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Brother Sam is Dead
my brother Sam is dead:
Brother Sam Is Dead (1974) is a young adult novel by James
Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier. It was a Newbery
Honor book that was also named a Notable Children's Book by
the American Library Association and nominated for a National
Book Award in 1975. (from http://en.wikipedia.org)
authors employ an interpretative storyline, focused on the
hardships faced by an Anglican family whose eldest son has
run away to join the Patriot troops, to portray the American
Revolution as a civil war. Christopher Collier is a retired
American history teacher and the emeritus Connecticut State
Historian; James Lincoln Collier was a journalist and well-regarded
author of children’s books.
My Brother Sam
is Dead Summary and Analysis
Collier Brothers (James and Christopher) were personifying
the War of Independence in writing this novel and they did
a very good job of it. Their choice of characters, story line
and setting create a captivating saga, rich with courage,
drama, and intrigue. "my brother Sam is dead" is a classic,
well deserving of the awards and accolades it has received.
of Redding that relates to My Brother Sam
Map of West Chester and Fairfield County showing Redding,
Ridgebury, Salem, Verplanck Point. Click
here to view a larger version of this map with locations
mentioned in the novel.
Lt. Stephen Betts/Parsons' Headquarters
Ned's house (where Ned lived)
Col. John Read and Betsy Read's House
Tom Warrups' Hut
Putnam Park, main encampment
Second Camp, Gen. Parsons' encampment
Gallows Hill, site of Sam's execution
in 2002 reads: "In memory of the Redding citizens captured
nearby April 26, 1777 & imprisoned in New York for ramsom
by British General William Tryon & his invading army."
At the bottom center you will see the text: "And Ned"
That is the same Ned as in the novel My Brother Sam is Dead.
of the novel's content, most notably Ned's execution and a
beheading, it has been the frequent target of censors and
appears on the American Library Association list of the 100
Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000 at number twelve.
warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Brother Sam is Dead is told in the first person by Tim Meeker.
It recounts the hardships endured by Tim and his family during
the Revolutionary War. When Tim's older brother Sam joins
the rebel forces, it impacts the rest of his family who wish
to remain neutral and/or avoid war with England. Tim's family
is Anglican and thus loyal to the Church of England; a split
with England would greatly affect them.
Meeker is a metaphoric symbol of one third of the American
population during the war. He portrays the American that is
uncertain which side is right and does not wish to choose
a side until forced to, sometimes referred to as a "fence-sitter".
Sam and Life are examples of the other two thirds: the Rebel/Patriot
and the Tory/Loyalist.
Tim Meeker we learn of the issues, the concerns and the conflicts
of the rebellion on a personal level. Each chapter touches
on a number of topics and issues that provide readers with
a better understanding of the affects the American Revolution
had on individuals, their families, their churches, their
towns, their neighbors...in short, it allows readers to see
the war from the position of those that lived through it.
This is one of the greatest strengths of the novel; it quietly
weaves all of the topics and issues of the early years of
the American Revolution into a tragic story of a 10 year old
boy’s role in a war he doesn't understand.
Brother Sam is Dead begins in April 1775 and ends in February
1779...a very volatile period of the American Revolution as
it was not clear which side would win the war. Many were either
still confused about the issues or unwilling to solidify a
position on the issues. As the story unfolds the consequences
of the war prove devastating to the Meeker family as the rebelliousness
of Tim’s brother, Sam, and the pacifist postion taken by Tim’s
father, Life, result in the ironic deaths of both, symbolizing
the atrocities and unfairness of war.
novel highlights many of the the problems and events that
impacted towns like Redding, CT. Several of these topics are:
stay neutral while living in a town that everyone assumes
is a loyalist settlement. Redding's Anglican
church leader and its members preferred not to rebel from
England. This was well known across the State and resulted
in Redding Ridge being labeled as an area heavily settled
Issues-The Meeker's own a tavern/store, and keeping
it running is hard work. Even prior to the Revolution,
to make money, each year Tim's Father and brother Sam
would travel to New York State to sell cattle they received
from people who owed them money. During the war it becomes
even more difficult as paper money and commissionary notes
destroy local economies and businesses.
Since Sam has sided with the rebels and wasn't there,
Tim's responsibilities have increased ten-fold. Jobs Tim
and Sam used to share all now fall on Tim's shoulders.
Father (Life) takes Tim on his yearly cattle run to New
York. They have to travel without a Brown
Bess (musket/gun used for protection), which Sam had
recently stolen. Life is captured on their return trip,
leaving Tim to take care of his mother and himself for
the rest of the novel. Tim is forced to grow up over night
seeing he is now the man of the house, with his father
in prison and Sam fighting with the patriots.
of Safety- These committees were formed early in the war
to disarm people who could potentially give aid to the
British. Life is an Anglican and thus seen as a Loyalist/Tory,
by the local Committee of Safety which comes to the Meeker
Tavern to disarm him. When Life tells them his son has
sided with the Patriots and taken his gun, they initially
don't believe him and rough him up.
and Skinners- Life is captured on their way back to
Redding on their cattle run by cowboys. Cowboys and skinners
were groups of raiders who harassed and plundered the
rural districts of the boundary between American and British
forces in Westchester County, New York. Westchester County,
was the so-called "Neutral Ground" seeing the British
were in the Bronx and the Americans in Peekskill, New
march though Redding and capture several Patriots
there on their way to Danbury, CT to destroy the rebels/Patriot's
provisions of war which were being stored there. The Patriot
soldiers arrive in Redding in pursuit of the British and
Sam is with them so he gets to see his mother and Tim
Encampments- General Israel Putnam's division of the
Continental Army encamped at Redding in the winter of
1778-1779 and Sam Meeker is a soldier in one of Putnam’s
camps. One evening, Sam slips away from camp and returns
home to spend time with his family. While they discuss
the war and related topics, Sam hears commotion outside…Patriot
soldiers are attempting to steal their cattle! When Sam
intervenes he is out numbered and beaten. Back at camp
he is falsely accused of and court-martialed for deserting
camp and stealing cattle. General Putnam having long dealt
with ill-equipped troops, deserters and traitors, feels
he needs to set an example in order to maintain discipline
amongst his army. Sam, unfortunately, becomes one of the
two examples that winter, and is executed.
War- Tim's Mother goes a little crazy due to the stress
of losing her husband and son to a war she doesn't support.
Tim lives to be very old. He had a wife, children, even
grandchildren. But his mother never recovers from Life
and Sam's deaths.
Political division between Patriots and Loyalists forms the
thematic backbone of the whole story. The national anti-imperial
conflict is personified in the conflict between father and
son...We portray the war...as both an anti-imperial war for
national liberation and a civil war that divided a people
Brother Sam and All That, Clearwater Press, 1999
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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 Patchen married Abigail Meeker in 1787.
Jacob was only 12 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 with his family too. The 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.
the New Testament, Susannah was a woman who ministered to
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:
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:
for the town of Redding there were two sets of Meeker's: Episcopalian
and Congregational (Redding has a long history of rivalry
between Episcopalians and Congregationalists.)
on the Episcopalian Meeker's comes from Frank B. Rosenau's
Christ Church Parish: The first 250 years history booklet
which notes: The early Meeker's were members of the Christ
Church on Redding Ridge. They must have been messy writers
because 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 named. 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.
Congregational Church Meeker's were:
Meeker 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.
Meeker 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.
Meeker was married by Rev. Nathanial Hunn on October 31, 1744
to Hannah Hill.
Meeker 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.
Meeker was married by Rev. Nathanial Hunn on September 19,
1746 to Rebecca Morehouse.
Meeker was a Private, in the 4th Connecticut Militia, Fishkill
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.
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.
their departure (British marching through Redding to burn
Danbury in 1777) nothing further of a warlike nature occurred
in the town, until the encampment in Redding in the winter
of 1778-9 of General Putnam's division of the Continental
Israel Putnam's division of the Continental Army encamped
in Redding in the winter of 1778-1779. This division was comprised
of General Poor's brigade of New Hampshire troops under Brig.
General Enoch Poor, a Canadian Regiment led by Col. Moses
Hazen, and two brigades of Connecticut troops: 2nd Brigade
Connecticut Line regiments commanded by Brig. General Jedediah
Huntington, and the 1st Brigade Connecticut Line regiments
commanded by Brig. General Samuel H. Parsons. This division
had been operating along the Hudson (Eastern New York) during
the fall, and as winter approached it was decided that it
should go into winter quarters at Redding, as from this position
it could support the important fortress of West Point in case
of attack, intimidate the Cowboys and Skinners of Westchester
County, and cover lands adjacent to Long Island Sound. Another
major reason was to protect the Danbury supply depot, which
had been burned by the British the year before but resurrected
to keep supplies going to Washington's army.
Aaron Burr, one of General Putnam's aides and a frequent visitor
to Redding, had suggested that Putnam look over 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. Three camp locations were marked and later
prepped by artificers and surveyors under the direction of
the Quartermaster staff: the first in the northeast part of
Lonetown, near the Bethel line, on land owned by John Read,
2nd (now Putnam Park). The second was about a mile and a half
west of the first camp, between Limekiln Rd. and Gallows Hill
in the vicinity of present day Whortleberry Rd. & Costa Lane.
The third camp was in West Redding, on a ridge about a quarter
of a mile north of West Redding Station (vicinity of present
day Deer Spring Drive & Old Lantern Road).
about General Parson's camp (Second
main camp, which is now known as Putnam Memorial State Park,
was laid out with admirable judgement, at the foot of rocky
bluffs which fenced in the western valley of the Little River.
116 huts were erected to form an avenue nearly a quarter mile
in length, and several yards in width. At the west end of
the camp was a mountain brook, which furnished a plentiful
supply of water; near the brook a forge was said to have been
erected. The second and third camps, were both laid out on
the southerly slopes of hills with streams of running water
at their base. Each of the camps were strategically positioned
to defend main highways in and out of town: Danbury to Fairfield;
Danbury to Norwalk; Redding to Danbury and points north (stage
to the exact location of Putnam's headquarters, authorities
differ, but all agree in placing it on Umpawaug Hill. Some
of Putnam's officers were quartered in a house later owned
by *Samuel Gold (Limekiln Rd.); others in a house later occupied
by *Sherlock Todd (also on Limekiln Rd). General Parsons'
headquarters were at Stephen Betts Tavern on Redding Ridge.
the army lay at Redding several events of importance occurred,
which are worthy of narrating with some degree of particularity.
The troops went into winter quarters this year in no pleasant
humor, and almost in the spirit of insubordination. This was
peculiarly the case with the Connecticut troops. They had
endured privations that many men would have sunk under-the
horrors of battle, the weariness of the march, cold, hunger,
and nakedness. What was worse, they had been paid in the depreciated
currency of the times, which had scarcely any purchasing power,
and their families at home were reduced to the lowest extremity
of want and wretchedness.
has been represented to me that the troops of Connecticut
are in great want of Shirts, Stockings and Shoes. This leads
me to inquire of you whether they have not received their
proportion of these Articles in common with the rest of the
Army. The troops in general have obtained orders for a Shirt
and pair of Stockings per man and a pair of Shoes to each
that wanted. If the Connecticut Troops have not been furnished
… you will on receiving proper Returns for that purpose supply
them in conformity to this Rule." -- George Washington to
Deputy Clothier Gen. George Measam, Jan. 8, 1779]
forced inactivity of the camp gave them time to brood over
their wrongs, until at length they formed the bold resolve
of marching to Hartford, and their grievances in person to
the Legislature then sitting. The two brigades were under
arms for the purpose before news of the revolution was brought
to Putnam. He, with his usual intrepidity and decision of
character, threw himself upon his horse and dashed down the
road leading to his camps, never slacking rein until he drew
up in the presence of the disaffected troops.
brave lads," he cried, "whither are you going? Do
you intend to desert your officers, and invite the enemy to
follow you into the country? Whose cause have you been fighting
and suffering so long in-is it not your own? Have you no property,
no parents, wives, children? You have behaved like men so
far-all the world is full of your praises, and posterity will
stand astonished at your deeds; but not if you spoil it all
at last. Don't you consider how much the country is distressed
by the war, and that your officers have not been any better
paid than yourselves? But we all expect better times, and
that the country will do us ample justice. Let us all stand
by one another then, and fight it out like brave soldiers.
Think what a shame it would be for Connecticut men to run
away from their officers."
he had finished this stirring speech, he directed the
acting major of brigades to give the word for them to march
to their regimental parades, and lodge arms, which was done;
one soldier only, a ringleader in he affair, was confined
to the guard house, from which he attempted to escape, but
was shot dead by the sentinel on duty- himself one of the
mutineers. Thus ended the affair, and no further trouble was
experienced with the Connecticut troops.
One room hut (14' X 16'), One Fireplace, Dirt Floors, 12 Men
to a hut, Soldiers
received rations and salaries only when available.
Two room hut (14' X 22'), Two Fireplaces, Dirt Floors (sometimes
wooden, if available), No more than 2 to 4 men in each hut,
Officers were one of the first to receive available rations.
Officers: Housed in-town in real houses with families,
Did not suffer the harsh conditions of cramped living spaces
and winter weather, First to receive salaries and rations.
on Camp Life
on Putnam Park
Brother Sam is Dead Vocabulary-
Period Slang: Used in Camp or in the Field
an officer who acts as military assistant to a more senior
Bess: A soldier's fire-lock (musket). "To hug Brown Bess"
is to carry a fire-lock, or serve as a private soldier.
A cut or curtailed dog, disabled from chasing game. Figuratively
used to signify a surly fellow.
Burgundy: Porter (wine).
Small beer, brandy, and sugar.
A discharge from a number of firearms, fired simultaneously
or in rapid succession. A rapid outburst or barrage: a fusillade
One gill is equal to 1/2 cup of liquid. Soldiers were allowed
a gill of Rum per day when on fatigue, and at no other time.
Rum and water. "Groggy" or "Groggified" is to be drunk.
Arms: To stack firearms on the ground.
To steal. "My shirt was worn so I headed out of camp to hook
Said to have been originally the cry of the huzzars or Hungarian
light horse; but now the national shout of the English, both
civil and military; to give three cheers being to huzza thrice.
Tar: A sailor.
A British soldier, from the color of his clothes (Red).
A blockhead or stupid fellow, also a double-headed, or bar-shot
Weed: Hemp. Used as rope in the time period.
A thick soup. Rod: A measurement of width, 16.5 feet is a
Usually means to breakout or depart.
Unfriendly, crabby, grumpy. Used to describe someone of that
nature: "Major Williams was a surly fellow."
A sutler or victualer is a civilian who sells provisions to
an army in the field, in camp or in quarters.
A beat of the drum, or signal for soldiers to go to their
quarters, and a direction to the *sutlers to close the tap.
* A sutler or victualer is a civilian who sells provisions
to an army in the field, in camp or in quarters.
Local Militia. Volunteer soldiers formed to protect townships.
The foremost position in an army or fleet advancing into battle.
Slang: Used in Everyday Life
A heavy steel faced iron block.
Trousers ending above the knee.
Transforming a message into secret code via math.
18-21-14 = R-U-N
An acute infectious disease of the small intestine, caused
by the bacterium Vibrio Cholerae.
Notes: A Commissary is a store or market for military personnel,
so a Commissary Note is a certificate given in lieu of currency
for use in the store.
One that drives cattle or sheep to market.
The act of looking or searching for food or provisions.
A rapid outburst or barrage: a fusillade of insults.
A hard biscuit or bread made with only flour and water.
Any of various units of volume or capacity ranging from 63
to 140 gallons.
Beef: Long slices or strips of beef dried in the sun or near
Cake: Cornmeal bread usually shaped into a flat cake and baked
or fried on a griddle.
Tight, form-fitting trousers that extend from the waist to
Unpartitioned room overlooking another room.
1. A fire shovel; 2. A bed of straw
A Roman Catholic
The cutting blade of a plow.
The general public; the masses. A population.
Unit of money- equivalent to twenty shillings sterling
Horn: Where you kept your gun powder
A piece of paper representing or acknowledging value, such
as a receipt or certificate, given in lieu of currency.
To catch or fish with a net.
Aversion to work or exertion; laziness.
A coin worth one twentieth of a pound.
A house roof made with a plant material (such as straw).
Beach Short Biography
Beach, missionary of the Church of England 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.
He 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 returned to Derby.
had in all nine children. Those who had families were: Joseph,
born September 26, 1727; Phebe, born 1729, married Daniel
Hill of Redding, died in 1751, leaving son Abel. John born
1734, married Phebe Curtis, died in 1791. Lazarus, born 1736,
had two children, viz. Lazarus, born 1760, and Isaac, born
inherited his father's land in Redding, at Hopewell, near
which he built his house. Lazarus Beach, Jr., was of a literary
turn, and edited a paper at Bridgeport, and afterward at Washington,
D.C. On his journey to the latter place he lost his trunk
or valise, containing the Beach manuscripts, and all his materials
gathered for the purpose of writing a memoir of his distinguished
grandfather. He built his house now standing near Mr. Godfrey's(Chestnut
Woods near the bethel line). Isaac Beach built the house now
occupied by Hull B. Bradley.
Rev. John Beach lived about thirty to forty rods south of
the church, probably on the site of the old Captain Munger
house, which has long since disappeared. The well is still
used by Mr. E.P. Shaw. Lucy, daughter of the Rev. John Beach,
married Rev. Mr. Townsend, and was lost at sea on her passage
to Nova Scotia, probably at the time of the great exodus of
Loyalists after the Revolution. The mother of James Sanford,
Sen., was the daughter of Lazarus and great-granddaughter
of Rev. John Beach.
Stephen Betts, a prominent character in the Revolution, lived
on Redding Ridge, in a house that stood on the corner, nearly
opposite the former residence of Francis A. Sanford. He was
an active Patriot, and was taken prisoner by the British on
their march to Danbury in 1777. He had a son Daniel, and two
or three daughters, of whom I have no record. His son Daniel
was a merchant for a while on Redding Ridge and then removed
to New Haven, where some of his children are now living.
1766, Betts moved from the Boston District of Redding (Southeast
Corner) to Redding Ridge (Northeast Corner) buying land from
his distant relative William Hill. He opened a tavern and
store on Redding Ridge, and became prominent in town politics.
Congregational Church member.
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.
October of that year Stephen Burr was elected a member of
the first Society Committee of the parish. 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.
married, second, Abigail Hall, of New Jersey. He lived in
a house that stood where Dr. Gorham later built his residence.
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. Deacon Stephen 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."
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 to Virginia.
Burr and wife were admitted to 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.
Burr, son of Joseph Burr, of Fairfield, and his wife Elizabeth,
appear in Redding as early as 1743. Their children were Elijah,
baptized May 15th, 1743. Nathan, born January 1st, 1745. Jabez,
birth date unknown, Ezekiel, born March 23rd, 1755. Stephen,
born January 16th, 1757. Joel, born September 9th, 1759. Eunice,
Huldah, and Hannah.
Burr died in 1770. He is said to have settled in the Saugatuck
Valley, near the present residence of Stephen Burr, and to
have built there the first grist mill in the town. 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, of Redding. Nathan, the second son, removed
to Pawlings, Duchess Co., N.Y., in 1792, and there founded
a numerous and wealthy family.
the third son, married Mary, daughter of Paul Bartram, and
removed to Clarendon, VT., in 1786. He had one son, Aaron.
Ezekiel, married Huldah Merchant, of Redding, who bore him
three children: Aaron, who lived and died in the house now
owned by Captain Davis; William, who removed to Kentucky in
1816; and Huldah, who married Daniel Mallory in 1806, and
removed to the West.
son of William Burr is now President of the St. Louis National
Bank. Another son, George, a teller in the same institution,
was the companion of Prof. Wise in his late fatal balloon
expedition, and shared the fate of the aeronaut. Stephen Burr
married Mary Griffin, of Redding. his children were: Clara,
Mary, Stephen, and Ezekiel. Joel Burr married Elizabeth Gold
and settled in Ballston Springs, N.Y.
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. 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. In 1714 he bought of the
Indians a large tract of land in Lonetown and settled there.
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.
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. They had
six children: Ruth, 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, 1737. John, 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. He married twice. His first wife was Mary (last
nme unknown), a Milford lady. His second wife was Sarah Bradley,
of Greenfield Hill. His children were: William, who married
Sarah Hawley, of Redding. Zalmon, who married Hulda Bradley,
of Greenfield. Hezekiah, who married Anna Gorham. John, who
married Zoa Hillard. Mary, wife of John Harpin. Sarah, wife
of Jabez Hill, and afterward of Theodore Monson. Ruth, wife
of Jeremiah Mead. Deborah, wife of Thomas Benedict, a lawyer.
Mabel, wife of Levi Starr; and Esther, wife of Daniel C. Bartlett,
son of Rev. Nathaniel Bartlett. One of his children, a lad
of four years, fell into a burning coal pit in 1739, and was
so badly burned that he survived but a few hours. His father
wrote a letter to his father in Boston, informing him of the
meloncholy event, and his father sent back a letter in reply.
Both of the letters are yet preserved, after a period of one
hundred and forty years, and are both remarkable for the piety
and Christian resignation manifested in them.
born in Connecticut about 1710, was a lawyer in Boston, and
afterward a judge in several of the courts there. He lived
a bachelor, and died in 1780, aged seventy-years. Mary, born
(probably) in Reading, Conn., April 14, 1716; married Captain
Charles Morris, of Boston, afterward of Halifax, Nova Scotia,
where he was for many years chief justice of the courts. They
had nine sons and two daughters. Abigail married Joseph Miller,
of Boston. Deborah married a Mr. Willstead, and afterward
Henry Paget, of Smithfield, Rhode Island.
the above sketch by Mr. George Read, of Boston, I will add
that Colonel John Read, son of the Mr. John Read 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 "manour" comprised nearly all of
what is now Lonetown, and his manor-house stood on the exact
site of Mr. Aaron Treadwell's present residence. He had a
fenced park, in which he kept deer, nearly opposite the present
residence of William Sherwood. Mr. George Read, of Redding
Centre, has a very interesting collection of old papers belonging
to the colonel, such as wills, deeds, account-books, etc...
In one of them directions are given his men about feeding
the deer, letting the cattle into the long meadow, etc...
Another is Mr. Read's commission as colonel, and is of sufficient
interest to warrrant its insertion here. It is as follows:
Fitch Esq., Governor and Commander in chief of his Majesty's
Colony of Connecticut in New England.
John Read Esq., Greetings.
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 dilligently 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 Officiers, 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.
his Honour's Command.
George Wyllys. Secty.
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 23,
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 Episcopalian faith; Zalmon
moved to Bedford, New York after the Revolution, Hezekiah
remained in Redding and was a major landholder.
Rogers was a prominent man in his day, and filled many responsible
offices in town. He appears 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.
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.
Bio's can be found at the My
Brother Sam is Dead Characters page.
my brother Sam is dead, Mr. Beach states: "I
don't think the people of Redding are anxious to fight, Sam"
were two separate companies of militia in Redding by 1755-
One (West militia) commanded by members of the Congregational
society at Redding Center, the other (East militia) commanded
by officers of the Christ Church Anglican society at Redding
Ridge, these militias were formed in response to the French
and Indian War (Seven Year War).
difficult to state they were anxious to fight, but they were
certainly prepared to fight. The British marched on Lexington
and Concord, Massachusetts in April of 1775. In June/July
1775, several members of both militia's (East & West) comprised
the 10th Company, 5th Connecticut Regiment which joined other
colonial militias for the Invasion of Canada. Zalmon Read,
Ezekiel Sanford, David Peet and Benjamin Nichols appear as
officers in William E. Grumman's recorded history on Redding
and the Revolution, titled Revolutionary Soldiers of Redding.
Most Redding soldiers returned in November of that same year,
though some did remain during the siege of Montreal that winter.
musket Sam takes from his father in my brother Sam is dead,
was a Brown Bess "Long Land" musket with a 46" barrel length,
.75 barrel caliber, .69 bullet caliber, and bayonet length
explanations of the use of the word "Brown" include that it
was a reference to either the color of the walnut stocks or
to the characteristic brown color that was produced by russeting,
an early form of metal treatment applied to lessen the shine
of the barrel in the field.
word "Bess" is commonly held to either derive from the word
"arquebus" or "blunderbuss" (predecessors of the musket) or
to be a reference to Elizabeth I of England, considered
unlikely as she died more than a century before the introduction
of the weapon. More plausible is that the term Brown
Bess could have been derived from the German words "brawn
buss" or "braun buss", meaning "strong gun" or "brown gun";
King George I who commissioned its use was from Germany.
Loyalists of Redding, Pre-Revolution
is portrayed as a Tory town in my brother Sam is dead but
town records contain very few references to the Loyalists
of Redding during the Revolutionary period. They most certainly
existed, and prior to the war openly disapproved of opposing
the British Government, stating "a firm dependence on the
Mother Country is essential to our political safety and happiness."
if not all, of Redding's Tories were Anglican Church members.
Anglicans were in a difficult position, their choice of religion
was tied closely to the crown of England and a split from
England left them with an uncertain future. Congregationalists
did not have these ties, so for them it was a matter of right
or wrong…did they agreed with the actions of England's leaders
confusion of the Tories/Loyalists is explained by Tim Meeker
in Chapter 2, "Ever since I could remember, all my life in
fact, there had been discussions and arguments and debates
about whether we ought to obey His Majesty's government or
whether we should rebel. What kept confusing me about it was
that the argument didn't have two sides the way an argument
should, but about six sides."
should be noted that many Anglicans were angered by the actions
of England's leaders, but felt a Rebellious split from England
was excessive and a diplomatic approach to the issues was
in the best interest of all colonists involved. Redding's
Tories referred to themselves as the Redding Loyalist Association.
Redding Loyalist Association was led by the son of John Beach,
Lazarus. In February of 1775, they and other Tories living
in Fairfield County published an article in a New York publication
proclaiming their loyalty to the King.
Redding Loyalist's "resolutions" sent to James Rivington's
Gazetteer, the government organ (paper) in New York City,
proclaiming their allegiance to the Crown of England is as
Rivington: In the present critical situation of public affairs,
we, the subscribers, Freeholders and Inhabitants of the town
of Reading and the adjoining parts in the County of Fairfield,
and Colony of Connecticut, think it is necessary (through
the columns of your paper) to assure the public that we are
open enemies to any change in the present happy Constitution,
and highly disapprove of all measures in any degree calculated
to promote confusion and disorder; for which purpose and in
order to avoid the general censure, incurred by a great part
of this colony from the mode of conduct here adopted for the
purpose of opposing the British Government, we have entered
into the following resolves and agreements, viz:
Resolved, that while we enjoy the privileges and immunities
of the British Constitution we will render all due obedience
to his most Gracious Majesty King George the Third, and that
a firm dependence on the Mother Country is essential to our
political safety and happiness.
Resolved, that the privileges and immunities of this Constitution
are yet (in a good degree) continued to all his Majesty's
American subjects, except those who, we conceive, have justly
forfeited their rights thereto.
Resolved, that we supposed the Continental Congress was constituted
for the purpose of restoring harmony between Great Britain
and her colonies and removing the displeasure of his Majesty
toward his American subjects, whereas on the contrary some
of their resolutions appear to us immediately calculated to
widen the present unhappy breach, counteract the first principles
of civil society, and in a great degree abridge the privileges
of their constituents.
Resolved, that notwithstanding we will in all circumstances
conduct with prudence and moderation, we consider it an indispensable
duty we owe to our King and Constitution, our Country and
posterity, to defend, maintain and preserve at the risk of
our lives and properties the prerogatives of the Crown, and
the privileges of the subject from all attacks by any rebellious
body of men, any Committees of Inspection, Correspondence,
document was signed by 141 Freeholders and Inhabitants of
the town of Reading and the adjoining parts in the County
of Fairfield but the signers were not revealed by the publisher,
Charles Burr Todd wrote: "The effect of this document on the
Patriots of Redding was like that of a red flag on a bull.
They at once set to work to discover its signers and presently
made public in a circular the entire list so far as they belonged
to Redding. It
was given out by the Committee of Observation under this preamble:"
there was a certain number of resolves published- and whereas
said Resolves are injurious to the rights of this Colony,
and breath a spirit of enmity and opposition to the rights
and liberties of all America and are in direct opposition
to the Association of the Continental Congress: and notwithstanding
said resolutions were come into with a seeming view to secure
the said signers some extraordinary privileges and immunities,
yet either through negligence in the printer or upon design
of the subscribers, said signed names are not made public
- and now if there be any advantage in adopting those principles
we are willing they should be entitled there to; and for which
end and for the more effectual carrying into execution and
Association we have taken some pains and by the assistance
of him who carried said resolves to said Printer we have obtained
the whole of said names."
Committee of Observation added: "There are only 42 Freeholders
in the above number. There are several minors, etc. that make
the above number of 74 that belong to said Reading, and we
hereby hold them up to the public as opposers to the Association
of said Congress."
by the order of the Committee of Observation for said town
of Reading. Ebenezer Couch, Chairman."
entire list of Redding Loyalists was published by the Committee
of Observation for all to see, publicly exposing the signers
and placing them in great danger among their Patriotic neighbors.
Not all of those who had signed were ardent adherents to the
British cause, and the "pressure" applied by the Patriots
in publishing the names of the signers caused some to realign
themselves with the Patriot cause. Those remaining adamantly
against the War of Independence fled to the safety of the
British lines, while the majority simply fell silent opting
for their trusted and beloved church leader, Rev. John Beach's
policy of passive resistance in the Revolutionary period.
Loyalists of Redding, Revolutionary Period
1775, a number of loyalists in town signed what was essentially
a neutrality agreement, saying they would not bear arms on
the side of the British and would not discourage enlistment
in the American army. Rev. John Beach was one of these signers
and perhaps it was concessions such as this agreement that
allowed the Anglican community to survive in Redding, while
other Anglican parishes in Connecticut dwindled and the ministers
of some of them went either into exile or were jailed. Redding
Tories that chose not to heed the warnings and yield to the
Patriots were fined and imprisoned.
of the Connecticut's Governor and Council of Safety reveal
the price paid by those parties:
Beach, Andrew Fairchild, Nathan Lee, Enos Lee, and Able Burr
of Reading, in the county of Fairfield, being Tory convicts
and sent by order of law to be confined in the town of Mansfield
to prevent any mischievous practices of theirs, having made
their escape and being taken up and remanded back to his Honor
the Governor and this Council, to be dealt with."
and ordered by the Governor and his Council aforesaid, that
the said Lazarus Beach (etc…) be committed to the keeper of
the goal in Windham, within said prison to be safely kept
until they come out thence by due order of the General Assembly,
or the Governor and his Council of Safety, and that they pay
cost of their being apprehended and being remanded, etc…,
allowed to be 25 pounds, 3 shillings. Mittimus granted Jan.
Feb. 10, 1777, Beach, Burr, and Fairchild were ordered to
"return to Mansfield and there abide under the direction of
the Committee of Inspection of that town, while Enos and Nathan
Lee were permitted to return home on their giving bonds for
their good behavior."
he headed efforts to protect the safety of his church societies,
one agreement Rev. John Beach refused to comply with was the
omission of the King's prayer in his church services. This
position brought upon him the active persecution of radical
Patriots like the Sons of Liberty.
February of 1778, the Justices and Selectmen of Redding informed
Rev. Beach that "in order that we may have peace and quietness
at home" it was in his best interest to omit the prayer:
Feb. 12th, 1778
Sir: We have no disposition to restrain or limit you or others
in matters of conscience. But understanding that you, in your
Public Worship, still continue to pray that the King of Great
Britain may be strengthened to vanquish and overcome all his
enemies, which manner of praying must be thought to be a great
insult upon the Laws, Authority, and People of this State,
as you and others can but know that the King of England has
put the People of these United States from under his protection,
Declared the Rebels, and is now at open war with said States,
and consequently we are his enemies. Likewise you must have
understood that the American States have declared themselves
independent of any Foreign Power - Now Sir, in order that
we may have peace and quietness at home among ourselves, we
desire that for the future you would omit praying in Public
that King George the third or any other foreign Prince, or
Power, may vanquish, etc… the People of this Land. Your compliance
herewith may prevent you trouble.
are, Rev. Sir, with due Respect, your obedient humble servants.
the Revd. John Beach.
Sanford, William Hawley - Justices Hezekiah Sanford, Seth
Sanford, Thaddeus Benedict, John Grey, William Heron - Selectmen
Beach, however, continued to read the prayers for the King
vowing that he would "do his duty, preach, and pray for the
King till the rebels cut out his tongue."
John Beach, as a result, wasn't safe inside or outside of
his churches. The Rev. Beach served not only Redding, but
many of the surrounding towns as well. And it seems there's
a story of rebels bursting into his services and threatening
his life in every one. The Redding version is as follows:
squad of soldiers (hired, it is said, by Squire Stephen Betts
for a gallon of French brandy to shoot Mr. Beach), gathered
outside the open door of the church, and from one of them
a bullet was fired which lodged in the ribs of the sounding
board, a foot or more above the head of the venerable preacher.
As the congregation sprang to their feet in unfeigned consternation
to rush from the church, he quieted them by saying:
be alarmed, brethren. Fear not them which kill the body, but
are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him which is
able to destroy both soul and body in hell" and then proceeded
with his discourses as if nothing had happened."
Rev. John Beach died in March of 1782, well before the peace
treaty of September, 1783, but not as a result of a Rebel
sword or bullet, simply old age. In many recorded histories,
he is credited for maintaining a more tranquil community than
others in Connecticut.
Tories: Issac Drew, Ephraim DeForest, John, Joseph and Peter
Lyon, and Daniel Read, were among those whose land was confiscated
by the State courts. Many others were fined for refusing to
perform military duty but as a whole the Loyalists of Redding
were a less tortured one - before, during and after the Revolution
in comparison to others in the state, where recriminations
against British sympathizers took the form of wholesale jailing
and even murder.
Beach, most certainly a thorn in the patriot's side in the
early stages of the conflict, eventually fell into rank and
remained in Redding after the Revolution serving as selectman
from 1788-1789. Proof that extreme measures were not taken
against the Loyalists of Redding unless the person had actually
gone over to the enemy to take up arms or screen themselves
under the protection of the Ministerial Army.
Discussion: A question I receive often is: Could this
happen in the present day? Could Americans overthrow their
Government? The answer is No...it would be very difficult
to accomplish that in a Rebellious fashion(politically maybe).
But an interesting story is developing in Vermont, a town
is so fed up with the current state of politics in America
that they wish to secede from the US. While they will likely
fail, the effort gives us a present day view of how Loyalists
felt about Rebels in the Revolutionary period. We (the ones
thinking they are crazy) are the Loyalists and they (and everyone
that thinks "hey that's a good idea") are the Rebels.
I've linked a list of Blog
results from Google in case anyone wants to monitor the
situation and use it as an educational tool.
Dropbook Sign up is hosted by FastSpring.com &
linked to my company: Colley Web Services, LLC. Access is $12.99. Everything I have even found and everything I have written and created is available in the Dropbox. What's even cooler is that you have access to these files from any computer or device. Just log in to the Dropbox and the files are all there.
Colonies had only 31 ships comprising the Continental Navy
at the time of their Declaration of Independence. To add to
this, they issued Letters of Marque to privately owned, armed
merchant ships and Commissions for privateers, which were
outfitted as warships to prey on enemy merchant ships. The
merchant seamen who manned these privateer ships contributed
greatly to the Patriot cause.
little is known or made of these brave Yankees who combined
patriotism with profit, since their highly individualistic
cruises rarely found their way into official records.
boats that roamed Long Island Sound were called "Spider
Catchers". These boats were small and quick...30 feet
in length and 8 tons on average. They were whaleboats outfitted
with a small cannon and 12 armed men. While this doesn't sound
too impressive, they were very effective when a group of them
banded together to attack a larger target.
information on Cow-boys
and Skinners page.
Beach and The Episcopal (Anglican) Church
present town of Redding is one of the few places in the old
Colony of Connecticut where the Episcopal ministry is entitled
to the distinction of having been first on the ground, laying
foundations, and not building upon those already laid. The
Church of England was not planted in New England without strenuous
and bitter opposition from the Puritans, who were first in
the field. By old English law, indeed, that church was established
in all the plantations; Set it is manifest from the records
of the colonial legislation of the charter government of Connecticut,
that previously to 1727, the church of which the king was
a member was not recognized as having a right to exist. Congregationalism
was the established religion. " In opposition to which there
could be no ministry or church administration entertained
or attended by the inhabitants of any town or plantation,
upon penalty of fifty pounds for every breach of this act
" and every person in the colony, was obliged to pay taxes
for the support of this establishment.
this uncongenial soil the Anglican Church of Connecticut was
planted--strange to say, not by foreign-born missionaries,
but by seceders from the ministry of the Congregationalists.
The pioneers in this movement were Timothy Cutler, Rector
of Yale College, Daniel Brown, Tutor; James Wetmore, of North
Haven; and Samuel Johnson, of West Haven, a former tutor in
the college. These gentlemen, after a professedly careful
and prayerful examination of the subject of church order;
discipline, and worship, which resulted in a conviction that
the English Church followed most closely the teachings of
the Scriptures and the practice of the church of the first
ages, sent to the trustees of the college a formal statement
of their views, and declared for Episcopacy--to the no small
surprise and consternation of their colleagues in the college
and church. The four went to England for Episcopal ordination,
where Brown died. The three survivors returned in 1722, as
missionaries of the " Society for the Propagation of the Gospel
in Foreign Parts," Johnson only being sent to Connecticut.
The anti-Revolutionary history of the church at Redding Ridge
is mostly to be found in the archives of this Society, as
published in the "Documentary History of the Protestant Episcopal
Church in Connecticut," and the Rev. Dr. Beardsley's "History
of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut''-from which sources,
mainly, this sketch has been compiled. A letter was addressed
to the secretary of the S. P. G., dated October 19th, 1722,
signed by John Glover and twelve other heads of families in
Newtown, Thomas Wheeler, of Woodbury, and Moses Knapp, of
Chestnut Ridge, thanking the Society for the services of the
Rev. George Pigot, missionary at Stratford, and earnestly
soliciting the appointment of a missionary for themselves
next year, 1723, Mr. Pigot was transferred to Newport, R.
I., and the Rev. Samuel Johnson, his successor at Stratford,
" accepted all his missionary duties in Connecticut."
1727, the Rev. Henry Caner was sent to Fairfield, of which
town Chestnut Ridge was a part. After having named in his
report the several villages or hamlets in the vicinity of
his station, he says: "Besides these, there is a village northward
from Fairfield about eighteen miles, containing near twenty
families, where there is no minister at all, of any denomination
whatsoever; the name of it is Chestnut Ridge, and where I
usually preach or lecture once in three weeks."
1728 he says there are four villages " about Fairfield, --Green
Farms, Greenfield, Poquannuck and Chestnut Ridge, three of
them about four miles distant, the last about sixteen. The
same year, the name of Moses Knapp appears as a, vestryman
of the church at Fairfield. Mr. Caner reported seven families
at Chestnut Ridge; the number reminding us of the "House of
Wisdom" with its '"Seven Pillars," as the first Puritan organization
at New Haven was named.
is because of these records that we state that Redding is
one of the few places in the old Colony of Connecticut where
the Episcopal ministry is entitled to the distinction of having
been first on the ground, laying foundations, and not building
upon those already laid.
1729, "Moses Knapp, Nathan Lion, and Daniel Crofoot" objected,
in a meetings of the [Presbyterian] '' Society of Redding
" against the hiring of any other than a minister of the Church
of England. 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 Church in Reading."
Caner was succeeded at Chestnut Ridge, in 1732, by the Rev.
John Beach, a pupil of Johnson in Yale College, and afterward
Presbyterian minister at Newtown for several years. As Mr.
Beach was a resident of East Redding for about twenty years,
and pastor of this church full half a century, his history
is substantially that of the parish, or mission, over which
he presided. His pastorate was the longest of all the anti-Revolutionary
longest pastorate since Mr. Beach was that of his great-grandson,
the Rev. Lemuel B. Hull, who resigned his charge in 1836,
after twelve years service.
layout of a typical tavern in colonial times had several small
rooms and one large room on the main level. In many cases
houses were converted into taverns, formal living rooms became
parlors where lady travelers could rest and dining rooms became
taprooms where beer and cider were served. The larger room,
what we consider a "family room" or "great room" today, was
usually located at the front of the tavern and was used as
the main dining room. This main dining room was filled with
a mixture of small and large tables, typically it had a fireplace
and several comfortable chairs around it. The main room was
also used for meetings, court hearings, and social gatherings.
The tavern's sleeping quarters were located upstairs. In the
early days, it wasn't uncommon for visitors to share rooms
or even a bed. Later, private rooms were added to some taverns,
similar to Bed and Breakfasts/Inns of the present day. The
kitchen location varied, in some cases it was in the back
of the house, in others downstairs in the basement, a separate
building out back was possible too. Behind the tavern, there
was an outhouse or backhouse (i.e. bathroom) and often a stable
where travelers could rest their horses.
all colonial taverns were located on main highways or turnpikes.
Signs were essential and since many people in colonial times
could not read, a sign with a picture was a necessity. Tavern
signs were often carved from wood, but some were also painted
on plaster or cast in metal. In the Revolutionary period the
name of the tavern sometimes reflected the allegiance of it's
tavern keeper. A tavern named, The King's Arms, indicated
an allegiance to England. A tavern named The Washington Tavern,
indicated the tavern keeper sided with the American patriots.
colonial times a night's stay at a tavern, including meals,
lodging and stable space for the traveler's horse might cost
about $2.00. Here are the prices charged by one colonial tavern:
Lodging - $.12 ½, Breakfast - $.37 ½, Dinner - $.50, Supper
- $.37 ½, Lodging for the horse - $.50.
introduction from Nancy L. Struna's Transforming the Ordinary:
A Social History of Taverns, 1750-1820s, best states what
taverns meant to the local communities they served in the
days of the Revolution:
the middle of the 18th century, taverns lay at the center
of life in the British American mainland colonies. People
ate, drank, and slept there; they read mail and papers and
in other ways got the news; they boarded stages from and voted
at taverns; they attended court hearings and committed crimes.
Tavern keepers themselves were often respected and influential
citizens, and tavern keeping was viewed as an important and
economically viable occupation, including for women. As a
point of fact, taverns were everywhere, they housed everything,
and everyone could be involved. They were the social and cultural
centers of colonial life."
serve the needs of the army, the Continental Congress began
to issue indented draft certificates. These were basically
I.O.U.'s issued by government departments for all types of
payments. They became known as "commissary notes" because
they were most actively used by the commissary quartermaster,
who would seized items needed for the military and leave the
owner with a certificate promising future payment.
the close of the war, these notes became war debts and a major
concern of the Confederate Congress. There were notes due
to officers and enlisted men for wages, bonuses and pensions;
accounts with commissary quartermaster, hospital, and other
officers who had disbursed money during the war; and debts
owed to individual suppliers. The Congress with little revenue
to pay these debts selectively reimbursed individuals. Claims
for reimbursement on record in New York State range from 1782
to 1794 and it's doubtful all claims were paid. In many cases,
the patriots that had risked their lives and well being, either
needing cash or convinced they would never be repaid, had
sold their certificates to speculators for a pittance.
in my brother Sam is dead
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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"
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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..."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
presentation about Redding
Ridge and My Brother Sam is Dead.
presentation about Putnam
Park and My Brother Sam is Dead
presentation about Keeler
Tavern and My Brother Sam is Dead
my presentations for Redding
and My Brother Sam is Dead topics.
More? There is plenty...
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Brother Sam is Dead Dropbox Account
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