The Characters in the Novel,
My Brother Sam is Dead
in my brother Sam is dead
character that changes over the course of the novel
Sam Meeker- Static
character remains the same
Eliphalet (Life) Meeker- Static
Susannah Meeker - Dynamic
Betsy Read- Dynamic
character, by the end of the novel she's had it with the war
Col. Read- Static
Jerry Sanford- Static
Warrups - Static
Platt Family- Static
William Heron- Static
Lt. Stephen Betts- Static
General Putnam- Static
General Parsons- Static
General Wooster- Static
General Arnold- Static
General Silliman- Static
Life Characters Fictionalized in my brother Sam is dead
Meeker's of my brother Sam is dead were fictional, however,
there is a real-life similarity via John Meeker's son-in-law
Jacob Patchen. Jacob was only 13 years old when he was captured
by the British Army during their march to Danbury. He escaped
and joined the Continental Army in 1781, serving until the
end war. Jacob's family were Loyalists/Tories, his father
fled to Western New York and his uncle Andrew fled too. Jacob
Patchen married Abigail Meeker in 1787.
other real-life similarity to Sam Meeker in my brother Sam
is dead was, James Sanford, who enlisted with the teamsters
for General Enoch Poor's New Hampshire brigade while they
encamped at Redding. James' enlistment was contrary to the
political loyalties of his family. His younger brother John,
who is said to have visited him at camp everyday, is a good
candidate for the real life Tim Meeker.
are definitions and meanings of the character names in my
brother Sam is dead, that may explain why the name(s) were
selected by the Collier brothers. *Keep in mind this is my
own presumption, I do not know this to be factual.
meek (mek) adj., meek·er, meek·est [Middle English meke, of
Showing patience and humility; gentle.
Easily imposed on; submissive.
(Life): Hebrew. Meaning: God delivers me.
Hebrew. Meaning: Lily. In the apocryphal Book of Tobit
Susannah courageously defended herself against wrongful accusation.
White lilies grew in the Biblical city of Susa in Persia.
In the New Testament, Susannah was a woman who ministered
does defend herself for working on Sunday (a sin), after Eliphalet
disappeared in New York State: "God will forgive us, Tim,
Don't worry about it, I'm sure of that."
Hebrew. Meaning: The literal translation of Hebrew Samuel
(Shemu'el in Hebrew) is Name of God (from Shem, meaning name).
However, in some contexts Shem can also mean son, and hence
Samuel would mean son of El or son of God.
Sam, a personification of the United States government is
fitting as well.
Greek. Meaning: To fear or to honor God. Tim's fear of
God was noted in Chapter 2: "I knew that God could shoot bolts
of lightning if He wanted to, but I didn't believe that He
ever did. What worried me was that maybe God would punish
him (Sam) by getting him bayonetted by a Lobsterback. I knew
that God did things like that because I saw it happen once…"
for the real-life Meekers: Fittingly for the town of Redding
there were two sets of Meeker's: Anglican and Congregational.
on the Anglican Meeker's comes from gravestones in the Christ
- Abigail Meeker,
wife of Jonathan Meeker. Died in her 49th year on April
- Daniel Meeker,
died on July 19, 1760.
- John Meeker,
died on April 9, 1761.
Frank B. Rosenau's
Christ Church Parish: The first 250 years history booklet
notes that: "The early Meeker's were members of the Christ
Church on Redding Ridge." None of their first names are listed-
Frank B. Rosenau only refers to them as "the early Meeker's".
John Meeker is the first Meeker Rosenau names. In 1833 after
the fire at the church John Meeker and his family formally
withdrew from the Christ Church for reasons unknown. John
was the treasurer and clerk for the church and left on bad
terms- he didn't return the church money nor documents after
he withdrew. He's called a "villain" in the history booklet.
Church Meeker's were:
and wife Catherine Burr were admitted church-members June
4, 1747. Their children were: Witely, baptized June 7,
1747. Esther and Eunice, baptized August 13, 1755. Azariah,
baptized February 5, 1769.
was married by Rev. Nathanial Hunn on July 10, 1744 to
Sarah Johnson. Their children were: Elnathan baptized
July 26, 1747. Jared, baptized January 29, 1749. Rebecca,
baptized January 20, 1751. Lois, baptized March 28, 1753.
Josiah, baptized July 17, 1757. David Meeker was married
by Rev. Nathanial Hunn on October 31, 1744 to Hannah Hill.
appears as early as May 4, 1735, when his son Isaac was
baptized. A Gristmill on the Saugatuck River, off Diamond
Hill Rd. was willed to Joseph's wife in 1752, suggesting
he operated the mill at some point between 1735 and 1752.
- Robert Meeker
was married by Rev. Nathanial Hunn on September 19, 1746
to Rebecca Morehouse.
was a Private, in the 4th Connecticut Militia, Fishkill
- Stephen Meeker
was a member of the Continental Army and later joined French
commander Marquis de Lafayette's elite Light Infantry Battalion.
His service is as follows: 5th Regiment Connecticut Line,
Northern Campaign, 1775. Does not appear on the rolls of
May, 1778. Appears on a list of deserters previous to January,
1780. Appears on rolls of Captain Parsons' Company, 2nd
Regiment, Connecticut Continental Line, June 1780, as Sergeant.
His Regiment was consolidated with the 9th in 1781 as the
3rd Regiment, and Stephen Meeker was drafted from this Regiment
into the Light Infantry Battalion, commanded by Marquis
de Lafayette, when he was promoted to be Sergeant. His company
formed part of the column of Major Girnat which stormed
a redoubt at Yorktown, Virginia.
Timothy Platt was
admitted a Congregational church-member May 10, 1741, on recommendation
of Rev. Chapman. He was probably father of the Timothy Platt
who married the sister of John R. Hill, and settled in Lonetown.
Timothy Platt died December 5, 1769, aged sixty-two years.
But one child
is found for Timothy-Abigail, baptized April 8, 1736; Abigail
married Nathaniel Hull May 28, 1754 (Nathaniel and Abigail
Hull had moved to Ulster Co., NY by the time of the Revolutionary
War. Nathaniel was in the 3rd and 4th Regiments of the Ulster
Co. Militia in the war).
who appears in Redding as early as 1737. The children of Obadiah
Platt were: Mary, baptized February 20, 1737. Elizabeth, May
Jonas Platt - Made
prisoner in the Danbury Raid. Private, 4th Conn. Militia,
Fishkill Campaign, October 1777. Recruit for the Cont. Army,
1780, for 3 months and received a bounty. Jonas Platt married
Elizabeth Sanford, October 17, 1747. Their children were:
John, baptized February 5, 1752. Daniel, August 11, 1754.
Eunice, May 30, 1756. He removed to New York.
Obadiah and Jonas
were likely the brothers of Timothy Platt.
appears in Redding as early as April 4, 1762, when his son
Justus was baptized. His other children recorded were: Hezekiah,
January 16, 1764. William, May 18, 1766. Griswold, December
1, 1767. Robert, September 1, 1771.
Isaac Platt -
An artificer in Col. Baldwin's Regiment of the Massachusetts
Line. Was a pensioner. Died, October 19, 1824.
Samuel Platt -
Private in Col. Baldwin's Regiment of the Massachusetts Line,
for 3 years from December 24, 1777. Was a pensioner.
Zebulon Platt -
In 4th Conn. Militia. Was twice reported by Captain Gray for
failure to march with his company; first, June 3, 1779, to
the North River (Hudson) "to join troops there assembled and
Defend Against the enemies of the United States of America,"
and second, on July 7, 1779, "to march to Fairfield to join
the troops there collecting to oppose the enemy." On the first
count the court found him not guilty but levied the cost of
"30 pounds lawful money" on him. On the second he was found
not guilty and the case was dismissed without costs.
John Beach (1700-1782) of the Christ Church Episcopal (Anglican)
John Beach, missionary
of the Church of England (Christ Church Episcopal) in Redding,
was born in Stratford, Conn., October 6, 1700. His father
was Isaac Beach, son of John Beach who came from England in
1643. John Beach graduated from Yale College in 1721. He married,
first, Sarah (last name unknown), who died in 1756; and second,
Abigail Holbrook, who after his death in 1782 returned to
Though he is well
known for his "loyalty to the King of England and his church"
initially Mr. Beach was as he called them, an "independent".
He graduated from Yale at the age of twenty-one, and was licensed
to preach soon afterwards. He is said to have been selected
for the Presbyterian pastorate at Newtown as a "popular and
insinuating young man," well fitted to check the growth of
Episcopacy, which was thriving in Newtown under the ministry
of Henry Caner and Samuel Johnson. Before John Beach arrived
in 1722, Anglicans claimed to be a majority in that town,
yet, soon after Beach's arrival Mr. Johnson's following fell
to only about five families.
Despite his success
as an "independent" (Presbyterian or Congregational Minister)
John Beach appears to have become attracted to the Anglican
ideology promoted by his former teacher, Samuel Johnson. Frequent
and earnest discussions resulted between Johnson and Beach,
the influence of which soon became evident to Mr. Beach's
congregation. After two or three years of patient study and
meditation he alarmed his congregation with his frequent use
of the Lord's Prayer; in some cases reading whole chapters
from the Word of God. Next he ventured to condemn a common
custom in their meetings, of rising and bowing to the minister,
instead he came in among them, and begged them to kneel down
and worship, God.
At length [in January,
1731], " he told them from the pulpit that, 'From a serious
and prayerful examination of the Scriptures, and of the records
of the early ages of the Church, and from the universal acknowledgement
of Episcopal government for fifteen hundred years, compared
with the recent establishment of Presbyterian and Congregational
discipline,' he was fully persuaded of the invalidity of his
ordination, and of the unscriptural method of organizing and
governing congregations as by them practiced. He therefore,
'In the face of Almighty God,' had made up his mind to 'conform
to the Church of England, as being Apostolic in her ministry
and discipline, orthodox in her doctrine, and primitive in
her worship. He affectionately exhorted them to weigh the
subject well; engaged to provide for the due administration
of the sacraments while absent from them, and spoke of his
intended return from England in holy orders.
So greatly was
he beloved, that a large proportion of his people seemed ready
to acquiesce in his determination." But the others, in evident
alarm and consternation at this " threatened defection from
their ranks," held a town meeting " to consult" as to " what
was possible to be done with the Rev. Mr. John Beach, under
present difficulties;" it was "voted to have a [day of] solemn
fasting and prayer; …to call in the Ecclesiastical Council
of Fairfield to direct and do what they shall think proper,
under the…difficult circumstances respecting the Rev. Mr.
Beach, and the inhabitants of the town of Newtown- also that
the first Wednesday of February  be appointed for the
The council met,
and proceeded to depose him from the ministry. Rev. Beach
left for England soon after and returned from England with
his Anglican/Episcopal Holy Orders in the autumn of 1732,
and took charge of the Newtown and Redding Ridge mission.
From 1733 to approximately
1760, Mr. Beach lived in a house he had built just south of
the church on the west side of what is now Black Rock Turnpike.
Shortly after his first wife, Sarah died in 1756, Mr. Beach
moved to Newtown. From 1760 on, his letters to London are
dated from Newtown. In 1772, Mr. Beach sold the Redding house
to John Lyon who side openly with the British during the early
political tensions that led to the American Revolution. When
Lyon left Redding for Nova Scotia, the property was confiscated
by the state and acquired by Squire William Heron, the double-agent
who spied for both sides in the Revolution.
John Beach had
in all nine children, Lazarus, born 1736, is note worthy:
, Sr., was the leader of Redding's Loyalists during the Revolution.
He lived on what is known as Poverty Hollow Road in the present
day. He purchased the house and 247-acres from Abel Morehouse
in 1769. He also inherited his father's land in Newtown, at
Hopewell in 1782. After the Revolution, Lazarus, Sr. remained
in Redding and served as selectman from 1788-1789. In his
later years, he is said to have advocated public education.
Heron lived just south of the Anglican/Episcopal church on
Redding Ridge. He was a native of Cork, Ireland; a graduate
of Trinity College, Dublin. He has been described as: a man
of much ability and force of character. In appearance: short,
portly, and florid, with a deep bass voice and a countenance
well calculated to disguise the true sentiments of the owner.
days are a bit enigmatic. He never spoke of them except to
say that he was a native of Cork, Ireland, and had been educated
at Trinity College, Dublin. It is said that Squire Heron taught
at the Academy in Greenfield Hill before coming to Redding,
and had also surveyed the old stage route from New York to
The precise date
of his arrival in Redding is absent from record, but most
agree it was prior to the Revolution. A notation in Frank
B. Rosenau's Christ Church Parish: The first 250 years indicates
Heron acquired the property of John Lyon, when Lyon fled Redding
and joined British forces in Long Island, and the property
was confiscated by the state. Lyon had purchased the home
from Anglican Rev. John Beach in 1772.
Heron a spy?
unclear…these words come to mind often when sorting out Squire
William Heron's biography: He was an Anglican, but then again
he was Irish; He had chosen to live on Redding Ridge, which
was known for it's loyalty to England, yet, his name is absent
from the list of Redding's Loyalist Association; Some historians
state: "At the time of Tryon's invasion he openly gave aid
and comfort to the enemy." But, others have claimed he also
met with Wooster, Silliman and Arnold. Why would a Tory hold
council with American Generals as they pursued Tryon and his
troops?; He was an elected member of the Connecticut General
Assembly but traveled to "loyalist-friendly" New York often
A publication entitled
Sir Henry Clinton's Secret Service Record of Private Daily
Intelligence, which surfaced in 1882, revealed the truth about
William Heron's role in the Revolutionary War…he was a double-agent.
information to both American and British commanders during
the war. The British received information of little importance,
while the Americans received reports that were far more significant
He most certainly
fit the profile of a double-agent. He arrived in Redding just
before the Revolution, at a time most residents were more
concerned with the threat of war than who their new neighbors
were; it appears local residents barely noticed his existence
until the war was underway. Even to those who actually spoke
to him, his past remained unknown, as he wouldn't discuss
it. He was conveniently situated across the street from the
residence/tavern of Patriot Stephen Betts and right next to
the Anglican/Episcopal Church. From the comfort of his very
own home, he was capable of monitoring the movements of either
clearly viewed Heron as a patriot, throughout the war they
honored him with office, and placed him on committees to advance
the patriot cause. For instance, April 2, 1777, he was placed
on a committee to hire recruits for the Continental army.
June 2, 1779, he was appointed delegate to a county convention
on monetary affairs; Dec. 27, 1780, on a committee to ascertain
the length of time certain citizens of the town had served
in the army; April 16, 1781, on Committee of Correspondence;
Feb. 28, 1782, on a committee to form citizens into classes
for recruiting purposes. For four sessions during the war
he served in the Connecticut General Assembly by vote of his
townsmen, viz.: May, 1778; October, 1779; January, 1780; May,
of Redding viewed him as a patriot too. Connecticut's Governor
Trumbull provided passes to Squire Heron that allowed him
to freely travel to and from New York for business. General
Samuel H. Parsons, in a letter to George Washington, dated
April 6, 1782, gave his approval of Heron:
"I forgot to mention
the name of Mr. William Heron of Redding, who has for several
years had opportunities of informing himself of the state
of the enemy, their designs and intentions, with more certainty
and precision than most men who have been employed. He is
a native of Ireland, a man of very large knowledge and a great
share of natural sagacity, united with a sound judgment, but
of as unmeaning a countenance as any person in my acquaintance.
With this appearance he is as little suspected as any man
can be. An officer in the department of the Adjutant General
is a countryman and a very intimate acquaintance of Mr. Heron,
through which channel he has been able frequently to obtain
important and very interesting intelligence. He has frequently
brought me the most accurate descriptions of the posts occupied
by the enemy, and more rational accounts of their numbers,
strength and design than I have been able to obtain in any
other way. As to his character, I know him to be a consistent
national Whig; he is always in the field in any alarm and
has in every trial proved himself a man of bravery. He has
a family and a considerable interest in the measures of the
country. In opposition to this his enemies suggest that he
carries on illicit trade with the enemy, but I have lived
two years next door to him and am fully convinced he has never
had a single article of any kind for sale during that time.
I know many persons of more exalted character are also accused;
none more than Governor Trumbull, nor with less reason. I
believe the Governor and Mr. Heron as clear of this business
as I am, and I know myself to be totally free from every thing
which has the least connection with that commerce."
From the winter
of 1778-9, when the American Troops encamped in Redding to
1781, Samuel H. Parsons' was headquartered at Esquire Stephen
Betts' on Redding Ridge. Heron's proximity to Parsons was
viewed a benefit on both sides of the war: for the Americans,
Heron and Parsons could secretly exchange information without
much difficulty; for the British, Heron was in perfect position
to monitor the American General's visitors and movements.
What the British
Commanders did not know was they were receiving dated Connecticut
General Assembly information and insubstantial troop position
reports from Heron. One of the ways Heron gained access to
the British lines was to ride to Fairfield, leave his horse
with a Tory there named "Bradley", cross the sound to Huntington
on Long Island, or an adjacent part, and thence make his way
into the enemy's lines at New York.
Some examples of
the letters Heron sent to British Commanders are as follows:
February 4th, 1781,
Heron wrote Sir Henry Clinton from Redding that he had hoped
to see General Oliver de Lancey, Clinton's Adjutant General
in New York, before that time, but had failed to obtain a
flag of truce. He added that he had been in Hartford and to
the camps in the Highlands; at the former to inform the British
of the Secret Convention (which had been held in Hartford
the November before) as to what had been done there; to the
latter to discover the feeling of the officers and soldiers
in the Continental camp, and had succeeded to his entire satisfaction,
and he proceeded to tell Clinton that the object of the Convention
was to form a closer union of the Eastern and Western colonies,
make Washington dictator, and raise money and supplies for
the army (all of which had, no doubt, been brought to Clinton
by his numerous spies months before). In the Highlands, he
added, he spent the night with Parsons and Stark, both of
whom were his friends, and gave a very gloomy picture of the
destitution and discontent of the soldiers (which was also
perfectly known to the British Commander).
In another letter
Heron cautioned his correspondent against paying any great
attention to the reports of those who only "take up on hearsay."
"Some of this class." he continues, "deceive persons in high
office with you. They have no access to those from whom perfect
knowledge can be obtained," "Believe me," he continues, "there
are but few who are let into secrets of the cabinet, nor could
I know them were it not for my intimacy with some of the principal
officers in the civil and military departments arising from
my having been a member of the Legislature and being still
continued one of a committee appointed by the Assembly to
examine into the staff department." While absent he would
"have made it a part of his business to acquire a perfect
knowledge of the state of the French at Rhode Island, but
finding a person charged with that duty, who he believed would
do it with tolerable accuracy, he had not done so." Again:
"Private dispatches are frequently sent from your city to
the chief here by some traitors. They come by way of Setauket
(Long Island) where a certain "Brewster" receives them at
or near a certain woman's house."
An admirable example
of the manner in which Heron informed the British Commander
of important events after they had occurred, was his account
of the attempt by Colonel Humphreys, Washington's aide-de-camp,
to seize the person of the British Commander-in-Chief by a
rush upon his headquarters at No. 1 Broadway. "A daring enterprise
was lately concerted at the quarters of the chief here," he
writes, and goes on to describe the attempt after it had failed.
So much was this the case that after a time Major Oliver de
Lancey began to grow suspicious and complained that Heron's
information was either stale or of no importance.
It is probable
that Heron quieted de Lancey's suspicions with promises of
winning over to the British cause his friend General Parsons.
Writing of Parsons' "Don't you judge him to be a gentleman
possessed of too much understanding and liberality of sentiment
to think that the welfare of his country consists in an unnatural
alliance with the enemies of the Protestant religion, a perfidious
nation with whom no faith can be kept, as all the nations
of Europe have experienced…"
Under date of July
8, 1781, he provided a deceptive report on the American and
French troops to Major de Lancey:
"The five regiments
of our states are more than 1,200 men deficient of their complement;
the other states (except Rhode Island and New York, who are
fuller) are nearly in the same condition. Our magazines are
few in number. Your fears for them are groundless. They are
principally at West Point, Fishkill, Wapping Creek, and Newburg,
which puts them out of the enemy's power, except they attempt
their destruction by a force sufficient to secure the Highlands,
which they cannot do, our guards being sufficient to secure
them from small parties. The French troops yesterday encamped
on our left, near the Tuckeyhoe Road. Their number I have
not had the opportunity to ascertain. Other matters of information
I shall be able to give you in a few days."
*When the allied
American and French armies marched to Virginia in the Fall
of 1781, they outnumbered the British 17,000 to 9,700.
Heron also wrote
that he had concerted measures with Parsons by which he would
receive every material article of intelligence from the American
camp. Heron's lure of winning over Parsons was an effective
means of retaining the confidence of the British and affording
him a pretext for visits to the British camp, where he used
his eyes and ears with the most excellent results for the
Proof of Heron's
loyalty to Parsons and the American cause was best exhibited
in 1780. In July of that year, Benedict Arnold was promoted
to Major General in command of West Point, New York. By August,
he had already initiated secret correspondence with British
General Sir Henry Clinton in New York City through British
Major John André. Arnold offered to hand the West Point Fort
and the Hudson River over to the British for £20,000 and a
brigadier's commission. On August 28, William Heron was called
on to deliver a letter from Arnold to André. Even though Arnold's
promotion placed Samuel H. Parsons under him in command, Heron
did not deliver the letter to its intended receiver, instead
he passed it to Parsons on September 10. Unfortunately, Parsons
was unable to comprehend the significance of the letter. Luckily
for the Americans, Major André was captured on September 23
with dispatches from Arnold, who promptly fled to the British
when he learned of André's capture (Arnold was scheduled to
meet with Washington that day). It wasn't until after Andre's
trial that Parsons realized the significance of the letter
Heron had delivered weeks earlier and immediately forwarded
the letter to Washington. André was denied his request of
a soldier's death by a firing squad and instead was convicted
of being a spy and hanged.
After the war William
Heron remained in Redding and represented the town in the
legislature through seventeen sessions, covering a period
of eighteen years. He is said to have exercised a great deal
of influence in public affairs, especially at town meetings.
"We must keep down
the underbrush" was a favorite remark of his in speaking of
the common people. The following story, illustrating in a
marked manner the customs of the day, is related of him:
At one of the annual
town meetings Mr. Hezekiah Morgan, a somewhat illiterate man,
was nominated for grand juror. Squire Heron, in laced waistcoat,
ruffles, and velvet breeches, and aiding himself with his
gold-headed cane, arose to oppose the motion.
said he, "who is this Hezekiah Morgan? Why, a man brought
up in Hopewell woods: he fears neither God, man, nor the devil.
If elected, who will be responsible for his acts? Will you,
Mr. Moderator? or I? Why, sir, he can arrest anybody: he can
arrest you, your Honor, or even myself;" and with like cogent
reasons succeeded in defeating the obnoxious candidate.
His children were:
William, Maurice, Elizabeth, Lucy, Elosia, Margaret, Mary
and Susan. William Heron Jr. never married. He lived on the
old homestead in Redding all his days, and was a man much
respected in the community. His brother, Maurice graduated
at Yale College, and shortly after was killed in a steamboat
explosion on the Connecticut River, near Essex. Mary Heron
wed Lemuel Sanford #3, a man of much ability, and quite prominent
in town affairs.
Heron died on Redding
Ridge, Jan. 8, 1819, at the ripe old age of 77 years, and
was buried in Christ Church graveyard. His tombstone bears
In Memory of William
Who was born in the City of Cork, Ireland, 1742, and died
Jan. 8, 1819.
I know that my Redeemer liveth and that He shall stand at
the latter day upon the earth.
Betts, a prominent character in the Revolution, lived on Redding
Ridge, in a house that stood on the corner, nearly opposite
the Anglican Church. He was an active patriot, and was taken
prisoner by the British on their march to Danbury in April,
1777. He was a Private in the 4th Regiment Connecticut Militia
during the Fishkill campaign; He is called Lieutenant in the
records; Was an intimate friend of General Parsons (who was
headquartered at his house from 1778 - 1781) and William Heron
(neighbor and double agent); A County Convention was held
at Betts' house/tavern on August 10, 1779.
Betts moved from
the Boston District of Redding (Southeast Corner) to Redding
Ridge (Northeast Corner) in 1766, buying land from his distant
relative William Hill. He operated a tavern and store on Redding
Ridge, and was prominent in town politics, serving as Town
Selectman during the Revolution, as well as several town committees
formed in support of the war. Betts represented the town in
the State Legislature: May, 1782; October, 1782; May, 1783;
October, 1783. Stephen Betts was a Congregational Church member
which shows that non-Anglicans also lived on Redding Ridge.
The children of
Stephen and Ruth (Brimsmade) Betts were Stephen Jr., Sarah,
Mary, Hannah, Dorothy, Hepzibeth. They also had a son Daniel,
who was a merchant for a while on Redding Ridge and then removed
to New Haven, Connecticut.
daughter, Hepzibeth, married John Lyon, a loyalist, on September
20, 1761, which shows us proof of split loyalties within families
at the start of the war; John Lyon fled Redding and joined
British troops, as a result his goods and property was confiscated.
Samuel Holden Parsons,
was born in Lyme, Connecticut, May 14, 1737; graduated at
Harvard in 1756, studied law under his uncle, Governor Matthew
Griswold, was admitted to the bar in 1759, and settled in
Lyme, Connecticut. He was in the state assembly for eighteen
consecutive sessions, and among other important services settled
the boundary of the Connecticut claims on the border of Pennsylvania.
He was one of the standing committee of inquiry with the sister
colonies in 1773, and originated the plan of forming the first
congress, which subsequently met in New York city, and was
the forerunner of the Continental congress. He was appointed
king's attorney the same year, removed to New London, Connecticut,
and was a member of the committee of correspondence. Since
1770 he had been major of the 14th militia regiment, and on
April 26, 1775, he was appointed colonel of the 6th regiment,
stationed at Roxbury, Massachusetts, until the British evacuated
Boston, and then ordered to New York. While on a journey to
Hartford he met Benedict Arnold, who was on his way to Massachusetts
and obtained from him an account of the condition of Ticonderoga
and the number of its cannon.
Taking as his
advisers Samuel Wyllys, Silas Deane, David Wooster and others,
on April 27, 1775, Parsons projected a plan to capture the
fort, and, without formally consulting the assembly, the governor,
or the council, obtained money from the public treasury with
his companions on their own receipt. An express messenger
was sent to General Ethan Allen disclosing the plan, and urging
him to raise a force in the New Hampshire grants. Allen met
the Connecticut party at Bennington, Vermont, and took command.
It had been re-enforced by volunteers from Berkshire, Massachusetts,
and subsequently captured the fortress on May 10th. The fifty
British soldiers that were taken prisoners were sent to Connecticut
in recognition of Parsons' services.
in the battle of Long Island in August, 1776, was commissioned
brigadier-general the same month, served at Harlem Heights
and White Plains, and subsequently was stationed at Peekskill,
New York, to protect the important posts on North river. He
planned the expedition to Sag Harbor, and re-enforced Washington
in New Jersey. Parsons' troops wintered with General Israel
Putnam's division of the Continental Army encamped in Redding
in 1778-9 and he remained headquartered on Redding Ridge until
1781. He was in command of the troops that were stationed
at the New York Highlands in 1778-'9, and in charge of the
construction of the fortifications at West Point. In July
of 1779 he attacked the British at Norwalk, Connecticut, and,
although his force was too weak to prevent the destruction
of the fort, he harassed the enemy until they retired for
re-enforcement's, and finally were compelled to abandon the
attempt to penetrate the state any farther.
was commissioned Major-General in 1780, and succeeded General
Israel Putnam in command of the Connecticut line, serving
until the close of the war; The Confederation Congress accepted
his resignation on July 22, 1782. He then resumed the practice
of law in Middletown, Connecticut, was elected to the General
Assembly, and was appointed by Congress in 1785 a commissioner
to treat with the Miami (Ohio) Indians. Parsons was an active
member of the State constitutional convention in 1787, and
the same year was appointed by Washington as one of the first
judges of the Northwest territory. He removed to the west,
settled near Marietta, Ohio, and in 1789 was appointed by
the State of Connecticut a commissioner to treat with the
Wyandottes and other Indian tribes on Lake Erie, for the purpose
of extinguishing the aboriginal title to the Connecticut western
reserve. On his return to his home from this service his canoe
overturned in descending the rapids of Big Beaver river, and
he was drowned in either Pennsylvania or Ohio, November 17,
was born in Salem Village (now Danvers), Massachusetts, to
Joseph and Elizabeth Putnam, a prosperous farming family of
Salem Witch Trials fame. His birthplace, Putnam House, still
exists. In 1740, at the age of 22, he moved to Mortlake (now
Pomfret) in northeastern Connecticut where land was cheaper
and easier to obtain.
Strong oral tradition
in northeastern Connecticut claims that, in his youth, Putnam--with
the help of a group of farmers from Mortlake--killed the last
wolf in Connecticut. The tradition describes Putnam crawling
into a tiny den with a torch, a musket, and his feet secured
with rope as to be quickly pulled out of the den. While in
the den, he allegedly killed the she-wolf, making sheep farming
in Mortlake safe. There is a section of the Mashamoquet Brook
State Park in modern day Putnam named "Wolf Den" (which includes
the 'den' itself), as well as a "Wolf Den Road" in Brooklyn,
By the eve of the
Revolution he had become a relatively prosperous farmer and
tavern keeper, with more than a local reputation for his previous
exploits. Between 1755 and 1765, Putnam participated in campaigns
against the French and Indians as a member of Rogers' Rangers,
as well as with regular British forces. He was promoted to
captain in 1756 and to major in 1758.
As the commander
of the Connecticut force in 1758, Putnam was sent to relieve
Pontiac's siege of Detroit. He was captured by the Caughnawaga
Indians during a New York State campaign, and was saved from
being roasted alive, after being bound to a tree, only by
the last-minute intervention of a French officer.
In 1759, Putnam
led a regiment in the attack on Fort Ticonderoga and later
at Montreal. In 1762, he survived a shipwreck during a campaign
against the Spanish that led to the capture of Havana, Cuba.
*It is believed that Major Putnam returned to New England
from Cuba with Cuban tobacco seeds that he planted in the
Hartford area resulting in the development of the renowned
Connecticut Wrapper agricultural product.
Putnam was outspoken
against British taxation policies and around the time of the
Stamp Act crisis in 1766, he was elected to the Connecticut
General Assembly and was one of the founders of the Connecticut
Sons of Liberty.
On April 20, 1775,
when Putnam received news of the Battle of Lexington that
started the day before, he left his plow in the field and
rode one hundred miles in eighteen hours, reaching Cambridge
the next day, to offer his services to the Patriot cause.
He was appointed colonel of the 3rd Connecticut Regiment and
subsequently, brigadier of the Connecticut militia.
Shortly after the
Battle of Lexington, Putnam led the Connecticut militia to
Boston and was named major general, making him one of four
generals appointed by General George Washington in Cambridge,
MA. He was one of the primary figures at the Battle of Bunker
Hill, both in its planning and on the battlefield. During
that battle Putnam ordered his troops, "Don't fire until you
see the whites of their eyes," which has since become one
of the American Revolution's more memorable quotes. This order
was important, because his troops were low on ammunition.
He progressed to overall command of the American forces in
New York until the arrival of the newly-named Commander-in-Chief,
General George Washington, on April 13, 1776.
The Battle of Bunker
Hill must count as the greatest achievement in Putnam's life,
for thereafter, his fortunes took a downturn at Long Island
(1776), where he was forced to effect a hasty retreat. Washington
did not blame Putnam for this failure as some in Congress
did. However, Washington reassessed the abilities of his general
and assigned him to recruiting activities.
In 1777 Putnam
received another, though lesser, military command in the Hudson
Highlands. He abandoned Fort Montgomery and Fort Clinton to
the British, and was brought before a court of inquiry for
those actions. However, he was exonerated of any wrongdoing.
General Israel Putnam's division of the Continental Army encamped
in Redding in the winter of 1778-9. In December 1779, Putnam
suffered a paralyzing stroke, which ended his military service.
Putnam died in
Brooklyn, Connecticut ten years later in 1790, and was buried
in an above-ground tomb there.
Putnam is credited with introducing cigar-smoking to the US.
After a 1762 British campaign against the Spanish in Cuba,
"Old Put" was said to have returned with three donkey-loads
of Havana cigars; introducing the customers of his Connecticut
brewery and tavern to cigar smoking.
David Wooster was
born at Stratford, on the second of March, 1710-11, the son
of Abraham and Mary Wooster, and the youngest of six children.
He graduated at Yale College, in 1738. March 6, 1745, he was
married to Mary, the daughter of the Rev. Thomas Clap, President
of Yale College.
had a natural military turn, and he soon had an opportunity
of following his inclination. He was first appointed a captain
of Colonel Andrew Burr's regiment, which formed part of the
troops sent by Connecticut in the celebrated First Siege of
Louisbourg, in 1745; He proved himself an active and spirited
officer, playing a distinguished part in the siege and capture.
In 1756, Wooster
was appointed colonel of a regiment raised in Connecticut,
and afterwards placed in command of a brigade, a position
he held until the peace of 1763. Soon after the close of the
French and Indian War, he engaged in a mercantile business
in New Haven, and held the office of his majesty's collector
of the customs for that port. Although an officer in the British
army, and entitled to half pay for life, he did not hesitate
to take part in his native country's affairs, and with his
pen and sword was actively employed in the defense of its
Following the battles
at Lexington and Concord, he, with a few others of a kindred
spirit, late in April, 1775, secretly planned an expedition
from Connecticut, to seize upon and retain that important
fortress at Ticonderoga; and to enable them to carry their
design into execution, they privately obtained a loan of eighteen
hundred dollars from the treasury of the state, for which
they became personally responsible. Such was the secrecy and
dispatch in executing this measure, that, on the 10th of May,
as is well known, this fort was surprised and delivered up
to Allen and Arnold, and their brave followers. This step,
one of the boldest taken at that period of the contest, was
at the sole risk and responsibility of General Wooster, Samuel
Parsons and other individuals.
The military experience
as well as the daring spirit of general Wooster recommended
him to congress, when raising an army of defense, and among
the eight brigadier-generals appointed by that body, on the
22nd of June, 1775, he was the third in rank. The operations
of that year were principally confined to the vicinity of
Boston, and to an expedition against Canada, under the command
of General Montgomery.
During the campaign
of 1776, General Wooster was employed principally in Canada,
and at one time had the command of the continental troops
in that quarter.
During the whole
winter of 1776-7, he was employed in protecting Connecticut
against the enemy, and particularly the neighborhood of Danbury,
where large magazines of provisions and other articles had
been collected by the Americans. He had just returned to New
Haven from one of his tours, when he heard on Friday, 25th
of April, 1777, that nearly two thousand British troops sent
from New York, had effected a landing between Norwalk and
Fairfield, for the purpose of destroying the magazines at
hearing this news, Generals Wooster and Arnold set off from
New Haven, to join the militia hastily collected by General
Silliman. In consequence of a heavy rain, the militia ordered
from New Haven, did not arrive in the vicinity of Danbury,
until the 26th, in the evening. The number of the militia
thus collected, and with this small force it was determined
to attack the enemy the following morning on their retreat,
and for this purpose a part of the men were put under the
command of General Wooster, and a part under General Arnold.
pursued and attacked the enemy, regardless of the inequality
of numbers. But being inexperienced militia, and the enemy
having several field pieces, his men, after doing considerable
execution, were broken and gave way. The general was rallying
them, when unfortunately for his family and his country, he
received a mortal wound.
A musket ball took
him obliquely, broke his back bone, lodged within him and
never could be found. He was removed from the field and had
his wound dressed by Dr. Turner, and was then conveyed to
Danbury, where all possible care was taken of him. The surgeons
were from the first aware of the danger of the case, and informed
the General of their apprehensions, which he heard with the
greatest composure. His wife and son had been sent for, and
arrived soon enough to receive his parting benediction. *He
told them that "he was dying, but with the strong hope and
persuasion that his country would gain its independence."
He expired on the
2d of May, 1777, at the age of sixty-seven. His remains were
deposited in the burying ground of the village, which he had
thus died defending.
*His hope was
strong enough and persuasive enough, as Independence was gained
and the battle that resulted in his death is now seen by many
as the turning point in the war.
Arnold was born in Norwich, Connecticut, Jan. 14, 1741,
the son of Benedict and Hannah Arnold. At the age of fifteen
he ran away from home and enlisted in the Connecticut army,
marching to Albany and Lake George to resist the French invasion;
but, getting weary of discipline, he deserted and made his
way home alone through the wilderness.
He was employed
in a drug shop at Norwich until 1762, when he removed to New
Haven and established himself in business as a druggist and
bookseller. He acquired a considerable property, and engaged
in the West India trade, sometimes commanding his own ships,
as his father had done. He also carried on trade with Canada,
and often visited Quebec. On Feb. 22, 1767, he married Margaret,
daughter of Samuel Mansfield.
April 20, 1775,
the news of the Battle of Lexington reached New Haven, and
Arnold, who was captain of the governor's guards, about 60
in number, assembled them on the college green and offered
to lead them to Boston. General David Wooster thought he had
better wait for regular orders, and the selectmen refused
to supply ammunition; but, upon Arnold's threats to break
into the magazine, the selectmen yielded and furnished the
ammunition, and the company marched to Cambridge.
Next, Arnold was
commissioned as colonel by the provincial congress of Massachusetts,
and directed to raise 400 men in the western counties and
surprise the forts at Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Along with
troops including the "Green Mountain Boys," under command
of Ethan Allen, the forts were captured on May 10th. Massachusetts
asked Connecticut to put Arnold in command of these posts,
but Connecticut preferred Allen.
to Cambridge early in July, and remained until September when
he was placed in command of 1,100 men for the expedition against
Quebec by way of the Kennebec and Chaudiere rivers. The enterprise,
which was difficult and dangerous to begin with, was nearly
ruined by the misconduct of Colonel Enos, who deserted with
200 men and returned to Massachusetts with the greater part
of the provisions. After frightful hardships, to which 200
more men succumbed, Arnold's force arrived in Quebec in November
but was insufficient to storm the city, and was obliged to
await the arrival of Montgomery. After Montgomery had captured
and occupied Montreal, he then joined Arnold, and together,
in driving snow, they flung themselves at the Heights of Abraham.
Montgomery was killed and Arnold's leg was shattered. For
his gallantry he was promoted to brigadier-general. He kept
up the siege of Quebec till the following April, when Wooster
arrived to take command; Arnold was placed in command of Montreal.
In summer of 1776,
having been pushed out of Canada by British re-enforcement's,
Arnold became occupied in building a fleet with which to oppose
and delay the advance of the British up Lake Champlain. On
Oct. 11, he fought a terrible naval battle near Valcour Island,
though he was defeated by the overwhelming superiority of
the enemy in number of ships and men; he brought away part
of his flotilla and all his surviving troops in safety to
Ticonderoga, and his resistance was so obstinate that it discouraged
Gen. Carleton, who retired to Montreal for the winter. This
relief of Ticonderoga made it possible to send 3,000 men from
the northern army to the aid of Washington, and thus enabled
that commander to strike his great blows at Trenton and Princeton.
On Feb. 19, 1777,
congress appointed five new major-generals--Stirling, Mifflin,
St. Clair, Stephen, and Lincoln-- Arnold, who was the senior
brigadier, was passed over. None of these officers had rendered
services at all comparable to his, and, coming as it did so
soon after his heroic conduct on Lake Champlain, this action
of congress naturally incensed him. He behaved very well,
however, and expressed his willingness to serve under the
men lately his juniors, while at the same time he requested
congress to restore him to his relative rank.
In April, British
troops under Gov. Tryon invaded Connecticut and destroyed
the military stores at Danbury. Arnold, who was at New Haven,
raced to join the militia hastily being collected by General
Silliman. Due to a heavy rainstorm, the militia from New Haven,
did not arrive in the vicinity of Danbury, until the evening
of the 26th. It was determined to attack the enemy the following
morning on their retreat, and for this purpose a part of the
men were put under the command of General Wooster, and a part
under General Arnold. With Wooster attacking from the rear
and Arnold positioned in town, there were at least three skirmishes
at Ridgefield on the 27th; Wooster was killed and Arnold had
two horses shot from under him. Both sides rested on Sunday
evening in preparation for a strategic battle on Monday. The
American troops had good position between the British and
their ships, but were mislead into believing the British would
cross the Saugatuck River at a bridge lower than they actually
did. Despite being outwitted by the British, Arnold was now
pro-rooted to the rank of major-general and presented by congress
with a fine horse, but his relative rank was not restored.
While he was at
Philadelphia inquiring into the reasons for the injustice
that had been done him, the country was thrown into consternation
by the news of Burgoyne's advance and the fall of Ticonderog'a.
At Washington's suggestion, Arnold again joined the northern
army, and by a brilliant scheme dispersed the army of St.
Leger, which, in cooperation with Burgoyne, was coming down
the Mohawk valley, and had laid siege to Fort Stanwix. After
Schuyler had been superseded by Gates, Arnold was placed in
command of the left wing of the army on Bemis heights. In
the battle of Sept. 19, at Freeman's farm, he frustrated Burgoyne's
attempt to turn the American left, and held the enemy at bay
till nightfall. If properly reinforced by Gates, he would
probably have inflicted a crushing defeat upon Burgoyne. But
Gates, who had already begun to dislike him as a friend of
Schuyler, was enraged by his criticisms on the battle of Freeman's
farm, and sought to wreak his spite by withdrawing from his
division some of its best troops. Arnold asked permission
to return to Philadelphia, and Gates granted it. But many
officers, knowing that a decisive battle was imminent, and
feeling no confidence in Gates, entreated Arnold to remain,
and he did so. Gates issued no order directly superseding
him, but took command of the left wing in person, giving the
right wing to Lincoln. At the critical moment of the decisive
battle of Oct. 7, Arnold rushed upon the field without orders,
and in a series of magnificent charges broke through the British
lines and put them to flight. The credit of this great victory,
which secured for us the alliance with France, is due chiefly
to Arnold, and in a less degree to Morgan. Gates was not on
the field, and deserves no credit whatever. Just at the close
of the battle Arnold was severely wounded in the leg that
had been hurt at Quebec. He was carried on a litter to Albany,
and remained there disabled until spring. On Jan. 20, 1778,
he received from congress an antedated commission restoring
him to his original seniority in the army.
On June 19, 1779,
Washington put him in command of Philadelphia, which the British
had just evacuated. The Tory sentiment in that city was strong,
and had been strengthened by disgust at the alliance with
France, a feeling which Arnold seems to have shared. He soon
became engaged to a Tory lady, Margaret, daughter of Edward
Shippen, afterward chief justice of Pennsylvania. She was
celebrated for her beauty, wit, and nobility of character.
During the next two years Arnold associated much with the
Tories, and his views of public affairs were no doubt influenced
by this association. He lived extravagantly, and became involved
was questioned and charges were brought upon him by Joseph
Reed. These charges were investigated by a committee of congress,
and on all those that affected his integrity he was acquitted.
Two charges -- first, of having once in a hurry granted a
pass in which some due forms were overlooked, and, secondly,
of having once used some public wagons, which were standing
idle, for saving private property in danger from the enemy--were
proved against him; but the committee thought these things
too trivial to notice, and recommended an unqualified verdict
of acquittal. Arnold then, considering himself vindicated,
resigned his command of Philadelphia. Washington, who considered
Arnold the victim of persecution, soon afterward offered Arnold
the highest command under himself in the northern army for
the next campaign.
In July, 1780,
he sought and obtained command of West Point with the intent
to surrender it to the enemy. When his scheme was detected,
he fled to the British at New York, a disgraced and hated
traitor. Receiving a brigadier-general's place in the British
army, in the spring of 1781 he conducted a plundering expedition
into Virginia. In September of the same year he was sent to
attack New London, in order to divert Washington from his
southward march against Cornwallis.
In the following
winter he went with his wife to London, where he was well
received by the king and the Tories, but frowned upon by the
Whigs. In 1787 he removed to St. John's, New Brunswick, and
entered into mercantile business with his sons Richard and
Henry. In 1791 he returned to London and settled there permanently.
His last years were said to have been embittered by remorse.
Benedict Arnold died in London, England, June, 14 1801.
Mr. John Read,
perhaps the earliest settler of Redding, was one of the most
eminent men of his day. He was born in Connecticut in 1680,
graduated from Harvard College in 1697, studied for the ministry,
and preached for some time at Waterbury, Hartford, and Stratford.
Read resigned as Congregational Minister of the Church on
Watchhouse Hill in Stratford on March 27, 1707 after he was
accused (in private) of being an Anglican by his congregation
and a council of ministers from other parishes in town were
gathered to examine his case. (It does not appear Read pursued
"Holy Orders" to become an Anglican minister.) He afterward
studied law, and was admitted an attorney at the bar in 1708,
and in 1712 was appointed Queen's attorney for the colony.
John Read purchased, surveyed and patented 3 grant parcels
totaling 500 acres from 1710 to 1712. Read, confirmed his
Colonial Grants on May 7, 1714 by obtaining an Indian Deed
for "3 pounds in money and the promise of a house next autumn"
from Chickens Warrups and Naseco, representatives of the Indian
tribe occupying the oblong at that time and settled in the
Lonetown section of Redding. He continued to reside in Redding
until 1722, when he removed to Boston, and soon became known
as the most eminent lawyer in the colonies. He was Attorney-General
of Massachusetts for several years, and also a member of the
Governor and Council.
He died in February,
1749, leaving a large estate. His wife was Ruth Talcott, daughter
of Lieutenant-Colonel John Talcott, of Hartford, and sister
of Governor Joseph Talcott.
John Read, #1 and
his wife Ruth #1, had six children, most notably Ruth #2 and
Ruth #2, born
(probably) in Hartford in 1700; died in Redding, August 8,
1766. She was the wife of Rev. Nathaniel Hunn, first pastor
of the church in Redding. They were married September 14,
John #2, born
in Hartford in 1701; lived in Redding at the "Lonetown Manor"
and was a leading man in his day in the colony; was much in
public life, both civil and military, and was noted for his
public spirit, patriotism, and piety.
John #2 married
twice. His first wife was Mary (last name unknown), of Milford.
His second wife was Sarah Bradley, of Greenfield Hill.
It should be noted
that Colonel John Read #2, son of the Mr. John Read #1 mentioned,
appears as one of the original members of the first society
in 1729, and was the Colonel John Read so often referred to
in the town records. His "manor" comprised nearly all of what
is now Lonetown, his manor-house stood on the corner of Lonetown
Rd. and Putnam Park Rd. (Rt. 107).
John Read #2 was
Captain of Redding's first militia organized in 1739, he was
Major of the 4th Connecticut Regiment in 1753, and appointed
Colonel of the 4th Connecticut Regiment of Horse in 1757.
Below is the General
Assembly letter commissioning, John Read #2, as Colonel of
the 4th Regiment:
Thomas Fitch Esq.,
Governor and Commander in chief of his Majesty's Colony of
Connecticut in New England.
To John Read Esq.,
you are appointed by the General Assembly of said Colony to
be Colonel of the fourth Regiment of Horse in said Colony.
Reposing special trust and confidence in your Loyalty, courage,
and good conduct, I do by these presents constitute and appoint
you to be Colonel of said Regiment. You are therefore to take
the said Regiment into your care and charge as their Colonel,
and carefully and diligently to discharge that care and trust
in ordering and exercising of them, both officers and soldiers
in arms according to the rules and discipline of war, keeping
them in good order and government, and commanding them to
obey you as their colonel for his Majesty's service, and they
are to conduct and lead forth the said Regiment, or such part
of them as you shall from time to time receive orders for
from me, or from the Governor of this Colony for the time
being, to encounter, repel, pursue, and destroy by force of
arms, and by all fitting ways and means, all his Majesty's
Enemies who shall at any time hereafter in a Hostile manner,
attempt or enterprise the invasion, detriment, or annoyance
of this Colony. And you are to observe and obey such Orders
and Instructions as from time to time you from me, or other
your Superior Officers, pursuant to the trust hereby reposed
in you and the laws of this Colony. Given under my hand and
the seal of this Colony, in New Haven, the 3rd Day of November,
in the 31st year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George
the Second, King of Great Britain and Annoque Doms. 1757.
By his Honour's
George Wyllys. Secty.
John Read #2's
- William, who
married Sarah Hawley, of Redding.
- Zalmon, who
married Hulda Bradley, of Greenfield. Zalmon Read was Captain
of the 10th Company, 5th Connecticut Regiment in 1757, which
marched to Canada and engaged in battles at St. Johns and
Montreal during the French and Indian War. Capt. Zalmon
also assembled and led Redding's militia to Weston to unsuccessfully
challenge Tryon's British troops as they marched toward
Danbury on April 26, 1777. Zalmon and his brother Hezekiah
later converted to the Anglican faith; Zalmon moved to Bedford,
New York after the Revolution, Hezekiah remained in Redding
and was a major landholder.
- Hezekiah, who
married Anna Gorham. v John #3, who married Zoa Hillard.
- John Read #3
was an Ensign for the Redding West Company which formed
during the French and Indian War (Seven Year War) in 1754.
Sadly, he died while on campaign in New York, September
- Mary, wife of
- Sarah, wife
of Jabez Hill, and afterward of Theodore Monson.
- Ruth #3, wife
of Jeremiah Mead.
- Deborah, wife
of Thomas Benedict, a lawyer.
- Mabel, wife
of Levi Starr;
- Esther, wife
of Daniel C. Bartlett, son of Rev. Nathaniel Bartlett.
Among the earliest
settlers of Redding were Jehu, Stephen, and Peter Burr, sons
of Daniel Burr, of Fairfield, and brothers of the Rev. Aaron
Burr, President of Princeton College. They all appear at about
the same time, viz. 1730.
In October of 1730,
Stephen Burr was elected a member of the first Society Committee
of the parish. Stephen was a Lieutenant in Redding's first
militia formed in 1739. He married Elizabeth Hull, June 8th,
1721. Children: Grace, born December 12th, 1724. Elizabeth,
born January 17th, 1728. Hezekiah, born September 1st, 1730.
Sarah, born November 9th, 1732. Martha, born March 24th, 1735.
Esther, born February 5th, 1743. Rebecca.
He married, second,
Abigail Hall, of New Jersey. His only son, Hezekiah, died
December, 1785, unmarried. Of the daughters, Grace married
Daniel Gold, Elizabeth married Reuben Squire, Sarah married
Joseph Jackson, Martha married Zacariah Summers. Esther married
Anthony Angevine, and Rebecca married Seth Sanford.
Burr died in 1779. Of him Colonel Aaron Burr wrote in his
journal in Paris: "My uncle Stephen lived on milk punch, and
at the age of eighty-six mounted by the stirrup a very gay
horse, and galloped off with me twelve miles without stopping,
and was I thought less fatigued than I."
Colonel Aaron Burr,
was one of General Putnam's aides and a frequent visitor to
Redding. He is credited with suggesting that Putnam consider
the area for a future winter encampment during a summer visit
to General Heath's Brigade in Danbury. Putnam found the topography
and location ideal.
Peter Burr first
appears in Redding as a clerk of a society meeting held October
11th, 1730. His children were: Ellen, baptized September 19,
1734. Sarah, baptized February 21st, 1736. Ezra, baptized
January 2d, 1737. Edmund, baptized September 28th, 1761. Peter
Burr died in August, 1779. His children shortly after removed
Jehu Burr and wife
were admitted to Congregational church membership in Redding,
December 24th, 1738. None of his children were recorded in
Redding, and none, so far as known, settled there. He owned
property in Fairfield, and probably spent the last years of
his life there.
Jabez Burr #1,
son of Joseph Burr, of Fairfield, and his wife Elizabeth,
appear in Redding as early as 1743. He is said to have settled
in the Saugatuck Valley, near the residence of Stephen Burr,
and to have built there the first grist mill in the town.
Their children were Elijah, baptized May 15th, 1743. Nathan,
born January 1st, 1745. Jabez #2, birth date unknown, Ezekiel,
born March 23rd, 1755. Stephen, born January 16th, 1757. Joel,
born September 9th, 1759. Eunice, Huldah, and Hannah. Jabez
Burr #1 died in 1770.
Of his children,
Elijah married Roda Sanford, April 2d, 1767, and had children-Lemuel
and Elizabeth; and by a second wife-Eunice Hawley, married
April 27th, 1773-Joseph, Roda, John(who died of yellow fever
in the West Indies), and Lucy, who married Jonathan Knapp,
Nathan, the second
son, removed to Pawling, N.Y., Duchess Co., in 1792, and there
founded a numerous and wealthy family. Enlisted in Colonel
Elmore's Regiment in 1776 and later with Captain Satterlee.
Discharged for inability.
Jabez, the third
son, married Mary, daughter of Paul Bartram, and removed to
Clarendon, VT., in 1786. He died in 1825 at Fairfield, VT
on June 28th. He had one son, Aaron. Jabez was a private in
the 5th Regiment of the Connecticut line in the northern campaign.
Was at the Battle of White Plains, Oct. 28, 1776 and at the
surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga in 1777. Discharged Oct.
Huldah Merchant, of Redding, who bore him three children:
Aaron, who lived and died in the house owned by Captain Davis;
William, who removed to Kentucky in 1816; and Huldah, who
married Daniel Mallory in 1806, and removed to the West. Ezekiel
was a corporal in the 4th Connecticut Militia, Fishkill Campaign,
Stephen was a
private in the 4th Connecticut Militia, Fishkill Campaign,
appears in Redding as early as 1739. His children recorded
were: Daniel, Baptized July 29th, 1739. Adea, baptized September
19th, 1742. Elijah, baptized July 26th, 1747. Thesde, January
Daniel was in
the 5th Regiment of the Connecticut line in the northern campaign.
Discharged, July 4, 1775.
Daniel, Jr. enlisted
in 4th Connecticut Continental line, Jan. 1, 1781, and received
a bounty of 30 pounds.
Elijah served in
New York in Major Skinner's Regiment of Light Horse, June
11 to Aug. 3, 1776. Private, 4th Connecticut Militia, Fishkill
of Fairfield, removed to Redding prior to the Revolution,
and settled on Umpawaug Hill. He married, April 2nd, 1772,
Sarah Nash, of Fairfield. Their children were: Sarah, born
August 9th, 1773; died young. Thomas, born September 23rd,
1774. Jonathan, born February 13th, 1777. Sarah, born September
18th, 1779. Nathan, born September 25th, 1781. Esther, born
December 14th, 1783. Moses, born October 2nd, 1786. Edward,
born March 7th, 1789. Hezekiah, born March 14th, 1791. Mary,
born April 21st, 1793. John, born July 28th, 1795.
At the outbreak
of the Revolution Thomas Couch enlisted in the patriot army,
and was one of the band of heroes who were present with Montgomery
at the siege of Quebec. He served with Benedict Arnold in
the Siege of Quebec, and had served as a clerk in the Battle
of Long Island, he also was one of those from Redding captured
and imprisoned during Tryon's Raid to burn Danbury in 1777.
He left his wife with their young children in Fairfield. When
Tryon moved on Fairfield, Mrs. Couch had what furniture and
grain she could gather put into an ox cart drawn by two yoke
of oxen, and started for Redding, where she owned land in
her own right. She followed on horseback, carrying her two
children in her arms. At the close of the war, Thomas joined
his wife in Redding, where they continued to reside until
death. Mr. Thomas Couch died in Redding in 1817. Thomas Couch,
received Western Reserve Lands in Ohio for his Revolutionary
War services. His son, Jonathan Couch, was an Uncle to Major
General Darius Nash Couch who was prominent in the Civil War.
Simon Couch, believed
to be a brother of Thomas Couch also received land in Ohio
for his Revolutionary War services.
There were multiple
Lyon (sometimes spelled Lion) Families in Redding. Some were
Congregationalist, others Anglican.
Among the original
members of the Congregational church at its organization appear
the names of Daniel Lyon and wife, of Benjamin Lyon and wife.
They were recommended by Rev. Mr. Gay and Richard Lyon and
wife. All settled in the south-eastern part of the town, near
what is now the Easton line (presently known as Lyon's Plain).
The first members
of the Congregational church itemized by Mr. Hunn were as
follows: Col. John Read, 2d and wife, Theophilus Hull and
wife, George Hull and wife, Peter Burr and wife, Daniel Lyon
and wife, Daniel Bradley and wife, Stephen Burr and his wife,
Ebenezer Hull and his wife, John Griffin, Nathaniel Sanford,
Thomas Fairchild, Lemuel Sanford, Benjamin Lyon and wife,
Mary wife of Richard Lyon, Isaac Hull, Ester wife of Thomas
Williams, Ester wife of Benjamin Hamilton.
The record of
their families is as follows: Children of Daniel were: Jonathan,
baptized April 12, 1741. Children of Benjamin were: Bethel,
baptized May 29, 1733. John, baptized August 22, 1736. Samuel,
baptized August 20, 1738. Phebe, baptized February 24, 1740.
The Rev. Dr. Burhams
[Churchman's Magazine, 1823] says: "'The first Churchman in
Reading was a Mr. Richard Lyon, from Ireland, who died as
early as 1735.'' He also says on the authority of " an aged
member of the Church in Reading," that "Messrs. Richard Lyon,
Stephen Morehouse, Moses Knapp, Joshua Hall, William Hill,
Daniel Crofoot, and Lieut. Samuel Fairchild, appear to have
composed the first Anglican (Episcopal) Church in Reading."
Charles Burr Todd, notes "Richard Lion (Lyon) died in January
1740, aged eighty-seven years."
The Anglican Lyon's.
First meeting of the Parish Society of Redding (1729), Anglicans
"Moses Knapp, Nathan Lion (Lyon), and Daniel Crofoot" objected
against the hiring of any other than a minister of the Church
of England. Their objection or "proposal to hire an Anglican
minister" was overruled by public vote.
Eli Lyon was a
descendent of Richard Lyon and lived on Redding Ridge. He
married Betty Hill, daughter of Abel Hill, Esq., a prominent
man of the town. Eli died in 1811, aged 78 years. They had
four children, most of which removed to Ypsilanti, Michigan.
John Lyon was born
on November 16, 1739 in Redding. He married Hepzibeth Betts,
the daughter of Stephen Betts, on September 20, 1761 in Wilton,
Connecticut. John Lyon was the son of Nathan Lyon and thus
the couple attended the Anglican Church at Redding Ridge.
Their six children were born in Redding prior to the outbreak
of the Revolution: John, Jr., Abigail, Reuben, Sabra, Ruth,
opinions were being debated in 1775, John was one of the signers
of the Redding Loyalist Association's position statement featured
in the New York Gazetteer. When the names of the signers were
made public he was "taken up and ill treated by a mob and
robbed." Next his property was seized and Lyon left Redding
for New York, joining British forces in Long Island. John
Lyon's property was quite expansive as he purchased adjoining
properties over the course of the 18 years he lived on Redding
Ridge: orchards, two barns, two houses (one of which he rented
out), a 20 acre farm a half mile from the homestead, 30 acres
of woodland a mile and half away. He held a yolk of oxen,
three milking cows, three heifers, two horses, and twenty-three
sheep at the time of his departure.
James Rogers was
a prominent man in his day, and filled many responsible offices
in town. He was a town selectman at the time of the Revolution.
He appears in Redding records as early as 1762. His children
were: Joseph, born October 31, 1762. Chloe, born October 24,
1766. James, born April 28, 1768. Haron, born August 22, 1770.
The surname, Sanford,
is one of the oldest and most numerous in the town, having
been founded by four persons of the same last name, who removed
here from Fairfield and Milford, Connecticut. The names of
these four settlers were: Nathaniel, Lemuel, Samuel, and Ephraim
(listed in the order they arrived in Redding).
Sanford #1, settled in Umpawaug. He was Captain of the Redding
West Company militia formed at the height of the French &
Indian War in 1754.
Sanford, settled in the Foundry district. He was a teamster
in the Revolutionary army, and was present at the execution
of Jones and Smith on Gallows Hill.
Sanford settled in Redding center. He was one of the first
committee men in the Congregational society, and prominent
in public affairs, serving as an officer in the first Redding
militia (trainband) formed in 1739.
Nathaniel Bartlett of the Congregational Church
The information below comes from Gary Bartlett of Toledo,
son of Daniel Jr. and Ann (Collins) Bartlett of North Guilford,
Connecticut. Attended Yale where he studied theology, graduating
with a M.A. Degree in 1749. He became a Congregational minister,
and soon after he was licensed to preach the Hartford South
Association recommended him to the Congregational Church of
Farmington, Connecticut as a pastoral candidate. This apparently
did not work out, however, and beginning in January 1753,
he was taken under consideration by the Congregational Church
of Redding, Connecticut for a position there. (What the Rev.
Nathaniel did during the period 1749- 1753 is unknown, but
most likely he was a circuit preacher for small congregations
without pastors, filled in temporarily for pastors who were
ill, or perhaps he taught school, a common practice for recent
college graduates). In April of 1753, the Redding church called
him to be their permanent pastor. He was subsequently ordained
on May 23, 1753.
The Rev. Nathaniel
Bartlett served at Redding for the next 57 years- i.e. until
his death in 1810- thought to be the longest continuous pastorate
in the history of the early New England churches up to that
time. (The record was eventually lost, however, to the Rev.
Samuel Nott, who served at Franklin, Connecticut 1782-1852,
an unbelievable 70 years).
married Eunice Russell soon after becoming pastor at Redding
in 1753. Eunice (Barker) Russell was the granddaughter of
Edward Barker Sr., one of the founders of Branford, Connecticut.
On her father's
side, Eunice (Russell) Bartlett's lineage was somewhat noteworthy.
Her grandfather was the Rev. Samuel Russell Sr. (Harvard 1681),
in whose house in Branford, according to tradition, a group
of ministers met in 1701 to donate books for the founding
of what was to become Yale University. His father, the Rev.
John Russell Jr. (Harvard 1645), was a well known Connecticut
Valley minister who founded Hadley, Massachusetts. His main
claim to fame, however, was that he hid Major Generals (under
Cromwell) William Goffe and Edward Whalley, fugitive members
of the English High Court of Justice which condemned and executed
England's King Charles I, giving them permanent, clandestine
asylum in his house in Hadley when they fled to North America
after the restoration of the monarchy. Tradition also has
it that these fugitive regicides were also hidden on the property
of Governor Leete in Guilford for a few days prior to their
arrival in Hadley, and regardless of the truth of this legend,
Governor Leete was less than cooperative with Crown authorities
sent to Connecticut to investigate the whereabouts of the
regicides. Another player in the regicide scenario was the
compiler's ancestor John Meigs, who rode his horse from Guilford
to New Haven to warn the regicides that the Royal Commissioners
were on their way to apprehend them, and that it was time
for them to escape. These actions constituted acts of treason
against the British Crown a century before our Revolution,
and this was the legacy passed down to the Rev. Nathaniel
Bartlett and his sons.
Getting back to
the busy year of 1753, the Rev. Nathaniel and Eunice began
construction on a New England salt-box style house in Redding,
on 20 acres of land donated by the church, being a common
practice of the era. Per the Redding Church Records, the property
was deeded over to the Rev. Nathaniel Bartlett on June 08,
1753, by Deacon Lemuel Sanford. The Bartlett / Sanford house
is still in use today, and is in good condition. In its external
appearance, it remains virtually unchanged from how it must
originally have looked, except for a wing added on to the
east in 1847, and a patio out back. It is located at #10 Cross
Highway, just off Route # 107 in Redding Center, directly
across from the "Heritage House" -former senior center- near
the site of the original Congregational Church, which burned
down on May 04, 1942.
the Revolutionary War period or just afterward (judging from
their age and style of apparel) the Rev. Nathaniel and Eunice
had their portraits painted. The portrait of the Rev. Nathaniel
Bartlett was reproduced in the work The Revolutionary Soldiers
of Redding, Connecticut, by William E. Grumman. In a letter
to Gary Bartlett (the compiler of this Bartlett history),
a Sanford descendant indicated that the portraits always hung
in the living room of the Bartlett / Sanford House until it
was sold out of the family.
After the deaths
of the Rev. Nathaniel and Eunice in 1810, the house was inherited
by their youngest son, the Rev. Jonathan Bartlett, the only
son who remained in Connecticut. He in turn passed the house
down to his nephew by marriage and second cousin on the maternal
side, Lemuel Sanford IV. (The Rev. Jonathan Bartlett's first
and third wives, Rhoda and Abigail Sanford respectively, were
also his first cousins, daughters of Mary (Russell) Sanford,
his mother's sister). The Bartlett / Sanford House remained
in the Sanford family until being sold on May 21, 1969.
Very little is
known about Daniel Starr. His headstone is all that remains,
"In Memory of
Maj. Daniel Starr who died April 26th, 1777, aged 33 years
and 6 months."
Tom Warrups, was
a Native American Indian, and is said to have been one of
General Israel Putnam's most valued scouts and messengers
in the Revolution. He was the grandson of chief Chickens Warrups,
whose tribe resided in Redding at the time of first settlement.
It was Chickens Warrups' name that appeared first on land
deeds to John Read in 1714, and Samuel Couch in 1724, indicating
he was a Chief or leader of the tribe at Redding.
a great deal of individuality, and impressed himself on succeeding
generations to the extent that numerous anecdotes are remembered
and told about him to this day.
Tom had a house on the high ridge in back of Colonial John
Read's Manor. It was built in primitive Indian style, of poles
set firmly in the ground, then bent and fastened together
at the top. This framework was covered with bark, and roofed
with reeds and rushes. Its furniture consisted of framework
bedsteads, with bedding of skins, wooden bowls fashioned from
pepperidge knots, huge wooden spoons, baskets made of rushes
or long grass, pails of birch bark, and an iron pot and skillet
begged or borrowed from the settlers. His sister Eunice was
Master of Revels:
Tom would often absent himself from his hut for weeks
at a time, sleeping in barns or in the forest, as hunting
and trapping were his recreations. A huge overhanging rock
about a mile north of Georgetown often sheltered him on these
occasions, and is still known as Warrups' Rock. Tom's neighbor
and landlord before the war was Colonel John Read #2, son
of the early settler of that name. On one occasion Colonel
Read had a company of gentlemen from Boston to visit him,
and planned a grand hunt in their honor. Tom was always master
of the revels at such times, and piloted the party on this
occasion. In their rambles through the forests they came to
a spring, and beings thirsty one of the party lamented that
they had left their hunting cups behind. Tom at once slipped
off his shoe, and filling it with water offered it to the
guest to drink; whereupon Colonel Read reproved him sharply
for his ill-breeding. Tom drank from the vessel while the
homily was being delivered and then replaced the shoe, observing
with the haughtiness of a king, " Good enough for Indian,
good enough for white man too."
Life with Zalmon:
After the war, Captain Zalmon Read and Tom were near neighbors,
and the former had a cornfield in dangerous proximity to Tom's
cabin; Zalmon was missing corn and suspected Tom, and watching,
not only discovered him to be the thief, but also his ingenious
plan of procedure. About midnight the Indian would come, basket
in hand, and seated on the top plank of the fence would thus
address the field:
"Lot, can Tom
have some corn?"
Tom," the lot would
reply, " take all you want ;"
whereupon Tom would
fill his basket with ears of corn and march off.
The next night,
as the story goes, the Captain armed himself with a grievous
hickory club, and lay in wait behind the fence. Presently
Tom came, repeated his formula, and proceeded to fill his
basket, but when he returned with it to the fence, it was
occupied by the captain, who proceeded to repeat Tom's formula
with a, variation.
"Lot, can I beat
"Yes," the lot
replied," beat him all he deserves;"
Whereupon the fun-loving
Captain fell upon the culprit and gave him the thorough beating
which his roguery deserved.
Family of Redding: There is much we do not know about
the Warrups' of Redding due to a lack of recorded history
on them…a common problem with Native American Indian history.
Charles Burr Todd
states in his History of Redding, that before settlers arrived
the unoccupied lands were: "claimed by a petty tribe of Indians,
whose fortified village was on the high ridge a short distance
southwest of the residence of Mr. John Read (where Lonetown
Rd. meets Putnam Park Rd.). This tribe consisted of disaffected
members of the Potatucks of Newtown and the Paugussetts of
Milford, with a few stragglers from the Mohawks on the west."
I take it that Charles Burr Todd was saying the "tribe of
Indians" residing in what we call the "Lonetown" section of
Redding was made up of Native Americans from multiple tribes
displaced from their homelands by English settlers making
their way into the interior of Connecticut. The "oblong" or
vacant lands between the northern boundary of the Fairfield
Long Lots and what is now the border of Danbury and Bethel
was one of the few available tracts of open space available
in the area to Native American Indians at this timeframe.
He goes on to say:
" Their chief was Chickens Warrups or Sam Mohawk, as he was
sometimes called. Describing "Chickens", President Stiles
says in his "Itinerary" that he was a Mohawk sagamore, or
under-chief, who fled from his tribe and settled at Greenfield
Hill, but having killed an Indian there he was again obliged
to flee, and then settled in Redding. All the Indian deeds
to the early settlers were given by Chickens, and Naseco,
who seems to have been a sort of sub-chief. The chief, Chickens,
figures quite prominently in the early history of Redding;
he seems to have been a strange mixture of Indian shrewdness,
rascality, and cunning, and was in continual difficulty with
the settlers concerning the deeds which he gave them."
Chickens name does
not appear on all Indian deeds to the early settlers but he
does appear on the deeds of John Read in 1714 and Samuel Couch
in 1724, two very important land deeds in Redding's history.
He was in "continual difficulty with the settlers" because
the settlers continually ignored Chickens' portion of the
"Reserving in the
whole of the same, liberty for myself and my heirs to hunt,
fish, and fowl upon the land and in the waters, and further
reserving for myself, my children, and grand children and
their posterity the use of so much land by my present dwelling
house or wigwam as the General Assembly of the Colony by themselves
or a Committee indifferently appointed shall judge necessary
for my or their personal improvement, that is to say my children,
children's children and posterity, furthermore, I the said
Chickens do covenant, promise, and agree, to and with the
said Samuel Couch, that I said Chickens, my heirs, executors
and administrators, the said described lands and bargained
premises, unto the said Samuel Couch his heirs etc. against
the claims and demands of all manner of persons whatever,
to warrant and forever by these presents defend."
The above is text
from Chickens' land deed to Samuel Couch, Feb. 18, 1724. Chickens,
like a majority of Indians that agreed to land deeds in Colonial
times, made a point to reserve the right to hunt, fish, and
exist on the lands they were "selling". In 1686, Indians in
the Umpawaug section of Redding noted similar stipulations
in their land deed to Nathan Gold:
"we have laid out
ye said land to Nathan [Gold] and bounded it as above by said
brook and river and in ye pond and we have marked trees as
bounds...for the 2 square miles of land...it is to be noted
said Indian proprietors do hereby reserve the liberty of hunting
upon said land for themselves in witness of all which
we said rightful proprietors have set to our hands and seals
this 29th day of December, 1686."
Indians did not
understand land ownership the way the English and their future
generations viewed it: in their culture, no tribe nor Indian
had exclusive, permanent rights to specific parcels of land,
"different groups of people could have different claims on
the same tract of land depending on how they used it." Chickens
was viewed as a nuisance to Redding's settlers because he
was strong willed enough to "call them out" for ignoring the
Indians "bargained provisions" of the deeds and thus exceeding
the usage rights the Indians perceived to be granting in them.
According to Charles
Burr Todd: "No less than three petitions of Chickens, complaining
of the injustice of the settlers, are preserved in the Colonial
Records. The first, presented to the General Court of May,
1738, asked that in accordance with the provisions of his
deed to Samuel Couch in 1725, the Assembly would appoint a
committee to lay out to him, his children, children's children,
and their posterity, so much land near his wigwam as they
should deem necessary for his and their personal improvement;
and the Assembly appointed such a committee."
"No report of the
action of this committee is preserved in the archives; but
ten years later, in 1745, Chickens again petitioned the Assembly
to appoint a committee to view his lands for the same purpose,
and the Assembly appointed such a committee 'to repair to
and deed of conveyance, with the savings and reservations
therein contained, to survey and by proper meets and bounds
set out for, and to the use of the petitioner and his children,
such and so much of said lands as they shall be of opinion-(on
hearing all parties or persons therein concerned) ought to
be allowed and set out to said petitioner and his children.'"
The text of the
third and last memorial, is given in full.
"The memorial of
Capt. Chickens alias Sam Mohawk of Reading in Fairfield County,
showing to this Assembly that in his deed formerly made to
Capt. Samuel Couch, late of Fairfield, deceased, of his land
lying between the township of said Fairfield, and Danbury,
Ridgefield, and Newtown, he had reserved to himself so much
of said land as a committee, appointed by this Assembly, should
judge be sufficient for himself, his children and posterity,
for their personal improvement, which said reserve has since
been set out by proper meets and bounds in two pieces, containing
in the whole about one hundred acres as per the surveys thereof
may appear, reference thereunto being had:
And showing also
that John Read, Esq. Late of Boston deceased, had surveyed,
and laid out to him two hundred acres of land by the appointment
of this Assembly, at a place called Schaghticoke (Kent, Connecticut;
Scatacook is another spelling used in the time-period) bounded
as in the survey thereof on record:
And also showing
that the land aforesaid, laid out to the said John Read. Esq.,
is much more convenient and advantageous for him, the said
Chickens, being well situated for fishing and hunting, and
that he had made and executed a deed of exchange of his aforesaid
hundred acres, lying in two pieces as aforesaid in the parish
of Reading to the said John Read, Esq. and his heirs, which
said deed bears date October 11th, A.D. 1748, and in consideration
thereof did receive of the said John Read, Esq.
A deed bearing
date the day aforesaid well executed to him the said Chickens
and his heirs by his heirs by his attorney John Read, Esq.
of said Reading, being fully authorized thereunto, of the
aforesaid two hundred acres; praying this Assembly that said
deeds, executed as aforesaid, may be allowed of ratified,
and be admitted as good evidence in the law for conveying
and fixing the title to the several pieces of land aforesaid."
This petition the
Assembly granted, and Chickens soon after removed to the reservation
at Schaghticoke. Chickens Warrup is said to have died in 1762-63,
and his son Thomas is said to have died in 1769.
In 1775, the Connecticut
General Assembly ordered that the lands of the Schaghticoke
should be leased to pay their debts and defray their expenses.
(Chickens Warrups' grandson) was allowed to sell thirty acres
of land to pay his debts and provide for his family. Three
years after, another tract of ten acres was sold for the purpose
of relieving the indigent circumstances of the Warrups family.
Thomas Warrups, (Chickens Warrups' grandson) appears on the
"Roll Call" of The Armed Forces of Kent, 1775-1783, so it
is possible that his return to Redding occurred during Putnam's
encampment in 1778-79, as stories told in Kent and New Milford
echo the tales of Redding historian Charles Burr Todd.
to Kent publications are as follows:
"Tom belonged to
a cavalry company, and while on scout was met by a superior
force of the enemy and had to fly to safety, and being pursued
was overtaken just as he reached a fence. The red-coat aimed
a blow with his sabre, which grazed his head, and Tom fell
from his horse as if dead. Tom, in telling the story, used
to say: 'I did not stir nor breathe as big as a mouse till
the trooper was out of sight.' The red-coat remarked, as he
wheeled, 'One d--d Indian has got it.' But when Tom came soon
after, riding into camp, his comrades, who had seen the performance,
greeted him with cheers of welcome."
"Tom Warrups was
long known in the vicinity of what is now Northville, on the
east side of Mount Tom, where he settled not long after the
Revolution and remained many years, but what became of him
is not known. He most probably removed to Scatacock. He is
said to have a wife and several children."
In any case, his
descendents continued to resurface at Schaghticoke. In 1801,
the Schaghticokes were reduced to thirty-five tribe members,
cultivating only six acres of land, although their territory
amounted to twelve hundred acres and extended from the Housatonic
River to the New York line. At this time Benjamin Warrups,
a descendant of Thomas, was described as a careful and industrious
farmer at this place.
who moved from Schaghticoke to New Haven and had two children-Nancy
and Milton Cogswell was a Warrups descendent reported in 1900.
Her daughter, Nancy Cogswell Moody was full-blooded Schaghticoke
Indian, living between 1850 & 1934. Wells Offutt and family
are the only living descendents of Chickens & Thomas Warrups
known as of 2007, Maryanne Cogswell was his great, great grandmother.