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Towns and Locations in my brother Sam is dead

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Danbury was first settled by colonists in 1685, when eight families moved to the area from the area that is now Norwalk and Stamford. The Danbury area was then called Paquiaqe by the Paquioque Native Americans. One of the first settlers was Samuel Benedict who bought land from the Paquioque natives in 1685 along with his brother James, James Beebe, and Judah Gregory. The settlers originally chose the name Swampfield for their town, but in October 1687, the general court decreed the name Danbury.

During the American Revolution, Danbury was an important military depot. In April 1777, the British under Major General William Tryon burned and looted the city. American General David Wooster was killed in the Ridgebury section as his troop pursued the British on their way out of the city. Joseph Platt Cooke was commander of the 16th militia regiment when the British burned Danbury on April 26 and 27, 1777. His own home, which he had built at 342 Main Street, Danbury in 1770, was partially destroyed by fire. He resigned his position of "colonel" early in 1778. In the summer of 1781 his home served as a meeting place for George Washington and the French military leaders, the Comte de Rochambeau and the Marquis de Lafayette when the French army marched through Danbury, Connecticut.

The central motto on the Seal of the City of Danbury is Restituimus (Latin for "We have restored"), a reference to the destruction caused by the British army.

In 1639 soon after the Pequot War, Roger Ludlow, a founder of the colony of Connecticut, led a small group of men and a herd of cattle to a place known to the local Paugausetts as Unquowa. They established a settlement that was named for the acres of salt marsh that bordered the mainland shore across from Long Island.

When the Revolutionary War began, Fairfielders were caught in the crisis as much as if not more than the rest of their neighbors in Connecticut. In a predominantly Tory section of the state, the people of Fairfield were early supporters of the cause for independence (Patriots). Throughout the war, a constant battle was being fought across Long Island Sound as men from British-controlled Long Island raided the coast in whaleboats and privateers. Gold Selleck Silliman, whose home still stands on Jennings Road, was put in charge of the coastal defenses.

In the spring of 1779, Silliman was kidnapped from his home by Tory forces in preparation for a British raid on Fairfield County. His wife watched from their home as, on the morning of July 7, 1779, approximately 2,000 enemy troops landed on Fairfield Beach near Pine Creek Point and proceeded to invade the town. When they left the following evening, the entire town lay in ruins, burned to the ground as punishment for Fairfield's support of the rebel cause. Ten years later, President George Washington noted after traveling through Fairfield, that " the destructive evidences of British cruelty are yet visible both in Norwalk and Fairfield; as there are the chimneys of many burnt houses standing in them yet."

Fairfield recovered slowly from the burning, but soon after the end of the war its houses and public buildings had all been rebuilt.

The parish of Horseneck was located in present day Greenwich, Connecticut. There were once two societies in Greenwich (the parish of Greenwich and the parish of Horseneck) which eventually merged, Horseneck was in the Western section of present day Greenwich. Israel Putnam made Horseneck famous in 1777 with his infamous ride down a steep embankment to avoid capture by the British. Surprised and outnumbered by William Tryon's British forces, Putnam hastily retreated through a nearby swamp. His line of retreat brought him to the top of a steep cliff where, rather than face capture, Putnam chose to risk the descent. Because the British were disinclined to follow his treacherous path, Putnam, at age 60, made good his escape. This ride was brought to life by sculptress Anna Hyatt Huntington in the form of a bronze statue that today welcomes visitors to Putnam Memorial Park in Redding, Connecticut.

Norfield is briefly mentioned in Chapter 8:

" a drover from Norfield had been shot on the Ridgebury Road two days earlier"

Norfield today is a section of Weston, Connecticut. The name originates from "North Fairfield" as the town of Weston was once part of Fairfield and was settled by many second-generation Fairfielders. The Norfield Congregational Church celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2007.

North Salem
Settled in 1731, its original name was Upper Salem. Today North Salem is an equestrian's paradise; some people say in jest that there are more horses than people. North Salem is bounded on the east by Ridgefield, Connecticut, on the north by Putnam County, on the south by the Town of Lewisboro and on the west by the Town of Somers. North Salem's two principal hamlets are Croton Falls and Purdys.

New Amsterdam (New York City) resident Jan Peeck made the first recorded contact with the native tribal people of this area, then identified as Sachoes. The date is not certain, (possibly early 1640's) but agreements and merchant transactions took place, formalized into the Ryck's Patent deed of 1684. Peeck's Kil (Kil meaning 'stream' in the Dutch language) became the recognized name for this locale.

By the time of the American Revolution, the tiny community was an important manufacturing center with a variety of mills along its several creeks and streams. These industrial activities attracted the Continental Army in establishing its headquarters here in 1776.

The mills of Peek's Creek provided gunpowder, leather, planks, and flour. Slaughterhouses were an important part of the food supply. The river docks allowed transport of supply items and soldiers to the several other fort garrisons placed along the Hudson to prevent British naval passage between Albany and New York City. Officers at Peekskill generally supervised placing the first iron link chain between Bear Mountain and Anthony's Nose in the spring of 1777.

Though Peekskill's terrain and mills were beneficial to the Patriot cause, they also made tempting targets for British raids. The most damaging attack took place in early spring of 1777 when an invasion force of a dozen vessels led by a warship and supported by infantry overwhelmed the American defenders. Another British operation in October 1777 led to further destruction of industrial apparatus. As a result, the Hudson Valley command for the Continental Army moved from Peekskill to West Point where it stayed for the remainder of the war.

Mel Gibson was born in Peekskill, New York in 1956 (In 1968, his family moved to Australia); In the film The Patriot (2000) Mr. Gibson portrays Benjamin Martin, a peaceful farmer, driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.

Please view History of Redding website for information on Redding, Connecticut.

As early as 1697 Norwalk residents began to become interested in the land to the north of their community. Norwalk residents were informed that: "The upland was considerably good and sufficient for thirty families, and as for meadow land it surpasses both in quantity as well as in quality what is common to be found in larger plantations…and there were more than sixty miles of streams that could serve future mills." In September 1708, John Copp and two others from Norwalk representing the first 26 settlers of the new community to be named "Ridgfield" (later changed to "Ridgefield") paid the Indians (Chief Catoonah of the Ramapo tribe) £100 sterling for what was called "the first purchase" of which there were to be seven more. The purchase having been made, the General Assembly in session at Hartford in May 1709 appointed Major Peter Burr of Fairfield, John Copp of Norwalk, and Josiah Starr of Danbury, to serve as a committee to make a survey of the tract of land and to lay it out for a town plot, and to make return to the General Assembly at New Haven the following October. This was done, and a grant was made by the General Assembly in session at New Haven on October 13, 1709.

The most notable 18th Century event was the Battle of Ridgefield (on April 27, 1777). This Revolutionary War skirmish involved a small colonial militia force (the Connecticut Continentals), led by, among others, General David Wooster, who died in the engagement, and Benedict Arnold, whose horse was shot from under him. The battle was a tactical victory for the British but a strategic one for the Colonials since the British never again attempted a landing by ship to attack inland colonial strongholds during the war. Today, the dead from both sides are buried together in a small cemetery in town "...foes in arms, brothers in death..."

The Keeler Tavern Museum, features a British cannonball still lodged in the side of the building. There are many other landmarks from the Revolutionary War in the town, most along Main Street.

Ridgebury is between Danbury and Ridgefield. It was here that General David Wooster was mortally wounded.

Verplanck is a hamlet located in the town of Cortlandt, Westchester County, New York; just south of Peekskill. It is less than a mile in total area, 11.54% water.

Verplanck's Point was a defended position of the Continental Troops during the war, the British assaulted the forts of Stony Point and Verplanck's Point in 1779. Between Verplanck's Point and Stony Point was King's Ferry, the most heavily used crossing on the Hudson River.

On August 31, 1782, an Amphibious assault was conducted by Continental troops moving the army from New Windsor to Verplanck's Point as rehearsal for an assault on Manhattan.

"Washington's Hill" marks the site of one of the nation's most splendid military reviews, where Washington and Rochambeau staged a welcome to the French and American armies in 1782.

Locals proudly to call themselves "Pointers". Verplanck is the home of a replica of the ship the Half Moon, with which Henry Hudson explored the Hudson River.


The Setting of My Brother Sam is Dead, Redding Connecticut

Real-Life Characters portrayed in the My Brother Sam is Dead

Real-Life Events portrayed in My Brother Sam is Dead

Vocabulary used in My Brother Sam is Dead

Taverns of the Colonial Period

Camp Life and Orders Relating to Redding's Encampment

Loyalists (Tories) of Redding, CT

Cow-boys and Skinners

What is a Brown Bess?

Locations & Towns Mentioned in My Brother Sam is Dead

Colonial Money, Commissary Notes, Financing the War and Inflation Issues

Why is My Brother Sam is Dead Challenged?





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