers of Irish men, women and children were forcibly transported to the American colonies by the English government. (Sir William Petty, Political Anatomy of Ireland, London, 1719, p. 19)

These people were rounded up like cattle, and, as Prendergast reports on Thurloe’s State Papers (John Thurloe, Letter of Henry Cromwell, 4th Thurloe’s State Papers, London, 1742), “In clearing the ground for the adventurers and soldiers (the English capitalists of that day)… To be transported to Barbados and the English plantations in America…J. Williams provides additional evidence of the attitude of the English government towards the Irish in an English law of June 26, 1657:

‘Those who fail to transplant themselves into Connaught (Ireland’s Western Province) or (County) Clare within six months… Shall be attained of high treason… Are to be sent into America or some other parts beyond the seas…’ (Joseph J. Williams)

Those thus banished who return are to ‘suffer the pains of death as felons by virtue of this act, without benefit of Clergy.’ (Ibid.)…Emmet asserts that during this time, more that ‘100,000 young children who were orphans or had been taken from their Catholic parents, were sent abroad into slavery in the West Indies, Virginia and New England, that they might lose their faith and all knowledge of their nationality, for in most instances even their names were changed… Moreover, the contemporary writers assert between 20,000 and 30,000 men and women who were taken prisoner were sold in the American colonies as slaves, with no respect to their former station in life.’ (Thomas Addis Emmet, Ireland Under English Rule, NY & London, Putnam, 1903)”

Life in Taunton – The Irish Catherine and Scottish Alexander clashed with the Puritans of Taunton on at least one occasion. Saxbe writes, “‘an Irish woman named Katheren Aines’ was brought before the court at Plymouth in February, 1656/57, ‘vpon suspision of comiting adultery.’ The trial was the following month, and justice was swift and harsh:

‘Att this Court, William Paule, Scotchman, for his vnclean and filthy behauiour with the wife of Alexander Aines, is centanced by the Court to bee forthwith publickly whipt…which accordingly was p(er)formed…Katheren Aines, for her vnclean and laciuiouse behauior with the abouesaid William Paule, and for the blasphemos words that shee hath spoken, is centanced by the Court to bee forthwith publickly whipt heer att Plymouth, and afterwards att Taunton, on a publicke training day, and to were a Roman B cutt out of ridd cloth and sowed to her vper garment on her right arme [for blaspheme]; and if shee shalbee euer found without it soe worne whil shee is in the gou(vern)ment, to bee forthwith publickly whipt…Alexander Anis, for his leauing his family, and exposing his wife to such temptations, and being as baud to her therin, is centanced by the Court for the p(re)sent to sitt in the stockes the time the said Paule and Katheren Ainis are whipt, which was p(er)formed…’

Understandably, the Innes family moved sometime within the next few years. In 1659, Alexander is found in the records buying land in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, fifteen miles south of Taunton (Clarence S. Brigham, Early Records of the Town of Portsmouth (Providence: E.L. Freeman &Sons, 1901), pg. 379). In 1664, Block Island became part of Rhode Island and a group of Scots settled there.

Robert Guthrie, whom the Scots saw as a leader, wrote a letter which is believed by Saxbe to have been addressed to Alexander (as it began with the greeting “Country Man” and was found in the New Shoreham (Block Island) Town Book with two deeds having Alexander as grantee; also a deed in 1678/79 with Alexander as grantor called his land “a gift from the Propriators & Inhabitants of Blockisland.”. In this letter, he promised six acres of free land and the option to buy 40 more and a home lot.


Joseph PECK’s son-in-law William Cahoon was born in 1633 Tullichewan, Scotland.  His parents were Alexander Colquhoun and Marian Stirling.  He married Deliverance Peck 26 Jun 1662 Block Island, Newport, Rhode Island.  William was killed in King Philip’s War on  22 Jun 1675 in Rehoboth, Mass.  After William died, Deliverance married Caleb Lumbert (Son of Thomas LUMBERT)

William Colquhoun fought the English in the brutal battles of Dunbar and Worcester in Scotland, and was captured by the Army of Parliament. He was indentured to the iron mines in Braintree, Massachusetts. Upon achieving his freedom, he sailed on the “Shallop” to Rhode Island and bought a share of Block Island there. In 1664 he went to Swansea RI and successfully petitioned the General Assembly to make him a freeman with full rights as a citizen.

“William Cahoon in America soon about 1652 (possibly aboard the John and Sarah). He worked for a number of years at Saugus (Lynn, Mass.). He spent six months at Taunton before assisting in the construction of a shallop at Braintree. In April of 1661, he was one of the fifteen men who sailed from Taunton to Cow Cove and became the first settlers of Black Island, Mass. (now Rhode Island).

The entire state of Rhode Island is shown in this satellite image. Block Island lies within Long Island Sound about 12 miles south of Naragansett Bay.

His period of servidtude presumably espired before the end of 1662, and on 13 Jan 1662/63 William Cahoune bought from Thomas Terry 40 acres on the ‘hieway’ that then divided Block Island. On 4 May 1664 he was a freeman at New Shoreham, in 1665 he served on a Newport grand jury, and on 20 Feb 1669/70 he became a freeman and permanent resident of Swansea, Mass.

On 13 Nov 1670 William Cohoun sold his 38 acres on Block Island to Samuel Hagbourne. At the coming of King Philip’s War, William Cahoone was killed by the Indians near East Rehoboth on 22 June 1675 and was buried at Swansea two days later.

On Sunday, June 24, 1675, the colonists held a day of prayer concerning the unrest. Upon returning to their homes after church services, numerous residents of Swansea were killed.  Others, including the family of William and Deliverance, sought refuge in the garrison home of  Rev. John Myles. During the night, one of their sentries was attacked and injured. They decided  to send two men to the neighboring town of Rehoboth to retrieve the doctor. One of these was William. Along the way, both men were killed by the Indians. William was 42 and had a wife and  seven children.

In 1681 Joseph Kent and Caleb Lambert were appointed guardians of Joseph Cahoon (son of William & Deliverance).

More about William Cahoon

The William Cahoone (Colquhoun) Society Founded on the 325th anniversary of his death, June 24, 2000, by The Descendants Of William, The First American Cahoone.

What does Block Island have to do with William Cahoone? LOTS!!!

In 1661, under the leadership of Dr. John Alcock of Boston, Mass. (one of the first graduates of Harvard), a group of men (some with their families), wishing to leave what they perceived as the “unfree” atmosphere of the Puritans, landed on Block Island. These free-thinkers defiantly believed that the State should have no power over people’s religious conviction nor their right to vote. They held to their opinion that no onehad the right to tell them what to charge for their own goods and services rendered nor what clothes to wear. They even dared to support the basic rights of Native Americans, including their being”paid” for their land, rather than having it just taken away from them “in God’s name”.

It was this group’s goal to found a new settlement where they could “breathe the air of freedom”. To this end, Wiliam Cahoone, along with a few other indentured Scotsmen, was returned from the Leonard Iron Works back to Quincy where he worked on the construction of a shallop (a 22+’ 2-masted shipdesigned for transport of people and goods along the shallower waters near the coast). William and this boat were returned to the Leonard Iron Works, on what today is the Raynham/Taunton line. In April of 1661, these “new pilgrims”, who included William Cahoone, then traveled down the Taunton River, the Warren River, out into Mt. Hope Bay, Narragansett Bay, and out to Block Island at Cow Cove.As the settlers’ boat came close to the shore, an unforseen problem presented itself: -how to unload the cattle?!

After some deliberation, it was decided that the easiest way to accomplish this necessary task would be simply to push the cows overboard! The bewildered beasts were compelled to swim, much to the delight of the curious and excited Native Americans gathered there.

Even til today, this stretch of beach is still known as “Cow Cove”. WILLIAM CAHOONE WAS FIRST LISTED AS A FREEMAN HERE ON MAY 4, 1664! In 1911, a lasting tribute to these stalwart souls was erected on Block Island in the form of “Settlers’ Rock” on which a commemorative plaque lists the settlers’ names.

Settler’s Rock on Block Island (1661-1911)

Officially made Swansea’s first town brickmaker, Dec. 24, 1673 William Cahoone finally met with “success” as a Freeman in Swansea, Massachusetts, when he was officially appointed as the sole brickmaker for that town. There is still in existence, in the Swansea Town Offices, the original bound volume entitled: “Proprietors Book of Grants and Meetings, 1668-1769”. It includes the following entry: “At A Town Meeting of the Towns Men, Dec 24, 1673, It was Agreed upon by and Between the townsmen In the behalf of the town and William Cohoone (Cohoune/Cohowne?) brickmaker that for and In Consideration of a Lot and other Accommodations or Grantes And Given by him from the town unto him the said William Cohoun. It was therefore Agreed and Concluded upon by the Parties Above so that the saidWilliam Cohoon Shall Supply all the Inhabitants of the Town with Bricks at a Price not Exceeding Twenty Shillings a Thousand in Current Pay Putting between Man and Man.”

In each instance where William’s name is written, his last name is spelled differently! This is a sign that perhaps William Cahoone was illiterate, not that uncommon for his times and circumstances. Is it any wonder, therefore, that even today this name is spelled in so many different ways?

On June 24, 2000, William Cahoone’s direct descendants donated a Commemorative Plaque to the Swansea Historical Society. It will be affixed to a rock and erected near the site of the Cahoone Brickworks, close to the location of the Myles Garrisoned House along the Palmer River in Swansea, Mass

The Providence Journal newspaper sent a reporter to cover the William Cahoone Memorial Service on June 25, 2000. The following is the article which subsequently appeared on July 10, 2000. It was accompanied by four photographs

A settler’s sacrifice. Descendants gather to honor a Swansea founder. by Meredith Goldstein REHOBOTH – Deborah Cahoon Didick knows the story by heart. It was June 24, 1675. Native Americans and settlers were about to begin fighting in what came to be known as King Philip’s War, a bloody battle over land and identity. William Cahoone, a Scottish immigrant, gathered with a group of local residents at the Baptist Meeting House in Swansea for a day of prayer. They prayed for peace, hoping that the growing tension would subside. That night, however, as they left the church, the settlers were ambushed by Native Americans who had become vengeful for their stolen homeland. Some of the settlers were killed, others badly wounded. The survivors ran to the pastor’s house to hide.

William Cahoone was a family man. He had come to the New Plymouth Colony as an indentured servant and became one of the first residents of Swansea (founded in 1668), where he and his wife raised seven children. He was the town’s official brickmaker.

That night, as his companions lay injured and dying, Cahoone volunteered to travel through what he knew was hostile territory to get medical help. He set off through Swansea toward Rehoboth to get a doctor. Cahoone was never seen alive again. His remains were found in Rehoboth near Providence and Lake Streets, the original Native American footpaths. He was never given a proper Baptist burial. Three-hundred twenty-five years and one day later, a group of about 30 of Cahoone’s descendants gathered at the Lake Street Cemetery in Rehoboth to lay their patriarch to rest. They wore pink name tags which said how they are related to Cahoone (now spelled Cahoon), and laid fresh flowers in honor of the anniversary of his death. “You can cry”, said Didick, an 11th -generation Cahoon who organized the memorial service. “You’re family. You’re my cousins.” Didick spent the last year finding Cahoons in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and all around the country, some of whom did not know their ancestor’s history in Rehoboth and Swansea. She invitedthem all to the area to meet one another and learn about “Grampa Will”, the man who sacrificed his own life for those who needed medical attention. After more than three centuries, Didick wanted to gather with her family together to put Cahoone’s spirit to rest. During a memorial weekend, they toured Cahoone’s past. They stopped at the Leonard Iron Works in Raynham where Cahoone worked before moving to Block Island in 1661. They followed the Taunton River, the same route he would have traveled to get to the island, where he was first listed as a Freeman. They went to the Luther Museum in Swansea to see his brickmaking handiwork, and stopped at the site of the Myles Garrison House in Swansea where Cahoone was last seen alive by his friends and neighbors.

The group celebrated their heritage at a testimonial dinner where newly-acquainted family members spoke about their ever-present connection to Grampa Will. And on Sunday, June 25, they had a proper funeral. To the cries of bagpipes played by Charles Neil Cahoon, they placed flowers on a small gravesite. The Rev. Edgar Farley of the Hornbine Historic Baptist Church led the service. He thanked Cahoone for making a journey of mercy, and sacrificing his life to help other people. ”

Richard (Cahoon) Didick June 25th, 2000

Deliverance Peck and William Cahoon were married. William Cahoon was captured by the English, along with his brother John, and they were sold as an indentured servants and sent to America. On 11 Nov 1650 William was taken to Liverpool and was transported from there to Boston, Massachusetts aboard the ship “Unity,” commanded by Captain Augustine Walker of Charlestown, Massachusetts. Bex & Company, a London Merchant company, purchased several Scotch prisoners for indentured servants to exploit bog iron at Saugus, Braintree, and Taunton.

William’s brother John was shipped from London aboard the ship “John & Sarah” on 11 Nov 1652, but he died either on the voyage or shortly after arriving in Massachusetts.

After working in Saugus, Massachusetts for several years, William worked in Taunton for 6 months. He then assisted in the construction of a shallop at Braintree, Massachusetts. He learned the brick making trade from James Leonard.

In 1660, with sixteen others, he purchased Block Island, Rhode Island,and became one of the first settlers there, and settled at Cow Cove on Block Island.  They sailed from Taunton to Cow Cove in 1661 and became the first settlers on Block Island. Apparently his term of servitude had ended by this time.

On 13 Jan 1663 he purchased 40 acres from Thomas Terry, which were on the ‘hiway’ that divided Block Island. On 4 May 1664 he was a freeman in New Shoreham. In 1665 he served on a Newport Grand Jury. On 13 Nov 1670 he sold 38 acres on Block Island to Samuel Hogbourne.

William worked as a brickmaker in Braintree, Massachusetts, according to a contract dated 23 Dec 1673.

In “Hubbard’s Narrative of Indian Wars” we find this record: “On the 24th of June, 1675, the alarm was sounded in Plymouth Colony, when eight or nine of the English were slain in and about Swansea, they being the first to fall in King Philip’s War.” William Cahoon was one of these nine. He was killed by Indians during the King Philips War, on 22 Jun 1675 near East Rehoboth, Bristol County, Massachusetts. He was buried two days later, on 24 Jun 1675, at Swansea, Massachusetts. We find in the records of this event the Americanized spelling of the name from Colquhoun to Cahoon.


Following the trail of the 1650 Scottish Prisoners – A Summary of the Battle of Dunbar and the Scots of Berwick, Maine

Ship Passenger List of The “John & Sara” out of London 1651 and bound for New England with Scottish Prisoners. (this alphabetizes the list and adds spelling variations)

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Uncas and the Miner Ancestors

Under Construction

Uncas (1588 – 1683) was a sachem of the Mohegan who through his alliance with the English colonists in New England against other Indian tribes made the Mohegan the leading regional Indian tribe in lower Connecticut.

Mark of Uncas  — Source: Uncas First of the Mohegans

He was a friend and ally of our ancestor Major John MASON for three and a half decades and he had dealings with many other of our ancestors.

Uncas has acquired two different, divergent reputations. Most of the general public think of Uncas in the manner he was portrayed by Cooper, as epitomizing the “Noble Savage.” Some historians, however, regard the historical Uncas as a selfish conniver. Best known for his support of the New England colonies during the Pequot War in 1637, Uncas, acting at the behest of the Connectieut colony, gained notoriety for his role in the murder of the Narragansett sachem, Miantonomi, one of the first Native American leaders to advocate unity in the face of the European invasion.  Who was the real man?

Navigate this Report

1. Biography

Pequot War
War with the Narragansett
King Philip’s War

2. Legacy and Myth

Last of the Mohegans Mohicans
Andrew Jackson’s Dedications
John Mason’s Controversial Statue
Connecticut Indians Today
A Final Word about History

3. Uncas and the Miner Ancestors

Founding New London
Pequot Property Rights
Great Swamp Fight
Mr. Fitch’s Mile
Norwich, CT
Preston, CT


3. Uncas and the Miner Ancestors


Founding New London

In  1645 – Thomas MINER joined John Winthrop Jr.’s colony of Massachusetts Puritans in the settlement of New London, CT.   During the years that Thomas lived in New London, his son Mannassah and his daughters Ann and Mary were born.  Manassah was the first white child born in New London.

May 1649 – At the session of the General Court,  the following regulations were made respecting Pequot in New London:

1. The inhabitants were exempted from all public country charges — i.e., taxes for the support of the colonial government — for the space of three years ensuing.

2. The bounds of the plantation were restricted to four miles each side of the river, and six miles from the sea northward into the country, ” till the court shall see cause and have encouragement to add thereunto, provided they entertain none amongst them as inhabitants that shall be obnoxious to this jurisdiction, and that the aforesaid bounds be not distributed to less than forty families.”

3. John Winthrop, Esq. [Col. Edmund READE’s son-in-law], with Thomas MINER and Samuel LOTHROP as assistants, were to have power as a court to decide all differences among the inhabitants under the value of forty shillings.

4. Uncas and his tribe were prohibited from setting any traps, but not from hunting and fishing within the bounds of the plantation.

5. The inhabitants were not allowed to monopolize the corn trade with the Indians in the river, which trade was to be left free to all in the united colonies.

6. ” The Courte commends the name of Faire Harbour to them for to bee the name of their Towne.”

7. Thomas MINER was appointed ” Military Sergeant in the Towne of Pequett,” with power to call forth and train the inhabitants…

Minutes before the Court of Assistants 1664-1666

Uncas, an Indian, vs Mathew Beckwith, Jr, for buring a wigwam of his.

Mathew BECKWITH (1610-1681), Mathew Beckwith (1637-1727), Mathew Beckwith (1667-1740); it must have been the son of the immigrant who burned Uncas’ wigwam.

I also found reference to an earlier Court Order: Uncas to return three goats to Mathew Beckwith.

The second Mathew Beckwith, son of immigrant, had a rather interesting marital history; “Elizabeth Rogers, daughter of Mathew Griswold, granted a divorce from her husband, John Rogers, the founder of the Rogerine Quakers, 12 Oct 1676 under pressure from her family, they married 17 Oct 1670. Shortly afterword she married Mathew Beckwith she had children by each husband. In 1703, Rogers made a rash attempt to regain his divorced wife, then married to Beckwith; Beckwith complained that he laid hands on her, declaring she was his wife, threatened Beckwith that he would have her in spite of him , all of which Rogers confessed to be true. See my post  John Rogers – Rogerene Founder for details.

Pequot Property Rights

In 1663 Cary Latham, son-in-law of John MASTERS, was an author of the following report to the Commissioners of the United Colonies of New England regarding the property rights of the Pequot Indians.  Latham was an early resident of Cambridge, afterward removing to New London where he was in public life for nearly 20 years.. He was a Deputy to the General Court from 1664 to 1670.

“Boston, September 19th, 1663

We, being desired by the Commissioners of the United Colonies to enquire of the Indians present concerning the interest of the Pequots, or respecting lands which Uncas layeth claim unto, we accordingly have endeavored the same, according to our best skill and understanding; and there being present, Cassisinnamon, Kitchamoquion and Tomasquash Ecoadno (alias,) the old honest man, Pequots; also, Womesh, Mumuho, Kaiton, Narragansett Councillors, with many others Indians; which do all jointly affirm, that long before the Pequots were conqered by the English, Uncas, being akin unto the Pequots, did live upon and Enjoy that land above a place called Montononesuck, upon which Mr. Winthrop’s saw mill standeth; also, that it was his father’s before him, and left unto him by his father; which he possessed some time. But he growing proud and treacherous to the Pequot Sachem, the Pequot sachem was very angry, and sent up some soldiers, and drave Uncas out of his country; who fled unto Narragansett, for a while. At last he humbled himself to the Pequot Sachem, and desired that he might have liberty to live in his own country again; which the Pequot Sachem granted, provided he would be subject unto him, and carry it well. But soon after, he grew proud again, and was again driven out of his country, but his men subjected unto the Pequot Sachem; and yet again, upon his humbling, was restored, and grew proud again, and was conquered; and so five times; and upon his humbling himself was restored, and again conquered; until when the English went to war against the Pequots; and then Uncas went along with the English; and so, since, the English have made him high.”

“They further say, they know not the English fashions, but according to their manners and customs, Uncas had no lands at all, being so conquered. This they say, Uncas cannot deny, but if he should deny it, the thing is known to all the Indians round about.”

“Also the Narragansetts say that there is yet two of his men yet alive that fled with him into the Narragansett country, and have there abode ever since, who knew these things to be true. And further, they jointly affirm that Uncas had at first but little land and very few men, insomuch he could not make a hunt, but always hunted by order from other Sachems, and in their companie; which Sachems, being five brothers, lived at a place called by the Indians, Soudahque, at or near the place where Major Mason now liveth; who were the sons of the great Pequot Sachem’s sister, and so became very great Sachems, and had their bounds very large, extending their bounds by Connecticut path almost to Connecticut, and eastward meeting with the bounds of Paswuattuck (who lived at Showtackett, being a Pequot Sachem whose bounds extended eastward and took in Pachogg;) the which five Sachems, being brothers grew so great and so proud that upon hunting they quarrelled with the Pequots; at which the great Pequot (Sachem) being angry with them, made war upon them and conquered them and their country, and they all fled into Narragansett country, (leaving their country and men unto the Pequot Sachem,) from whence they never returned, but there died. So that Indians affirm all their lands and Woncas’s too, according to their customs and manners, were Pequot lands, being by them conquered, and now are the true right of the English, they having conquered the Pequots.

George Denison,

John Stanton,

Cary Latham”

Great Swamp Fight

John MASON’s son John Mason Jr. was Captain of the 5th Connecticut Company.  John died of wounds suffered  Dec. 19, 1675  in the Great Swamp Fight (See my post) on 18 Sep 1676 in New London, CT.  Of the 71 Connecticut troops killed in the battle, nine were from John Mason’s 5th Company of Norwich.   Indian Scouting Companies numbering seventy-five to each, made up mostly of Indians from the Mohegan and Pequod tribes were attached to the First and Fifth Connecticut Companies.

It is probable that he was brought home from the field of battle by his Mohegan warriors on an Indian bier. His wounds never healed. After lingering several months, he died, as is supposed, in the same house where his father expired, and was doubtless laid by his side in the old obliterated graveyard of the first comers. Though scarcely thirty years of age at the time of his death, he stood high in public esteem, both in a civil and military capacity. He had represented the town at three sessions of the Legislature, and was chosen an assistant the year of his decease.  John’ wife Abigail Fitch was the daughter of our ancestor Rev. James FITCH and his first wife Abigail Whitfield.  Abigail’s brother married John’s sister Elizabeth and her father married his sister Prescilla.  Abigail died 18 Sep 1676 in Stonington, New London, CT.

Mr. Fitch’s Mile

In 1695 at the age of 74, Rev. James FITCH (1622 – 1702) founded and settledLebanon, Connecticut, a new town nearby Norwich where he lived.  He moved to Lebanon in 1701 when he retired from the church in Norwich. He remained in Lebanon until his death at age eighty on November 18, 1702. He is buried at the churchyard there and his stone remains in the old cemetery.

The town of Lebanon has its origins with the settlers of Norwich, who wanted to expand beyond the “nine miles square” they had bought from the Mohegan sachem Uncas. In 1663, the first grant in the area was given in to James’ father-in-law  Maj. John Mason, deputy governor of the Connecticut colony; the next year, Mason accepted 500 acres  northwest of Norwich. This area, known as “Pomakuck” or “Pomocook” by the Mohegans, is now the Goshen Hill area of Lebanon. In 1666, Connecticut granted an additional 120 acres  to the Rev. James Fitch, minister of Norwich, adjacent to Maj. Mason’s land which was now known as Cedar Swamp. The Mohegans conferred their blessing on the grants by giving an additional seven-mile strip to Maj. Mason’s son in 1675, who split the land with the Rev. Fitch, his father-in-law. This area is now known as “Fitch and Mason’s Mile,” or just “The Mile.”

Traditionally, it has been thought that, a few years before selling the “Five Mile,” Owaneco had given the “Mile” to Rev. Fitch. As Frances Caulkins wrote in History of Norwich, Connecticut (1873) following the description of James Fitch’s Pomakuck grant:

To this grant, Owaneco, the son and successor of Uncas, at a subsequent period, in acknowledgement of favors received from Mr. Fitch, added a tract Five miles in length and one in breadth. This munificent gift was familiarly called the Mile, or Mr. Fitch’s Mile. 

Others have repeated this story: notably, Rev. Orb D. Hine in Early Lebanon (1880) (pp. 9-10); the 1986 town history cited above; and Robert Charles Anderson, who in a master’s thesis on the settlement of Lebanon  cited a 1687 Norwich land record which seemed to support it.

All of these accounts are incorrect, see my post Mr. Fitch’s Mile.  The land was not given by Owaneco, but by Joshua, another of the sons of Uncas, and it was given to Capt. John Mason, Jr. (1646-1676), not to Mason’s father-in-law Rev. Fitch. The grant was made not in 1687 but eleven years earlier, in 1676. The 1687 grant by Owaneco cited in the Anderson thesis was to Capt. James Fitch, son of Rev. James Fitch, and was for land to the northeast of Norwich. The 1687 tract does include (as the first of many items) a piece “six or seven miles in length and a mile in breadth.” But that piece was “bounded east on quienabaug River” (the Quinnebaug joins the Shetucket River northeast of Norwich). The actual grant for what became Mr. Fitch’s Mile was on 8 Mar 1675/76, three months after Capt. Mason had received his” death wound” in King Philip’s War (he lived nearly a year thereafter) and two months before the death of Joshua..

Founding Norwich, CT

Norwich was bought in June, 1659, of the Indian Chief Uncas and his sons.. Most of these original proprietors of Norwich came from Saybrook, and East Saybrook (now Lyme). The 35 original proprietors of that town were:

Reverend James FITCH, the first minister

Major John MASON, afterwards Lieut. Gov. of Connecticut
Lieut. Thomas Leflingwell
Lieut. Thomas Tracy and his eldest son John Tracy
Deacon Thomas Adgate
Christopher Huntington and his brother, Deacon Simon Huntington
Ensign Thomas Waterman
William Hyde and his son Samuel Hyde, and his son-in-law John Post
Thomas Post
Lieut. William Backus and his brother Stephen Backus
Deacon Hugh Calkins (from New London, CT, and his son John Calkins (from New London, CT) and
his son-in-law Jonathan Royce (from New London, CT)
Thomas Bliss (Grandson of John BLISS)
Francis Griswold (possibly FRANCIS GRISWOLD‘s nephew)
John Birchard
Robert Wade
Morgan Bowers
John Gager (from New London, CT)
Thomas Howard
Dr. John Olmstead
Nehemiah SMITH (from New London, CT)
Richard Edgerton
John Elderkin
John Bradford (from Marshfield, MA)
Thomas Bingham
Robert Allen (from New London, CT)
John Baldwin
John Pease (Son of  Robert PEASE Sr.) (from New London, CT and Edgartown)
Thomas Smith (from Marshfield, MA)

Founder’s Stone Norwich CT

Jun 1659 – Nehemiah SMITH was one of the original proprietors of Norwich, Connecticut, which was bought in June, 1659, of the Indian Chief Uncas and his sons. His home lot was laid out in November, 1659. He had the largest tract of any of the first settlers, and received other grants at later times. His house was about fifty-seven feet north of the oldest burying ground, known as the Post and Gager burying ground.

1658 – Nehemiah’s son-in-law Deacon Joshua Raymond was perhaps the second person who built on the Indian lands Raymond went to New London, CT where he purchased land. 1662, a small grant of the water front,south of the “Fort land,” was made him. In 1668, by the payment  of £15 to Uncas, a settlement of the town bounds was effected. The payment of this gratuity was assumed by James Avery, Daniel Wetherell, and Joshua Raymond, who were indemnified by the town with 200 acres of land each. He was one of the Committee who laid out the road between Norwich and New London through the Indian Reservation, and for this service he received a farm on the route, which became the nucleus of 1,000 acres lying together about eight miles from New London, which was owned by his descendants. In 1672 he was Cornet of Capt. Palmer’s Co. of Troopers. In 1675 his land, now the corner of Parade and Bank Streets, was fortified against the Indians, the town raising 70 men, beside Pequot and Mohegan Indians, of these troops he was Commissary.  Joshua died 24 Apr 1676 New London,  CT. Killed in the “Great Swamp Fight“.

1684 – Nehemiah and wife Ann deeded their homestead and other property to their son-in-law, Joshua ABELL, on condition that he take care of them in their old age. He died about 1686, aged about eighty-one years, and was buried in the Post and Gager burying ground.

Founding Preston, CT

In 1686, Thomas Parke, Thomas Tracy, and several others petitioned for and were granted by the Connecticut General Court authority to establish a plantation seven miles square to the East of Norwich and North of New London and Stonington. Owaneco, son of the Mohegan sachem Uncas, gave a confirmatory deed for the land in 1687. In October of that same year, the town was formally incorporated as Preston.

Preston, New London, CT.

John SAFFORD Jr. settled in Preston before 1690.  Ebenezer PERKINS moved to Preston in 1714.

George CORLISS’ son-in-law Joseph Ayer and his brother John settled at Preston and North Stonington as farmers. Joseph’s farm was within the bounds of “Norwich East Society” (part of Preston) where he was admitted an inhabitant in 1704.   He bought a large tract of land from Uncas  and built the Ayer homestead in a narrow gap at the foot of Ayer’s mountain, known as Ayer’s Gap, where his father had settled before him.


The Beckwiths By Paul Edmond Beckwith

Posted in History | 2 Comments

Uncas Legacy and Myth

Under Construction

Uncas (1588 – 1683) was a sachem of the Mohegan who through his alliance with the English colonists in New England against other Indian tribes made the Mohegan the leading regional Indian tribe in lower Connecticut.

Mark of Uncas  — Source: Uncas First of the Mohegans

He was a friend and ally of our ancestor Major John MASON for three and a half decades and he had dealings with many other of our ancestors.

Uncas has acquired two different, divergent reputations. Most of the general public think of Uncas in the manner he was portrayed by Cooper, as epitomizing the “Noble Savage.” Some historians, however, regard Uncas as a disloyal collaborator and crass opportunist. Best known for his support of the New England colonies during the Pequot War in 1637, Uncas, acting at the behest of the Connectieut colony, gained notoriety for his role in the murder of the Narragansett sachem, Miantonomi, one of the first Native American leaders to advocate unity in the face of the European invasion.  Who was the real man?

Navigate this Report

1. Biography

Pequot War
War with the Narragansett
King Philip’s War

2. Legacy and Myth

Last of the Mohegans Mohicans
Andrew Jackson’s Dedications
John Mason’s Controversial Statue
Connecticut Indians Today
A Final Word about History

3. Uncas and the Miner Ancestors

Founding New London
Pequot Property Rights
Great Swamp Fight
Mr. Fitch’s Mile
Norwich, CT
Preston, CT

2. Legacy and Myth

Last of the Mohegans Mohicans

The Mohican (Mahican) that Cooper wrote about were the northern division of the Leni-lanape or  Delaware Nation. Their homeland was northern New York, not southeastern Connecticut.

In 1826, James Fenimore Cooper’s novel “The Last of the Mohicans,” introduced a fictional Uncas to the world.  In many ways it’s the first American adventure novel, the first American popular novel, and the first novel that features Native Americans as main characters.  It became probably the icon by which all Native Americans were drawn for generations after that because we have those two images in the characters of on the one side Uncas and Chingachgook, who were the noble Mohegans, and on the other side Magua, who is the despicable, lying, dangerous redskin, who is the villain of the piece.

Hawkeye and Uncas discuss whether to attack the British from the movie the Last of the Mohicans

And they’re names that were picked out of the popular imagination. But Uncas, of course, was an historical character, the leader of the Mohegan people, who became the primary ally of the English and was a sort of exemplar of the relationship between the white man and the Indian.  In the popular imagination he was the good Indian, so when Cooper wrote this book it’s not surprising that the Uncas character should be used in name if not an actual person because, of course, the fictional Uncas is totally different.


  • Magua (ma-gwah) – the villain of the piece; a Huron chief driven from his tribe for drunkenness and later whipped by the British Army (also for drunkenness), for which he blames Colonel Munro. Also known as “Sly Fox.” (Wes Studi in 1992)
  • Chingachgook (chin-GATCH-gook) – last chief of the Mohican tribe; escort to the traveling Munro sisters, father to Uncas. Unami Delaware word meaning “Big Snake.” (Russell Means in 1992)
  • Uncas – the son of Chingachgook and the titular “Last of the Mohicans” (meaning the last pure-blooded Mohican born). (Eric Schweig, imdb in 1992)
  • Natty BumppoHawkeye – Oeil de Faucon; a frontiersman who, by chance meeting in the forest, becomes an escort to the Munro sisters. Also known to the Indians and the French as “La Longue Carabine” on account of his long rifle and shooting skills. (Daniel Day-Lewis in 1992)
  • Cora Munro – dark-haired daughter of Colonel Munro. Her mother, whom Munro met and married in the West Indies was a mulatto, half-white half-African-Caribbean. In the novel, Cora is termed a quadroon at one point. (Madeleine Stowe in 1992)
  • Alice Munro – Cora’s younger, blonde half-sister, the daughter of Alice Graham, who was the love of Munro’s life when he was young, but whom he was able to marry only much later in life.
  • Colonel Munro – the sisters’ father, a British army colonel in command of Fort William Henry.
  • Duncan Heyward – a British army major from Virginia who falls in love with Alice Munro.
  • David Gamut – a psalmodist (teacher of psalm singing) also known as “the singing master” due to the fact that he sang for every event.
  • General Daniel Webb – Colonel Munro’s commanding officer, originally stationed at Albany, who later takes command at Fort Edward (from where he cannot or will not come to Colonel Munro’s aid when Fort William Henry is besieged by the French).
  • General Marquis de Montcalm – the French commander-in-chief, referred to by the Hurons and other Indian allies of the French as “The great white father of the Canadas”.
  • Tamenund – An ancient, wise, and revered Delaware Indian sage who has outlived three generations of warriors. He is the “Sachem” of the Delaware.

The romanticized image of the strong, fearless, and ever resourceful frontiersman (i.e., Hawkeye), as well as the stoic, wise, and noble “red man” (i.e., Chingachgook) were notions derived from Cooper’s characterizations more than from anywhere else.  So you had this picture of Uncas as being absolutely steadfast. He is sort of the image of Tonto. He’s the first Tonto and the Lone Ranger. And this image of the white man with the faithful Indian by his side continues on down through movies and television right to the present day. It’s one of the most popular images in the American imagination, even though beginning with Uncas himself it is a false image.

Mark Twain famously derides James Fenimore Cooper in Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses, an essay published in North American Review (July 1895). Twain’s primary complaint is what he considers a lack of variety in Cooper’s style, along with excessive verbiage. In the essay, Twain re-writes a small section of The Last of the Mohicans and claims that Cooper, “the generous spendthrift”, used 100 extra and unnecessary words in the original version.   He became an extremely outspoken critic not only of other authors, but also of other critics, suggesting that before praising Cooper’s work, Professors Loundsbury, Brander Matthes, and Wilkie Collins “ought to have read some of it.”

In Cooper’s defense,  he made no attempt to pattern his character after the historical Uncas and his Indian characters are far more complex than most readers realize.

More than 12 movie versions of The Last of the Mohicans  have left an enduring mark on American culture.  The usual deletions from cinematic versions of The Last of the Mohicans are the extensive sections about the Indians themselves, thus confounding Cooper’s purpose. Further, romantic relationships, non-existent or minimal in the novel, are generated between the principal characters, and the roles of some characters are reversed or altered, as are the events.

Andrew Jackson’s Dedications

The Uncas monument sits in a small burial ground on Sachem Street. The square base of the monument was dedicated in 1833, with President Andrew Jackson participating in the dedication ceremonies. The granite column was dedicated nine years later in 1842, after organizers had resolved several problems with the monument, including quarrying granite that met their specifications and reaching a consensus on the proper spelling of “Uncas.”

Uncas Monument

The dedication ceremony was marked by several speeches praising Uncas for his cooperation with the settlers, but for some reason, no Mohegans were invited to participate. Organizers apparently assumed the tribe was extinct, and didn’t know that survivors were living in nearby Montville.

“Buffalo Bill” Cody laid a wreath at the Uncas monument in 1907 when his Wild West stunt show visited Norwich.

The Mohegan’s burial ground may have covered as many as 16 acres over what is now a well-developed residential neighborhood. Today, a sixteenth of an acre remains.

In 2008, the Mohegans dedicated a memorial to ancestors whose graves were lost to redevelopment of the burial ground on the site of a former Masonic lodge near the Uncas monument.

John Mason’s Controversial Statue

In 1889, a statue of Mason drawing his sword was erected on the site of the Mystic Fort massacre, in the present day town of Groton. The event is commemorated by a boulder monument that formerly was on Mystic Hill upon the pedestal of which is a life-size statue of Major Mason drawing his sword, representing the moment when he heard the war-whoop of “Owanux” in their fort.

On Pequot Hill, Mystic, Ct. stands the statue of Major John Mason at the spot where on June 7, 1637 he with 90 colonists and 100 Mohegan Indians burned to death 600 to 700 men, women and children of the warlike Pequot Indian Tribe

In 1992, a Pequot named Wolf Jackson petitioned the town council to remove the statue.  According to the Hartford Courant, in one of the meetings in which the statue’s fate was debated, one citizen proclaimed “that the statue on Pequot Avenue is about as appropriate as a monument at Auschwitz to Heinrich Himmler, architect of the Nazis’ Final Solution.”   As a compromise, in 1996 the statue was moved a way from the site of the massacre to nearby Windsor which was founded by Mason.  The New York Times reported that nine protesters attended the rededication ceremony: “‘No Hero’ said one sign; ‘Remember the Pequot Massacres’, said another.  A few weeks later, vandals doused the bronze Mason with red paint

Present Day Pequot

Connecticut Indians Today


Many members live on the Mohegan Reservation   in Montville, New London County. The tribe gained federal recognition in 1994. Its original petition for federal recognition was submitted in 1978 by Chief Rolling Cloud Hamilton   It operates the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, as well as a casino at Pocono Downs, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. They also own the WNBA team, the Connecticut Sun. There are at least two bands that are independent of the federally recognized band.


Although similar in name, the Mohegan are a different tribe from the Mahican, traditionally based in present-day eastern New York, who are also an Algonquian-speaking people. In the United States, both tribes have been referred to in various historic documents as Mohicans, a source of confusion based upon a mistake in translation.[3] The Dutch Adriaen Block, one of the first Europeans to refer to both tribes, distinguished between the “Morhicans” and the “Mahicans, Mahikanders, Mohicans, [or] Maikens”.[3] Some people confuse the Iroquoian-speaking Mohawk of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) with the Mohegan, but they belong to two different language families and were historical enemies.

The Mahican were historically located in the Hudson River Valley (around Albany, New York). Their traditional meeting ground was in Schaghticoke. Under pressure during the American Revolution, many moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts after 1780, where they became known as the “Stockbridge Indians” or Stockbridge Munsee. Descendants removed to Wisconsin during the 1820s and 1830s.  Most descendants of the Mohegan tribe, in contrast, have remained in New England; the Mohegan have a reservation in Connecticut.


After the Pequot War, captured Pequot were divvied up as spoils among the victors.  Boston sells some of its share of Pequot survivors into slavery in Bermuda.  Many Pequot descendants still live on Bermuda’s St. David Island, their Indian slave ancestors having intermarried with their African slave ancestors.

In 1638, the Connecticut English host a treaty party where a few remaining Pequot are dived among the tribes that had been English allies.  The Pequot absorbed into Uncas’s tribe later became known as the Mashantucket Pequot.  In 1976, this tribe successfully sued the state of Connecticut for recovery of some of its land in Connecticut and received federal recognition from Ronald Reagan in 1983.  This is the home to the tribe’s wildly profitable Foxwoods Resort Casino.

The Pequot Indians Today

A Final Word about History

To  understand Uncas you need to think of the time that he was born into. It was a very challenging time. There were a lot of choices to make and they were critical choices, critical for the survival of his people.

The Europeans had arrived. There were different factions of them. He had to sort of figure out who was who and what were their agendas and it was very confusing. And all of those groups were trying to pit Indian groups against each other,

Seeing all that– seeing the kind of power that Europeans had with their large boats and with the populations that just kept coming — and the clothing that Europeans had that was so tailored. Native people certainly had a richness to their own lives but seeing those kinds of items had to cause them to wonder about this other people and what powers and special gifts that they might have of their own. It could be very intimidating, I think.

There were diseases that took out 90 percent in some cases of the population so that you lost elders and experienced people and children, which caused you to be concerned about the whole future of your people.

My understanding of the way native people fought was more to embarrass your enemies and to kind of do a blustery show to dominate and intimidate them but usually not with the idea of wiping them out entirely. But with European arrival then you had a very different people and Europeans were experienced in wars that just totally decimated people and with the weapons they had those weapons served them to that purpose. So for native people contemplating warfare meant they really had to think about it in new ways.

Uncas said if they’re to be here then how do we make sure that we survive and the way to do that was to gain alliances, to gain dominion as it were over certain native groups so that he could have power and influence that then could be used with the Europeans to advantage. And people might see his actions as somewhat of a weakness in that he didn’t fight to the death but instead I think he had a great amount of bravery to meet the situations head-on.

When the history of these times is written they very often do not judge the behavior of Indians in the same terms that they judge other people. White people do diplomacy, Indians do something else. What this guy was a diplomat and he had to make some alliance of some kind. And he made a choice and interpreting his choice strictly along racial grounds, I think, is a very limited way of looking at it.

He made some choices and they’re very easy to second guess 350 years later. He certainly had diplomatic skills in being able to manipulate the system to enable himself to survive. This was an early example of a much more subtle view of the power politics of the day than the people who just stayed in one place and said, “we’re gonna fight to the end.” And, in fact, they did fight to the end and it was over.

Russell Means said :

It’s amazing to me that a people can be reduced to good and bad. So to racistly label Indians good or bad only enhances your own ignorance. And Uncas was a survivor. A wise survivor. In the latest demographics it’s estimated that in the eastern United States, east of the Mississippi River, there were 12 to 14 million Indian people. Where’d they go? Where’d they go? So Uncas represents someone who is smart enough to survive and he got his people to survive, otherwise they’d be as extinct as the hundreds of Indian nations that were wiped out in the holocaust of the settlement of the East.

Posted in History | 5 Comments


Under Construction

Uncas (1588 – 1683) was a sachem of the Mohegan who through his alliance with the English colonists in New England against other Indian tribes made the Mohegan the leading regional Indian tribe in lower Connecticut.

Mark of Uncas  — Source: Uncas First of the Mohegans

He was a friend and ally of our ancestor Major John MASON for three and a half decades and he had dealings with many other of our ancestors.

Uncas has acquired two different, divergent reputations. Most of the general public think of Uncas in the manner he was portrayed by Cooper, as epitomizing the “Noble Savage.” Some historians, however, regard the historical Uncas as a selfish conniver. Best known for his support of the New England colonies during the Pequot War in 1637, Uncas, acting at the behest of the Connectieut colony, gained notoriety for his role in the murder of the Narragansett sachem, Miantonomi, one of the first Native American leaders to advocate unity in the face of the European invasion.  Who was the real man?

Navigate this Report

1. Biography

Pequot War
War with the Narragansett
King Philip’s War

2. Legacy and Myth

Last of the Mohegans Mohicans
Andrew Jackson’s Dedication
John Mason’s Controversial Statue
Connecticut Indians Today
A Final Word about History

3. Uncas and the Miner Ancestors

Founding New London
Pequot Property Rights
Great Swamp Fight
Mr. Fitch’s Mile
Norwich, CT
Preston, CT

1. Biography

  • He was the the first, not the last.


Sachem Walkingfox –

Before beginning the story of Sachem Uncas, also known as the Fox,  for his abilities to outsmart all who wished him dead, I need to be sure that it is understood that the sources for some of this information was handed down by my Grandfather and other Elders and some was from other sources.

All of these teachings by my Mohegan Elders, took place at our monthly meetings, while I was growing up in Uncasvillage.

As computers, telephones or libraries did not exist in the time of Sachem Uncas, it would be nearly impossible to say that there is any source about him that is perfect.

It is very disturbing to me and my family to read all of the so called true stories about not only Sachem Uncas, but the Mohegan people as well, written by those who are neither Mohegan, nor even Native. How can one be an expert without living the story?


Our English name became known as the Monheags. One of these groups of people became land diggers or farmers, however, most of the tribes in that area were warring tribes which over time, forced this group of Monheag People East. After some time and many forced movements, this group of Monheags ended up along the Quinatucquet River, which later became known as the Connecticut River in what is now Connecticut.

The many years of battles and losing their farms, taught this tribe how to fight, so that when the Mashantuckets, Missituks, Niantic’s, like the Mohawks had so long ago, came to destroy them and take their farms, the Monheags were ready for them, waging war first on them, then the Dutch and then the French. After this, the Dutch called them the Pequins, then the French changed their name to Pequods and the English changed it to Pequot’s.

Uncas was born about 1588 near the Thames River in present- day Connecticut.  His father was the Mohegan sachem Owaneco.  He was a descendant of the principal sachems of the Mohegan, Pequot, and Narragansett. Owaneco presided over the village known as Montonesuck. Uncas was bilingual, learning Mohegan and some English, and possibly some Dutch. In 1626, Owaneco arranged for Uncas to marry the daughter of the principal Pequot sachem Tatobem to secure an alliance with them. When Owaneco died, shortly after this marriage, Uncas had to submit to Tatobem’s authority. When in 1633, Tatobem was captured and killed by the Dutch, Sassacus became his successor. Owaneco’s alliance with Tatobem was based upon a balance of power between the Mohegan and Pequot. After the death of Owaneco, the balance changed in favour of the Pequot. Uncas was unwilling to challenge the power of Tatobem. After he died, however, Uncas began to contest Pequot authority over the Mohegan. In 1634 with Narragansett support, Uncas rebelled against Saccaucus and Pequot authority. He was defeated and Uncas became an exile among the Narragansett. He soon returned from exile after ritually humiliating himself before Saccacus. His failed challenge resulted in Uncas having little land and few followers.

The Mohegan tribe is an Algonquian-speaking tribe that lives in the eastern upper Thames River valley of Connecticut.  Mohegan translates to “People of the Wolf”. At the time of European contact, the Mohegan and Pequot were one people, historically living in the lower Connecticut region. Before the early 17th century, under the leadership of Uncas, the Mohegan became a separate tribe, independent of the Pequot.

Sachem Walkingfox

When the English showed up on the Quinatucquet and Pequot Rivers,Sachem Wopigwooit was the leader of the tribe.  After his passing, the people then chose Sasscus as leader, instead of Uncas who should have rightfully been Sachem, hoping that he would force the English back into the ocean. Sasscus like the Niantic’s and the Narragansett’s hated the English and was at war with them constantly.

War chief Uncas, who was Sasscus’s son in law, tried to reason with Sasscus and the people, but they would not listen to him.

So Uncas took all who wished to go with him, across the Pequot River, to the Cauchegan Village, gave them back their old name Monheags and became their Sachem.


Pequot War

About 1635, Uncas developed relationships with important Englishmen in Connecticut. He was a friend of [our ancestor] Major John MASON, a partnership which was to last three and a half decades. Uncas sent word to Jonathan Brewster that Saccacus was planning to attack the English on the Connecticut river. Brewster described Uncas as being “faithful to the English”. In 1637, during the Pequot War, Uncas was allied with the English and against the Pequots. He led his Mohegan in a joint attack with the English against the Pequot near Saybrook and against their fort at Mystic River. The Pequot were defeated and the Mohegan incorporated much of the remaining Pequot people and their land.

Pequot War from The Wordy Shipmates

The Pequot War is a pure war.  An by pure I don’t mean good.  I mean it is war straight up, a war set off by murder and vengeance and fueled by misunderstanding, jealousy, hatred, stupidity, racism, lust for power, lust for land, and most of all, greed, all of it headed toward a climax of slaughter.  The English are diabolical,  The Narragansett and the Mohegan are willing accomplices,  The Pequot commit distasteful acts of violence and are clueless as to just how vindictive the English can be when provoked.  Which is to say that there’s no one to root for.  Well, one could root for Pequot babies not to be burned alive, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

On 1 May 1637, the Connecticut General Court raised a force of 90 men to be under the command of Captain John Mason for an offensive war against the Pequot. Mason commanded the successful expedition against the Pequot Indians, when he and his men immortalized themselves in overthrowing and destroying the prestige and power of the Pequots and their fort near Mystic River, on the Groton side. During the attack, they killed virtually all of the inhabitants, about 600 men, women, and children. This event became known as the Mystic massacre.

John Mason – Pequot Warrior

Mason reports that on May  25

“about eight of the clock in the morning, we marched thence towards the Pequot with about five hundred Indians.

Their original aim was to attack the headquarters of Sassacus, the Pequot sachem,  After all, it was Sassacus who had murdered Captain Stone to avenge his father’s death.  But at some point, they decide to attack the Pequot fort at Mystic instead.  It’s closer.

As the day wears on, they get hotter and hungrier.  Mason says that “some of our men fainted.

Mason writes :   I then inquired of Uncas what he thought the Indians would do? Uncas predicts, “The Narragansetts would all leave us.” As for the Mohegan, Uncas reassures Mason that “he would never leave us: and so it proved. For which expressions and some other speeches of his, I shall never forget him,  Indeed he was a great friend and did a great service.”

At night, recalls Mason “the rocks were our pillows, yest rest was pleasant.

The next morning, Mason asks Uncas and his comrade Wequash where the fort is.  They tell him it’s on top of a nearby hill.  Looking around Mason wonders where the hell the Narragansett have disappeared to.  They are nowhere to be seen.  Uncas replies that they’re hanging back “exceedingly afraid.” Mason tells Uncas and Wequash not to leave but to stand back and wait to see “whether Englishmen would now fight or not.

Then Underhill joins in the huddle and he and Mason begin “commending ourselves to God.”  They divide their men in half, “there being two entrances to the fort.

The Pequot fort is encircled within  a palisade, a wall made of thick tree trunks standing up and fastened together.  Around seven hundred men, women and children are asleep in wigwams inside.

Mason writes that they “heard a dog bark.” Their sneak attack is foiled.   Mason says they heard “an Indian crying Owanux, Owanx! Which is Englishman! Englishman!”

Mason: “We called up our forces with all expedition, gave fire upon them through the palisade, the Indians being in a dead – indeed their last – sleep.”

Mason commands the Narragansett and Mohegan to surround the palisade in what Underhill describes as a “ring battalia, giving a volley of shot upon the fort.”  Hearing gunfire, the awakened Pequot, writes Underhill, “brake forth into the most doleful cry.”

The Pequot screams are so dolefule Underhill says the English almost sympathize with their prey – almost.  Until the English manage to remember why they are there in the first place (to avenge the murder of various Englishmen from a drunken, wife-stealing pirate to the settlers on the Connecticut frontier whehn those girls were kidnapped.  Thus Underhill reports “every man being bereaved of pitty fell upon the work without compassion, considering the blood [the Pequot] had shed of our native countrymen.”

Then the English enter the fort, carring, per Underhill ” our swords in our right hand, our carbines or muskets in our left hand.”  Mason and Underhill start knocking heads inside the wigwams.  Various Pequot come at them “Most courageously these Pequot behaved themselves”.  Underwill will praise them later on.

Combat in the cozqy little bark houses is chaos – too dangerous and unpredictable.  Mason is hit with arrows and Underhill’s hip is grazed.  Mason is faced, on a smaller scale, with the same problem Harry Truman would confront when he was forced to ponder the logistics of invading Japan in 1945.  A ground war would damn untold thousands of American troops to certain slaughter.  The Puritan commander, in a smaller, grubbier, lower-tech way, arrives at the same conclusions as Truman when he ordered the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Mason says “We must burn them.

And they do,

Mason dashes inside a hut, lights a torch and “set the wigwam on fire.”  The inhabitants are stunned.  ”When it was thoroughly kindled,” Mason recalls, “the Indians ran as men most dreadfully amazed.”

Underhill, too, lights up his vicinity, and “the fires of both meeting in the center of the fort blazed most terribly and burnt all the space of half an hour.


The wind helps.  According to Mason, the fire “did swiftly overrun the fort, to the extreme amazement of the enemy and great rejoicing of ourselves.”  Mason notes that some of the Indians try to climb over the palisade and others start “running into the very flames.”  They shoot arrows at the Englishmen who answer them with gunfire, but, writes Underhill, “the fire burnt their very bowstrings.”

“Mercy they did deserve for their valor.” Underhill admits of the Pequot.  Not that they get any.   William Bradford was told by a participant that “it was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire, and the steams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stink and scent thereof.”

The Englishmen escape the flames and then guard the two exits so that no Pequot can escape.  According to Underhill, those who try to get away “our soldiers entertained with the point of the sword; down fell men, women and children.”

Mason summarizes, “And thus … in little more than an hour’s space was their impregnable fort with themselves utterly destroyed, to the number of six or seen hundred.”

Two Englishmen died and about twenty are wounded.  Mason is triumphant.   After all, this is the will of a righteous God. He praises the Lord for “burning them up in the fire of his wrath, and dunging the ground with their flesh: It is the Lord’s doings, and it is marvelous in our eyes!”  That might be the creepiest exclamation point in American Literature.  No, wait – it’s this one: “Thus did the Lord judge among the heathen, filling the place with dead bodies!”

John Mason – Pequot War Woodcut

The Narragansett and Mohegan, whom Underhill calls “our Indians”, were shaken by the viciousness of the English and the horror of the carnage.  Especially the Narragansett.  Recall they had explicitly asked before the campaign, via Roger Williams, “that it would be pleasing to all natives, that women and children be spared.

“Our Indians,” Underhill writes, “Came to us much rejoiced at our victories, and greatly admired the manner of Englishmen’s fight, but cried ‘Mach it, mach it’ that is ‘It is naught.  It is naught, because it is too furious and slays too many men.”  The word “naught” to a seventeenth -century English speaker, meant “evil.”

He took a company of Englishmen up the river and rescued two English maids during this war. On 8 March 1637/8, in the aftermath of the Pequot War, the Connecticut General Court “ordered that Captain Mason shall be a public military officer of the plantations of Connecticut, and shall train the military men thereof in each plantation”. In the 1638 Treaty of Hartford, Uncas made the Mohegan a tributary of the Connecticut River Colony. The treaty dictated that Uncas could pursue his interests in the Pequot country only with the explicit approval of the Connecticut English. The Mohegan had become a regional power. In 1640, Uncas added Sebequanash of the Hammonasset to his several wives. This marriage gave Uncas some type of control over their land which he promptly sold to the English. The Hammonasset moved and became Mohegan.

The fire spread very rapidly and the people would not come out of the fort because they would be shot down. Because of the fire their bowstrings caught fire, they could no longer use bows and arrows. They had no distance weapons and, therefore, they had to fight with ax and knife, hand-to-hand, a very unequal combat. And I can imagine as that battle was going on, as Pequot men were running out with their clothes on fire attacking the English hand to hand I wonder what was going through Uncas’s mind. Because I think Uncas felt, well, this would be a typical battle on a fortification, the English will overcome them, they will surrender and maybe I’ll be able to take these people into my group. But instead everyone, 400 to 700 people were wiped out.

I cannot help but think that Uncas was horrified when he saw what happened, when he saw the tremendous violence that was unleashed by the English on the Pequot people and yet he does not turn against the English because he knows there’s nothing else he can do right now. It has begun. He has to follow it through to the end.

In gratitude to Uncas and the Mohegans, King Charles II gave Uncas a bible to show him the path to Heaven and a sword to protect himself from his enemies. Tribal legend has it that Uncas preferred the sword.

The success of Uncas and his tribe led to great change in the region’s power structure. The English triumphed against the Dutch. The Mohegans became the unrivalled native power. It was a controversial change that severed intertribal connections and relations.

After the Pequot War, in 1638, Uncas and 37 of his men made a ceremonial visit to Massachusetts Bay colony Gov. John Winthrop in Boston. At least 6 of the men accompanying Uncas were former Pequots, now Mohegans. The colonists accused Uncas of harboring the Pequot enemy. Uncas angrily denied breaking faith.

JOE BRUCHAC: That was when he made his famous speech about loyalty. And Uncas said these famous words. “If you do not trust me, you should kill me.” And then placing his hand on his heart he looked straight in Governor Winthrop’s eyes and said, “This heart is not mine, it is yours. I have no men. They are yours. Command me to do any hard thing and I will do it. I will never believe any Indian’s word against the English, and if any Indian shall kill an Englishman I will put him to death were he never so dear to me”, so spoke Uncas.

So you can see that Uncas was indeed both allying himself with the English and protecting his people including those former Pequots who now regarded themselves Mohegan.


War with the Narragansett

The Mohegan were in continuous conflict with the Narragansett over control over the former Pequot land. In the summer of 1643, this conflict turned into war. The English colonies formed an alliance, the New England Confederation, for their defence. The Mohegan defeated a Narragansett invasion force of around 1,000 men and captured their sachem Miantonomo.

Led by their Sachem, Miantonomo, who had a strong dislike for Uncas, a force of five to six hundred warriors marched against the Mohegans. In the summer of 1643, the Mohegans and Narragansetts met on the “Great Plain”. Uncas had perhaps half as many warriors as the Narragansetts. On the approach of the enemy, “Uncas sent forward a messenger, desiring a parley with Miantonomo, which was granted, and the two chiefs met on the plain, between their respective armies. Uncas then proposed that the fortunes of the day should be decided by themselves in single combat, and the lives of their warriors spared. His proposition was thus expressed: ‘Let us two fight it out; If you kill me, my men shall be yours; but if I kill you, your men shall be mine.’

Miantonomo, who seems to have suspected some crafty manoeuvre, in this unusual proposition, replied disdainfully, ‘My men came to fight, and they shall fight.’ Uncas immediately gave a pre-concerted signal to his followers, by falling flat upon his face to the ground. They, being all prepared with bent bows, instantly discharged a shower of arrows upon the enemy, and raising the battle yell, rushed forward with their tomahawks, their chieftain starting up and leading the onset. The Narragansetts, who were carelessly awaiting the result of the conference, and not expecting that the Mohegans would venture to fight at all with such inferior force, were taken by surprise; and after a short and confused attempt at resistance, were put to flight.”**

The battle lasted but a moment and Miantonomo, deserted by his people and over-weighted by an English corselet, was caught, after a long chase, by Uncas and one of his sachems.

Uncas and Miantonomoh

Miantonomoh was slowed by his coat of mail and was taken prisoner. Uncas executed several of Miantonomo’s fellow warriors in front of him trying to solicit a response from Miantonomo.  Miantonomoh suggested an alliance against the English to the sachem of the Mohegans, Uncas, but consistent with the 1638 treaty, Uncas turned him over to the Connecticut authorities at Hartford.

Miantonomoh was tried in Boston by the commissioners of the United Colonies of New England. A committee of five clergymen, to whom his case was referred, found him guilty. Although Miantonomoh had made war with their consent, they advised that he should be killed and gave Uncas authority to to put Miantonomo to death, provided that the killing was done in Mohegan territory. Miantonomoh was taken back to Norwich, where he had been defeated.  Uncas’ brother Wawequa killed Miantonomo with a tomahawk under orders from Uncas.

Miantonomo ‘s son Canonchet was a Narragansett Sachem and leader of Native American troops during the Great Swamp Fight and King Philip’s War. He was a son of Miantonomo. In 1676, having been surprised and captured, his life was offered him on condition of making peace with the English, but he spurned the proposition. When informed that he was to be put to death, he said: “I like it well. I shall die before my heart is soft, and before I have spoken a word unworthy of Canonchet.”

When the next Narragansett sachem proposed to go to war to avenge the death of Miantonomo, the English pledged to support the Mohegan. The Narragansett attacks started in June 1644. With each success, the number of Narragansett allies grew. Uncas and the Mohegan were under siege at Shantok and on the verge of a complete defeat when the English relieved them with supplies and lifted the siege. The New England Confederation pledged any offensive action required to preserve Uncas in “his liberty and estate”. The English sent troops to defend the Mohegan fort at Shantok. When the English threatened to invade Narragansett territory, the Narragansett signed a peace treaty.

In 1646, the tributary tribe at Nameag, consisting of former Pequot, allied with the English and tried to become more independent. In response, Uncas attacked and plundered their village. The Bay Colony governor responded by threatening to allow the Narragansett to attack the Mohegan. For the next several years, the English both asserted the Nameag’s tributary status while supporting the Nameag in their independence. In 1655, the English removed the tribe from Uncas’ authority. The English had less and less use for Uncas, and his influence in English councils declined.

May 1649 – At the session of the General Court,  the following regulations were made respecting Pequot in New London:

1. The inhabitants were exempted from all public country charges — i.e., taxes for the support of the colonial government — for the space of three years ensuing.

2. The bounds of the plantation were restricted to four miles each side of the river, and six miles from the sea northward into the country, ” till the court shall see cause and have encouragement to add thereunto, provided they entertain none amongst them as inhabitants that shall be obnoxious to this jurisdiction, and that the aforesaid bounds be not distributed to less than forty families.”

3. John Winthrop, Esq. [Col. Edmund READE’s son-in-law], with Thomas MINER and Samuel LOTHROP as assistants, were to have power as a court to decide all differences among the inhabitants under the value of forty shillings.

4. Uncas and his tribe were prohibited from setting any traps, but not from hunting and fishing within the bounds of the plantation.

5. The inhabitants were not allowed to monopolize the corn trade with the Indians in the river, which trade was to be left free to all in the united colonies.

6. ” The Courte commends the name of Faire Harbour to them for to bee the name of their Towne.”

7. Thomas MINER was appointed ” Military Sergeant in the Towne of Pequett,” with power to call forth and train the inhabitants.


The Mohegans and the planters at Pequot continued to be for several years troublesome neighbors to each other. The sachem was ever complaining o£ encroachments upon his royalties and the English farmers of Indian aggressions upon their property. In March, 1653/54, the planters, apparently in some sudden burst of indignation, made an irruption into the Indian territory and took possession of “Uncas his fort, and many of his wigwams at Monheag,”

The sachem, as usual, carried his grievances to Hartford ; and the General Court ordered a letter of inquiry and remonstrance to be written to the town. This was followed by the appointment of a committee. Major Mason, Matthew Griswold and Mr. Winthrop, to review the boundary line between the plantation and the Indians and to “endeavor to compose differences between Pequett and Uncas in love and peace.”- This appears to have quieted the present uneasiness, and for several succeeding years the enmity of the Narragansetts furnished the sachem with a motive to conciliate the English.

Between 1640 and 1660 he was repeatedly invaded by hostile bands of his own race, that swept over him like the gust of a whirlwind and drove him for refuge into some stone fort or gloomy Cappacummock. It is wonderful that he should always have escaped from an enmity so deadly and unremitting, and that he should have increased in numbers and strength while so frequently engaged in hostilities.

In 1657, the Narragansetts, taking their usual route through the wilderness, and crossing the fords of theShetucket and Yantic, poured down upon Mohegan, marking their course with slaughter and devastation.- Uncas fled before them, and took refuge in a fort at the head of Nahantick River, where his enemies closely besieged him. It is probable that he would soon have been obliged to submit to terms, had not his English neighbors hastened to his relief.

Lieut. James Avery, Mr. Brewster, Richard Haughton, Samuel LOTHROP  and others well armed, succeeded in throwing themselves into the fort ; and the Narragansetts, fearing to engage in a conflict with the English, broke up the siege and returned home. Major John MASON, the patron of Uncas, hastened to lay before the General Court an account of the danger to which he had been exposed.-‘ The Legislature approved of the measures that had been taken for his protection, and requested Mr. Brewster to leave a few men in the fortress with Uncas, to defend him, if again he should be assaulted, and to keep a strict watch over the Narragansetts.

The commissioners who met at Boston in September, took a different view of the case. They had come to the determination of leaving the Indians to fight their own battles, and therefore disapproved of the interference of the English in favor of Uncas. A letter was forthwith dispatched to Pequot directing Mr. Brewster and the others, in Nahantick fort, to retire immediately to their own dwellings, and leave Uncas to manage his affairs himself. For the time to come, they prohibited any interference in the quarrels of Indians with one another, either by colonies or individuals, except in cases of necessary self-defense.

The next year Uncas was again invaded by the Narragansetts, and with them — united against their common enemy — came the Pokomticks and other tribes belonging to Connecticut River. The English did not always escape annoyance from these marauding parties. Mr. Brewster preferred a complaint to the commissioners at their next meeting, that the invaders

” Killed an Indian employed in his service, and flying to Mistress Brewster for succor ; yet they violently took him from her, and shot him by her side fo her great afirightment.”!

This incident undoubtedly occurred on Brewster’s Neck at Poquetannuck. The Indians in their defense said that the Mohegans, their enemies, took shelter in Mr. Brewster’s house and were there protected ; that Mr. Brewster and Mr. Thompson supplied them with guns, powder and shot ; that being on the west side of the river, they were shot at by two men from the east side, whereupon their young warriors crossed the stream, and not finding the offenders, concluded they had taken shelter in the house, and pursued them thither. This defense had but little weight with the commissioners ; who amerced the offending Indians in 120 fathoms of wampum.

The repeated invasion of his enemies drove Uncas for a time from his residence in Mohegan proper. He sheltered himself for two or three years within the circle of the English settlements, and dwelt at Xahantick, at Black Point, and even west of Saybrook, on lands claimed by him at Killing worth and Branford. It was not till after the settlement of Norwich in 1660, that he once more established himself in his old home.

The migratory habits of the Indians, who seldom spent summer and winter in the same place, will account in some degree for their wide-spread claims of possession. Foxen, the friend and counselor of Uncas has left his name indelibly impressed in the neighborhood of New London and on the plains of East Haven.- This fact alone would show the extent of the Mohegan right of dominion ; or rather of the Pequot right, to which the Mohegans succeeded.

In 1657, the court of commissioners, acting as agents to the “Society for propagating the Gospel in New England,” proposed to Mr. Blinman to become the missionary of the Pequots and Mohegans, offering a salary of £20 per annum, and pay for an interpreter. Mr. Blinman declined; and the same year Mr. William Thomson,^ a graduate of Harvard College, and son of the first minister of Braintree, Mass., was engaged for the office. His salary from the commissioners was £10 per annum, for the first two years, and £20 per annum, for tlie next two ; but after 1661 the stipend was withheld, with the remark, that he had ‘^ neglected the business.” His services were confined entirely to the Pequots at Mystic and Pawkatuck. ^ Uncas uniformly declined all ofEers of introducing religious
instruction among his people. Mr. Thomson left New London in feeble health in 1663, and in September, 1664, was in Surry county, Virginia.

The commissioners made many praiseworthy attempts to obtain regular religious instruction for the Pequots, but met with only partial success. In 1654, they selected John the son of Thomas MINER and proposed to educate him for an Indian teacher. John the son of Thomas Stanton was also received by them for the same purpose. They were both kept at school and college for two or three years ; but the young men ultimately left their studies and devoted themselves to other pursuits.


King Philip’s War

King Philip’s War started in June 1675. In the summer, the Mohegan entered the war on the side of the English. Uncas led his forces in joint attacks with the English against the Wampanoag. In December, the Mohegan with the English attacked the Narragansett, in the Great Swamp Fight.

An army was raised of one thousand men. The proportion of Connecticut was three hundred and fifteen, who were placed under the command of Major Robert Treat, of Milford, and ordered to rendezvous at New London.

New London county raised seventy men under Capt. John Mason, of Norwich, besides Pe-
quots andMohegans under Capt. Gallop. Of the seventy men Norwich contributed eighteen; New London, Stonington and Lyme, forty; Saybrook, eight; Killingworth, four. The whole force was to be at New London Dec. 10th. Great exertions were made to obtain the prequisite quantity of provisions and all the apparatus of war. Mr. Wetherell was the active magistrate, Joshua Raymond the commissary. Wheat was sent from other parts of the colony, here to be ground and baked. Indians were to be fitted with caps and stockings. The town also furnished a quantity of powder, bullets and flints, and ten stands of arms. At length there was an impressment of beef, pork, corn and rum, horses and carts, and the army marched.

The Mohegans in this fight were under the command of Capt. John Gallop, of Stonington, who was numbered among the slain. Capt. Avery had charge of the Pequots. It was afterward reported by some, that the Connecticut Indians would not fight in this battle, but discharged their guns into the air. This must bean error. Capt. Gallop, their gallant leader, was slain in the fury of the onset. No charge of cowardice or insubordination was brought against them after their return home ; while on the contrary, rewards for faithful service were bestowed on several. In the accounts of the county treasurer, are notices of cloth and provisions dealt out to various individuals, after they came from the battle. Among these are the names of Momoho, Nanasquee, Tomquash and his brother — “corn delivered Cassasinamon’s squaw,” and “blew cloth for stockings to Ninnicraft’s daughter’s Captayne and his brother.” Capt. John Mason, of Norwich, received a wound, with which he languished till the next September, and then died. The wounded men were mostly brought to New London to be healed, and were attended by Mr. Gershom Bulkley, the former minister of the town, who had accompanied the expedition in the capacity of surgeon.

In January, 1675/6, another army of one thousand men was raised*.. The Connecticut quota was again three hundred and fifteen ; their leader Major Treat, and their rendezvous. New London. They began their march on the 26th, passed through Stonington into the- Narragansett country, and from thence north-westerly into the Nipmuck region, clearing away the Indians in their course, but meeting
with no opportunity to strike a heavy blow. Uncas himself accompanied this expedition; and the Council of War wrote to Mr. Bulkley to return thanks for their good service, to Uncas and Owaneco of
the Mohegans, and to Robin Cassasinamon and Momoho of the Pequots. ‘

The Mohegan ended their active support of the English in this war in July 1676. Uncas died sometime between June 1683 and June 1684.


Uncas: First of the Mohegans By Michael Leroy Oberg 2003

Posted in History | 4 Comments

Carolina in the Revolution

Almost all our ancestors are northerners, but we do have one group of Scotch/Irish Presbyterian Seceder ancestors who immigrated to  Ninety-Six District, later Abbeville County, and Chester County South Carolina in the late 1700′s, just in time for the Revolutionary War.  Our branch followed their minister Alex. Porter to Preble County, Ohio in the early 1800′s, supposedly to avoid contact with the institution of slavery, but before they left, the second generation fought in the Revolution.

We also have a loyalist family  in our tree who fought in South Carolina on the British side.   While we had 15 ancestral families who immigrated to and from Canada, the Nathaniel PARKS’ family was the only one who were actually resettled loyalists.  When I was growing up, I thought all our American/Canadian/American ancestors were loyalists, but most just went to Canada for an opportunity.

Nathaniel PARKS (1738-1818) Nathaniel and his son Joseph enlisted in the loyalist 3rd Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers (known as Skinners Greens) on 6 June 1778.  Nathaniel was 40 when he enlisted and his son was 18 years old.  The N.J. Volunteers were relocated to Canada arriving in Parrtown New Brunswick  in Oct 1783 aboard the Duke of Richmond (Parrtown was renamed Saint John in 1785.

29 Dec 1778 – Both Parks sailed with the expedition to take Savannah, Georgia  They subsequently took part in the Franco- American Siege of that city in Sep/Oct 1779.

29 Nov 1779 – They were both listed as sick in quarters, Joseph now promoted to corporal, both still serving in the same company and battalion. Sargent, Capt. Bartholomew Thatcher’s Co., 3rd NJV commanded by Lt. Col. Isaac Allen, Staten Island.. Savahnah.

Both Parks continued in this situation through 1780 and into 1781.

July 1780 – The battalion march in  from Savannah to Augusta, Georgia, and shortly thereafter to Ninety Six, South Carolina. At Ninety Six there were numerous small expeditions and skirmishes, which they may have taken part in.

May and Jun 1781 – Nathaniel and Joseph took part in the Siege of Ninety Six by the Rebel forces under [our possible relative] General Nathanael GREENE  , and the immediate evacuation of that post after the lifting of that event.

8 Sep 1781 – They also took part in the very bloody Battle of Eutaw Springs, South Carolina,.  Though half the British forces were killed, wounded or captured, the Parks survived apparently unscathed. At this time they were serving in the same company but the battalion had just been renumbered to the 2nd. This was due to the “old” 2nd battalion being under strength and drafted into the 1st and late 4th battalions.

Thomas Gibson CARSON (1710 – 1790) immigrated in 1773 to Charleston, SC from Newry, Ulster, Ireland, sailing in the ship “Elliott” on June 30 and arriving on Aug. 20, 1773.  It was a hard trip, and storms added sailing time.  Less than a decade later, he was in the military in 1780 and 1781 in Georgia and Tennessee, serving as a horseman in Captain Joseph Carson’s Company of the South Carolina Militia, and participated in the battles of Rocky Mount and Hanging Rock under Colonel William Bratton. He was certified as a Revolutionary War Soldier by Colonel Elijah Clarke and received bounty land in Washington County for his services. Georgia sources show he served in the Battalion of Minute Men. He applied for an invalid soldier’s pension. His home was burned by the Tories during the Revolutionary War.

Thomas Gibson CARSON ‘s son William A Carson (1735-1801) immigrated to America with his family in 1773, and joined Captain William Fullwood’s company of volunteer militia on September 30, 1775, in South Carolina. The company took part in the Snow Campaign Dec. 23-30, 1775.

Thomas Gibson CARSON ‘s grandson-in-law John Hearst (1750-1808) was identified as a major in his will and is presumed to have served in the Continental Army. John’s grandson George F Hearst struck Silver in the Comstock Lode and became enormously rich. (Plus the bad guy in Season 3 of Deadwood)

William McCAW Sr’s son-in-law Edward “Ned” McDaniel  (1756-1824) was born after his father’s death, according to family tradition in Braddock’s Defeat. Braddock’s Defeat was a failed British military expedition which attempted to capture the French Fort Duquesne (modern-day downtown Pittsburgh) in the summer of 1755 during the French and Indian War.

During the  Revolution, Ned served as private and horseman in Captain Thompson’s and Capt. Benjamin Garrison’s regiments Cols. Lacey, Bratton, and Gen. Marion.  During the service, he was in several engagements, was wounded in the battle of Rocky Mount, and was wounded in the shoulder in the battle of Hanging Rock.  He was pensioned by the State of South Carolina on account of wounds received in the War.”

Edward McDaniel Revolutionary Service from his pension application

Thomas Gibson CARSON ‘s son Thomas Carson (1759-1807) served in the military between 1780 and 1781 in Georgia and Tennessee. He served in a “Refugee” regiment. At the first siege of Augusta, GA, in 1780, Colonel William Candler raised a volunteer regiment known as the Refugee Regiment of Richmond county. Thomas was enlisted at the direction of Colonel Elijah Clarke, commander, on Sep 15, 1780, to serve “till the British are totally expelled from this state.” The regiment moved to Tennessee in Sept., 1780, marching to the Nolichucky settlements, fighting battles at King’s Mountain on Oct 7, 1780, Fishdam Ford on Nov 9,  1780, Blackstock’s Farm on Nov 20, 1780, and Long Cane (South Carolina) on Dec 11, 1780. The regiment was disbanded on Jun 5, 1781. According to the book “Roster of South Carolina patriots of the American Revolution”, he served as a horseman in the militia under Captain Joseph Carson (not believed to be his brother, Joseph, who would have been 15 in 1781), during 1780 and 1781. At the battles of Rocky Mount and Hanging Rock, he was under Colonel Bratton.

Thomas’s brothers  John Wesley , David  (1762-1826)  and Adam (1764-1842) were also privates in  Joseph Carson’s company.  His niece Margaret’s husband Josiah Patterson (1751-1835) was the Lieutenant.

Thomas Gibson CARSON‘s son John Wesley Carson (1760-1823) served in the military between 1777 and 1783 in Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. John served in both the “Minute Men” and Refugee” units.  David Carson served in the military in 1780 and 1781 in Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Thomas Gibson CARSON‘s son David Carson served with Adam Carson in 1794 in the “Trans-Oconee Republic”, in GA. General Elijah Clark (1733 – 1799) attempted to establish a republic in Georgia, on the southwest side of the Oconee River. Adam Carson was a captain in the militia commanded by General Clark, and David served also..

Thomas Gibson CARSON‘s son Adam Carson served in the military between 1777 and 1783 in Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina, serving in the Minute Men Battalion (see notes for Thomas Carson, preceding). He enlisted at age of 11 or 12, in the same company as his brothers under Captain John McGaw ( McGaw was actually McGough, a family close to the Carson family) and Joseph Carson during 1780 and 1791. Adam was promoted to Orderly Sergeant, and served 2-1/2 years until the end of the war. His company was mainly expelling Indians, Tories, and English from Georgia. He was in both sieges of Augusta, GA, and the battle of Long Cane. He commanded militia in Greene Co., GA, resigning on 31 March, 1791.

a href=””>Thomas Gibson CARSON’s son Joseph (1766 – 1798) served in the military between 1777 and 1781 in GA and TN. He served in the Minute Men Battalion and in the Refugee Battalion. He served in Picken’s Brigade as a private from August 17, 1781, until November 15, 1781. On April 7, 1784, General Elijah Clarke certified that Joseph Carson was a refugee soldier entitled to a bounty of land. About 1790, Joseph Carson served as a captain under General John Clark, raiding the Creek Indian Village of Cheehaw Town.

James McCAW (1762 – 1840) served eight tours between 1775 and 1781 in all at least two years and two months.   It’s interesting how in the Revolution, troops served for a while, went home to work the crops and returned to serve again.

Samuel PATTERSON Sr’s son John Patterson (1763-1837) was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, serving as a substitute for his father in August 1778 when he was just 15 1/2 years old; he saw service in the Carolinas in 1778, 1780 and 1781 and was discharged March 1781. He was in both the infantry and cavalry.   We know a lot about his service from his 1832 pension application letter.

Two of Samuel PATTERSON’s sons-in-law, William and John McGaw were Captains in the Revolution.  They were born in Dunfermline, County Antrim, Ireland and emigrated to Abbeville District, S.C. about 1767 when they were teenagers.  They married sisters Mary and Sarah Patterson.

Willliam McCAW Sr’s daughter-in-law Mary Johnston (1757- 1829)  first married James Henry Gordon. Soon after Gordon was killed 7 Oct 1780 at the Battle of Kings Mountain, she married John McCaw (1758-1825).

Throughout the course of the Revolutionary War, over 200 battles were fought within South Carolina, more than in any other state.    I’ve included a few battles in neighboring North Carolina and Georgia in this post where our South Carolina relatives participated.

When the Revolutionary War began in Massachusetts in April 1775, the free population of the Province of South Carolina was divided in its reaction. Many English coastal residents were either neutral or favored the rebellion, while significant numbers of backcountry residents, many of whom were German and Scottish immigrants were opposed. Loyalist opposition in the backcountry was dominated by Thomas Fletchall, a vocal and active opponent of attempts to resist King and Parliament.  By August 1775 tensions between Patriot and Loyalist in the province had escalated to the point where both sides had raised sizable militia forces.

Events were largely nonviolent for some time, although there were isolated instances of tarring and feathering, but tensions were high as the sides struggled for control of munitions. The Council of Safety in early August sent William Henry Drayton and Reverend William Tennent to Ninety Six to rally Patriot support and suppress growing Loyalist support in the backcountry. Drayton was able to negotiate a tenuous truce with Fletchall in September.

On Sep 15, Patriot militia seized Fort Johnson, the principal fortification overlooking the Charleston harbor. Governor William Campbell dissolved the provincial assembly, and fearing for his personal safety, fled to the Royal Navy sloop of war HMS Tamar. This left the Patriot-controlled Council of Safety in control of the provincial capital.  The council began improving and expanding Charleston’s coastal defenses, eventually resulting in a bloodless exchange of cannofire between Patriot-controlled positions and Royal Navy ships in the harbor on Nov 11 and 12.

Matters also escalated when the Council of Safety began to organize a large-scale response to the seizure by Loyalists in October of a shipment of gunpowder and ammunition intended for the Cherokee. On Nov 8 the Council of Safety voted to send Colonel Richard Richardson, the commander of the Camden militia, to recover the shipment and arrest opposition leaders.

Snow Campaign

While Richardson gathered forces in Charleston, Major Andrew Williamson (see bio below), who had been recruiting Patriots in the backcountry, learned of the gunpowder seizure. He arrived at Ninety Six early on November 19 with 560 men. Finding the small town to be not very defensible, he established a camp on John Savage’s plantation, which was protected by an improvised stockade and provided a field of fire for the force’s three swivel guns. Loyalist recruiting had been more successful: Williamson had learned that Captain Patrick Cuningham and Major Joseph Robinson were leading a large Loyalist force (estimated to number about 1,900) toward Ninety Six.  In a war council that day, the Patriot leaders decided against marching out to face the Loyalists. The Loyalists arrived the next day, and surrounded the Patriot camp at the Siege of Savage’s Old Fields (also known as the First Siege of Ninety Six, November 19–21, 1775).

The leaders of the two factions were in the midst of negotiating an end to the standoff when two Patriot militiamen were seized by Loyalists outside the stockade. This set off a gunfight that lasted for about two hours.  For two more days the Patriots were besieged, during which there were occasional exchanges of gunfire. The siege ended after a parley in which the Patriot leaders were allowed to lead their forces out of the encampment in exchange for the surrender of their swivel guns, which were later returned. Both sides withdrew, the Loyalists across the Saluda River, and the Patriots down toward Charleston.

Meantime, an army of up to 3,000 Patriot militia under Colonel Richard Richardson marched against Loyalist recruiting centers in South Carolina, flushing them out and frustrating attempts by the Loyalists to organize. The Patriot expedition became known as the Snow Campaign due to heavy snowfall in the later stages of the campaign.

Col Richard Richardson

James McCAW first entered the service of the United States when he was 13 or 14 years old as a volunteer in Captain Dixon’s Company in Col. Lacy’s [sic, Lacey’s] Regiment and served in what was called the Snowy Campaign in the year 1775 (to the best of his recollection) took some Tories whilst in the service served three months and was dismissed.

[I think McCaw may misremember his Colonel in his first tour.  Edward Lacey was a Captain 1775-1779.  He was  promoted to Lt. Colonel, then became Colonel of Turkey Creek Volunteer Militia in June 1780.  His unit was also called the Chester Troops and the Chester District Militia by later historians.

In 1775, Col. Richard Richardson commanded the Camden Regiment which included Chester County.  There was a Captain Dixon from Rowan, NC on this campaign, but McCaw’s officer was probably – Capt. John Nixon of the Camden District Regiment.]

By Nov 27 Richardson reached the Congaree River with about 1,000 men. There he paused for several days, crossing the river and accumulating more militia companies into his force. When he left camp his force numbered about 1,500.   By Dec  2 he had reached the Dutch Fork region (between the Saluda and Broad Rivers), gathering an ever-increasing number of militia along the way. There he halted at Evan McLauren‘s house, capturing several Loyalist officers in the area. The Loyalist forces, hampered by loss of leadership, were shrinking due to desertion. Those that remained organized retreated toward Cherokee lands at the headwaters of the Saluda River.

After issuing proclamations calling for the arrest of Loyalist officers and the return of the stolen munitions, Richardson resumed the march, his force grown to about 2,500.  His force, still growing in size, marched toward the Enoree River, chasing down Loyalist leaders. On Dec  12 Richardson reported that his force numbered 3,000, and that he had captured Fletchall (who was found hiding in a cave) and several other Loyalist leaders.  Fletchall’s farm was searched and his private correspondence, including letters from Governor Campbell, were found.

At the Enoree Richardson was joined by militia forces under Williamson, as well as addition militia from North Carolina led by Colonels Griffith Rutherford and William Graham, swelling his force until it numbered between four and five thousand.   These forces scoured the backcountry, and located a camp of 200 Loyalists on the Reedy River, several miles inside Cherokee territory.   Richardson sent William Thomson with 1,300 troops to attack the camp. Thomson and the volunteers surprised the Loyalist camp on December 22, taking prisoners and seizing supplies, weapons, and ammunition. Thomson was able to control his men and avoid a slaughter: only five or six Loyalists were killed, and one of Thomson’s men was wounded.

The next day, Dec 23, it began snowing as the Patriot forces made their way back toward the coast. The march home of the Patriot force was difficult because the force was unprepared for the weather. Richardson’s army was dissolved, and most of the Patriots returned home.  Richardson took 136 prisoners, who were dispatched to Charleston under guard on Jan 2, 1776.

After Capt. Patrick Cunningham had been defeated at Great Cane Brake, Col. Richardson considered the upcountry to be pacified and turned his army homeward. He couldn’t stay because winter was coming and his army had no tents, their shoes were worn out, and they were badly clothed. Along the way home, it snowed for thirty hours, dumping two feet on the weary Patriots.

Battle of Sullivan’s Island

Britain’s strategy was to take advantage of strong Loyalist support in the South, begin a military drive in Charles Town, and perhaps sweep through the Upcountry, North Carolina, and Virginia while gathering men to take on Washington in the North. Under Colonel William Moultrie, the South Carolinians defeated the Royal Navy in the Battle of Sullivan’s Island on June 28, 1776 and brought the Patriot Continental Army a major victory. In Philadelphia, the news reached delegates of the Second Continental Congress a few days later and emboldened them to write and sign the Declaration of Independence. The battle at Sullivan’s Island also caused the British to rethink their strategy and leave the South for approximately three years.

James McCAW tour No. 2 volunteered again in the year 1776 under the command of Colonel Lacey Captain Dixon’s Company marched to Charleston was in hearing of the Battle at Fort Moultrie on the 28th of June served three months and was dismissed.

The land assault was frustrated when the channel between the two islands was found to be too deep to wade, and the American defenses prevented an amphibious landing. The naval bombardment had little effect due to the sandy soil and the spongy nature of the fort’s palmetto log construction. Careful fire by the defenders wrought significant damage in the British fleet, which withdrew after an entire day’s bombardment. The British withdrew their expedition force to New York, and did not return to South Carolina until 1780.

Fort Sullivan was renamed Fort Moultrie shortly after the battle to honor Colonel William Moultrie for his successful defense of the fort and the city of Charleston.

Sergeant William Jasper raising the flag over the fort.

One iconic emblem of the battle was the flag designed by Colonel Moultrie. Commissioned by the colonial government, he designed a blue flag with a white crescent saying LIBERTY on it, which was flown at the fort during the battle.   Despite being shot down during the siege, it was seen as a symbol of this successful defense (and famously raised during victory). It came to be known as the Moultrie flag or Liberty Flag. When Charleston (lost to the British in the 1780 siege) was reclaimed by American forces at the end of the war, the flag was returned to the city by General Nathanael Greene.

Fort Moultre Flag.

Cherokee War

In the Upcountry, the British had convinced the Cherokee to fight on their side. Although the British officer in charge of the operation had told the Cherokee to attack only Patriot soldiers in organized groups, soon murder and cabin burnings were widespread on the frontier. The Whigs Andrew WilliamsonAndrew Pickens, and James Williams, who had been battling Loyalists in the Upcountry, launched a successful campaign against the Cherokee. In 1777 they ceded their remaining lands to the South Carolina government. On Feb 5, 1778 South Carolina became the first state to ratify the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States.

Samuel PATTERSON Sr’s son John Patterson (Jan 1763

County Down, Ireland – 11 Nov 1837 Preble Co, OH) was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, serving as a substitute for his father in August 1778 when he was just 15 1/2 years old; he saw service in the Carolinas in 1778, 1780 and 1781 and was discharged March 1781. He was in both the infantry and cavalry.

John applied for a Revolutionary War Pension on Sep 18, 1832.  We know a lot about his service from his application letter.

In August 1778 John was assigned to Captain John Cowan’s  (Cowen’s) Company of militia, Colonel George Reed’s Upper Ninety-Six District Regiment and General Andrew Williamson’s Brigade. The force rendezvoused at Beaverdam Creek in Georgia. John served for three months during which time he was engaged in defending the country against the Cherokee by burning the Indian’s corn and destroying seven Indian towns.  His discharge was signed by Lt. Davis.

Battle of Kettle Creek – Feb 14, 1779

The battle was fought in Wilkes County Georgia about eight miles  from present-day Washington, Georgia. A militia force of Patriot decisively defeated and scattered a Loyalist militia force that was on its way to British-controlled Augusta.

The victory demonstrated the inability of British forces to hold the interior of the state, or to protect even sizable numbers of Loyalist recruits outside their immediate protection. The British, who had already decided to abandon Augusta, recovered some prestige a few weeks later, surprising a Patriot force in the Battle of Brier Creek. Georgia’s back country would not come fully under British control until after the 1780 Siege of Charleston broke Patriot forces in the south.

Samuel PATTERSON Sr’s son-in-law  Capt. William McGaw participated in the Battle

William was born 8 Feb 1749/50 in Dunfermline, County Antrim, Ireland. His father was John McGaw.   He emigrated to Abbeville District, S.C. from Ireland at the age of 17 about 1767 with his brother John.  They married sisters Mary and Sarah Patterson, daughters of Samuel Patterson. He was elder in Cedar Springs Association Reformed Presbyterian Church in Abbeville and elected ruling elder in the Hopewell Congregation in Preble Co, OH.  William died 31 May 1836 in Preble County, Ohio and is buried next to Mary.

William served in the Revolutionary War in the 58th South Carolina Troops Militia / Ninety-Six District Regiment from fall or early winter of 1775. He began as a private and was promoted to Captain within a year to 18 months of the unit known as John Anderson’s Company. He retained this command until the close of the war.  A Private and a Captain under Maj. Andrew Williamson, [later Brigadier General], Col. Andrew Pickens (wiki) [later Brigadier General , Major General and Congressman] . Later, a Captain under Col. Robert Anderson (wiki)  (Upper Ninety-Six District Regiment)..

Battle of Stono Ferry – Jun 20, 1779

Fought near Charleston, South Carolina. The rear guard from a British expedition retreating from an aborted attempt to take Charleston held off an assault by poorly-trained militia forces under American General Benjamin Lincoln.

Samuel PATTERSON Sr’s son-in-law  Capt. William McGaw participated in the Battle.

On May 23, the British under Lt. Col. John Maitland had established their defenses at Stono Ferry, located on the Stono River. The British troops were camped on one side with a detachment of Hessians camped on the other side. A British galley was anchored in the river to provide covering fire for the Hessians.The British rear guard force was attacked by Patriot forces under the command of Maj. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln on June 20th.

The battle began well for the Patriots. They engaged the British positions with small arms and cannon fire for an hour, at which point they advanced to the abatis. Of the Highlanders, two companies resisted until only 11 men were left standing; a Hessian battalion finally broke.

The patriots were on the verge of victory when fresh British reinforcements came up. Gen. Lincoln realizing that his men were running short on ammunition fell back. A British pursuit force was cut off by the quick action of BG Pulaski and his cavalry force, which stopped the British. As the Patriots attacked the Hessian camp they immediately came under fire from the galley. The Patriots opened fire on the ship and forced it to withdraw from the fight. Being on the high ground, the Patriots overshot the Hessians when they opened fire on them. The British had gathered all the boats they could, and crossed over the river to reinforce the Hessians. The British troops charged after the Patriots.Unknown to the British, the South Carolina Navy schooner Rattlesnake had come down the river. It began to fire into the rear of the British and Hessain forces. They both turned from the Patriot force and fired upon theRattlesnake. The Rattlesnake fired back at them, and repulsed the attack with heavy losses.

The American loss in the battle was 34 killed, 113 wounded and 155 missing.   Among the dead was Hugh Jackson, brother of future President Andrew Jackson, who was felled by heat and exhaustion.  The British casualties were 26 killed, 93 wounded and 1 missing.

Stono Ferry, the trail Prevost used to get to Charleston and his escape route using the coast and the sea islands to make his way back to Savannah.

The result of this battle was that South Carolina was still free of British troops near Charleston, but the British army which was out in the open and vulnerable was allowed to escape back to Savannah and its defenses. If the Americans would have been able to defeat this British force it would of been a major blow to Prevost and his army’s chances of holding Georgia. Instead as the future would show this Prevost and his army that made it back to Savannah would play a major role in the defeat of the combined French/American force that attacks Savannah and in the final attack on Charleston.

Siege of Charleston

In 1780, the British embarked on the southern strategy a second time. They planned to trap George Washington’s troops by pushing their troops up from the South while Washington defended himself in the North. The British landed a major expeditionary force south of Charleston, landing on John’s Island, moving to James Island, and then besieging Charles Town. General Benjamin Lincoln defended the city during a two month siege, but was forced to surrender almost all the Continental forces in the Carolinas to General Clinton. Henry Middleton, once president of the Continental Congress, was forced to take an oath of allegiance to the Crown as prisoner.

In April 1780,  Samuel PATTERSON Sr’s son John was drafted to go to Charleston under Captain Cowan who then belonged to Colonel Pickens’ regiment. When this draft had proceeded about eighty miles on the way to Charleston, they were met by an express informing them the city had surrendered.  Col. Pickens then  marched his men to Camden.  John was out on tour about one month.

James McCAW Tour No. 3 volunteered again under his former officers in the year 1779 marched to Charleston at the Time the British drove General Moultrie to Charleston.  Served three months when dismissed.

James McCAW Tour No. 4 Volunteered again under the same officers marched to Orangeburg [District] served three months when dismissed.

James McCAW Tour No. 5 Volunteered under the same officers marched to Black Swamp.  Served three months when dismissed these last two tours were before the fall of Charleston in the year 1780.

On April 22, 1779, a  party of thirty Loyalists disguised as Indians attacked and captured a six-man guard post belonging to the SC 6th Regiment without firing a single shoot. The Loyalists then burned the guard buildings and fled the area.

Afterward, this post at Black Swamp was reinforcfed with one hunded men of the SC 5th Regiment under Lt. Col. Alexander McIntosh. When Gen. Augustine Prevost landed 300 men nearby on April 28th, Lt. Col. McIntosh abandoned the post.

General Washington begged Governor John Rutledge and the rest of the state’s council to leave Charles Town while there was still time, and they did. Rutledge traveled around the state, printing proclamations and other state papers on a printing press he had with him, and sending numerous letters demanding that the Continental Congress send the Continental Army to relieve South Carolina.

The British quickly established control over the coast, making posts at the other port cities of Beaufort and Georgetown. It was during this time that many enslaved African Americans managed to escape to their lines. The African Americans wanted freedom, and the British promised them that. Approximately 25,000 African Americans, one-quarter of the enslaved population, escaped to the British during the war to achieve freedom.

The British followed their coastal occupation by establishing posts upcountry where they could establish control by coordinating with local Tories.

Responding to Rutledge’s pleas and the British threat to the whole southern flank, Washington sent an army of Continentals under General Gates, but were defeated at Camden on August 16, 1780 and the remnant of the army retreated northward in record time.

Just before the battle of Camden, Gates met with Francis Marion, a militia officer who had escaped parole at the defeat of Charleston because of an accidental injury, which caused him to be out of town at the surrender. Marion had a small group of rag-tag militia men with him, whose appearance evoked derision from the Continentals. Gates saw Marion as an embarrassment and got rid of him by giving him orders to scout the British, and destroy boats, bridges and other items that might be useful to the British.

Marion left, obeying his orders, and missed the battle. The following day, by order of Governor Rutledge, and by invitation of the troops, he accepted command of the Williamsburg militia at the confluence of Lynches River and the Pee Dee River. This band, joined together with a few other militia men from around the state became known as Marion’s Brigade (Marion was eventually commissioned general). Marion had not yet heard the news of Gates’ defeat at the time. The next day a small militia under Thomas Sumter was surprised and completely routed at Fishing Creek; Sumter barely escaped with his life. At this point Marion had the only viable Patriot army left in the South. From that time until the arrival of General Nathanael Greene, the war’s outcome in the south depended entirely on the militia, and the militia gradually turned the tide.

The war was not only a clash of arms, but a battle for the sympathy of the population. After leaving Gates, Marion began a new and unheard of policy, as he destroyed boats the British might use, and commandeered food, horses and other property from the settlers. He had his troops issue receipts for each item to the owners. His gentlemanly actions quickly made Marion a hero, and garnered support for his brigade. Many of these receipts were redeemed after the war, with the new state government usually paying in full.

General Nathanael Greene, who took over as Continental Army commander after Camden, engaged in a strategy of avoidance and attrition against the British. The two forces fought a string of battles, most of which were tactical victories for the British. In almost all cases, however, the “victories” strategically weakened the British army by the high cost in casualties, while leaving the Continental Army intact to continue fighting. This was best exemplified by the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Several American victories, such as the Battle of Cowpens and the Battle of King’s Mountain also served to weaken the overall British military strength.

General Clinton’s Mistakes

General Clinton thought that South Carolina was a Loyalist colony that had been bullied into revolutionary actions by a small minority. His idea was to increase British presence in the entire state and bring back the confidence of moderates in the area so that they would fight for the British. Clinton alienated Loyalists by spending all of the money on extra arms and soldiers rather than doctors.

American Colonel Abraham Buford and his body of Virginia patriots had set south in hopes of defending Charles Town, but turned back when they realized they were too late. British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton was unwilling to let the rebels escape back to the North and chased after them, another act that alienated more loyalists. Tarleton caught up with them on May 29, 1780 near the present town of Lancaster, and Americans were told to surrender, but refused. They still marched forward with full knowledge that Tarleton was fast approaching. In the Battle of Waxhaws the Americans were routed by Tarleton and his men, who suffered minimal casualties. Due to confusion in the battle, quarter was refused, and a number of Americans who had surrendered were slain. This spawned the battle cry that Southern patriots would use for the rest of the war, “Tarleton’s quarter!”

The second British blunder was Clinton revoking the Carolinians’ paroles. He broke his promise that, if the Carolinians who surrendered did not actively seek to harass the British government, he would leave them and their paroles alone. On June 3, he proclaimed that all prisoners of war could either take up arms against their fellow Americans or be considered traitors to the Crown. Many soldiers, whose pride had already been bruised, reasoned that if they were going to have to take the chance of getting shot again, they might as well fight on the side they wanted to win.

The third British mistake was burning the Stateburg home and harassing the incapacitated wife of a then inconsequential colonel named Thomas Sumter. Because of his fury toward this, Sumter became one of the fiercest and most devastating guerrilla leaders of the war, becoming known as “The Gamecock.”   The Lowcountry partisans fighting under Marion and Upcountry partisans fighting under Andrew Pickens (whose home had also been burned) plagued the British by using guerilla warfare in the mountains, woods, and swamps of the state.

Huck’s Defeat – Battle of Williamson’s Plantation

In the absence of civil government in South Carolina (Governor John Rutledge had fled to North Carolina when Charleston fell), backcountry Whigs selected their own leaders to continue the fight against the “senseless cruelty of the Tory militia” and the “cruel and contemptuous treatment of the populace” by British Legion commander Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton.

Around the first of June 1780, the British army established a fortified outpost at Rocky Mount on the upper Catawba River, near the North Carolina border, and placed a garrison there under Lieutenant Colonel George Turnbull, a career British officer who commanded a British Provincial regiment called the New York Volunteers. In early July, Turnbull ordered Christian Huck,  a Philadelphia lawyer and a captain in Tarleton’s British Legion, to find the rebel leaders and persuade other area residents to swear allegiance to the king.   A native of Germany, Huck was one of many Pennsylvania Loyalists whose property was confiscated after the British evacuated Philadelphia. He was then banished from the state and joined the British army at New York. Huck was a remarkably poor choice for this assignment because he held a great deal of bitterness toward the Whigs [Patriots] in general, and the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians in particular. [Our guys]

During an earlier incursion into what was then called the Upper District between the Broad and Catawba Rivers (modern Chester County, South Carolina), his troops had murdered an unarmed boy, reportedly while he was reading a Bible, and burnt the home and library of Rev. John Simpson, a Whig leader and influential Presbyterian minister. A week later, Huck and his men invaded the New Acquisition District (roughly modern York County, South Carolina), and destroyed the ironworksof William Hill, another influential Whig. Residents who had only wanted to be left alone had then joined the Patriots.

James McCAW Tour No. 6  After the fall of Charleston in the year 1780, volunteered in Captain Pagan’s Company Colonel Lacey Regiment under General Sumpter [sic – Thomas Sumter] was at the Skirmish at Williamson’s Plantation where Captain Huck was killed, was at the Battle of Rocky-Mount,   Battle of Hanging-rock and at the skirmish at Fish dam Ford on Broad River Served six months when dismissed..

Rocky Mount Campaign Map , July, 1780  1) British post at Rocky Mount, 2) British post at Hanging Rock Creek, 3) site of the battle of Williamson’s Plantation, 4) British post at Camden. Shaded area is the Catawba Nation. The dark line at the top of the map is part of the border between North and South Carolina.

Huck commanded a cavalry unit of about 100 Loyalists and was given marching orders to “push the rebels as far as you deem convenient.”

On his list of “rebels” to “push,” was Colonel William Bratton. Huck and his cavalry arrived at Bratton’s home on July 11, 1780. After attempting to gain the captain’s whereabouts from his wife Martha, Huck set-up camp just west of Bratton’s home at Williamson’s Plantation.

Martha sent word to her husband’s camp and at dawn on July 12th, Colonels William Bratton, Andrew Neel, William Hill and Edward Lacey and a force of about 100 men surrounded Huck’s camp and ambushed the waking Loyalists early in the morning at reveille. Huck attempted to rally his men but was killed almost immediately with a wound to the head. After the smoke cleared, only about two dozen of the Loyalists managed to escape the ambush. On the American side, there was only one Patriot death.

Battle of Williamson’s Plantation

The battle of Williamson’s Plantation was a disaster for the British, not because of the British losses that were incurred, but rather because it cooled Loyalist ardor, greatly encouraged the Americans, and put to an end the previously-effective Provincial/Loyalist raids from Rocky Mount.

Battle of Rocky Mount – Aug 1, 1780

Loyalists commanded by Lieutenant Colonel George Turnbull occupying an outpost in northern South Carolina withstood an attack by 600 American Patriots led by Colonel Thomas Sumter.

Throughout 1779 and early 1780, the British “southern strategy” to regain control of its rebellious provinces in the American Revolutionary War went well, with successful amphibious operations against Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina, and a routing of the few remaining Continental Army troops in South Carolina in the May 29, 1780 Battle of Waxhaws. The British, in complete control of both South Carolina and Georgia, established outposts in the interior of both states to recruit Loyalists and to suppress Patriot dissent.

One of these outposts was established at Rocky Mount, near the confluence of Rocky Creek and the Catawba River, south of present-day Great Falls, South Carolina. This outpost was garrisoned by a regiment of New York Volunteers under the command of Lieutenant Colonel George Turnbull.

In the absence of Continental Army command structure to organize resistance to the British following the disaster at Waxhaws, companies began to grow around Patriot militia leaders who had either survived it, or were not present at the battle. One militia colonel, Thomas Sumter, began in June 1780 to accumulate a militia force near Salisbury with financial assistance from North Carolina officials. While his force was too small to effectively oppose large-scale British and Loyalist activity for a time, enlistments rose following the Patriot victory known as Huck’s Defeat on July 12. By late July he had several hundred men and decided it was time to take action.

Battle of Rocky Mount – Attacking the Abatis. A party of militia (one of whom is carrying a torch), rush the abatis under covering fire from riflemen in the woods. According to William Clark, the abatis consisted of “fixed huge timbers pointing outwards.”

His primary target to attack was the British outpost at Rocky Mount. Sumter had learned on July 20 from a spy that the defenses might be susceptible to small arms fire, a clear benefit since Sumter lacked any sort of field artillery. (To Sumter’s detriment, the spy was probably a double agent, and Turnbull shortly thereafter began strengthening Rocky Mount’s defenses until they were proof against musketry.)

On July 28, Sumter broke camp and moved his company, numbering about 600 men, down to Land’s Ford, a major crossing point of the Catawba. There he met Major William Davie, who was leading a company of dragoons, and additional smaller militia companies. They decided that Davie would lead a diversionary attack against another outpost while Sumter would assault Rocky Mount.

The action began early on July 30.   Davie and his dragoons rode to the British outpost at Hanging Rock (south of present-day Heath Springs, South Carolina), where they surprised a company of Loyalists camped outside the fortifications, inflicting casualties and seizing 60 horses. The action happened so quickly that the British forces inside the fortifications were unable to respond.

Sumter’s attack went less well. Turnbull’s work on the defenses at Rocky Mount paid off, and Sumter’s men were unable to penetrate the defenses. After several hours of fruitless battle, they tried setting fire to the works, but this was frustrated by a torrential downpour that ended the battle.  Sumter’s forces suffered relatively modest casualties, and Sumter went on to successfully attack Hanging Rock a few days later.

William McCAW Sr’s son-in-law Edward “Ned” McDaniel  (1756-1824) served as private and horseman in Captain Thompson’s and Capt. Benjamin Garrison’s regiments Cols. Lacey, Bratton, and Gen. Marion.  During the service, he was in several engagements, was wounded in the battle of Rocky Mount, and was wounded in the shoulder in the battle of Hanging Rock.  He was pensioned by the State of South Carolina on account of wounds received in the War.”..

Battle of Hanging Rock  – Aug  6, 1780

The battle was in present-day Lancaster county south of Heath Springs, South Carolina, about a mile and a half from a place known as Hanging Rock.  A British garrison was located just south of Heath Springs. It was well fortified with more than 1400 British troops, including the 500-man Prince of Wales Regiment of the regular army, led by Major John Carden of the British Army.  The Americans were under Gen. Thomas Sumter, commanding troops made up of Maj. Richard Winn’s Fairfield regiment, Col. Edward Lacey’s Chester regiment, Col. William Hill’s York regiment and Maj. William Richardson Davie of the Waxhaws of Lancaster county with Col. Robert Irwin’s cavalry of Mecklenburg county, North Carolina.

The Liberty Boys at Hanging Rock; or The Carolina Game Cock by Harry Moore July 28, 1916.

Sumter decided on a plan of attack of assaulting the camp in three mounted detachments. The initial assault was made early in the morning where Winn’s and Davie’s men completely routed Bryan’s corps. Capt. McCulloch’s company of the British Legion, after presenting a volley, was also routed by Sumter’s riflemen. The Prince of Wales Regt. also came under heavy fire and suffered very severe losses, including Carden who was badly wounded. The King’s Carolina Rangers then came up, and having cleverly deployed themselves in some woods, checked the rebel assault with a surprise crossfire. This allowed the British to drew up on a hollow square in the center of the cleared ground, and to further protect themselves with a three-pounder which had been left by some of Rugeley’s Camden militia.

Then, in the heat of the battle, Major Carden of the British Command lost his nerve and surrendered his command to one of his junior officers. This was a major turning point for the Americans. At one point, Capt. Rousselet of the Legion infantry, led a charge and forced many Sumter’s men back. Lack of ammunition made it impossible for Sumter to completely knock out the British. The battled raged for 3 hours without pause, causing many men to faint from the heat and thirst.

At the end, the British had lost 192 soldiers; the Americans lost 12 killed and 41 wounded. It should have been a total American victory but the American militia was untrained and suffered from extreme thirst. A small group of Americans came across a storage of rum in the British camp and became so drunk that it became necessary to prematurely start the march back to the base camp at Waxhaw. Thus, the intoxicated Americans were in no condition to take prisoners and let the remainder of the British army retreat to Camden.

Battle of Fishdam Ford  – Nov 8, 1780

An attempted surprise attack by British forces under the command of Major James Wemyss against an encampment of Patriot militia under the command of local Brigadier General Thomas Sumter around 1 am on the morning of 9 Nov 1780, late in the Revolutionary War. Wemyss was wounded and captured in the attack, which failed because of heightened security in Sumter’s camp and because Wemyss did not wait until dawn to begin the attack.

Battle of Fish Dam Ford  – Marker is near Leeds, South Carolina, in Chester County. Marker is on State Highway 215 ½ mile west of Store Road

In mid-September General Cornwallis moved north to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he was virtually surrounded by active North Carolina militia and Continental Army units. Following the important defeat of gathering Loyalists at Kings Mountain, Cornwallis retreated back to Winnsboro, South Carolina, where he engaged in attempts to suppress the Patriot militia that were harassing his supply and communication lines.

Two troublesome militia commanders in South Carolina were Thomas Sumter and Francis Marion. Marion caused trouble for Cornwallis in the northeastern part of the state, east of the Santee River. His activities were successful enough that Cornwallis sent Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton in November to hunt the wily Marion down. Sumter made similar troubles in the backcountry, where Cornwallis sent Major James Wemyss with the 63rd Regiment and some Loyalist dragoons to find him.

Wemyss learned on Nov 8 from local Loyalists that Sumter was encamped near Fishdam Ford. His intelligence about Sumter’s camp was sufficiently detailed that some men were specifically designated to attack Sumter’s tent. Moving quickly, Wemyss arrived near Sumter’s camp early on November 9. Fearing they would be discovered by Sumter’s patrols, Wemyss opted to attack immediately rather than waiting for dawn.

Sumter’s men had been wary to the possibility of surprise attacks, which were a popular British tactic. His officers had ordered their men to lie on their arms, to keep their fires burning, and had specific instructions about how to form up in case of attack. When Wemyss led the British attack against Sumter’s sentries, he was hit twice by musket fire and went down. His dragoons continued the charge into the camp, where the campfires illuminated them, providing easy targets for Sumter’s men, who had lined up in the woods just outside the camp. Their first volley took the British lead company by surprise, killing and wounding several men. They retreated, and Wemyss infantry then advanced into the camp, where they also came under fire from the woods. The British attempted a bayonet charge, but it was confounded by a fence between the two lines in the darkness. After twenty minutes of battle, the British retreated, leaving their wounded, including Major Wemyss, on the field.

Sumter played virtually no role in the battle, escaping from his tent to the riverbank early in the action.  Following the British failure, Lord Cornwallis recalled Tarleton to instead go after Sumter, who he believed was preparing an attack on Ninety Six. Tarleton and Sumter met at Blackstock’s Farm, in which Sumter very nearly revenged himself for Tarleton’s near-capture of him at Fishing Creek in August.

William McCAW Sr’s son-in-law Edward “Ned” McDaniel  (1756-1824) served as private and horseman in Captain Thompson’s and Capt. Benjamin Garrison’s regiments Cols. Lacey, Bratton, and Gen. Marion.  During the service, he was in several engagements, was wounded in the battle of Rocky Mount, and was wounded in the shoulder in the battle of Hanging Rock.  He was pensioned by the State of South Carolina on account of wounds received in the War.”.

Tides Turn for the Americans – Battle of King’s Mountain

On Oct 7, 1780, at Kings Mountain, American Colonel Isaac Shelby led a body of North and South Carolinians and attacked British Major Patrick Ferguson and his body of American loyalists on a hilltop. America’s first major poet, William Cullen Bryant, described the homefield advantage that led to the Patriot victory in one of his poems. This was a major victory for the Patriots, especially because it was won by militiamen and not trained Continentals. It provided a great swing of momentum for the moderate “Overmountain Men” who had grown tired of British brutality. Kings Mountain is considered to be the turning point of the revolution in the south, because it quashed any significant further recruitment of Loyalists.  With Ferguson dead and his militia destroyed, Cornwallis was forced to abandon plans to invade North Carolina and retreated into South Carolina.

Willliam McCAW Sr’s daughter-in-law Mary Johnston (1757- 1829)  first married to James Henry Gordon. Soon after Gordon was killed 7 Oct 1780 at the Battle of Kings Mountain, she married John McCaw (1758-1825).

Engraving depicting the death of Patrick Ferguson, from a painting by Alonzo Chappel.

In Dec 1780, General Nathanael Greene arrived with an army of Continental troops. When Greene heard of Tarleton’s approach, he sent Brigadier General Daniel Morgan and his backwoodsmen over the Appalachian Mountains to stop him. On Jan 17, 1781, the two forces met at the  Battle of Cowpens, named for an enclosure being used as a cow pen. Pickens and his guerilla soldiers joined Morgan directly before the battle. Morgan still felt they were not strong enough to take on Tarleton’s trained troops and wanted to cross a river that would separate them from the British and secure them a chance to retreat. Pickens convinced Morgan that staying on the British side of the river would force his men to fight it out in what some historians consider the best-planned battle of the entire war. The Patriots defeated the British and later victories at Hobkirk’s Hill and Eutaw Springs would further weaken the British.

In the Battle of Cowan’s Ford, Cornwallis met resistance along the banks of the Catawba River at Cowan’s Ford on Feb 1, 1781 in an attempt to engage General Morgan’s forces during a tactical withdrawal. This move to the northern part of the state was to combine with General Greene’s newly recruited forces.

Siege of Fort Granby – Feb 19, 1781

With the men he had collected earlier in the month, Brig. Gen. Sumter moved forward to attack Fort Granby below the Congaree River. The fort was a British post that protected a landing at Friday’s Ferry on the Congaree River. It was garrisoned by a company of 300 local militia, with the overall command by Maj. Andrew Maxwell.

James McCAW Tour No. 7 volunteered with General Sumter in the year 1781 as a Commissioner  to value property that might fall into the hands of the Army went with Sumter on what was called Sumter’s Rounds in State of South Carolina was at the Siege of Friday’s fort or Congaree fort, marched from thence to Thompson’s fort at Buckhead served two months when dismissed

General Thomas Sumter

Brig. Gen. Sumter on February 16th, with 280 men left his camp on the Catawba River and moved toward Fort Granby, where Maj. Andrew Maxwell lay with his garrison of 300. He reached the fort and briefly laid siege to it on February19th by having his men build some “Quaker” cannons, then demanded the surrender of the fort. He threatened to blow the fort to splinters.

Maj. Maxwell knew that the cannons were fake and declined to surrender his fort. Brig. Gen. Sumter tried to assault the fort but was easily repulsed. He then surrounded the fort and laid down a slow continous rifle fire to harass the fort’s garrison, at the same time he wrote Brig. Gen. Marion requesting reinforcements. Though Gen. Marion did reply, he would not, or else could not help Brig. Gen. Sumter in the siege or his subsequent movements.

Francis, Lord Rawdon, learning that Fort Granby was in danger, dispatched Lt. Col. Welbore Ellis Doyle from Camden with the Volunteers of Ireland, a relief force of 600 infantry, 200 cavalry, and two artillery pieces to attack Brig. Gen. Sumter. Lt. Col. Doyle crossed the river eight miles above Fort Granby, seized the fords above Friday’s Ferry (apparently to cut off Brig. Gen. Sumter’s retreat) before bearing down on him.

Receiving word of Lt. Col. Doyle’s approach, Brig. Gen. Sumter, on the night of February 20th, destroyed nearby provisions and other articles that would be of use to the British, then lifted his siege. By the morning of February 21st, after Lt. Col. Doyle had crossed the river and arrived at the fort, Brig. Gen. Sumter had departed to attack Thomson’s Plantation downriver two days hence.

He attempted to take the stockade by assault, and by setting fire to it, but the defenders, under Lt. John Stuart of the 71st Regiment, 2nd Battalion, held their own and were able to put out the fire. Toward the close of day, Brig. Gen. Sumter left a force watching the stockade and moved with his main body to Manigault’s Ferry, where he collected boats in the area.

This was now two straight disappointments for Brig. Gen. Thomas Sumter. He did not seem to have the patience for long sieges, and without any field artillery, there wasn’t much more his men could achieve.

Pickens’ Regiment

In April, Andrew Pickens raised a regiments of state regulars. In May 1781, Maj. General Nathanael Greene sent Pickens and Lt. Colonel Henry Lee to support Elijah Clarke in operations against Augusta, Georgia. The siege began on May 22 and after maneuvering, securing outposts and the cutting off of reinforcements by the Patriots, Colonel Thomas Brown surrendered Augusta on June 5, 1781. .

James McCAW’s 8th and last Tour – volunteered in the year 1781 under Captain Fair and  Colonel Pickens Regiment marched to Georgia had two Skirmishes with the Indians and made some prisoners then fought with the British at Governor [James] Wright’s plantation in Georgia.   Colonel Twigs [sic, John Twiggs] commanded  Georgians served at this two three months when dismissed having served in all at least two years and two months; He further declares that he had to apply to history for the periods of the war but can well recollect his fighting and can pretty well recollect his service..

In September 1780, Samuel PATTERSON Sr’s son John went to Soap Creek, Georgia and volunteered to serve in Capt. Dunn’s Company in Col. Clarke’s Regiment.  He was with Col. Clark when he took possession of Augusta, but was soon driven away by the British.  He continued in service on this tour — after the Battle of King’s Mountain which was on the 7th of October.  After this battle, the company under Capt. Dunn dispersed being all volunteers for no definite time.

The Siege of Ninety Six  – May 22 to June 18, 1781

Major General Nathanael Greene led 1,000 troops in a siege against the 550 Loyalists in the fortified village of Ninety Six, South Carolina. The 28-day siege centered on an earthen fortification known as Star Fort. Despite having more troops, Greene was unsuccessful in taking the town, and was forced to lift the siege when Lord Rawdon approached from Charleston with British troops.

Samuel PATTERSON Sr’s son-in-law John McGaw was an officer in the Revolutionary War.   John  was born about 1757 in Dunfermline, County Antrim, Ireland.  He and his brother William,  came from Ireland about 1767. They married sisters Mary and Sarah Patterson, daughters of Samuel Patterson. John died in 1805 in Abbeville District, SC.

John was a Lieutenant and a Captain under Col. Andrew Pickens and Col. Robert Anderson before and after the Fall of Charleston.  He participated in Siege of Ninety-Six 1781, Indian Villages.

Nathaniel PARKS and his son Joseph were Loyalists soldiers in the Siege of Ninety Six , and the immediate evacuation of that post after the lifting of that event.

Greene and about 1,000 men arrived outside Ninety Six on May 22, the same day that Andrew Pickens and Henry “Light-horse Harry” Lee began to besiege nearby Augusta, Georgia. They immediately began siege operations, targeting the Star Fort, under their chief engineer, the Pole Col. Thaddeus Kosciuszko. Cruger did what he could to interfere with the siege works, frequently sending out parties at night to harass the workers. In one notable incident, not only did he drive the workers away but he also captured some of the digging tools.

Star Fort Ninety Six South Carolina.

By June 3 Greene’s men had a trench within 30 yards  of the Star Fort. They then used a tactic similar to one used by Gen. Marion to capture Fort Watson, whereby they constructed a wooden Maham Tower, about 30 feet  tall, with a protected platform at the top. Under this elevated cover, American sharpshooters would have a clear firing line into the fort. At first, the crack Riflemen in the tower were able to pick off a number of Cruger’s artillerymen. Cruger quickly countered by using sandbags to raise the height of the parapet, giving enough cover so his own marksmen could fire on the tower through slats in between the bags. He also attempted to set the tower on fire with heated shot, but was unable to get the balls hot enough for this to be effective. The attackers then fired flaming arrows into the fort (a tactic that had worked when Fort Motte was captured), in order to set anything flammable within the fort on fire. Cruger had work crews remove the roofs off the buildings in the fort to prevent them from burning.

On June 7 Lord Rawdon left Charleston with 2,000 men to relieve the siege. The next day, Pickens and Lee arrived, having successfully captured Augusta on June 6. Greene did not learn of Rawdon’s move until June 11. With the situation becoming critical, Greene decided to attempt an assault on the fort. (Cruger learned of Rawdon’s approach the next day when the messenger, posing as a Patriot, got close enough to the fort to race the remaining distance on his horse.

Battle of Guilford Courthouse – Mar 15, 1781

Generals Greene and Cornwallis finally met at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in present-day Greensboro. Although the British troops held the field at the end of the battle, their casualties at the hands of the numerically superior American Army were crippling. Following this “Pyrrhic victory”, Cornwallis chose to move to the Virginia coastline to get reinforcements, and to allow the Royal Navy to protect his battered army. This decision would result in Cornwallis’s eventual defeat at Yorktown, Virginia later in 1781. The Patriots’ victory there guaranteed American independence.

When Lord Cornwallis commenced his march to Virginia, Samuel PATTERSON Sr’s son John volunteered to service in a light horse company for six weeks under Capt. Givens? and Col. Harris?.  John was engaged in guarding the fords on the Catuwba River about one week.  He was then marched to Guilford Court House. Near Guilford, his company joined forces with General Greene.  During this tour, John was engaged in several skirmishes with the British, but was in no general engagement.  At the end of the six week volunteer, John received a discharge from Capt. Givens?.

Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene observed as the veteran 1st Maryland Regiment threw back a British attack and countered with a bayonet charge. As they reformed their line, William Washington’s Light Dragoons raced by to rescue raw troops of the 5th Maryland Regiment who had buckled under a furious assault of British Grenadiers and Guards.

In the summer of 1781, Samuel PATTERSON Sr’s son John enlisted in the troop of Capt. Francis Moore’s company of light horse, Colonel, Col. Charles Myddleton’s SC 2nd Regiment of State Dragoons.  In March 1782, John’s  ten month enlistment expired and he was discharged by Capt. Moore at Orangeburg   Engagements included:

May 1, 1781  Friday’s Ferry
May 11,1781  Orangeburgh
Jun 18, 1781  Myddleton’s Ambuscade
Jul 17, 1781  Quinby’s Bridge
Jul 17, 1781  Shubrick’s Plantation
Sep 8, 1781  Eutaw Springs

Battle of Eutaw Springs – Sep 8, 1781

At Eutaw Springs, Nathanael Greene, with around 2,200 men, came across a British camp under Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Stewart. The American force formed up in two lines, with the militia in the front line, North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia regulars in the second. A British bayonet charge broke the centre of the American first line. The situation was temporarily restored by the North Carolina Continentals until they too were broken by a British charge, but the Virginia and Maryland troops were sent into the breach and not only repelled the British camp, but forced a general retreat, with the British in some disorder.

Battle of Eutaw Springs – 1781 Colonel William Washington is unhorsed during bitter fighting by Don Troiani

The Americans now came into the British camp, where most of them now stopped to plunder the British supplies. The tables now turned again. At the north-east corner of the camp was a strong brick house now defended by the remaining British battalion, commanded by Major John Marjoribanks. This battalion had driven off the American cavalry before pulling back to the brick house. Attempts to capture the house failed, and Marjoribanks was able to restore some order to the rest of the British force. With the newly restored force he was able to drive the American loots from the British camp. One American battalion now returned the favour, and delayed the British advance, allowing the American army to retreat without suffering a rout. The British held the field, and suffered less casualties than the Americans – 85 killed compared to 138 American dead and 41 missing.

Nathaniel PARKS and his son Joseph fought on the Loyalist side in very bloody Battle of Eutaw Springs, South Carolina,.  Though half the British forces were killed, wounded or captured, the Parks survived apparently unscathed. At this time they were serving in the same company but the battalion had just been renumbered to the 2nd. This was due to the “old” 2nd battalion being under strength and drafted into the 1st and late 4th battalions..

Despite the military victory, overall the result of Greene’s operations was to force the British to abandon most of their conquests in the South, leaving them isolated in Charleston and Savannah. The British attempt to pacify the south with the aid of the Loyalists had failed, even before the surrender at Yorktown.

In Dec 1782, the British evacuated Charles Town. The overjoyed residents changed the name to “Charleston” because it sounded “less British.”

Generals in South Carolina 

General Nathanael Greene, (see my post Nathanael GREENE) (1742 – 1786)  A major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War.  George Washington’s most gifted and dependable officer, his friend and comrade-in-arms.  Nathanael’s first two children were named George Washington Greene and Martha Washington Greene.

Major General Nathanael & Catharine Greene.

Greene took over as Continental Army commander after Camden, engaged in a strategy of avoidance and attrition against the British. The two forces fought a string of battles, most of which were tactical victories for the British. In almost all cases, however, the “victories” strategically weakened the British army by the high cost in casualties, while leaving the Continental Army intact to continue fighting. This was best exemplified by the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.

Edward Lacey (1742-1813)  In 1779  Edward Lacey, captain of the Chester Co. militia, became one of Sumter’s most trusted deputies.

In July 1780 a Philadelphia Tory, Capt. Christian Huck, began a campaign of terror — murdering and burning his way across York County, South Carolina with a small force of about 100 Tories, including about 20 British dragoons. Captain Huck destroyed the local iron works then stopped to camp for the night. General Sumter was alerted to Huck’s presence nearby and soon 500 local militiamen, including the Chester Co. contingent led by Capt. Lacey, surrounded Huck’s position. At morning’s first light the patriots opened fire. Capt. Huck, rushing from the house where he had been sleeping, jumped upon his horse and tried to get away, but was almost immediately shot in the neck and killed.

Although Edward Lacey Jr. was a committed patriot, his father was just as devoted to the King. Before leaving to fight Huck, Capt. Lacey had ordered his father held under guard to prevent him from warning the Tories. The old man escaped his guard but was recaptured. Capt. Lacey, taking no chances, then ordered his father tied to a bed.

Prior to the arrival of Gen. Nathanael Greene, the Patriot resistance in the Carolina back country had consisted primarily of locally-raised militia units often operating independently of one another. Gen. Sumter had been chosen by the South Carolina militia commanders to be their leader, but his leadership was contested by Col. James Williams, who had finagled an appointment as commander from John Rutledge, the patriot governor of South Carolina, then in exile in North Carolina. Farther west, “over the mountains,” Evan Shelby and John Sevier raised and led patriot armies made up of their neighbors. In the autumn of 1780, concerned by the success of the British and in particular by the activities of Col. Patrick Ferguson in the Carolina back country, Shelby, Sevier and others raised troops from Kentucky, western North Carolina and southwestern Virginia and set out to find and stop Ferguson. The mountain men marched toward the settlement of Ninety-Six, nearly missing Ferguson who had turned to the east. Thomas Sumter and his band of 400 men were camped in the area. Col. Williams, still trying to wrest control of the militia away from Sumter, surreptitiously met the Over the Mountain Men and purposely misled them about Ferguson’s location. Col. William Hill and Col. Lacey uncovered Williams’ deceit, and Lacey was sent that night to convince the Westerners to join the Carolina men in fighting Ferguson. A new book, “The Road to Guilford Courthouse”, by John Buchanan* describes that night in detail:

“Taking a guide who knew the country, he [Lacey] set out at 8:00 that evening. Twice on the way, when they got temporarily lost, Edward Lacey thought the guide might betray him and pulled his pistol, cocked it, and threatened to kill the man; but the guide convinced Lacey of his innocence and after some eighteen to twenty miles on the trail they arrived at the campsite on Green River in the wee hours of Friday, 6 October. Now it was Colonel Lacey’s turn to come under suspicion. He was blindfolded and led to the colonels. He introduced himself but they had no knowledge of him. As his guide had convinced him, Lacey finally convinced the colonels that James Williams had lied to them, Ferguson was to the east headed in the direction of Charlotte, and speed was of the essence before Ferguson could be reinforced by Cornwallis. The colonels were won over by Lacey. It was agreed that the combined forces would meet that evening at a place well known to all, the Cowpens, just over the South Carolina line. It was still dark when Edward Lacey swung back into the saddle to retrace his route to the South Carolinians’ camp.”

On that same Friday, October 6, Col. Patrick Ferguson chose King’s Mountain as the place to dig in and make his stand against the patriots he knew were on his trail. On Saturday, the seventh, the “flying column” in the advance of the combined patriot army found him there. Surrounding the small mountain, they moved in on Ferguson’s soldiers from all sides. Col. Lacey commanded one of several militia units taking part in the battle. Within hours the battle was over, the hated Ferguson dead.

Col. Lacey continued to lead troops under Gen. Sumter, fighting in several other battles in South Carolina. Following the war, Lacey was made Brigadier General by South Carolina and named a judge in the newly created Chester District. He was elected to the South Carolina legislature, serving until 1793. In 1797 he moved his family west, first locating in Montgomery Co. Tenn., then the farthest frontier, to the west of Nashville. He remained there for two years, then moved again to Livingston Co. Ky. where he served as a county judge. On March 20, 1813, he drowned while attempting to cross a flooded creek.

Francis Marion (1732 –1795) a military officer who served in the American Revolutionary War. Acting with Continental Army and South Carolina militia commissions, he was a persistent adversary of the British in their occupation of South Carolina in 1780 and 1781, even after the Continental Army was driven out of the state in the Battle of Camden.

Due to his irregular methods of warfare, he is considered one of the fathers of modern guerrilla warfare, and is credited in the lineage of the United States Army Rangers. He is known as the Swamp Fox.

Daniel Morgan (1736 – 1802) was an American pioneer, soldier, and United States Representative from Virginia. One of the most gifted battlefield tacticians of the American Revolutionary War, he later commanded troops during the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion.

Daniel Morgan.

Andrew Pickens (September 13, 1739 – August 11, 1817) was a militia leader in the American Revolutionand a member of the United States House of Representatives from South Carolina.

Andrew Pickens.

On Feb 14, 1779, he was part of the militia victory at the Battle of Kettle Creek in Georgia.  Pickens was captured at the Siege of Charleston in 1780.

He and three hundred of his men went home to sit out the war on parole. Pickens’ parole did not last, however. After Tory raiders destroyed most of his property and frightened his family, he informed the British that they had violated the terms of parole and rejoined the war. He saw action at the Battle of CowpensSiege of AugustaSiege of Ninety Six, and the Battle of Eutaw Springs.

Pickens also led a campaign in north Georgia against the Cherokee Indians late in the war. His victorious campaign led to the Cherokees ceding significant portions of land between theSavannah and Chattachoochee rivers in the Long Swamp Treaty signed in what is now Pickens County, Georgia. Pickens was well regarded by Native Americans that he dealt with and was given the name Skyagunsta, “The Wizard Owl.”

Thomas Sumter (1734 – 1832) nicknamed the “Carolina Gamecock” (after his house was burned down and he went on a rampage of killing British soldiers), was a hero of the American Revolution and went on to become a longtime member of the Congress of the United States.

Thomas Sumter By Rembrandt Peale.

He acquired the nickname, “The Carolina Gamecock” during the American Revolution for his fierce fighting tactics, regardless of his size. A British General commented that Sumter “fought like a gamecock”, and Cornwallis paid him the finest tribute when he described the Gamecock as his greatest plague. The University of South Carolina‘s official nickname is the “Fighting Gamecocks.”

South Carolina Gamecocks

In addition, Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor was named for Sumter after the War of 1812. The fort is best known as the site upon which the shots initiating the American Civil War were fired, at the Battle of Fort Sumter.

Sumter and his actions served as one of the sources for the fictional character of Benjamin Martin in The Patriot, a motion picture released in 2000..

Andrew Williamson (c. 1730–1786) was born in Scotland.  As a youngster he emigrated with his parents to British Colonial America and settled in Ninety Six, South Carolina. Reputedly illiterate, but highly intelligent and a skilled woodsman, he probably began his career as a cow driver. Williamson grew up to became a prominent businessman in South Carolina. At the start of the War of Independence Williamson built a small fort at Ninety Six. He participated in campaigns against local Loyalist forces and took part in an expedition against the British in Florida. After the fall of Charleston he capitulated to the British and tried to persuade others to follow his lead.

His actions were considered traitorous by his former compatriots, who took him prisoner on two occasions – the first time to persuade him to reconsider, and the second time to stand trial. However, after the second abduction, the raiding party led by Colonel Isaac Hayne was intercepted within 24 hours by a British column, who freed Williams and took Hayne prisoner.  After the war Nathanael Greene revealed that Williamson was not the turncoat he appeared to be, as he had been providing intelligence to the Continental Army, but to many of his contemporaries he remained a controversial figure.

James McCAW’s 1834 Pension Application

In addition to the eight tours described above,

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the Agency of any State except that he now is on the roll of State pensioners of State of South Carolina.

Answer to Interrogatory 1: I was born as I am informed in the kingdom of Ireland in the [year] 1762

Answer to 2 Int: I have no record of my age

Ans to Int 3: I was living in Craven County Camden District in the same part I now live and only as his name is now called Chester District when called into service and have lived there where I now live

Ans to Int 4: I always served as a volunteer

Ans to Int 5: I have seen General Lincoln in Charleston when in Charleston as to other officers and circumstances I have mentioned them in the fore part of my declaration

Ans to Int 6: I never received any discharge but was dismissed

Ans to Int 7: I will name some to whom reference may be had of my veracity Viz William Walker, John Douglas Esq., John Rosborough, Clerk of the Court Chester District, John McCreary (late a member of Congress), John McKee

Sworn to & subscribed the day and year aforesaid in Open Court S/ James McCaw S/ Peter Wylie, JCOCD South Carolina, Chester District Personally came into open court before me Peter Wylie Judge of the court of ordinary of Chester District Joseph Gaston.  Personally came into open Court before me Peter Wylie Judge of the court of ordinary of said District George Weir Esq. (a Soldier of the Revolution) who upon being duly sworn saith upon oath that he is well acquainted with James McCaw and has been well acquainted with said McCaw during the Revolutionary War and saith that said McCaw was one of those veterans who turned out in defense of his country when the State of South Carolina was in possession of the British and Tories and further saith that he this deponent was with said McCaw at the Battle of Rocky-Mount & hanging-rock and further saith that he this deponent has sufficient information of said McCaw’s Services in the State of Georgia as this deponent had two or three Brothers in said service in Georgia with said McCaw and this deponent further saith that he fully believes all the statements set forth in said McCaw’s declaration to be true as he believes said McCaw to be a man of truth & veracity.S/ Joseph Gaston

Sworn to & signed this 17 day of October 1833 in open Court S/ Peter Wylie, JCOCD South Carolina, Chester District (a Soldier of the Revolution) who being duly sworn saith upon oath that he fully believes the whole of the above affidavit to be true & further saith that he has been in service with James McCall above named in the revolutionary War and knew him to be true to his country. Sworn to and subscribed this 17th day of October in open Court. S/ Peter Wylie, JCOCD S/ Geo. Weir


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Artistic Works and Representation 2

Paintings, Statues, Poems, plays, novels, and movies by or about our ancestor and his family.

Navigate this Post.

Back to Part 1

1. Books
2. Drawing/Etchings
3. Movies
4. Museum Exhibits
5. Painting/Portraits

Part 2

6. Plays
7. Poetry
8. Reenactors
9. Sculpture
10. Sermons
11. Songs
12. Stained Glass
13. Television

6. Plays

Stephen HOPKINS (1580 – 1644) (Wikipedia) The only Mayflower passenger who had previously been to the New World.  His adventures  included surviving a the  Sea Venture’s  1609 shipwreck in Bermuda  and working from 1610–14 in Jamestown as well as knowing the legendary Pocahontas, who married John Rolfe, a fellow Bermuda castaway.  Some Shakespearean scholars believe he was the model for the rogue Stephano in the Tempest.

Stephano in theTempest, here played by Alfred Molina in the 2010 film version

Stephen may be the real life inspiration for Stephano in the Tempest, played in the 2010 film version by Alfred Molina

The story of the Sea Venture shipwreck (and Hopkins’ mutiny) is said to be the inspiration for The Tempest by William Shakespeare. Stephen is said to be the model for the character Stephano.

The shipwreck in Act I, Scene 1, in a 1797 engraving based on a painting by George Romney

The shipwreck in Act I, Scene 1, in a 1797 engraving based on a painting by George Romney

William Strachey‘s A True Reportory of the Wracke and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates, Knight, an eyewitness report of the real-life shipwreck of the Sea Venture in 1609 is considered by most critics to be one of Shakespeare’s primary sources because of certain verbal, plot and thematic similarities.  Although not published until 1625, Strachey’s report, one of several describing the incident, is dated 15 July 1610, and critics say that Shakespeare must have seen it in manuscript sometime during that year.

Strachey was no stranger to the theater people who met regularly at the Mermaid Tavern, so it’s probable that Shakespeare was among those who got a preview of the work.

Several years later, the Virginia Company published a heavily sanitized version of Strachey’s A True Reportory fearing that if the public knew the truth about Jamestown, there would be no more recruits.

In the 19th century Sylvester Jourdain’s pamphlet, A Discovery of The Barmudas (1609), was proposed as that source, but this was superseded in the early 20th century by the proposal that “True Reportory” was Shakespeare’s source because of perceived parallels in language, incident, theme, and imagery.

The Tempest is believed to have been written in 1610–11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone. It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skillful manipulation. He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio’s low nature, the redemption of the King, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso’s son, Ferdinand.

Stephano, Caliban and Trinculo

Stephano, Caliban and Trinculo

Stephano   is a boisterous and often drunk butler of King Alonso.  He, Trinculo and Caliban plot against Prospero. In the play, he wants to take over the island and marry Prospero’s daughter, Miranda. Caliban believes Stephano to be a god because he gave him wine to drink which Caliban believes healed him.

Stephano’s Quotes
The master, the swabber, the boatswain, and I,
The gunner, and his mate,
Lov’d Mall, Meg, and Marian, and Margery,
But none of us car’d for Kate;
For she had a tongue with a tang,
Would cry to a sailor Go hang!
She lov’d not the savour of tar nor of pitch,
Yet a tailor might scratch her where’er she did itch.
Then to sea, boys, and let her go hang!
This is a scurvy tune too; but here’s my comfort. (Drinks)
Act 2: Scene II

Caliban: Hast thou not dropp’d from heaven?
Stephano: Out o’ th’ moon, I do assure thee; I was the Man i’ th’ Moon, when time was.
Caliban: I have seen thee in her, and I do adore thee. My mistress show’d me thee, and thy dog and thy bush.
Act 2: Scene II

Flout ’em and scout ’em, and scout ’em and flout ’em;
Thought is free.
Act 3: Scene II

He that dies pays all debts.
Act 3: Scene II

Hodges writes, “To have provided some of the fabric for Shakespeare’s vision of The Tempest and to appear in the play, even in the absurd disguise as Stephano, this in itself is a kind of immortality for Stephen Hopkins.”

William TOWNE‘s daughter Rebecca Towne Nurse (Wiki) (1618 – 19 Jun 1692 [age 61] Salem MA Hanged for Witchcraft.  Rebecca is a central character in Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible as well as many other dramatic treatments of the Salem Witch Trials.

In the play Rebecca Nurse, wife of Francis Nurse, is highly respected in Salem for her helpful nature. Very firm in her opinions, and willing to make any sacrifice in the cause of truth, she voices her opposition to the idea of witchcraft. Near the end, she is accused of being a witch on the prompting of the Putnams, who are jealous of her good fortune.

Rebecca Nurse as played by Elizabeth Lawrence in the Crucible


Robert GOODALE’s youngest son Jacob was born in 1642 in Salem, Mass.  Jacob was killed at age 34 by Giles Cory, for whom he worked.  He was beaten and died soon afterwards.  The coroner’s jury said “The man was bruised to death, having clusters of blood about the heart.” Giles Cory was fined for the offense.  Some of the evidence given at the time his death points to the conclusion that he was not entirely of normal mentality.   At the Court session of April 1669, Robert Goodale was ordered to pay five shillings to the constable for bringing home his son.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) wrote a poem about the death and trial but used the name “Robert” instead of “Jacob” the son.  Giles Cory was pressed to death at age 80 in Salem Mass., a victim of the witchcraft trails of 1692.

When Corey was accused of witchcraft with five other men years later, the murder of Jacob came back to haunt him during his trial. Refusing to plead, Corey was crushed to death when the tribunal ordered heavy stones be laid on his body.

Legend has it that the ghost of Jacob Goodale appeared to Corey from time to time, crying out about his murder. In his play “The New-England Tragedies,” Longfellow refers to the lore: “Look! Look! It is the ghost of Robert [Jacob] Goodale . . . Whom fifteen years ago this man did murder, By stomping on his body! In his shroud. . . . He comes here to bear witness to this crime.”

That is enough; we need not question further.
What answer do you make to this, Giles Corey ?

See there ! See there !

What is it ? I see nothing.

Look ! Look ! It is the ghost of Robert Goodell,
Whom fifteen years ago this man did murder
By stamping on his body ! In his shroud
He comes here to bear witness to the crime !

The crowd shrinks back from Corey in horror.

Ghosts of the dead and voices of the living
Bear witness to your guilt, and you must die !
It might have been an easier death. Your doom
Will be on your own head, and not on ours.
Twice more will you be questioned of these things;
Twice more have room to plead or to confess.
If you are contumacious to the Court,
And if, when questioned, you refuse to answer,
Then by the Statute you will be condemned
To the peine forte et dure! To have your body
Pressed by great weights until you shall be dead !
And may the Lord have mercy on your soul!


John PROCTOR’s son John Proctor (1632 –August 19, 1692) was a  successful farmer, entrepreneur, and tavern keeper who lived far from Salem Village center, on the edge of Salem Town in what is today Peabody, Mass. He had never been directly involved in Salem Village politics or litigation with the Putnams.  During the Salem Witch Trials he was accused of witchcraft, convicted and hanged.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller, a fictionalized version of the trials casts John Proctor as one of the main characters in the play. Proctor is portrayed as being in his thirties and Abigail Williams is 17 and a half years old, while the real John Proctor and Abigail Williams were respectively about sixty and eleven years old at the time of the witch trials. In the play, they had an affair, as a result of which Abigail accused Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft.

In the play, John Proctor is a down-to-earth, forthright farmer and the play’s protagonist. He has a sexual relationship with Abigail Williams while she is a servant at his farm. Although he speaks his mind and stands up to Parris, he has no wish to be a martyr and he is careful about what he says when he senses real danger. He does show courage and boldness in his opposition to Parris and Putnam and he fiercely resists the arrest of his wife. Proctor is cautious when it comes to denouncing Abigail, particularly when his wife, claiming to be pregnant, is not in immediate danger. However, he feels he owes it to his accused friends to expose Abigail as a liar. He works hard to build a defense for those accused and manages to persuade Mary Warren to tell the truth, but this success is short-lived. As a last resort, he suffers the public shame of confessing to his adultery with Abigail to no avail. In prison, he eventually confesses so that he can live with and care for his family, but finally he decides to die rather than lose his good name and admit to witchcraft; he thus refuses to sign the paper. He does this for the sake of his children’s reputation and because Elizabeth and others have refused to confess. He will not deny himself. He has doubted his ability to be a good man so far, but with Elizabeth’s example and support he realizes he can be true to himself and accept death.

In the play, Elizabeth Proctor is accused of witchcraft, and is only saved from death due to the fact that she is pregnant. Abigail hates her for being Proctor’s wife, and for keeping Proctor’s heart. By the end of the play she feels that Proctor’s affair is due to her own faults, much to Proctor’s dismay. By the end Elizabeth chooses not to save John’s life and allows him to hang saying she would not take away his goodness.

In reality, Elizabeth Proctor was initially named by Ann Putnam on March 6, alleging that Proctor’s spectre attacked the girl. She was accused by Abigail on March 14 and further accusations were made by Mercy Lewis. Miller has Mary Warren accuse Proctor of afflicting her but this followed his initial accusation by Abigail in early April 1692. There is no historical evidence to suggest that Abigail even knew John Proctor before she accused him of witchcraft. (See 3. Movies for more details of John’s and Elizabeth’s story)

7. Poetry

John BROWN was born in 1589 in London, England. John owned a bakery in London and decided to come to the colonies. His assistant, James Walker came with him and brought his sister, Sarah who worked for a linen draper in Cheapside. They left England on 17 Apr 1635 the Elizabeth and arrived in Boston 2 months later.   John died 28 Feb 1687 in Salem, Mass.

John built the first ‘barque’ (small boat) ever built in Hampton, New Hampshire in 1641 or 1642 at the river near Perkins Mill.  It would seem that this barque was the one that John Greenleaf Whittier features in his poem, ‘The Wreck of River Mouth’.”    This poem expands on the true story of a Hampton shipwreck (click for original report) from 1657, when a group of eight were killed in a sudden storm.   Whittier also includes the character of  another of our ancestors Rev. Stephen BATCHELDERthe founder of Hampton, NH in this poem. The Browns River is named after John.  It is a 2.9 miles long river, primarily tidal, in southeastern New Hampshire and part of the largest salt marsh in New Hampshire, covering over 3,800 acres.


Anthony COLBY was born 8 Sep 1605 in Horbling, Lincolnshire, England.  He arrived in America on the Arabella in 1630 with the Winthrop Fleet.  He married Mrs. Susanna WATERMAN in 1632 in Boston, Mass. Anthony died 11 Feb 1661 in Salisbury, Essex, Mass.

The old house of Anthony Colby was on the southwest side of Main Street, which leads from Amesbury Center to the Merrimac, and was the seventh from Bartlett’s Corner. Here stands the well that was described in Whittier’s poem, “The Captain’s Well.” The well was dug by a grandson of Anthony’s daughter, Mary.


Albert Andriese BRADT was born 26 August 1607 in Fredrikstad, Smaalenenes (now in Østfold, Norway)  a town at the mouth of the Glommen, the largest river in Norway. In the early Dutch records he is often called Albert de Noorman (the Norwegian).  Albert died 7 Jun 1686 near Albany, NY.

Tawasentha was the site of a powerful waterfall where Albert Andriesen Bradt operated saw mills. The 45 mile long creek is known as Norman Kill after Albert Andriesen Bradt “de Noorman”.  Normans Kill is the first tributary of the Hudson River south of the city of Albany.  Albert  worked a farm and these two saw mills at Bushwyck a few miles south of Albany on land he leased from Van Rensselaer and there is a record that he paid f250 annual rent for the twenty years 04 May 1652 – 04 May 1672.

Originally this Kill was called Tawasentha, meaning a place of the many dead. The Dutch appelative of Norman’s Kill is derived from Andriessen.  The Vale of Tawasentha, referred to in Longfellow’s The Song of Hiawatha, is now named Normans Kill.The Dutch word “kill” means creek.

From the Vale of Tawasentha,
From the Valley of Wyoming,
From the groves of Tuscaloosa,
From the far-off Rocky Mountains,
From the Northern lakes and rivers
All the tribes beheld the signal,
Saw the distant smoke ascending,
The Pukwana of the Peace-Pipe. …

“In the Vale of Tawasentha,
In the green and silent valley,
By the pleasant water-courses,
Dwelt the singer Nawadaha.
Round about the Indian village
Spread the meadows and the corn-fields,
And beyond them stood the forest,
Stood the groves of singing pine-trees,
Green in Summer, white in Winter,
Every sighing, ever singing.

“And the pleasant water-courses,
You could trace them through the valley,
By the rushing in the Spring-time,
By the alders in the Summer,
By the white fog in the Autumn,
By the black line in the Winter;
And beside them dwelt the singer,
In the Vale of Tawasentha,
In the green and silent valley.

“There he sang of Hiawatha,
Sang the Song of Hiawatha,
Sang his wondrous birth and being,
How he prayed and how he fasted,
How he lived, and toiled, and suffered,
That the tribes of men might prosper,
That he might advance his people!”.

Susanna NORTH (Wiki) was baptized 30 Sep 1621 in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England.  Her parents were Richard NORTH and Joan BARTRAM. She married George MARTIN 11 Aug 1646 in Salisbury, Essex, Mass.   Susannah was executed for witchcraft on 19 Jul 1692 in Salem, Essex, Mass.  Her story was told in a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier. (1807-1892.)

Mabel Martin: A Harvest Idyl 

Whittier’s Header

Sussanna Martin, an aged woman of Amesbury, Mass., was tried and executed for the alleged crime of witchcraft. Her home was in what in now known as Pleasant Valley on the Merrimac, a little above the old Ferry way, where, tradition says, an attempt was made to assassinate Sir Edmund Andros on his way to Falmouth (afterward Portland) and Permaquid, which was frustrated by a warning timely given. Goody Martin was the only woman hanged on the north side of the Merrimac during the dreadful delusion. The aged wife of Judge Bradbury, who lived on the other side of the Powow River, was improsioned and would have been put to death but for the collapse of the hideous persecution.

The substance of the poem which follows was published under the name of “The Witch’s Daughter,” in The National Era in 1857. In 1875 my publishers desired to issue it with illustrations, and I then enlarged it and otherwise altered it to its present form. The principal addition was in the verses which constitute Part I.


8. Reenactors

Alexander CARPENTER’s son-in-law Samuel Fuller (1580-1633)  (wiki) married Agnes Carpenter 24 April 1613 in Leyden, as his second wife.  He came on the Mayflower in 1620  He was the Colony’s doctor, and was a church deacon. Samuel died in 1633 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Mass.

Dr. Samuel Fuller portrayed at Plimoth Plantation in 2009.


Stephen HOPKINS (1580 – 1644) (Wikipedia) The only Mayflower passenger who had previously been to the New World.  His adventures  included surviving a the  Sea Venture’s  1609 shipwreck in Bermuda  and working from 1610–14 in Jamestown as well as knowing the legendary Pocahontas, who married John Rolfe, a fellow Bermuda castaway.  Some Shakespearean scholars believe he was the model for the rogue Stephano in the Tempest.

Stephen Hopkins Reenactor

Stephen Hopkins Reenactor

Stephen’s second wife Elizabeth Fisher was born about 1595 in England. Elizabeth died about 1643 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony.

Elizabeth Fisher Hopkins Reenactor

Elizabeth Fisher Hopkins Reenactor

Constance HOPKINS (1606 – 1677)   (Wikipedia) is the central character in Patricia Clapp’s young adult novel Constance: A Story of Early Plymouth.  It must be a popular book as I found three different cover portraits.

The second daughter of Stephen HOPKINS   (Wiki), by his first wife, Mary.   Constance, at the age of fourteen, along with her father and his second wife Elizabeth (Fisher), accompanied by brother Giles, half-sister Damaris as well as two servants   Edward Doty and Edward Lester were passengers on the Mayflower .  Constance married Nicholas SNOW, shortly before the 1627 division of cattle.

Constance Hopkins Snow Reenactor

Constance Hopkins Snow Reenactor

Isaac ALLERTON’s daughter Remember Allerton was born 1614 Leyden, Holland. She married Moses Maverick 6 May 1635. Remember died 12 Sep 1652 in Marblehead, Mass.

Remember Allerton celebrates the first Thanksgiving.


Francis COOKE’s daughter Hester Cooke was born between 1618 and 1620 in Leiden, Holland.  She married Richard Wright about 1644. Hester died 21 May 1669 in Plymouth Colony.

Hester Cook Reenactor as she would have appeared in 1627


William BASSETT Sr. ‘s son-in-law Peregrine White (Wiki) was born  20 Nov or 19 Dec 1620 aboard the Mayflower, docked at Provincetown Harbor, Provincetown, Mass.  and was He was the first English child born to the Pilgrims in the New World.  His parents were William White and Susannah Fuller. He married Sarah Bassett 24 Dec 1646 in Marshfield, Plymouth, Mass. Peregrine died 20 Jul 1704 in  Marshfield, Mass.

Peregrine White Reenactor in 1627 when he would have been six years old.

His parents  named him “Peregrine”, which means: “one who journeys to foreign lands” or “pilgrim.” Soon after the landing, William died, and Susanna married Edward Winslow. Winslow adopted Peregrine and his older brother, Resolved, and made them his heirs.

Peregrine White’s Craddle — The cradle was likely of Dutch origin, and certainly in the Dutch style, and was not typical of the baby cradles and cribs of the early colonial period.

On 3 Jun 1652 Sarah’s father gave “his son-in-law Leiftenant Perigrine White” forty acres of upland with the meadow adjoining. On 16 Jun 1656 “William Bassett Senior of Duxburrow now living at Bridgewater” made a deed of gift of his Marshfield lands to his “two sons there living viz: Perigrine White and Nathaniel BASSETT.

9. Sculpture

Almost everyone with European ancestors is related to everyone else within the last 2000 years.  Remember the king was was ruined by his promise to pay 1 grain of rice of the first chessboard square, 2 on the second, 3 on the third ….  2^62 possible ancestors =  4,611,686,018,427,390,000.  ( or 4.6 Quintillion)   While Genvissa, the daughter of Claudius who married a Silurian king, was invented by Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100 – c. 1155), we are all kin.   We know these Romans from I Claudius and many other stories.  This line has Gaelic Kings of every variety, Welsh, Irish, and Scot and famous cameos including St. Patrick, St. Columba and Macbeth.

62nd G – Marcus ANTONIUS  (83 BC – 30 BC) (Wikipedia), Mark Antony was a friend, and cousin, of Gaius Julius Caesar, although after Caesar’s assassination he stopped praising Caesar. Mark Antony had a falling out with Octavian (Augustus) after the Second Triumvirate split up and he ended up in Egypt.


Bust of Mark Antony (Vatican Museums)


St Andrew’s Church Stoke Dry Rutlandshire contains several Digby effigies

Dating at least from the Norman period, Stoke Dry Church was largely rebuilt during the 13th (west tower) and 15th centuries. Although small, the church has many interesting features – a carved Norman arch, a 15th century oak rood screen and tombs belonging to the Digby family who once lived in Stoke Dry. Of special note are the splendid medieval wall paintings which show the martyrdom of St. Edmund.

Above the north porch is the priest’s room or parvise. Reached by a narrow staircase from the north aisle of the church, it is said to be where Everard Digby planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.  There is  little truth in this tale however. Although Sir Everard Digby was one of the plotters he did not live at Stoke Dry at that time.

Everard “Greenleaf” DIGBY ‘s wife Agnes CLARKE was born 1419 in Stoke Dry, Rutland, England. Her parents were Francis Clarke and  Agnes Flore 1st husband was Richard Seddall. (Nichols says he was 2nd husband.).

Agnes Digby — c. 1479 Slab fragment of a lady wearing a steeple headdress -lost Inscription is recorded as
‘Hic jacent Ricardus Digbi & Agnes uxor ejus qui quidem Ricardus obiit xvii° die mensis Octobris & Agnes obiit penultimo die mensis Octobris A° Domini m . . . ccc . . . septuagesimo nono, quorum animabus propicietur Deus Amen’

Here lies Richard Digby and Agnes his wife which Richard died in the eighteenth day of October, Agnes, died on the last day of the month of October A °. . . Three hundred. . . seventy-nine, whose souls may God bless you ‘.

Everard DIGBY Esquire. was born 1440 in Stoke Dry, Rutland, England.  He married  1463 in Stoke Dry, Rutland, England to Jacquetta ELLIS  Everard died Feb 1510 in Tilton, Stoke Dry, Rutland, England..

St Andrew’s Stoke Dry Rutland  — Here lies Everard Digby, Lord of Tilton and Stoke Dry who died 21st January 1510. May God protect his soul

Jacquetta ELLIS was born 1445 in Combe Raleigh, Devon, England.  Her parents were Sir John ELLIS (1430 in Devon) and Eleanor RUSSELL (b: 1432). She died 1483 in Stoke Dry, Rutland, England.

St Andrew’s Stoke Dry Rutland  — 1497 Jaquetta daughter of Str John Ellis with her 14 children, she was the wife of Everard Digby 1510 who is buried at Tilton

Incised slab to Jaquetta Digby (d. 1496), in the south aisle St Andrew’s Stoke Dry, Rutlandshire


Sir Thomas BROMLEY (1530 – 11 April 1587) (Wikipedia) was a English lord chancellor during the turbulent reign of Elizabeth I and prosecuted famous cases against the Duke of Norfolk and Mary Queen of Scots.  He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Adrian Fortescue, K.B., and by her had four sons and  four daughters.  His daughter Elizabeth married Sir Oliver CROMWELL (1563 – 1658) 

Effigy of Sir Thomas Bromley, Westminster Abbey.


Francis MARBURY’s daughter Anne Hutchinson (1591–1643) was one of the most prominent women in colonial America, noted for her strong religious convictions, and for her stand against the staunch religious orthodoxy of 17th century Massachusetts. She was a Puritan whose religious ideas were at odds with the established Puritan clergy in the Boston area, and her popularity and charisma created a schism in the Boston church which threatened to destroy the Puritans’ religious experiment in New England. Creating the most challenging situation for the ruling magistrates and ministers during her first three years in Boston, she was eventually tried and convicted, then banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony with many of her followers.

Anne Hutchinson figures prominently in an excellent book , The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell.

Anne is a key figure in the study of the development of religious freedom in England’s American colonies and the history of women in ministry. She challenged the authority of the ministers, exposing the subordination of women in the culture of colonial Massachusetts. Although her religious ideas remain controversial, her implicit rejection of state authority to prescribe specific religious rites and interpretations, was later enshrined in the American Constitution. The State of Massachusetts honors her with a State House monument calling her a “courageous exponent of civil liberty and religious toleration.”

Anne Hutchinson Massachusetts State House Monument


Maj. John MASON (1600 – 1672) was the commanding officer in the Pequot War.

John Mason Portrait

At the time, he was a victorious hero who later became  Deputy Governor of Connecticut and founded Norwich, Connecticut.  Now, he is viewed by some as a war criminal due to his responsible for the Mystic Massacre.  He was Alex’s 10th great grandfather, one of 2,048 in this generation of the Miner line.

A statue of Major John Mason is on the Palisado Green in  Windsor, Connecticut . The John Mason statue was originally placed at the intersection of Pequot Avenue and Clift Street in Mystic, Connecticut, near what was thought to be one of the original Pequot forts.

This controversial statue of Major John Mason is now in Windsor, CT

The statue remained there for 103 years. After studying the sensitivity and appropriateness of the statue’s location near the historic massacre of Pequot people, a commission chartered by Groton, Connecticut voted to have it relocated. The State in 1993 relocated the statue to its current setting.

See my post John Mason’s Controversial Statue for more of this story.


Mary ALLERTON was born in Jun 1616 in Leyden, Holland.  Her parents were Isaac ALLERTON and Mary NORRIS.  She married Thomas CUSHMAN Sr.  When Mary died on  28 Nov 1699 in Plymouth, Mass, she was the last survivor of the Mayflower. (Wikipedia)  She arrived at Plymouth on the Mayflower when she was about four years old and lived there her entire life; she died aged 83.

Mary Allerton, Pilgrim Maiden Statue, Plymouth


Isaac ESTEY’s wife Mary TOWNE (1634-1692) one of eight children, she and her family moved to America around 1640. Mary was a victim of the Salem witch trials of 1692. Mary’s sisters, Rebecca Nurse and Sarah Cloyce, were also accused of witchcraft; Rebecca was executed, but Sarah was not. Mary was tried and condemned to death on September 9 1692.  She was hanged on September 22, along with Martha CoreyAnn Pudeator, Alice Parker, Mary ParkerWilmot Redd, Margaret Scott, and Samuel Wardwell. On the gallows she prayed for an end to the witch hunt.

This statue depicts Rebecca Towne Nurse and Mary Towne Esty, wearing shackles, being under arrest for witchcraft. The statue is located in the Salem Wax Museum of Witches and Seafarers, Salem.


10. Sermons

Henry SCUDDER’s son Rev. Henry Scudder (1585 – 1652) graduated from Christ’s College, Cambridge, in 1606. He began a life as a Puritan minister. He first served as vicar at Drayton, Oxfordshire. Then in 1633 he became the rector of St. Andrew parish at Collingbourne-Ducis, a village on the River Bourne, near Marlborough, Wiltshire, where he served the remainder of his life. During this time, he wrote a number of devotional works, one of which, “The Christian’s Daily Walke in Holy Securitie and Peace,” was used by churchgoers for close to 200 years.

Rev. Henry Scudder


Robert CUSHMAN (1578 – 1625) was a Pilgrim leader and made arrangements for the Leiden congregation to immigrate to North America. He preached the first recorded sermon in the New World. (Wikipedia)  (See his page for excerpts)

Robert Cushman.

Oddly enough for such a religious group, there was no ordained minister among the American Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony Robert Cushman, a deacon, was the nearest thing. To settle the jealousies and animosities among the settlers, he preached a sermon on 9 Dec 1621.

Robert did not complete the initial trip to the New World with the other Pilgrims on board the Mayflower, as the ship he was travelling on, the Speedwell, developed leaks and had to return to England. He instead took a different ship to the New World.

Robert sailed to Plymouth, Massachusetts in the fall of 1621 aboard the Fortune, but returned shortly thereafter to England to promote the colony’s interests. There, he published an essay concerning the Lawfulness of Plantations, which was appended to Mourt’s Relation. This document is of interest to modern scholars because of its treatment of the economic reasons for emigration.

Unfortunately, before he could return to the New World, he succumbed to an outbreak of plague in London, in the spring of 1625; as a result, the site of his grave is unknown. The book Saints and Strangers by George F. Willison recounts his story.


Deacon Benjamin COLEMAN (1720 – 1797)., of Newbury, Massachusetts, fought against his slave-owning minister on the slavery issue.

Benjamin Coleman – Portrait.

“Deacon Benjamin Colman” under Rev. Moses Parsons, was suspended from his church in 1780 over slavery. He was re-instated 26 Oct 1785 after the death of Rev. Parsons. “A thorough-going abolitionist in advance of his time, brought serious charges against (Rev. Parsons) for violating the divine law and holding men and women in bondage of slavery.”

Benjamin Coleman – Prayer.

Benajmin was owner of shoe factory,  a woodcarver and made calico textile prints.  Calico was then rare or unknown.  A home-made fabric, hand-printed was regarded as a fine article of dress and a bride decked out in such, it is said, would have successfully vied with a modern belle dressed in the most gorgeous sliks.  A quantity of the wooden calico stamps, represeting fruits, flowers, vines, etc, stained with the many dyes used and bearing upon their backs, the initials “B. C.” were passed down to the 19th Century..


11. Songs

Thomas STRONG’s son Rev. James Strong was born 23 Aug 1618 Chardstock He first married Katherine Minterne 1640. He next married Sarah [__?__]. Aft. 1674 James died in 1694 Ruishton, Somerset, England.

James was Vicar of Chardstock (illegally in 1645, confirmed in 1654), Commonwealth era Rector of Melcombe Regis (Weymouth, Dorset) (1646), Rector of Bettiscombe, Dorset (1648), Vicar of Ilminster (1654), Vicar of Curry Rivel with Earnshill (1686)

A satirical ballad Reverend James Stronge was published about ca 1653 (Sung to Chevy Chase)  See Thomas Strong’s page for the text.


12. Stained Glass

Thomas FITCH’s great grandparents were Thomas FITCH (1465 – 1514) & Agnes ALGER ( – 1527)

Thomas and Agnes Fitch are commemorated in a stained glass window at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Lindsell, Essex, England  (Don’t tell anyone this might be Thomas’ son William)

Thomas died, 21 April 1514, as commemorated on a brass in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Lindsell. Agnes died before 3 May 1527.  Beneath them on the brass are images of eleven children ~ six sons and five daughters.

Thomas & Agnes Fytch

On the floor before the chancel arch is a well engraved and perfectly preserved brass of the Fytch family inscribed:

“Here lie Thomas ffytch and Agnes his wife which same Thomas died the 21st day of April in the year of our Lord 1514. On whose souls may God have mercy.”

A good description of the brass is provided by Christy:

“The male figure (16 1/2 inches in height) has a half-turn to the left; is bare-headed, his long hair falling upon his shoulders; and his upraised hands, instead of being placed together as usual, are held apart. He is attired in the long gown of a civilian, beneath which his broad round-toed shoes are just apparent. It is open and turned back at the neck and down the front, showing the lining of the fur, which is also apparent at the wrists, where the extremely wide, open sleeves are turned back into cuffs. The female figure (16 1/2 inches in height) has a half-turn to the right, and the hands are placed together. Her long gown, cut low at the neck, fur-trimmed at the bottom, and having tight sleeves, turned back at the wrists into broad cuffs, which are fur covered, is loosely confined at the waist by a girdle, of which the ornamentally embroidered end falls nearly to the ground. She wears the pedimental head-dress.

The six sons (about 4 3/4 inches in height) are placed beneath their father,

Fytch Sons

while the five daughters (about 4 1/2 inches in height) are placed beneath their mother.

Fytch Daughters

The former have a half-turn to the left: the latter, to the right. Both wear costumes almost exactly similar to those of their parents, except that the gowns of the sons lack fur trimming, while the costumes of the daughters lack both fur trimming and the ceinture, and their head-dresses, having no backs, allow their long hair to fall down their backs to far below the level of the waist.” The inscription (on a plate 17 by 2 1/2 inches) immediately below the principal figure reads: Translated: Here lies Thomas Fytche and Agnes his wife, which same Thomas died the twenty-first day of April, in the year of our Lord 1514; on whose souls may God have mercy.”

Thomas and Agnes are also commemorated in a stained glass window in the same church.  This window, and a second showing their son William and his first wife, Elizabeth, were probably paid for by William, who had the advowson of the church (the right to be the patron of the church and to recommend its clergyman) from King Henry VIII.

Except for Thomas’ and Agnes’ second son, William, who prospered and had three knighted descendants, the other children were somewhat less prosperous. According to Wagner, By the early seventeenth century they had included apothecaries, clothiers and cloth makers [like our Thomas], staplers and leather sellers, several clergymen and a naval surgeon.

Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Lindsell, Essex


Ezekiel Rogers (1588-1661) (wiki) was an English nonconformist clergyman, and Puritan settler of Massachusetts. Of the 20 Yorkshire families that accompanied him from Rowley, Yorkshire and Rowley, Massachusetts, almost half were our direct ancestors.    We’re here in part because he didn’t like the Book of Sports.  What would he have thought of 10am start times for NFL football on the West Coast?

Ezekiel Rogers, St. Peter’s Church Rowley, England — The village of Rowley Yorkshire and town of Rowley Massachusetts enjoy close relations today. In 1994 the people of Rowley, Mass. gave to the church of St. Peter’s in Rowley Yorkshire. this stained glass window to honor the memory of their founder.


13. Televison

Elizabeth COOKE was born on 2 July 1568 at Pemmersley, Essex, England. She first married Col. Edmund READE in 1594 at Pebmarsh, Essex, England.  After Edmund died, she married  Rev. Hugh Peters about 1625 in England.  Elizabeth died in 1637 in Wickford, Essex, England.

Rev. Hugh Peters (Wiki)  (1598 – 1660) was educated at Cambridge and became a devout Puritan around 1620. Under the patronage of the Earl of Warwick, he became curate at Rayleigh in Essex. Around 1625, Peter married Elizabeth READE, a widow much older than himself, with adult children.  Peter also preached regularly at the church of St Sepulchre in London, but had his license to preach revoked and was imprisoned for six months after leading his congregation in praying for Queen Henrietta Maria to forsake her idolatrous Catholicism. He moved to the Netherlands and in 1633 became a pastor at Rotterdam until pressure was put upon the English churches in the Netherlands to conform to the doctrines espoused by Archbishop Laud.

In July 1635, Peter and Elizabeth accompanied Sir Henry Vane to New England, along with his stepdaughter Elizabeth and her new husband John Winthrop (1606-76).  Peter became minister at Salem, Massachusetts, in December 1636. Although he became involved in religious disputes against Vane, Peter proved to be a popular minister. He was involved in the civil administration of Salem and became one of the first governors of Harvard College.  He took a leading part in the affairs of the colony, and interested himself in the founding of the new colony in Connecticut.

After Elizabeth died, he returned to England in 1641 as an agent of the Massachusetts government, but became active in supporting Parliament against the King. Peter was a chaplain in the Earl of Essex’s army.   His preaching inspired the soldiers and drew many recruits to the cause. Peter frequently acted as an Army spokesman at Westminster both in delivering reports and in requesting money or aid. Peter intended returning to America with the ending of the First Civil War, but he became involved in the struggle between the Army and the Presbyterians in 1647. He championed the Independents in the Army and supported the soldiers’ refusal to disband. During the Second Civil War, he accompanied Cromwell on his campaign in Wales and at the battle of Preston.

Rev. Hugh Peters (1598 – 1660)

Peter was one of the few clergymen to support the Army’s occupation of London and Pride’s Purge, which led to the trial and execution of King Charles in 1649. He fell ill and did not attend the execution but his absence resulted in a persistent rumour that he was the masked executioner who had beheaded the King.

Peter remained active in public affairs throughout the Commonwealth. He was appointed chaplain to the Council of State in 1650 and had influence on various committees concerned with religious, legal and social reform. Hugh eventually became Cromwell’s chaplain.    Despite his misgivings regarding the establishment of the Protectorate, Peter remained loyal to Cromwell. His participation in affairs of state declined during the 1650s, partly due to ill health.  Peter’s last great public act was to preach Oliver Cromwell’s funeral sermon in November 1658 on the text Joshua 1:2, “Moses my servant is dead”.

Although he had played no direct role in the trial and execution of King Charles I, Peter’s reputation and strong association with the Cromwellian régime resulted in his arrest at the Restoration on charges of treason. Almost universally reviled, he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Charing Cross on 16 October 1660.  He behaved with great fortitude, and was undismayed by the mangling of the body of John Cook, his fellow sufferer, upon which he was forced to look.

During his final imprisonment, he wrote A Dying Father’s Last Legacy to an Onely Child to his  only child, Elizabeth, who had visited him every day in prison, in which he gave a narrative of his career.

Hugh was the subject of a 1981 television play A Last Visitor for Mr. Hugh Peter.  It showed him the night before his execution, where he is visited by various figures from his past and the future.  Hugh was played by Peter Vaughan who at the age of 89 plays Maester Aemon in HBO’s Game of Thrones.   Read more about Hugh Peters,”the most slandered man of his time”,  here in Eccentric Preachers.


Isaac ESTEY’s wife Mary TOWNE (1634-1692) one of eight children, she and her family moved to America around 1640. Mary was a victim of the Salem witch trials of 1692. Mary’s sisters, Rebecca Nurse and Sarah Cloyce, were also accused of witchcraft; Rebecca was executed, but Sarah was not. Mary was tried and condemned to death on September 9 1692.  She was hanged on September 22, along with Martha CoreyAnn Pudeator, Alice Parker, Mary ParkerWilmot Redd, Margaret Scott, and Samuel Wardwell. On the gallows she prayed for an end to the witch hunt.

Robert Calef, in More Wonders of the Invisible World, described Eastey’s parting words to her family “as serious, religious, distinct, and affectionate as could be expressed, drawing tears from the eyes of almost all present.”  See Isaac ESTEY’s page for the text of Mary’s petition to the judges.

This clip from the  1985 PBS American Playhouse movie, Three Sovereigns For Sarah shows Kim Hunter who played Mary ESTEY reciting the petition.   Vanessa Redgrave played Sarah Cloyse.

William TOWNE‘s daughter Rebecca Towne Nurse (Wiki) (1618 – 19 Jun 1692 [age 61] Salem MA Hanged for Witchcraft.  Rebecca is a central character in  many dramatic treatments of the Salem Witch Trials.

The Hanging Tree of Sarah Good and Rebecca Nurse from Three Sovereigns For Sarah .,  Warning: Scene of these two courageous, tragiclly poor souls is very vivid, so look away if you do not like watching a person die.

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Artistic Works and Representation 1

Paintings, Statues, Poems, plays, novels, and movies by or about our ancestor and his or her family.

Navigate this Post.

Part 1

1. Books
2. Drawing/Etchings
3. Movies
4. Museum Exhibits
5. Painting/Portraits

Part 2

6. Plays
7. Poetry
8. Reenactors
9. Sculpture
10. Sermons
11. Songs
12. Stained Glass
13. Television


Stephen BACHILER (c.1561 – 1656) (Wikipedia) was an English clergyman who was an early proponent of the separation of church and state in America.  He was one of our most complicated ancestors and one of my favorites.  His story represents America.  He had the most setbacks and the most second, (third, fourth, fifth …. ) acts late in life that I can imagine.

Stephen and his fourth wife Mary were probably the adulterous figures in Puritan history who were the prototypes of Hester Prynne and the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter.

The first case of a woman branded for adultery first appeared in the records of York, in what is now Maine. Dated 15 October 1651, the entry reads:

“We do present George Rogers for, & Mary Batchellor the wife of Mr. Steven BATCHELLER minister for adultery. It is ordered by ye Court yt George Rogers for his adultery with mis Batcheller shall forthwith have fourty stripes save one upon the bare skine given him: It is ordered yt mis Batcheller for her adultery shall receive 40 stroakes save one at ye First Towne meeting held at Kittery, 6 weekes after her delivery & be branded with the letter A.”

We know that Hawthorne had a personal interest in Maine’s history.  He could have read an account of the sentence passed on George Rogers and Mary Batchellor in the first volume of Collections of the Maine Historical Society.

Stephen BATCHELER’s life story contains elements of both Roger Chillingworth and  Arthur Dimmesdale.

Mary Batchellor’s adultery is the only known case involving a child that can be linked to Hester Prynne’s plight. By postponing execution of the sentence until six weeks after Mrs. Batchellor’s delivery, the officials of York obviously considered the health of the unborn child. Hawthorne suggests a similar delay in the novel, for when Hester and Pearl appear in the opening scaffold scene, Pearl is “some three months old”

Stephen Batchller Epilogue – When Stephen was 90, his last wife had an affair with another man.  She was sentenced, after her approaching delivery, to be whipped and branded with the letter “A,” the “Scarlet Letter”of Hawthorne’s romance.

Not only was our Stephen fined £10 for not publishing his marriage according to law. (He had performed his last wedding ceremony himself.) but the court ordered “Mr. Batchelor and his wife shall live together as man and wife, as in this court they have publicly professed to do; and if either desert one another, then hereby the court doth order that the marshall shall apprehend both the said Mr. Batchelor and Mary, his wife, and bring them forthwith to Boston.

Denied a divorce by the Massachusetts Court, Bachiler finally returned to England about 1653. He died near London, and was buried at All Hallows Staining on October 31, 1656.

Stephen Batcheler Postcript – His unfaithful wife sued her husband in 1656 for support based on various untrue charges including a claim that Bachiler had married a new wife while still legally married to her.  Stephen had already died a few days before.

Stephen has also been the subject of many books and articles (Source: Lane Memorial Library, Hampton, NH):

George MORTON (George Mourt) (c. 1585 – 1624) was an English Puritan Separatist. (Wikipedia)  He published and wrote the introduction to the first account in Great Britain of the founding of Plymouth Colony, called Mourt’s Relation.

George published “Mourts Relation” (1622) which gives the earliest account of the Pilgrim enterprise..

George received the writings sent in the Fortune from Plymouth in 1622, and published them under the title: “A Relation or Journall of the beginning and proceedings of the English Plantation setled at Plimoth in New England…London, Printed for John Bellamie” (1622) which gives the earliest account of the Pilgrim enterprise.  He may have wrote the preface and gave the book to the press; the bulk being written by Edward Winslow.  It provides the only contemporary report on the voyage of the Mayflower, the first days of Plymouth Colony and a brief account of the first Harvest Celebration (Thanksgiving).

It has been conjectured that Bradford and Winslow were the authors and Morton merely the publisher, but since the narrative Bradford wrote and sent back on the Fortune was retained by the captain of the French privateer which captured the Fortune on its return voyage., it is possible that Morton wrote a narrative from information brought back by those returning on the Mayflower and the Fortune and published it together with material by Winslow and others not retained by the French captain.


William JOHNSON’s son Capt. Edward Johnson (Wiki) was born 16 Sep 1598 Canterbury, Kent, England.  Edward died 23 Apr 1672 in Woburn, Mass.

Edward is the author of Wonder Working Providence, a quaint and authentic narrative of events connected with the settlement of Massachusetts Bay. It is acknowledged to be the most important book on the Massachusetts Colony that was printed during the first hundred years after the settlement. The fraudulent use made of this work in the collection known as the Gorges Tracts for a time robbed the author of the credit due him, but the true authorship has beyond a doubt has been established by Dr. Poole, the famous librarian.”

Title Pages Johnson’s Wonder Working Providence

Edward is the author of Wonder Working Providence, a quaint and authentic narrative of events connected with the settlement of Massachusetts Bay. It is acknowledged to be the most important book on the Massachusetts Colony that was printed during the first hundred years after the settlement. The fraudulent use made of this work in the collection known as the Gorges Tracts for a time robbed the author of the credit due him, but the true authorship has beyond a doubt has been established by Dr. Poole, the famous librarian.”

Constance HOPKINS (1606 – 1677)   (Wikipedia) is the central character in Patricia Clapp’s young adult novel Constance: A Story of Early Plymouth.  It must be a popular book as I found three different cover portraits.

The second daughter of Stephen HOPKINS   (Wiki), by his first wife, Mary.   Constance, at the age of fourteen, along with her father and his second wife Elizabeth (Fisher), accompanied by brother Giles, half-sister Damaris as well as two servants   Edward Doty and Edward Lester were passengers on the Mayflower .  Constance married Nicholas SNOW, shortly before the 1627 division of cattle.

Constance A Story of Early Plymouth 1

Constance A Story of Early Plymouth 2

Constance A Story of Early Plymouth 3

John TUTTLE‘s (1618 – 1663) farm, Tuttle’s Red Barn, is  the oldest continually operating family farm in the United States, having passed down through 11 generations.

Tuttle’s Red Barn 2007 Choice ‘Publisher’s Weekly’ Children’s Picture Book.

John sailed from Bristol, England in the Angel Gabriel in 1635.   The day after John and his fellow passengers disembarked, it  was caught at anchor and destroyed  by the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635.   The ship sank along with all of the passengers’ worldly goods, and taking the lives of several crew members who were attempting to save the vessel.  John first came to Ipswich, Massachusetts, and by 1640, to Dover, New Hampshire. says

As the Tuttles passed down the farm, along the way they witnessed the settlement and expansion of New England; they fought in the American Revolution; they helped runaway slaves along the Underground Railroad and sold maple syrup to Abraham Lincoln; they bought the first Model T in that Dover; and they transformed the old barn into the thriving country store it is today.

With Caldecott Medalist Mary Azarian’s evocative woodcuts and Richard Michelson’s moving prose bringing the Tuttle story to life, readers will be enraptured by the panorama of American history as seen through the eyes of one family..


William L. LATTA’s  grandson Robert Ray Latta (1836-1925)  wrote a book, “Reminiscences of Pioneer Life – Google Books“, published in 1912.  Click here for a review and excerpt.  It’s a fun read in a jaunty style as you can see from the preface.

Reminiscences of pioneer life – Preface.

Robert Ray “Freck” (on account of his freckles) got a job in 1852 at the age of 16,  carrying the United States mail by horseback between Washington and Bloomfield, Iowa, a distance of 80 miles.  The round trip had to be made in four days, a ride of 40 miles a day and the compensation was $480 a year.  He noted that he rode through prairie and gloomy woods 84 times and only met one horseman, one team and a band of Indians.  A few years later Freck and his family moved by wagon train across the  State to Page County, Iowa, where they built a log cabin and settled in.   In 1860 they went to Cass Co., Neb. and in 1861 to Mills Co., Iowa and in 1870 to Silver Cliff, Colo.  He was a miner.  In 1898 lived at Colorado Springs, Colo.


2. Drawing & Etchings

Rev. John  LATHROP (1584 – 1653) was an English Anglican clergyman, who became a Congregationalist minister and emigrant to New England.  He was the founder of Barnstable, Massachusetts.

Rev. John Lothrop – Portrait -.

John’s congregation were forced to meet in private to avoid the scrutiny of Bishop of London William Laud. Following the group’s discovery on April 22, 1632 by officers of the king, forty two of Lothropp’s Independents were arrested. Only eighteen escaped capture. They were prosecuted for failure to take the oath of loyalty to the established church. They were jailed in The Clink prison. All were released on bail by the spring of 1634 except Lothropp, who was deemed too dangerous to be set at liberty. While he was in prison, his wife Hannah House became ill and died. His six surviving children were according to tradition left to fend for themselves begging for bread on the streets of London. Friends being unable to care for his children brought them to the Bishop who had charge of Lothropp. The bishop ultimately released him on bond in May of 1634 with the understanding that he would immediately remove to the New World.

John brought The Lothrop Bible with him aboard the “Griffin”  on his trip to America in 1634. During the voyage, while at evening devotions, he spilled hot candle wax on the open book which burned through several pages, causing holes about the size of a shilling. Before landing, he carefully repaired most of the damaged paper and filled in the missing text from memory. A few of the holes in the pages remain.

Lothrop Bible

Johann Conrad WEISER Sr. (1662 – 1746) (Wikipedia) was a German soldier, baker, and farmer who fled his homeland with thousands of other German Palatines and settled in New York. Weiser became a leader in the Palatine community and was founder of their settlement of Weiser’s Dorf, now known as Middleburgh, New York. When the Germans were in dispute with their English landlords and the colonial government of New York, he was among the representatives chosen to go to London and seek help from the British government.

His son John Conrad Weiser (Wikipedia) (1696 – 1760) was a Pennsylvania Dutch pioneer, interpreter and diplomat between the Pennsylvania Colony and Native Americans. He was a farmer, soldier, monk, tanner, and judge as well. He contributed as an emissary in councils between Native Americans and the colonies, especially Pennsylvania, during the French and Indian War.  Weiser was able to maintain fairly stable relations between the Pennsylvania government and the Iroquois Nation during the 1730’s and 1740’s.

There is no certifiable image of Conrad Weiser in existence and this one is no exception. Neither the often used drawing of a man in a suit and top-hat, which was first published in the Walton book, nor this image are proven to represent Weiser’s true appearance and in fact, the top-hat image is clearly a fabrication, as the clothing is of a different time and wholely inconsistent to anything Weiser would have worn.

Conrad Weiser Portrait – From CONRAD WEISER AND THE INDIAN POLICY OF COLONIAL PENNSYLVANIA. The book was published in 1900. — The founder of the Weiser Family Association and scholar and author, Rev. Frederick S. Weiser, did not believe this image was in any way accurate and in fact, laughed heartily about the garb the figure is wearing in it.


3. Movies

Stephen BACHILER (c.1561 – 1656) (Wikipedia) was an English clergyman who was an early proponent of the separation of church and state in America.  He was one of our most complicated ancestors and one of my favorites.  His story represents America.  He had the most setbacks and the most second, (third, fourth, fifth …. ) acts late in life that I can imagine.

Stephen and his fourth wife Mary were probably the adulterous figures in Puritan history who were the prototypes of Hester Prynne and the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter.  (See 1. Books above for the story)

The Scarlet Letter has been adapted to numerous films, plays and operas and remains frequently referenced in modern popular culture. The Scarlet Letterhas been adapted in the recent movie Easy A, the story of Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) who experiences the same isolation Hester Prynne undergoes in the novel.


The Crucible is a 1996 drama film written by Arthur Miller and based on his play of the same name. It was directed by Nicholas Hytner and stars Daniel Day-Lewis as John ProctorWinona Ryder as Abigail WilliamsPaul Scofield as Judge Thomas Danforth, Joan Allen as Elizabeth Proctor and Elizabeth Lawrence as Rebecca Nurse.

John PROCTOR’s son John Proctor (1632 –August 19, 1692) was a  successful farmer, entrepreneur, and tavern keeper who lived far from Salem Village center, on the edge of Salem Town in what is today Peabody, Mass. He had never been directly involved in Salem Village politics or litigation with the Putnams.  During the Salem Witch Trials he was accused of witchcraft,convicted and hanged.

Although Abigail Williams was John Proctor’s chief accuser, he was also named by Mary Walcott, who stated he tried to choke her and his former servantMary Warren on April 21. Mary Warren told magistrates that Proctor had beaten her for putting up a prayer bill before forcing her to touch the Devil’s Book. Further allegations of an increasingly salacious nature followed.

Mash-up of famous Daniel Day Lewis Yells! including “God is Dead!” and “It is my name!” from the Crucible 😉

John Proctor continued to challenge the veracity of spectral evidence and the validity of the Court of Oyer and Terminer which led to a petition signed by 32 neighbors in his favor. The signatories stated that Proctor had lived a “Christian life in his family and was ever ready to help such as they stood in need.”

John and Elizabeth Proctor were tried on August 5, 1692. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. Still maintaining his innocence, Proctor prepared his will but left his wife with nothing.

Elizabeth, who was then pregnant, was given a reprieve until she gave birth. n January 1693, while still in jail, Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor gave birth to a son, John Proctor III. Elizabeth and John III remained in jail until May 1693, when a general release freed all of those prisoners who remained jailed. Unfortunately, even though the general belief was that innocent people had been wrongly convicted, Elizabeth had in fact been convicted and was considered guilty. In the eyes of the law she was considered a “dead woman” and could not claim any of her husband’s estate. Elizabeth petitioned the court for a reversal of attainder to restore her legal rights. No action was taken for seven years.

In the 1996 film based on the play The Crucible, Proctor was played by Daniel Day-Lewis.

John and Elizabeth Proctor by Daniel Day-Lewis and Joan Allen.  (Daniel needs to add about 50 pounds and 30 years if he wants to resemble the real man, who was 60 and heavy-set.).

William TOWNE‘s daughter Rebecca Towne Nurse (Wiki) (1618 – 19 Jun 1692 [age 61] Salem MA Hanged for Witchcraft.  Rebecca is a central character in Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible as well as many other dramatic treatments of the Salem Witch Trials.

In the play Rebecca Nurse, wife of Francis Nurse, is highly respected in Salem for her helpful nature. Very firm in her opinions, and willing to make any sacrifice in the cause of truth, she voices her opposition to the idea of witchcraft. Near the end, she is accused of being a witch on the prompting of the Putnams, who are jealous of her good fortune.

Rebecca Nurse as played by Elizabeth Lawrence in the Crucible


4. Museum Exhibits

In 1925 the Brown-Pearl House, built by Cornelius BROWN Jr. (1667-1743)  was acquired by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and dismantled.  The living area was reconstructed as an exhibit hall – an example of colonial architecture and early domestic life.  It was taken down and stored 10 or 11 years ago when the museum began construction of the new Art of the Americas Wing. On Nov. 20th, 2010, the new wing was opened to the public and the Brown–Pearl Hall is again on display as a gallery in the lowest level of the new wing.

Brown Pearl Hall in Boston Museum of Fine Art.

The woodwork in this room came from a house built by Cornelius Brown, a farmer, and his wife Susannah in Boxford, a small town in Essex County, north of Boston before the American Revolution. In 1738, the house passed to Richard Pearl and descended in his family until it was dismantled. The heavy oak framework, pine sheathing (or wall boards), and large fireplace are characteristic of houses of its day.

This would have been the central living space of the house, called the “hall.” Here, the family would conduct important matters of cooking, eating, and sleeping. It is clear from the imported pottery on the table that this house belonged to a well-to-do family. Imported items signal the shift in Puritan culture towards material prosperity. As New England seaport towns grew and prospered before the Revolution, successful citizens called upon the arts to express and enhance their new mode of life.


Peter WINNE and his family were favored tenants on the manor. Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, son of the founder of Rensselaerwyck, and later the fifth patroon of Rensselaerswyck, was Daniel Pietersz’ tutor.  When young Daniel (1678-1757) inherited his father’s life-tenancy on the land, his home, and his sawmill, he was granted additional land upstream, where, in turn, his son, Peter Daniel (1699–1759) and grandson, Daniel Peter (1720–1800), built homes; the former circa 1725 (the house still stands in present-day Bethlehem, New York, about five miles south of Albany) and the latter in 1751; Daniel Peter’s home was part of the last generation of houses built in the time-honored anchor bent framing tradition of the New York Dutch. Daniel also inherited the  property in Cedar Hill, along the Hudson, where the Winne dock was located in the 1800′s.

Distinctive Dutch Joint (I took this one at the Met May 29, 2012).

The New York Dutch Room  in the New York Metropolitan Museum comes from a house built in 1751 in Bethlehem, New York, for Daniel Pieter Winne (1720–1800). The woodwork demonstrates the reliance on traditional Netherlandish building practices in late colonial New York. Dutch immigrants began settling the Hudson River Valley in the early seventeenth century but continued to construct houses and barns much as they had in the Netherlands through the end of the eighteenth century.

Pieter Winne Hearth – Notice how open it is. The docent said fire was the number two cause of death for colonial women./


Capt. Nathaniel FITCH’s son Isaac Fitch (1734 – 1791) was one of Connecticut’s most skilled and accomplished colonial builders and carpenters. He was born in Lebanon, a cousin of Jonathan Trumbull Senior (1710-85), the Governor of Connecticut and supplier to Washington’s Continental Army.  Isaac died relatively young, and had he lived longer Fitch would probably have been known as one of Connecticut’s greatest eighteenth-century architects.

Deming Parlor  — American Musuem in Bath, England

Fitch built Colchester’s Deming House in 1768. This fine mansion was demolished in 1958, but it possessed outstanding examples of Fitch’s craftsmanship. The house’s most elaborate work, located in the northeastern parlor was purchased by the American Museum in Bath, England..



Sir Ralph WARREN (1486 – 1553) (Wikipedia) was a mercer and alderman of London, and Lord Mayor in the years 1536, and 1543.   His father was  Sir Thomas WARREN, a fuller in, and sheriff of London, in 1528. His daughter Joan WARREN married Sir Henry (Williams) CROMWELL .

Sir Ralph was knighted in the first year of his mayoralty by King Henry VIII. He was buried in the chancel of St. Osythe’s, (also known as St Benet Sherehog) under a fair marble tomb, with this inscription, “Here lyeth buried the right worshipful Sir Ralph Warren, knight, alderman, and twice lord mayor of London, mercer, merchant of the staple at Callis, with his two wives, dame Christian and dame Joan”, and “Sir Ralph departed this life the 11th day of July, 1553″.

Ralph Warren Lord Mayor.

Sir Thomas BROMLEY (1530 –  1587) (Wikipedia) was a English lord chancellor during the turbulent reign of Elizabeth I and prosecuted famous cases against the Duke of Norfolk and Mary Queen of Scots.  He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Adrian Fortescue, K.B., and by her had four sons and  four daughters.  His daughter Elizabeth married Sir Oliver CROMWELL (1563 – 1658)  

Thomas Bromley, Lord Chancellor

James CARVER’s son John Carver was born 9 Sep 1565 in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England. He married Catherine White c. 1600.   John died 5 Apr 1621 Plymouth, Mass 

John Carver was a Pilgrim leader. He was the first governor of Plymouth Colony and his is the first signature on the Mayflower Compact.

John Carver was the first to sign.  The Mayflower Compact, a painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863-1930)


Elder William BREWSTER (1567 – 1644).

Elder William Brewster on US Capital Dome.

When the Mayflower colonists landed at Plymouth, Brewster became the senior elder of the colony, serving as its religious leader and as an adviser to Governor William Bradford.  As the only university educated member of the colony, Brewster took the part of the colony’s religious leader until a pastor, Ralph Smith, arrived in 1629.

An imaginary likeness of William Brewster. There is no known portrait of him from life.


Thomas WEST 3rd Baron de la Warr (1577 – 1618)  (Wikipedia)  was the Englishman after whom the bay, the river, and, consequently, an American Indian people and U.S. state, all later called “Delaware“, were named.

Thomas West Lord De La Warr.

Franics COOKE (c.1583 -1663) (Wikipedia) was one of the 102 passengers on theMayflower. This early settler is one of the twenty-six male Pilgrims known to have descendants.

Francis Cooke – Portrait.


Isaac ALLERTON (1586 – 1659) was one of the original Pilgrim fathers who came on the Mayflower to settle the Plymouth Colony in 1620. (Wikipedia)

Isaac Allerton – Portrait

Boston artist Henry Sargent first painted the Pilgrims landing around 1815. The painting was exhibited to great acclaim at an exhibition in New York. Soon after, the painting was damaged. Sargent painted this new version between 1818 and 1822. The painting was loaned to Pilgrim Hall Museum for the 1824 celebration of Forefathers Day (and the opening of the Hall).

Isaac Allerton on the left – “Landing of the Pilgrims”. (1818-1822) By Henry Sargent  (1770-1845)

Isaace Allerton – Sargent Painting Detail The artist identified the individuals in his painting.


John HOWLAND (c. 1591 – 1673) was one of the Pilgrims who travelled  on the Mayflower, signed the Mayflower Compact, and helped found Plymouth Colony.

The arduous voyage very nearly ended his life as he was thrown overboard in turbulent seas, but managed to grab a topsail halyard that was trailing in the water and was hauled back aboard safely.  (See his page for an account of this incidence was written by William Bradford, political leader of the Pilgrim Colony).

John Howland was pitched overboard. Painting by Mike Haywood.


Francis MARBURY’s daughter Anne Hutchinson (1591–1643) was one of the most prominent women in colonial America, noted for her strong religious convictions, and for her stand against the staunch religious orthodoxy of 17th century Massachusetts. She was a Puritan whose religious ideas were at odds with the established Puritan clergy in the Boston area, and her popularity and charisma created a schism in the Boston church which threatened to destroy the Puritans’ religious experiment in New England. Creating the most challenging situation for the ruling magistrates and ministers during her first three years in Boston, she was eventually tried and convicted, then banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony with many of her followers.

Anne Hutchinson figures prominently in an excellent book , The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell.

Anne is a key figure in the study of the development of religious freedom in England’s American colonies and the history of women in ministry. She challenged the authority of the ministers, exposing the subordination of women in the culture of colonial Massachusetts. Although her religious ideas remain controversial, her implicit rejection of state authority to prescribe specific religious rites and interpretations, was later enshrined in the American Constitution. The State of Massachusetts honors her with a State House monument calling her a “courageous exponent of civil liberty and religious toleration.”

Anne Hutchinson Preaching


Richard MONTAGUE was born about 1614 or 1615  at BoveneyBurnham Parish,  Buckinghamshire, England.  It is a small Hamlet, picturesquely situated upon the river Thames, 7 miles from Windsor, 23 from London. He came to America about 1634, perhaps sailing on the “Speedwell”, locating first in the Boston.    Richard died on 14 Dec 1681 at Hadley, Hampshire, Mass.

Richard Montague in his 20′s – The date when the miniature cameo portrait (on copper plate) was first made has not been established nor is has it been established that the cameo portrait was made in England before Richard’s departure to New England.  It if could be located today, the cameo would be the oldest survivingMontague Family artefact in the United States.  It is last recorded in Boston in the early 1900s. —  The reproduction of Richard I’s signature is a copy of the signature which appears on his last will and testament, reproduced in HGMFA (History and Genealogy of the Montague Family of America).

George DOWNING’s  grandson Sir. George Downing 1st Baronet (1623-1684) (Wikipedia) was an Anglo-Irish soldier, statesman, and diplomat. Downing Street in London is named after him. As Treasury Secretary he is credited with instituting major reforms in public finance. His influence was substantial on the passage and substance of the mercantilist Navigation Acts. The Acts strengthened English commercial and Naval power, contributing to the security of the English state and its ability to project its power abroad. More than any other man he was responsible for arranging the acquisition of New York from the Dutch, and is remembered there in the name of Downing Street, in Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York.

Sir George Downing Portrait

Downing attended Harvard College and was one of nine students in the first graduating class of 1642. He was hired by Harvard as the college’s first tutor. In 1645 he sailed for the West Indies with slaves in-tow, as a preacher and instructor of the seamen, and arrived in England some time afterwards, becoming chaplain to Colonel John Okey‘s regiment.  See his grandfather’s page for the story of his career in England, suffice to say his character low as it stood with English historians, was more infamous yet in the eyes of his New England countrymen, and it passed into a proverb, to say of one who proved false to his trust, that ” he was all arrant George Downing.”

Susanna NORTH (Wiki) was baptized 30 Sep 1621 in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England.  Her parents were Richard NORTH and Joan BARTRAM. She married George MARTIN 11 Aug 1646 in Salisbury, Essex, Mass.   Susannah was executed for witchcraft on 19 Jul 1692 in Salem, Essex, Mass.

In 1669, Susannah was first formally accused of witchcraft by William Sargent Jr., son of our ancestor William SARGENT. In turn, George Martin sued Sargent for two counts of slander against Susannah, one for accusing her of being a witch, and another for claiming one of her sons was a bastard and another was her “imp.” Martin withdrew the second count, but the Court upheld the accusation of witchcraft. The jury in the case found for the defendant, but the Court “concurred not with the jury”. A higher court later dismissed the witchcraft charges.

George died in 1686, leaving Susannah an impoverished widow by the time of the second accusation of witchcraft in 1692. Inhabitants of nearby Salem Village, Massachusetts had named Susannah a witch and stated she had attempted to recruit them into witchcraft. Susannah was tried for these charges, during which process she proved by all accounts to be pious and quoted the Bible freely, something a witch was said incapable of doing. Cotton Mather countered Susannah’s defence by stating in effect that the Devil’s servants were capable of putting on a show of perfect innocence and Godliness.

Our ancestor Orlando BAGLEY Jr. was the arresting Amesbury constable. See his page for images of the original summons, examination and death warrant.  Susannah was found guilty, and was hanged on July 19, 1692 in Salem.

Susannah Martin portrayed reading her Bible in the Salem jail.  —  Caption: “Who turned, in Salem’s dreary jail,/Her worn old bible o’er and o’er.”  — Source: Mabel Martin: A Harvest Idyle. By John Greenleaf Whittier, Boston: Houghton, Mifflen & Co. 1876, p. 43. Artist, Mary A. Hallock..


Samuell BROADLEY‘s  daughter Sarah Broadley Cox Oort Kidd Rousby (1665-1744) married one of the richest men in New York and then as a young double widow married the famous  William “Captain” Kidd (c.1645 – 1701) .

Captain William Kidd welcoming a young woman on board his ship; other men and women crowd the deck as another woman steps aboard. Postcard published by The Foundation Press, Inc., 1932. Reproduction of oil painting from series: The Pageant of a Nation.


Salem Witch Trial records state that John FOSTER’s son-in-law John De Rich was sixteen when he testified in 1692 meaning that he was born about 1676.   John died in 1711.

On 23 May 1692 the conspirators filed a complaint against John’s mother, Mary De Rich, Benjamin Proctor, and Sarah Pease. They accused them of ‘sundry acts of witchcraft by them committed on the bodies of Mary Warren, Abigail Williams, Elizabeth Hubbard, whereby great hurt is done them, therefore craves justice.’”.

That summer with his mother in jail and his father dead, John  accused his aunt  Elizabeth Proctor (Our ancestor John PROCTER’s daughter-in-law) and many other victims of the Salem Witch Trials including George Jacobs.    John at that time was apparently only about 16 years of age and intimidated, but never a member of the original conspirators. In fact, he may well have been imprisoned himself after his mother, Mary.

“Trial of George Jacobs August 5, 1692” – By Tompkins Matteson 1855.

The painting above was created by Thompkins H. Matteson in 1855, and is based on the accounts of George Jacobs’ granddaughter.  The boy is John DeRich and the girl may be Jacobs’ servant Sarah Churchill or a principal accuser Ann Putnam, Jr.   On the left of the painting is William Stoughton, who was the chief magistrate and went on to be a Governor thrice in Massachusetts. George’s principal accuser was his own granddaughter, who was accusing George in order to save her own life. Jacobs’ daughter-in-law is the woman standing who is being held back. She was thought to be mentally ill. The judge who is leading the accusation is thought to be an ancestor of Nathaniel HawthorneJohn Hathorne, who holds a book and points at George’s granddaughter as if challenging her to substantiate her earlier written statements. George is in the front left with his arms outstretched.  In the foreground are a girl and boy who are having fits allegedly caused by Jacobs’ wizardry.

Edward WANTON’s grandson Joseph Wanton (1705-1780) was a merchant from Newport, Rhode Island, privateer, and Governor of Rhode Island from 1769 to 1775 and a Loyalist. .

Edward’s son Gov. Joseph Wanton.

Joseph graduated from Harvard in 1751 and then, following his family interests, he also became a successful merchant of the area.  Joseph Wanton was the master aboardthe King of Prussia, a privateer during the French and Indian War, that was captured by the French in 1758 with a cargo gold dust, rum, and 54 slaves, Many such privateers out of Newport were actually running in the slave trade.  Wanton served as Governor of Rhode Island from 1769 to 1775 when he was removed for his failure to swear a loyalty oath to the patriot cause. .

Joseph Wanton is the one at the table who has gone to sleep from liquor being doused with punch and vomit  in the satirical painting Sea Captains Carousing in Surinam 1775 by John Greenwood.

Joseph Wanton is pictured in the 1755 painting by John Greenwood, “Sea Captains Carousing in Surinam” along with Stephen Hopkins. Joseph Wanton (being doused with  punch and vomit) and other Rhode Island merchants  The artist included various notable Rhode Islanders, including Nicholas CookeEsek HopkinsStephen Hopkins, (all seated at the table): in “Sea Captains Carousing in Surinam,” a 1755 painting, the oringinal of “Dogs Playing Poker” genre. Surinam (Suriname) was a Dutch colony on the North coast of South America known for its slave plantations. It was a predominant trading destination for Rhode Island merchants during the 18th century who exchanged lumber, horses, rum, and African slaves for sugar, coffee, and cocoa in what is known as the Triangular Trade.

Wikipedia says In the mid 1750s, the Boston portraitist, John Greenwood, followed a group of sea captains and merchants to Surinam on the northeast coast of South America. The trading usually took time, so the men often waited in pubs.   Being commissioned by the merchants to create a satirical painting, Greenwood concocted a 22-figure tavern scene, showing himself among the affluent traders, all subject to the “intoxicating effects of alcohol and economic ambition.”  Most accounts agree that Wanton is the bald man slumped in a chair by the table, being doused with a pitcher of rum, by one account,  or of punch and vomit, by other accounts.


Continue to Part 2

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Northern Slave Owners

Comparatively little is written about the 200-year history of Northern slavery.  While we have about 700 families in our tree,  I found 25 ancestors or their children who were slave owners.

This isn’t a pleasant listing, but I didn’t know about it and history needs to be remembered.  Here are the slave owners from our family tree ordered chronologically by birth.

Almost all our ancestors are from the North, but we do have one group of Northern Irish Presbyterian Seceder ancestors who immigrated to Abbeville and Ninety-six South Carolina in the late 1700’s.  Our branch followed their minister Alex. Porter to Preble County, Ohio in the early 1800’s. He led a congregation north to Ohio to avoid contact with the institution of slavery and formed a congregation in Israel township in Preble Co., Ohio.    However some who stayed and maybe even one who moved did own slaves.

William McCAW Sr.’s son John McCaw (1758 County Antrim, Northern Ireland – 1825 Virginia)

“Will of John McCaw, of [Yorkville], York District, South Carolina

I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Mary McCaw if she should survive me, the use, during her life of the property of which I may died possessed.

To my three sons Robert, William and John I give and bequeath one Dollar to each.

I give and bequeath to Mary Byers wife of David Byers a negro woman Rose and her increase, to her and her heirs ans assigns forever-

I give and bequeath to An Smith wife of Robert Smith my Negroes Peggy, Will and Melitia with her increase to her and her heirs ans assignes forever-

I give and bequeath to Robert McCaw and John McCaw Jr., for the use of Elizabeth Meek, Pamela Gunning and Sarah Sims all the money which shall remain at my death, or the death of Mary McCaw aforesaid, to be equally divided between them.

I hereby nominate and appoint Robert McCaw and Robt Smith John McCaw Jr my Executors.

In testimony whereof I have hereto set my hand and seal this 10th day of March 1821

John McCaw Sr. (LS)
Alemeth Byers
Samuel McCullough
James Smith Jr.

Probated November 17, 1825

John’s son William Henry McCaw (1785-1832) The Abbeville County census of 1830 records three free and 49 slave members of his household.

John’s grandson Robert Gadsden McCaw (b. 1821) was the only planter in the 1860 census in York County who had more than 100 slaves. He was  the last Confederate era Lt. Governor of South Carolina (Dec 18, 1864 to May 25, 1865).

Samuel PATTERSON Sr’s son Josiah Patterson (1774
Abbeville, SC – 1846 in Abbeville District, SC) In the Census of 1790 for Abbeville, SC Josiah Patterson is listed as owning 2 slaves. In the 1820 Census there is a Josiah Patterson Sr. listed as owning 21 slaves.

Samuel PATTERSON Jr. (1765 in NewryCounty Down, Northern Ireland – 1833 in Preble Co, OH)   In the 1800 SC Heads of Families census listed in Abbeville Dist.: (Column Headings: Males <10, 10-16, 16-26, 26-45, >45, Females <10, 10-16, 16-26, 26-45, >45 , free persons, slaves) Paterson, Samuel _ p. 32 _ 31010-10010-01 This matches Samuels family exactly; William age 8, Samuel age 7, John < age 1, Samuel Jr age 35, Mary age 5, and Agnes age unknown.  It is interesting to see that Samuel had one slave in his household.  It’s not proven that this was our Samuel Patterson, but it somewhat dispels the theory that the Pattersons and other families who moved from South Carolina to Ohio did so over slavery

Slaves were more common among the New York Dutch than their English New England neighbors, though it’s ironic that several Rhode Island Quaker ancestors were also slave owners.

Table Credit

State Mass. NH NY CT RI Pa. N.J. Vt.
European settlement 1620 1623 1624 1633 1636 1638 1620 1666
First record of slavery 1629? 1645 1626 1639 1652 1639 1626? c.1760?
Official end of slavery 1783 1783 1799 1784 1784 1780 1804 1777
Actual end of slavery 1783 c.1845? 1827 1848 1842 c.1845? 1865 1777?
Percent black 1790 1.4% 0.6% 7.6% 2.3% 6.3% 2.4% 7.7% 0.3%
Percent black 1860 0.78% 0.15% 1.26% 1.87% 2.26% 1.95% 3.76% 0.22%


Lt. William CLARKE (1610 – 1690)  William’s Northampton homestead is now the Northern half of Smith College.  His dwelling house was burned in 1681, having been set on fire by a Negro, as he averred in search of food.

Genealogical and Family History of State of CT-Vol II,  1911 pg  652

He was granted 12 acres on the West side of what is now Elm Street, bordering on Mill river, and comprising today the North half of the campus of Smith College. He built a log house where he lived until 1681, when it was burned, being set on fire by a negro, Jack, a servant of Samuel Wolcott, who took a brand of fire from the hearth and swung it up and down to “find victuals”. The new house built in its place remained standing until 1826.

History of Northampton Massachusetts From Its Settlement in 1654 (James Russell Trumbull – Printed in Northampton in 1898),

“The house of Lieut. William Clarke, situated very nearly on the ground now occupied by the main Smith College building, was burned on the night of July 14, 1681. It was built of logs, and Clarke and his wife were living in it at the time. A Negro, named Jack, set the house on fire. He confessed the deed and pretended that it was done accidentally, while he was searching for food, swinging a burning brand to light his way. Jack did not belong in town; he was a servant to Samuel Wolcott of Wethersfield;  and had already been before the courts for other misdemeanors.  His object undoubtedly, was robbery, and it is not probable that he went about the house searching for food even, with a lighted pine torch in his hands. Very likely after stealing whatever he could lay his hands upon, he set the house on fire to conceal the robbery, or from spite against William Clarke, who was at this time 72 years of age.

Jack was arrested in Brookfield or Springfield, and was brought before the court in Boston, where he plead not guilty. When his confession was read to him, however, he acknowledged it, and the jury brought in a verdict of guilty. The court believed his confession as to setting the house on fire, but did not credit his statement that it was done carelessly. He was sentenced to be “hanged by the neck till he be dead and then taken down and burnt to ashes in the fire with Maria, the Negro”. Maria was under sentence of death for burning the houses of Thomas Swan, and of her master, Joshua Lamb, in Roxbury. She was burned alive. Both of these Negroes were slaves. Why the body of Jack was burned is not known.

note 1: Many slaves were burned alive in New York and New Jersey, and in the southern colonies, but few in Massachusetts.

note 2: Tradition has handed down the following items concerning the burning of Clarke’s house: The Negro fastened the door on the outside so that no one could escape, and set the fire on the outside. William Clarke injured his hands considerably (pounded them, it is said) in his endeavor to escape, and his wife was somewhat burned. John Clarke, grandson of William, a little more than a year old, was brought out of the house and laid beside the fence. There was powder in one of the chambers, and when it exploded the ridge pole was blown across the road, and one end forced into the ground. The Negro had taken offense at something William Clarke had done in his official capacity, and set the fire in a spirit of revenge. He was discovered either at Brookfield, Springfield, or near New Haven, and identified by means of a jack-knife in his possession that belonged to the Clarke’s.”

Francis WYMAN (1619 Westmill, Hertfordshire, England – 1699 Woburn, Mass. )

Francis Wyman’s name survives in a portion of Route 62 in Burlington west of Cambridge Street known as the Francis Wyman Road and Francis Wyman School , Burlington, MA. It also lives on in the ancient Francis Wyman House, a colonial landmark on Francis Wyman Road. Furthermore, it survives in the name of the Francis Wyman Association, created about 1900 to restore the house and preserve the early family history of all American Wymans.

1699 – Francis Wyman left “a Negro girl named Jebyna” to his wife in his will. Nearly a century later, four Wyman households in Woburn had one “servant for life” each. [Source: SLAVERY WAS PART OF WINCHESTER HISTORY By ELLEN KNIGHT © This article was first written for Black History Month, 2000, and published in the Daily Times Chronicle, Winchester Edition, on Feb. 24, 2000.]


Peter TALLMAN (1623 Hamburg, Germany – 1708 Portsmouth, Rhode Island).

Peter was Solicitor General of Rhode Island in 1662 and records indicate he was volatile, stubborn, prone to dispute and lawsuits and had the first divorce in family history.

He emigrated to Barbados in 1647 where he soon married Anne HILL on 2 Jan 1649 in Church Christ, Barbados.

Barbados Map

Peter signed a contract 2 Jun 1648 with Nathaniel Maverick who was Captain of the Golden Dolphin to ship cargo and carry passengers. Peter agree to ship at least 10 tons of cargo and to pay £3/ton for rum, 5 fatherings/pound for cotton, and 1 penny/pound for tobacco. Peter Tallman agree further to provide the necessary provisions for the voyage, to have and English bondsman and 3 slaves aboard, and to travel himself and his wife and his mother-in-law widow Ann Hill and his brother-in-law Robert Hill. They sailed in September 1649 and settled in Newport, Rhode Island.

On 18 Nov 1650 Peter is described as an apothecary (practiced the art of healing, “no cure, no pay”). He was also a merchant trader and he sold Barbadian imports such as rum and tobacco and cotton in Newport for grain and livestock that he could sell in Barbados and he also made sales trips to New Netherlands to sell these wares and wine and brandy and clothing. He also often acted as an interpreter between the English and the Dutch.

Peter divorced Anne in May 1665 in Portsmouth, RI. because her most recent “child was none of his begetting, and that it was begotten by another man”. All evidence all points to it being Tom Durfee’s eldest son Robert, whose birth date is given as 10 Mar 1665. Peter married Joan Briggs in 1665 in Taunton, RI. He married a third time to Esther [__?__] in 1686 in Rhode Island.


Rev. John  LATHROP’s son Capt. Joseph Lathrop (1624 in Eastwell, Kent, England – 1702 Barnstable, Mass)

Joseph settled and lived in Barnstable.  He was a deputy for the town in the general court of the State for fifteen years, and for twenty-one years served as one of the selectmen of the town. On the organization of the county he was appointed the register of the probate court, and recorded in 1666 the first deed put on record in the county. The court had appointed him in 1653 to keep the ordinary of the town. He was admitted freeman, June 8, 1655. In 1664 we find him an acting constable, and in 1667 a receiver of excise.

That he was also in the military line is shown in the titles of lieutenant and captain which successively mark his name. Mr. Freeman, in his history of Cape Cod County, speaks of him, as a “conspicuous member of the Council of War in 1676.” He also reports Lieut. Joseph Laythorpe and his brother Barnabas Laythorpe as commissioned to hold select courts in Barnstable in 1679: and names both of these brothers among the agents for the settlement of Sippecan.

Mr. Lothrop probably had no collegiate education, yet he must have been a well educated man-probably with a legal education. In the inventory of his estate are reported 27 volumes of law books, and 43 volumes of classics and sermon books, the inventory amounting to £8,216. One other item of the inventory-” three negroes, “-shows that it belonged to an age past now beyond recall.


Robert WILLIAMS’ wife Sarah WASHBORNE (1626 in Bengeworth, Worcestershire, England – 1693 in Hempstead, Long Island, New York)

Sarah Washborne outlived her husband and, as the “widdow Williams” did a great deal of real estate business. Robert Williams’ land is so loosely described that the later generations require a great deal of arbitration to settle their boundaries. The most capable and prominent citizens from as far as Flushing and Huntington were called on to ride the bounds and settle the differences. It was one of their outstanding qualities that they chose this method instead of law suits, and there were many such “arbitrations” in a little haircloth trunk in the garret of the Ketcham house at Jericho where some trusted “squire” must have lived in each generation and had the neighborhood papers for safekeeping.

Sarah Washborn Williams Will

1692 The Wills of the Washborne sisters and inventories are of interest, showing in the case of Sarah Williams the very primitive household furnishings “my great brass kettle” is of first importance. There is much pewter, flagons, and basins, brass ladles and bell-metal skellet, all precious because irreplaceable in the wilderness.

It is interesting to note her treatment of her slave. She leaves to a daughter “my Neger man for the term of six years.” Then “sd Neger man shall have free liberty to choose his Master with whom it shall please him best for to Live with.” To a son Hope (Hope WILLEMZE) “all my horses wherever he can find them.”


John BURBEEN (1628 Saint Thomas, Scotland – 1714 Woburn, Mass.)

John was a proprietor of the township, possessed some property, was a tailor by occupation, and seems to have been a devout man. He owned three slaves.

John Burbeen Home


Edward WANTON (1632 England – 1716 Scituate, Mass) .

Edward  was a prominent Boston shipbuilder who converted to Quakerism and moved to Scituate in 1661. The Wanton family, known as the Fighting Quakers was among the most prominent and public minded of colonial families, and includes numerous governors and public officials.

Edward Wanton like many well-to-do citizens of his day kept slaves and in following the history of Wanton, them is found one slave that gave him much trouble, by continually running away. First, in an old paper there appears the following: “ Ran away from his master Edward Wanton of Scituate ship carpenter the 2nd of this inst. September. A mulatto man Servant named Daniel Servant 19 years of age pretty tall, speaks good English, thick curled Hair, with bush behind, if not. lately cut off’, Black hat, cotton and linen shirt.  He had with him two coals onu a homespun dyed coat, thu other a great, coat dy’d and muddy color, striped homespun jacket Kersey Breeches, gray stockings, French fall shoes. Who so ever shall take up said Runaway servant and him safely convey to his above said Master at Scituate or give any true intelligence of him so as his Master shall have him again, shall have satisfaction to Content beside all necessary charges paid.”—Boston News Letter, Sept. 22. 1712.

From the following, it appears that he ran away two years later from Edward Wanton’s son-in-law, John SCOTT Jr. Ran away from his Master, John Scott, the 17th of this instant August. A mulatto man named Daniel formerly belonging to Edward Wanton of Scituate ; he is indifferent, tall and slender, by trade a shipwright but ’tis thought designs for Sea. Who so over shall stop, take etc., and bring him or give notice of him to his master at Newport, R. I. shall bo well rewarded and reasonable charges paid.”— Boston News Letter, August 23rd, 1714.


Capt. John HAWES (c. 1635 Duxbury, Mass. – 1701 Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA, on 11 Nov 1701 after having his leg amputated or cut off.  The reason for the amputation is not known.)

John performed many of the civic duties that his father had done: juryman, constable, receiver of excise, surveyor of highways, and so on. “In 1680 he was one of four men who for four or five pounds a whale (according to circumstances), to be paid in blubber or oil, were ‘to look out for and secure the town all such whales as by God’s providence shall be cast up in their several bounds,’ his territory being the western part of the town.”

He was appointed ensign of Yarmouth’s military Company and by 1700 was Captain. John was the Barnstable town treasurer from 1695 to 1698. After the merger of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies, he was chosen a representative in the Legislature at Boston in 1697 and 1698.

The will of John Hawes dated 15 Oct and proved 19 Nov 1701 reflected his large family. He mentions his sons John, Joseph, Ebenezer, Isaac and Benjamin and his daughters Elizabeth Dogget, Mary Bacon, Desire and Experience Hawes. His sons Joseph and Issaac were executors. His ‘brothers” Major John Goreham and John Thacher Esqr. were overseers. The inventory of his estate, after deducting debts, was 574 pounds and 11 pence, including 300 pounds for real estate, 41 pounds for “2 negro girls,” and 5 pounds for an “Indian boy.” Sons Joseph and Isaac were appointed executors. Witnesses were John, Peter and Josiah Thacher. The inventory, taken Nov 25, 1701 amounted to £629-8-4. A typical estate of the time of an independent farmer was about 150 pounds, so John was a comparatively rich man.  Major John GORHAM and John Thacher, Esq., were named overseers of the will.


Robert TITUS ‘s  son Content Titus (1643 Weymouth, Norfolk, MA – 1730 Huntington, Suffolk, New York Colony)

It is interesting to note that Content’s brother Edmond was a Quaker who moved to Huntington first. Edmund was living in Hempstead as early as 1658 and took up a 200 acre tract of land on the north of Hempstead Plains where he lived until his death. He is said to have suffered from being a Quaker   His last words, “I have put away all my filthyness and superfluity of Haughtness. I have received the meekness ye engrafted word that is able to save the Soul.”

Content’s estate was probated on 31 Jan 1730

In the name of God, Amen. This 24th day of February, 1727/8. I Content Titus, of Newtown, in Queens County, on Nassau Island, being old and crazy, but of sound mind. I leave to my son Robert, all my real estate in Newtown, he paying out the legacies, and allowing grass and hay for 2 cows for Hannah. And all my wearing apparel, and all my tools for building, turning, and husbandry. Also 3 horses, 4 cows, and a Negro man Jack. I leave to my sons, Silas, John, and Timothy, 5 shillings each.

I leave to my daughter Hannah, the use and whole command of my newest house, during her single state, and then to my son Robert. Also 2 Negro girls, and all household furniture, belonging to the Great room, in the new house, and the rest of the movable estate. And she is to have 1/3 of the crop of every sort, and grass and hay for her cows, and if she dies unmarried, then to my daughters, Phebe and Abigail.

I leave my daughters Phebe and Abigail, each a Negro girl and boy and 20 pounds, having heretofore dealt out household goods to them. I make my son Robert, and my daughter Hannah, executors. Witness, Moore Woodard, Charles Wright, Samuel Pumroy. Proved Jan 31, 1729/30.


Capt. Stephen CROSS (1646 Newbury,  Mass. – 1704)  was a mariner, owned and lived on Cross Island (an island, just off the Massachusetts coast from Ipswich).

Stephen purchased the twenty ton sloop Adventure in 1672

1672 – Stephen purchased the sloop Adventure.  Samuel Cogswell of Ipswich owning a share, and was supposedly made fit to go to sea by Moses Chadwell of Lynn, who did a slow and poor job and lost in the resulting suit in 1676. His business as the captain of a coasting vessel, the sloop Adventure of twenty tons, took him as far afield as Wethersfield in Connecticut and the towns on the Exeter and Piscataqua rivers, the voyages frequently resulting in lawsuits for payment of freight which Cross usually won.
Later John Lee owned a share in the sloop. The business was apparently prosperous and Capt. Cross became a personage entitled to the title “Mr.” in the records.

1682 – Stephen had a negro slave in his crew who was “very well known a wicked person.”


Jonathan HALLETT  (1647 Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony – 1717 Yarmouth, Barnstable, Mass.)

5 Mar 1686/87 – Jonathan, Hallett, for £20 in current money, bought of his brother-in-law, John Dexter, of Sandwich, a negro slave called Harry, aged 29 years. The bill of sale, yet preserved [1888], is drawn up with much formality — signed, sealed and witnessed.

Genealogical notes of Barnstable families  Being a reprint of the Amos Otis Papers originally published in the Barnstable Patriot in 1861; Revised by Charles  F. Swift Largely made from notes made by the author (1888)   The biographical sketches of Jonathan Hallet and his family are the least flattering of any genealogical reports I have seen. I wonder if there was some personal grudge.

“The men of the third generation had very slender means of acquiring an education, generally their piety had degenerated into lifeless, unmeaning formalities ; they were church members ; but not of the noble, self-sacrificing race by whom the country was settled. Jonathan Hallett loved money better than he loved the church ; he was industrious, and gathered up riches which his children put to a better use than he did.”


Aert JACOBSEN (Van Wagenen)’s  son Gerrit Aertsen (1648 Albany, NY – 1723 Ulster Co., NY) Gerrit’s wife Clara Pels (sister of Sara Pels) was baptized 10 Sep 1651 New Amsterdam.  Her parents were Evart PELS  and Jannetje SYMONDS .

Gerrit owned a slave named “Jack”

On 8 Jun 1686 Gerrit purchased about 1600 acres of land from the Indians in Dutchess County at what is now Rhinebeck. On 20 Feb 1688, the trustees of Kingston conveyed “to Gerrit Aertse, a tract South of the Esopus Kill, to the west and North of Tjerck Claes Dewitt, and East of Grietje Elmendorf, containing about 26 acres.”


John DAVIS’s son Moses Davis (1657 Dover, NH – Killed by Indians 1724, Dover, NH)

Like his brothers, Moses was another Indian attack victim. He escaped the massacre of 1694 and accompanied his brother James in some of the expeditions to Maine and Port Royal. He lived in a clearing of the forest about a mile from Oyster river falls, where, 10 Jun 1724, he and his son Moses Jr. were killed by a party of Indians, who lay in ambush to attack the settlement. He was then sixty-seven years of age. A negro slave of his avenged their murder by pursuing the Indians and shooting one of the leaders.

Love Davis, daughter of Moses, in view of the fidelity of this slave, gave orders that at his death he should be buried at her feet. This was done, and their graves are still pointed out at a short distance from Durham village.

The Indian thus slain by the servant of Moses Davis is now generally supposed to have been a son of the Baron de St. Castin, who had married the daughter of an Indian sagamore of Maine. Dr. Belknap, whose account of the affair was derived from the Rev. Hugh Adams  —a man of extreme malevolence— His equipment, moreover, proves that he held the rank of a chief. Dr. Belknap thus describes him :

” The slain Indian was a person of distinction, and wore a kind of coronet of scarlet-dyed fur, with an appendage of four small bells, by the sound of which the others might follow him through the thickets. His hair was remarkably soft and fine, and he had about him a devotional book and a muster-roll of one hundred and eighty Indians.”

The scalp of this young chief was presented to the New Hampshire General Assembly at Portsmouth June 12, 1724, by Robert Burnham, son of Jeremiah before-mentioned, and a bounty of one hundred pounds was ordered to be paid to the slayer.

A few weeks later Father Rale himself, the deliverer of Moses’ niece Mary Anne Davis from the Indians, was slain at the foot of his mission-cross in the attack on Norridgewock by the Massachusetts forces, August 12, 1724, and his chapel pillaged and burnt to the ground.

Mary Anne,  became a nun at the Hotel Dieu, Quebec, in 1710, under the name of Sister St. Cecilia. She was taken to Canada by the Rev. Father Vincent Bigot, S.J., who had ransomed her from the Indians at St. Francis. She is mentioned as leading ” a holy life ” for more than fifty years in the religious state. She died in 1761, at the age of seventy-three.

Love Davis may be considered an important link in the chain of  Davis  traditions, for she did not die till 1805, when she was about one hundred years of age.


John SCOTT Jr. (1664 Providence, Rhode Island. – 1725 Newport, Rhode Island)

See slave escape story above under John’s father-in-law Edward WANTON.  Ironic give that both John and Edward were early Quakers.


Jan Juriaensen BECKER’s daughter Martina Becker Hogan  (1670 Fort Orange (Albany, NY) – 1736 Albany, NY)

Martina’s husband William Hogan was born in  Birr, King County (now County Offaly) Ireland about 1670. He emigrated to America before 1700. He was the patriarch of the Hogan family of early Albany.

William Hogan probably came to Albany as a soldier and served in the garrison at the Albany fort. Following his marriage, he became an innkeeper – possibly in partnership with his father-in-law. He set down permanent roots in Albany. Over the next decades, he was a prominent Albany personage – serving as juror, firemaster, assessor, constable, and high constable. He also found work as a surveyor. Assessment rolls for the early 1700s show him to be a quite wealthy resident who owned additional buildings in the first ward. He belonged to the Albany militia and several times joined with his neighbors in pledging allegiance to the Protestant King of England.

However, in 1699 and again in 1701, he was identified as one of those cited trading without possessing the freedom of the city.

Hogan was an innkeeper and civil servant who utilized his wife’s property to become quite wealthy. The advantaged Martina appears to have been his active partner. Their first ward home was an early Albany landmark.

Albany, NY in 1686, Ink on mylar by L. F. Tantillo (1985).

In September 1732, she filed a joint will with her husband. It declared that they both were in good bodily health and that they both were godfearing people. The will provided for their surviving children and grandchildren. It named seven surviving children, six grandchildren, and a number of slaves who were bequeathed to their now adult children.   Martina Becker Hogan died in July 1736 and was buried in the Dutch church cemetery. He died sometime before April 4, 1739 when the will passed probate.

John CHIPMAN’s son-in-law Hon. Melatiah  Bourne (1673 – 1742), oldest son of Shearjashub Bourne, Esq., inherited his father’s lands in Falmouth, but he settled in Sandwich. He was a distinguished man, held many responsible offices, and during the last years of his life was Judge of Probate for the County of Barnstable. In his will he orders his negro man Nero to be manumitted.

Hendrick Gerritse Van WIE’s son Gerrit Hendricksz Van Wie (1676 Albany, NY – 1746 Albany)

Painting of Van Wie’s Point

Hendrick the immigrant built a house in 1679 on the Town Road at Van Wie’s Point. This area is now part of the town of Bethlehem, New York. This early house was replaced in 1732 with the “Van Wie House” which was built by Hendrick Van Wie, grandson of above mentioned Hendrick. His parents were Gerrit and Annatje (Conyn) Van Wie. The new house located on Town Road near William Gibson Road at Van Wie’s Point has housed six generations of the Van Wie family.

Van Wie Home- This view of the northeast corner shows a connection to a brick addition at right. Wall anchors indicating a timber frame in the bricks are visible here and in other locations.

The main portion of this house faces east and stands on ground that slopes from north to south. The slope of the ground occasioned a basement and also high steps up to the front door. Built of brick, the main structure has portholes and a granary door in the north gable. In both gables are iron beam-anchors in the shape of a fleur-de-lis. A wing of the stone house at the rear may have been the original dwelling, antedating the house of 1732. Neighborhood tradition tells of a stone building for slaves’ quarters, which formerly stood near by.


Alexander BALCOM Sr.’s  son John Balcom (1678 Providence, Rhode Island – 1739 Smithfield, RI)

John kept a public house (tavern) in Smithfield, on the road from Providence to Woonsocket. It was licensed August 25, 1735. The business was discontinued after his death. The tavern stood on the estate owned in 1901 by Dwight Hammond.  John and his wife Sarah Bartlett did not have any children.

Will of John Balcom, interesting for giving his negro servant £100, more than three times as much as his wife received  and setting him free.

Item — To wife Sarah 30 pounds in money, to be paid to her out of my moveable estate, and the one half part of all the rest of my personal estate, together with one-fourth part of my lands, and the westerly end of the house.

Item–To negro servant man, Toney, 100 pounds and sets him free.

Item–To Brother Joseph Balckom’s three sons, viz. Joseph, Samuel and Elijah, 5 shillings money apiece.

Item–To my cousin (Nephew) Alexander Balkcom one-fifth part of all the rest of my moveable estate.

Item–To my four cousins,viz. Aaron, Noah, Daniel & David Arnold, the other one-fifth part of my personal estate.

Item–To my five cousins, viz. Deborah Corray, Martha and Phebe Comstock, Sarah and Mary Balkcom, the other one-fifth part of my personal estate.

Item–To my four cousins, viz. Sarah, John, Deborah and Daniel Hayward, the other one-fifth part of my personal estate.

Item–To my five cousins, viz. Elihu, Tabitha, Esebell, Mary and Levi Hix, the other one-fifth part of my personal estate.

Item–I order my executor to lease out the other one-half part of my land, with the other end of my house which I have not given to my said wife for and during the term of her natural life, and the rest given in the following manner, viz. one-fifth part to my cousin, Alexander Balkcom, one-fifth to my 4 cousins, Aaron, Noah, Daniel and David Arnold, and the other one-fifth to be divided among my aforesaid cousins, in a manner as aforesaid, viz. To my said brother Joseph Balkcom’s daughters (not his sons), and the before-mentioned children of my two sisters, Hannah and Lydia. And after my wife’s death, my executor shall sell all my lands and buildings, and shall bestow the money unto my before-mentioned cousins, (excepting my said brother Joseph Balkcom’s sons) to be divided as follows, one-fifth part to cousin Alexander, and the other four-fifths to be equally divided between my before-mentioned cousins, except my second brother Joseph’s sons.)



Jabez SNOW’s son-in-law  Edward Kendrick was born about 1680 in Yorkshire, England.   For reasons now unknown, he became very close to the local Cape Cod Indians.  At his death he owned 3 men and 3 women, valued at £98 in the inventory of his personal property.

By 1704 he was in Harwich, and early in 1705 he was prospecting for land suitable for a farm in the part now South Orleans, between the head of Arey’s Pond (then Potonumocot Saltwater Pond) and the fresh Baker’s Pond (then Poponessett).

He chose 9 acres on the west side of the old line between Eastham and Harwich established in 1682. It adjoined the line and stretched up from John Yates’ land to Baker’s Pond. It was owned by the Indian landholder John Sipson, who lived at Potonumecot within the limits of the old town of Harwich. On 27 Jun it was conveyed to Mr. Kenwrick by Sipson “out of ye love” for “Mr Edward Kindwrick, weaver” and for “other valuable consierations”, with the “liberty” of grazing and cutting timber and firewood on the land “within ye township of Harwich”. It appears to have been his first land purchase.

He built his house on a small parcel of adjoinging land that he bought from John Paine. Edward seems to have been good friends with the Indians for reasons now unknown, and on many occasions purchased upland from them. Among the Indian grantors who sold to him were John Laurence, Jacob Jacob, Stephen Jacob, Amos Quason, Rebecca Quason, Lusty Tom, Amos Larrance, Samuel Quot, Joseph George, Thomas Boreman, and Matthia Quansit. Their deeds refer to Edward as a “dealer”, meaning shopkeeper, or trader.

From Peepen and Joshua Ralph, also Indians, he bought large tracts in Harwich between Muddy Cove River and Round Cove. He had meadow at the Great beach that he bought from Judah Hopkins, meadow in Gregory’s Neck at Matchapoxit, and meadow at Chequeset near Pleasant Bay. When he died he owned 20 acres in Truro that he had bought from Experience Turner.

After 1725  he built on a lot in  South Orleans that belonged to “Mr. Tom”, the “Indian minister”, who had died and left the land to sons Lusty Tom, Abel Tom and John Tom. The sons sold the land to Edward.

At the time the property was inside the old town of Harwich. It was a large house, 2 stories in front and 1 in back, and he continued in business there as a “dealer”. He had slaves, to help in and out of his house. At his death he owned 3 men and 3 women, valued at £98 in the inventory of his personal property. Some of them lived in cabins on his land. On the east side of the main road northeasterly, about 200 rods from Edward’s new house, on the westerly slope of a triangular piece of land that Eastham had set apart for an Indian meeting house, and north of the way leading to the Saltwater Pond, was the Indian burial place which until about 1830 had grave mounds made invisible by the plow. Edward may occasionally have attended worship services at the Indian meeting house, and may have given them financial aid.

Will: 30 Nov 1742
Proved 18 Feb 1742/43; names wife Deborah, children Solomon, Thomas, Susanah Wing, and Jonathan; executor son Jonathan; Jonathan inherited the homestead at his mother’s death; 6 slaves went 1 (Phillip) to son Solomon, 1 (Zilpha) to daughter Susanah, and 4 (Cuffee, Barbara, Joseph, and “Luce”) to wife Deborah; grandson Edward Kenwrick, aged 7, son of Thomas, got 25 acres of land in Truro previously bought from Experience Turner.

John CORSER ‘s son John Corser (1681 Plymouth, Mass – 1756 Boston, Mass)

John was a ship-joiner in Boston.

John died intestate about 1756. His estate, consisting of house and land  on Bennett  and Love Streets, appraised £240, and negro Peter, appraised £6 i3s 4d., was divided between his three surviving daughters and Timothy Cutler, sole heir of Anna, deceased. Date of warrant for division of property, Aug. 12, 1757 ; Nathaniel Breed  administrator. Mr. Breed purchased the shares of Mary and Timothy Cutler.


Enoch HUTCHIN’s son Samuel Hutchins (1682 Kittery Mainbe, The Kittery Premium Outlets factory stores are  less than a mile away from the family homestead. – 1742 Arundel, Maine)

Samuel was captured by Indians on 9 May 1698 and taken to Canada. He was returned 24 Jan 1699. On 6 Feb 1703 Samuel received 29 pairs of snowshoes, 20 of which were to go to the soldiers at Piscataqua.    In 1720 he was a field officer in Kittery, Maine his house being made into a garrison.    He was from Salisbury in 1724 when he sold his house in Kittery. He had moved to Arundel before 30 June 1729.  Samuel was made a proprietor of Arundel in 1731.  Samuel was also a slave owner.

Capt William CLARKE’s son Thomas Clarke (1690 – 1764 ) was  one of the first slave owners in Waterbury, Connecticut.

According to The History of Waterbury, Connecticut, published in 1858, The Congregational Church’s Deacon Thomas Clark  was adopted as a young child by his uncle, Timothy Stanley, one of Waterbury’s first settlers, who had no children of his own.  The timing seems off as Thomas’ father Capt. William Clark lived until 1725 when Thomas was 35 years old.  On the other hand, William remarried when Thomas was five, married Mary Smith on 31 Jan 1694/95.

Clark learned his uncle’s trade as a cloth weaver and managed the family farm. He was also a storekeeper and served as Town Clerk and Treasurer. He inherited his uncle’s home on the south side of the Green, and occasionally took in boarders and fed soldiers passing through town. Clark’s store sold items such as pepper, salt, wine, almanacs, cloth, rum and tobacco. He bought supplies for his store from Derby and New Haven.

 Clark may have been Waterbury’s first slave owner. He brought a boy named Mingo to Waterbury sometime around 1730. Mingo helped work Clark’s farm and was at times hired out to other Waterbury residents. Clark’s three sons and four daughters were also hired out to work in other households.

Following Deacon Clark’s death in 1767, Mingo had chosen to remain in the family home, but when it became a tavern, he moved to the Town Plot section of Waterbury, to live with the Deacon’s other son, Timothy. By the time the 1790 census was taken, Mingo was a free man living in the Clark household. He may have been given his freedom after Deacon Clark died. Mingo was a member of the First Congregational church in 1795 and died in 1800.

John SCOTT Jr. ‘s son-in-law Col. Godfrey Malbone (1694 in Newport, Newport, Rhode Island – 1768 in Newport)

Malbone Castle and Estate Malbone, a Gothic-style castle and National Historic Place originally built in 1741 (although the current house dates largely from 1848). The estate is one of the oldest privately owned estates in Newport, Rhode Island. The estate once served as the country residence of Colonel Godfrey Malbone (1695–1768) of Virginia and Connecticut. Colonel Malbone made his fortune as a shipping merchant and became one of the wealthiest men in Newport during the 1740s through privateering and the triangle trade.

Malbone Estate

Colonel Malbone was a man of varied experience and accomplishments. He was educated at King’s College, Oxford, had traveled much and moved in the first circles of Europe and America. Inheriting a large estate from his father, he had lived in a style of princely luxury and magnificence. His country-house, a mile from Newport state-house, was called “the most splendid edifice in all the Colonies.” Completed at great cost after long delay, it was destroyed by fire in the midst of housewarming festivities. Colonel Malbone’s financial affairs had become seriously embarrassed. His commercial enterprises had been thwarted by the insubordination of the Colonies. His ships had been taken by privateers, and his property destroyed by Newport mobs, and now that his elegant edifice was consumed, he refused to battle longer with fate and opposing elements, and, early in 1766, buried himself in the wilds of Pomfret. Some three thousand acres of land, bought from Belcher, Williams and others, had been made over to him at the decease of his father, well stocked with cows, horses, sheep, swine, goats and negroes. These slaves according to common report were a part of a cargo brought from Holland who helped repel a piratical assault, and were retained for life and comfortably supported. Amid such rude, uncongenial surroundings, Malbone made his home, exchanging his palatial residence for a common tenant-house, and renouncing all business interests but the cultivation of his land and the utilization of his negro forces.


Jacob Cornelisse BRINK (1696 Saugerties, Ulster, NY – 1757 Kingston, NY)

Jacob [was listed as a soldier in the foot company of the Militia of the Corporation of Kingston in 1738. He is listed in 1755 as owning three slaves: Dick, Charles, and Peg.


Isaac ESTEY II’s son Aaron Estey (1698 Topsfield – 1783 Topsfield, Mass.)

Topsfield town records show that on December 6, 1749, Ceesar, a Negro servant who belonged to Aaron Estey died.


Jacob AERTSEN (Van Wagenen)’s son Abraham Van Wagenen (1699 Kingston, NY – 1787 New York)

Abraham’s stone house in Wagendal (Rosendale) still stands and is designated a NY State Historical Landmark (Ulster County #55). He signed the Articles of Association from the Town of Hurley. He was the master of two slaves named “Mingo” and “Nane” in 1755.


Thomas COLEMAN’s grandson Lt. Dudley Tyler (1700 Rowley, Mass – 1790  Rowley) kept the Tyler Tavern in Georgetown, Mass., and moved to Haverhill in 1769, where he was a slave-owner as late as 1776, which is the last date in which negroes are entered in the town valuation lists.  His widowMary’s will was probated April 7, 1794, , her stepson, Joseph Tyler being residuary legatee.   Her will provided : ” In case Caesar, the negro man who lives with me, should live to be past his labour, then if what my former husband left for him is not enough to support him, that he have his support out of what I give to the said Joseph Tyler.”


Jonas DeLANGE’s son Arie DeLong (1719 Kingston, NY – 1798 Beekman, Dutchess, NY)

Arie was listed in Beekman in the 1790 census at 4-2-6 and 5 slaves and was between Herman Rozelle and Peter Sickler Sr.

Arie was very active in the local Beekman givernment and the town meetings were held at his house almost every other year until the mid 1780s. He was a constable and security for the collector in 1750 and in 1752 he was a constable and a collector. He was also appointed to attend May court that year to represent the precinct. The Colonial Legislature passed an act 7 December 1754 requiring that all elections for overseers of the poor in Beekman Precinct were to be held at the house of Arie Jonas DeLong.

His mark was recorded 1751 as a hollow crop on the right ear and his brand was AL. An action was filed against him in the May court 1756 by Lewis Hunt. DeLong was accused of taking a ‘brown cow, one red cow and one red eyed bull.’ Hunt was suing for damages of 20 pounds. … He was one of the men involved in collecting fines from the Quakers for refusal to bear arms ca. 1757. … Arie DeLong kept an active account at the Sleight store in Beekman and his unnamed son and his Negro were on the account from 1767-1771.


Deacon Benjamin COLEMAN (1720 – 1797) Newbury, Mass.

Benjamin Coleman – Portrait

Deacon Benjamin Coleman, of Newbury, Massachusetts, fought against his slave-owning minister on the slavery issue. “Deacon Benjamin Colman” under Rev. Moses Parsons, was suspended from his church in 1780 over slavery. He was re-instated 26 Oct 1785 after the death of Rev. Parsons. “A thorough-going abolitionist in advance of his time, brought serious charges against (Rev. Parsons) for violating the divine law and holding men and women in bondage of slavery.”

From Reminiscenses of a Nonagenarian  by Benjamin’s great-daughter-in-law Sarah Ann Smith (b. 1787 – d. 1879)

In 1702 the parish, afterwards called Byfield, was incorporated. This was taken from the towns of Rowley and Newbury, and at first was designated Rowlbury. Two years later it was named Byfield in honor of Judge Nathaniel Byfield. The first pastor of the new parish was the Rev. Moses Hale ; he was succeeded by the Rev. Moses Parsons, who died in 1783. The Rev. Elijah Parish was ordained in 1787.

The pastorate of the Rev. Mr. Parsons was memorable for a contest between the clergyman and one of the church officers, Deacon Benjamin Colman, on the subject of slavery. At that time nearly every family owned one or more negro slaves. My great-grandfather Noyes had a man named Primus, of whom the grandchildren were especially fond. He was a church member and very much respected. As Deacon Noyes’ favorite servant, Primus considered himself somewhat of an important personage, and always comported himself with suitable dignity.

My great-grandfather Smith owned a black maid ; great-grand sir Little a man ; this couple were married. The husband usually came to great-grandfather Smith’s to sleep, but on very pleasant evenings the wife would go over to great-grand- sir Little’s to visit her husband. The agreement at their marriage, between their owners, had been, if there were children to divide them. Two or three were born, but they were swept away with those of their masters, by the throat distemper, the year it made such ravage in New England.

As Violet, the Rev. Mr. Parsons’s woman, like most head servants in a large family, literally “ruled the roast,” being a perfect autocrat in the kitchen, and a presiding genius in every department of the household, holding an affectionate but unquestioned sway over the bevy of bright, roguish boys that were reared in the parsonage, the zealous deacon could not have founded his complaint upon any but conscientious scruples. The principle of slavery was the sin against which he contended, thus unwittingly becoming pioneer in a cause which has produced such momentous results. Church meeting after church meeting was held.

The deacon was suspended for indecorous language respecting his pastor, and the discussion continued until after the clergyman’s decease, when at a church meeting on the 26th of October, 1785, Deacon Colman, after having acknowldged, “that in his treatment of the Rev. Moses Parsons, the late worthy pastor of the church, he urged his arguments against the slavery of the Africans with vehemence and asperity, without showing a due concern for his character and usefulness as an elder, or the peace and edicfiation of the church,” he was restored to the church and the deaconship.

April 27, 1778, the inhabitants of Byfield were startled by a phenomenon usually termed the ” Flying Giant.”

The following description is from the diary of Deacon Daniel Chute :

“Yesterday, being the Lord’s day, the first Sunday after Easter, about five of the clock in the p. m., a most terrible, and as most men do conceive supernatural thing took place. A form as of a giant, I suppose rather under than over twenty feet high, walked through the air from somewhere nigh the Governor’s school, where it was first spied by some boys, till it past the meeting-house, where Mr. Whittain, who was driving home his cows, saw it, as well as the cows also, which ran violently bellowing. Sundry on the whole road from the meeting-house to Deacon Scarles’ house, saw and heard it, till it vanished from sight nigh Hunslow’s hill, as Deacon Searles saw. It strode so fast as a good horse might gallop, and two or three feet above the ground, and what more than all we admired, it went through walls and fences as one goes through water, yet were they not broken or overthrown. It was black, as it might be dressed in cloth indeed, yet were we so terrified that none observed what manner if at all it was habited. It made continually a tending scream, ‘ hoo, hoo,’ so that some women fainted.”

The majority of the people, the Rev. Moses Parsons included, believed this spectre to be the devil taking a walk to oversee his mundane affairs.

Deacon Benjamin Colman published an account of this occurrence in the Essex Journal and New Hampshire Packet. This was in the midst of his controversy with Mr. Parsons on the slavery question, and he attributed the diabolical visitation to the heinous sin of slave-holding by the pastor of the parish, followed by quaint theological speculations, in the deacon’s strong and fearless style.


Francis BROWN II’s son Capt. Thomas Brown (1745  Newbury, Mass – 1803, Essex, Mass.)

Thomas was first a private in Capt. Moses Little’s company of minute-men who marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775 to Cambridge – Service 5 days.

Next he was an ensign in Capt. Jacob Gerrish’s Company, Col. Moses Little’s Essex County Regiment. This regiment reach Cambridge the morning of battle of Bunker Hill 17 Jun 1775 and although not yet mustered into service, it volunteered to go into action. Most of the Regiment including Gerrish’s Company crossed the Charlestown Neck under the fire of British ships on marched into the entrenchments on Bunker Hill. Gerrish’s Company was with their townsman Little in the redoubt.

Thomas was an ensign (today’s 2nd Lt) when his company crossed the Charlestown Neck under the fire of British ships and marched into the entrenchments on Bunker Hill.   His wife Hannah with her slave Titus followed the regiment to Cambridge.

Thomas’ great grandson Frederick William Todd (b. 1842 ) wrote the following in his American Revolution Membership Application

Mrs. Brown (Hannah Merrill) with her slave Titus followed the regiment to Cambridge. The night after the battle, she filled a pillow case with provisions (mostly doughnuts made by herself) and placed it on Titus’ back and went with him to Winter Hill to which point most of the continental troops had retreated. After his freedom had been given him, Titus remained a faithful servant of the family until his death.  His grave is suitably marked in the cemetery (near Fry Pond) in Newburyport.

Item 1738: Ezekiel Chase sells and delivers to John Merrill [Hannah’s father] for forty pounds “my negro boy named Titus about one and a half years old, during his natural life.”

Thomas later became First Lieutenant under Capt. Barnard of the same regiment and then Captain of the Newbury Company under Col Aaron Willard’s Regimennt. As Captain, he marched to Fort Ticonderoga and thence to Fort Edwards to join forces against Burgoyne

Deacon Benjamin COLMAN’s son Moses Colman (1755 – 1837)

Moses Colman (1755 – 1837) was a butcher in Newbury, Mass.

From Reminiscenses of a Nonagenarian 1879 by Moses’ daughter-in-law Sarah Ann Smith (b. 1787 – d. 1879)

In the autumn of 1810 Mrs. Moses Colman was taken ill of a slow fever. As she would have no one but Sallie to nurse her, I remained in Byfield several weeks. During this time the household were troubled by a series of mysterious and untoward events. Mr. Colman missed a ten dollar bill from his desk drawer in a remarkable manner, the hens quitted laying, a cask of choice cider that had never been tapped was found empty, and Jerry’s fine parade horse which was at pasture on the farm, presented a low and jaded condition.

Jeremiah Colman and David Emery had been for some time officers in the troop. At that time Jerry was captain and David first lieutenant of one of the companies forming the regiment of cavalry. “What could have happened to Jerry’s horse !” His father said “he looked sorry” At this juncture, Charles Field, the colored boy brought up in the family, now a youth of twenty, evinced great religious concern. His state was such that Dr. Parish was requested to visit him.

The keen witted clergyman, after conversing with Charles, avowed lack of faith in his professions. “He had seen his mother in such states. It was his opinion that this show of piety was to cover some rascality. He had said as much to the fellow, and bade him ease his soul b}- confession, and b}’ making every restitution possible.” The next day to my surprise, I discovered the missing “bank note in Mrs. Column’s cap box.

It was immediately ascertained that Charles had for weeks been riding the parade horse to Newburyport, a series of dances having been held in Guinea which he had attended. Having hidden his Sunday suit in the hay mow, after the family had retired he stole out, dressing himself in the barn, saddled and bridled the horse, which had been stealthily brought up from pasture in the evening, using the military equipments, then dashed down to Guinea in grand style, exciting the envy of his brother beaux, and the great admiration of the sable belles.

The ten dollar bill was taken to exhibit his grandeur and that of the family. On moving the cider cask, preparatory to its being refilled the straws with which its contents had been sucked from the bung were found with a heap of egg shells, which explained the former scarcity of eggs. Charles was brought to confess his misdeeds, with many professions of sorrow and promises of amendment. Such was the affection felt for him reared in the family from infancy, that he found a ready forgiveness.


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