BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF EARLY SETTLERS.
of Kinsman, was born in Canton, Hartford County, Conn., Sept. 5,
1790; married to Eunice Hotchkiss in June, 1810.
Removed from Canton in the Summer of 1812 to Gustavus; from Gustavus
to Kinsman in the Summer of 1834. Died in Kinsman, Feb. 6,
1871, leaving his widow and son, Wayne Bidwell, who
still reside there. Riverius Bidwell was a man endowed
with remarkable physical and mental powers, and admirably fitted for
excelling in whatever position placed. When a young man and in
preparation for entering Yale College, while teaching, he became
acquainted with a young lady, Eunice Hotchkiss, of New Haven,
Conn., who he married. This event changed his contemplated
pursuit of study, and shortly after he emigrated to the township of
Gustavus, erected a log house on the land selected for his home,
then covered by a dense forest, as was the most part of the township
at that time, and applied himself to clearing his land. In six
years he had cleared and under cultivation a good farm with a good
mansion and out-buildings erected, which remain at this time among
the best in that thrifty township. His unsurpassed energy and
industry, directed by superior judgment and economy, seemed always
attended by success, and were of incalculable value as an example to
others in the early settlement of that township and to a
considerable extent in adjoining townships, in which he was regarded
as an example for success.
His habits were those of most rural simplicity. A
stranger, meeting him in the neighborhood, and having respect to the
maxim: "The tailor makes the man," would observe the body of
Herculean strength, clad in plain but cleanly homespun, a huge head
of seven and seven-eighths dimension, with benign countenance under
a straw or wool hat, but would utterly fail to recognize the leading
man in his part of the country, and one of the ablest men in the
State. As early, perhaps, as 1824 or 1825, and while the
county extended to the south line of the Western Reserve,
Riverius Bidwell was elected treasurer of the county.
The treasurer had at that time to collect the tax by calling on the
tax-payer, making it necessary for him to call at every house in the
thirty-five townships (Trumbull County then included part of
Mahoning). In discharge of the duties of his office,
Bidwell did what has no precedent, and has never had an imitator
and never will in the county now of less dimensions. He went
on foot to every house, collected the taxes faithfully and promptly,
then walked to Columbus, settled with the
Auditor of State, walked home, and resumed his private
business, and, in like manner, made his collections and returns to
the auditor during his term of office. In the construction of
roads, turnpikes, and bridges for the early improvements in the
north part of the county, Bidwell's name was conspicuous, and
the undertaking of an enterprise by him was always regarded as a
guarantee of its faithful and early completion.
of Kinsman, was born in Hartland, Hartford Co., Conn., Feb. 29,
1780. Removed to Barkhamsted, Litchfield County, Conn., at the
age of twelve, and at twenty to Canandaigua, Ontario County, New
York, where he resided till April, 1804, when he emigrated to Ohio,
with his earthly possessions on his back in a knapsack He
worked by the month through the season, and in October was married
to Lucy Thompson, daughter of Thomas Thompson, who
came to Hartford, Trumbull County, Ohio, the same year from
Farmington, Hartford County, Conn. In the Winter he made a
clearing, and built a cabin on the center line of Fowler, near the
Vienna line, where he removed with his wife, then eighteen years
old, in the Spring of 1805, there being at that time only four
families in the township, the nearest one mile distant through an
unbroken forest They endured all the hardships incident to so
new a country, and made for themselves a home of comfort, humble
though it was. At the time of Hull's surrender in 1812
he went with almost the entire male population of the county to
defend the northwestern frontier at Sandusky and Huron, from whence
he returned about the 1st of January, 1813, with impaired health.
He still resided on his farm in Fowler, which he had improved to a
fine homestead, planted an orchard, which now by its perfectly
straight rows shows his taste and care, and the fences being neat
and substantial, were an evidence of industry and thrift. In
the Autumn of 1818 he sold his farm to Abijah Silliman, and
in April, 1819, removed to Kinsman, there he resided until February,
1846, when, by a fall, which resulted in concussion of the spine, he
died three days thereafter. His family at the time of his
settlement in Kinsman consisted of himself and wife, six daughters,
and one son, and afterward another son and daughter, all of whom
were in after time married, and three of whom now survive.
was born in Norwich, Conn. Served in the war of 1812 as
captain of a company of Norwich light infantry. He emigrated
to Kinsman 1814, taught a district-school 1815, purchased two
hundred acres of land on the south line of the township on the
East Vernon Road in 1818. This land he improved
and held as long as he lived, though his home for the last fifteen
or twenty years of his life was in the village of Kinsman, on the
corner of the State and Warren Roads. He planted a field of
broom-corn where the Kinsman House now stands, and made the first
broom corn brooms in the country. His marriage to Miss
Harriet Cole, of Kinsman, was in 1819. He was a member of
the Presbyterian Church, and died Sept. 20, 1853, in his
YEOMANS, brother of the above, came to Kinsman a few years later,
and settled on a farm lying alongside that of his brother's.
His death occurred a few years previous to his brother's.
DR. PETER ALLEN.
- Kinsman has had no citizen more honored and useful in his calling
than Dr. Peter Allen. He was born at Norwich, Conn.,
July 1, 1787, the son of John and Tirzah Allen. His
father was a respectable and well-to-do farmer of Norwich, and gave
his son the best advantages of education which the city at that time
afforded. He pursued and completed his professional studies
with the eminent Dr. Tracy, of Norwich, emigrating to Kinsman
1808, and immediately entering on the practice of his profession.
He was the first and for nearly a quarter of a century the only
physician in the township and a somewhat extensive surrounding
country. Possessed of an uncommonly robust constitution and
great energy of character, he endured hardships and peformed
an amount of labor in his profession which in these days of bridges,
good roads, and short rides might seem almost incredible. It
was nothing uncommon for him in the early settlement of the country
to ride over bad roads and along mere bridle paths ten, fifteen,
twenty or miles to visit a patient, often fording streams or
crossing them on logs and by canoes, exposed to wet and cold,
fatigues and discomforts that we are now little able to appreciate.
In his day the advantages of medical schools, hospitals, clinics,
dissections were enjoyed only by a very few physicians.
Notwithstanding the disadvantages with which he had to contend,
Dr. Allen attained a high standing in his profession. He
performed many difficult surgical operations, such as the operation
for strangulated hernia, ligating the femeral artery for
aneurism, laryngotomy, lithotomy, removal of cancers, amputation of
limbs and at the shoulder joint, etc. He stood high in the
esteem of medical men, and his counsel was much sought by them in
difficult cases of both medicine and surgery. He was an active
member of the Ohio State Medical Association from its first
formation,and was at one time its presiding officer. In the
was of 1812 he had the first appointment of surgeon in the army on
the northern frontier of the State. He was also a member of
the Ohio State Legislative in 1840.
He married Charity Dudley, of Bethlem,
Conn., May 15, 1813. Mrs. Allen, a superior and most
estimable woman, was for many years a great sufferer. Her
death was sudden, she having been thrown from the carriage, in which
she was riding, by the fright of her horse, June 1, 1840, and lived
only a few hours after. In 1841 Dr. Allen married
Miss Fanny Brewster Starr, a niece of Mrs. R. Kinsman and
General Simon Perkins. She died of consumption August,
1846. Dr. Allen had but one child, Dr. Dudley Allen,
born June, 1814.
The first office of Dr. Allen was in his
father's yard, on the farm now occupied by Isaac Allen, by
the maple grove on the banks of Stratton Creek. This he
occupied until the Fall of 1813, when he moved into a double log
house, which stood in the yard in which he built his frame house in
1821. This latter was in the time of its erection and is still
a beautiful house of elaborate and superior workmanship. It
was much admired, and cost three thousand dollars, which was then
considered an extravagant sum.
His brother, Dr. Francis Allen, was in company
with him from 1825 to 1829, and his son from 1837 to 1852, at which
time he mostly relinquished practice. The farm on which he
lived was purchased in 1812 for two dollars per acre.
Dr. Allen is remembered by those who knew him,
not merely as a skillful physician, but also as an active and
steadfast member of the Church of Christ. when his business
permitted he was always present in the house of God on the Sabbath.
A regular attendant at the weekly prayer-meeting, and in the latter
part of his life was an active member of the Sabbath-school.
After having relinquished the business of his
profession he was almost the standing representative of the Church
in meetings of Synod, and at the meeting next succeeding his death
was spoken of by that body in terms of high regard. Only a few
months before his last sickness he represented Trumbull Presbytery
as their lay delegate in the N. S. General Assembly, at Dayton.
He retained full possession of his faculties though advanced in
life, and his Christian example shown bright until the end.
came from Ireland when sixteen years of age, and settled in
Chartiers Creek, Penn., where he lived till his marriage to Miss
Mary Murray 1803. Came to Kinsman with his wife 1804.
M'CONNELL came from Londonderry, Ireland, 1794. When he
landed at Philadelphia with his wife and two children they had the
small-pox; so that it was with the greatest difficulty that they
could obtain lodgings; and one of their little girls died.
They lived in Washington County, Penn., two years, then in Beaver
County until they moved to Kinsman, 1804, having four children.
The roads were so bad that they had to leave their wagons and come
on horseback. Mrs. M'Connell and that children stopped
at Mr. Mossman's, over the line, while Mr. M'Connell
came on and put up a log house. The next Monday they all went
over, and the mother and children sat on a log while the father cut
an opening for a door. They kept fire by a big log outside
until the fire-place was built in the house.
KING. - The ancestors of John Brackin were of Scotch
descent. James Brackin his father, was from Glasgow,
Scotland. John Brackin lived in Ireland, and married
Mrs. Jane King who at the time of their marriage had two sons,
James and Robert. After her second marriage she
had two other sons, Ezekiel and David. John
Brackin and family left Londonderry, Ireland, May 22, 1803, and
in about four weeks landed at Wilmington, Delaware, and came to
Strabane, Washington County, Penn. David, a boy of
sixteen, still remained in Ireland attending school. Robert
King came first to Kinsman. In 1804, the next year after
coming to America, the family came to Kinsman. Two years
afterward, David left Londonderry, July 17, 1805, and reached
Newcastle, Delaware, Sept. 18th, thence to Strabane, Washington
County, Penn. When John Brackin went to Washington
County for his son David, stopping in Pittsburg, he went into
a shoe shop for a pair of shoes. Mr. Riddle, the
proprietor, asked him, "How long since you came from the holy sod?"
He replied, "How do you known I came from there?" Mr.
Riddle answered, "O! the potato blossoms are not out of
your cheeks yet." Conversing together they found they had been
old schoolmates in Ireland.
- Mrs. Anna Beckwith (Miss Little) says, "My father and
family emigrated from Beaver Township, Beaver County, Penn., April,
1804. We started the 11th of April, and were about ten days on
the road. When we got to the house of a Mr. Potter,
about two miles from our place, we stopped, and father when on and
which we moved immediately. When we came to Kinsman there
were eight of children, James, Nicholas, Anna, Jane, Elizabeth,
Margaret, M'Clure and David. John, Mary, and
Eleanor were born in Ohio.
ISAAC MEACHAM came from Hartland, Conn., 1806; born Apr. 30, 1778; died
Dec. 12, 1841.
IRA MEACHAM, from Hartland, Conn., 1812; born Sept. 26, 1784; died Sep.
23, 1850, age, sixty-six.
SAM LEWIS. (Name only)
OBED GILDER - Born May 29, 1793, Hartland Conn.; came to Kinsman Apr. 1,
NEWTON - Born Nov. 27, 1783, Cheshire, Conn.; emigrated to Gustavus,
1809; Kinsman, 1814; died Nov 27, 1860.
BROCKETT. - born Oct. 17, 1783, North Haven, Conn.; emigrated to
Kinsman, 1809; died Sept. 7, 1872.
came from Pennsylvania; died near Greenville, Penn.
from Sharon County, commenced a farm north of Thomas K's
brother, from the same place, went first to Johnson; came to Kinsman
AND LYMAN KINNEY settled on the Galpin Place.
KRAHL, a hatter, come from Westmoreland County, Penn., to
Kinsman, 1812-13; settled on land south of Captain Briggs.
(no more info)
from Monmouth, New Jersey, 1808; born December, 1750; died,
LAUGHLIN, from Pennsylvania; died July 10, 1868, aged
GIDDINGS, from Connecticut, 1810-12, lived on L. C. Perkins's
emigrated 1808 from Baltimore County, Md.; lived on the south
line of the township.
from Vernon. (no more info)
A. FOSTER (no
JOHN KYLE -
Born Franklin County, Penn., 1772; came to Kinsman Apr. 4, 1813;
died Apr. 28, 1870.1
WEBBER - Born Palmer, Mass., May 22, 1778; came to Kinsman
August, 1819; died Dec. 15, 1843.
from Hartland, Conn., 1807; lived on the Kinsman Cone Farm, west
of Cone bridge; died at Sandusky.
CHRISTY and MARY HENDERSON, his wife, came from Westmoreland
County, Penn., to Kinsman, 1804, having two children, James and
CHRISTY, brother of William, came at the same time, and
about five years after married Betsey M'Connel, and settled
on his farm next north of William Christy.
BURNHAM. - The life of Jedediah Burnham, through a period
of nearly eighty-seven years, has been intimately and variously
connected with the growth and progress of the township of Kinsman.
His counsels and acts, whether in the military, civil, or religious
organizations of the town, as well as in the administration of all
township and county affairs intrusted to him, have been marked with
eminent justice, propriety, and wisdom. HE came to Kinsman not
far from the time that he became of age, and was very soson
appointed to office. From that time to the period when the
infirmities of age began to press upon him he was actively employed
in responsible duties to which he was called by his fellow-citizens
of the town and county. He was an active member and honored
officer of the Congregational and Presbyterian Church in Kinsman,
from its beginning to the day of his death. Pre-eminently a
peace-maker, he was commonly the first one in the town resorted to
for the settlement of any misunderstanding or difficulty between
neighbor and neighbor, or trouble of any sort that had sprung up in
He was born in Lisbon, Conn., 1785, the son of Dr.
Jedediah Burnham a respectable physician of that place, who in
his old age, with his wife and daughter, removed to Kinsman, and
lived and died in the family of his son. In 1804 Mr.
Burnham left the home of his parents and went to Virginia, with
the hope of finding in that State a location that would please him.
He returned, however, without locating.
At that time the circulating medium of the Western
Reserve was principally specie. Many parties came to the
State, commonly on horseback, with coin in their saddle-bags for the
purchase of lands. The returns of these sales enabled
proprietors of large tracts of lands here to make their payments as
they became due East.
Mr. Kinsman in 1805, had been more than
in the sale of his lands, and had accumulated quite a quantity of
specie, which from time to time he had deposited in Pittsburg.
Early in the Fall he went to Pittsburg on horseback. There he
purchased another horse, afterward known as the family horse
Chickasaw, and, loading his coin on the backs of his two horses,
rode to Boston, leading Chickasaw. Here he disposed of his
money, and returned to Lisbon, Conn., with the horses. He
proposed to Mr. Burnham to accompany him to Ohio and enter
into his employ. His proposition having been accepted, Mr.
Kinsman left him "Chickasaw," and started for New York and
Philadelphia, for the purchase of goods, with the understanding that
Burnham would meet him at Columbia, Penn., in time to
accompany him on his return to Kinsman.
Mr. Burnham, having made preparations for his
journey, started in company with a Mr. Woodward, in
Cincinnati. On the way, between Lisbon and Fishkill, they
stopped two days to attend the wedding of Mr. Woodward's
sister, reaching Columbia two days before the arrival of Mr.
From that place they arrived in Kinsman in November.
The new house of Mr. Kinsman was being rapidly brought to its
completion. The first work of Mr. Burnham was to assist
in putting in the stone chimney. After that he was busy in
various work of the farm until Winter, when he was engaged to teach
the first regular school of the township. The next Spring and
Summer he was again employed on the farm, and assisted in putting in
a crop of oats on the bottom lands south of Wayne Bidwell's.
The product was an abundant crop of straw as well as oats, which was
mowed and stacked for Winter fodder near Mr. Kinsman's house.
In the Winter of 1806 he again commenced the school,
with the understanding that Benjamin Allen would take his
place as soon as he had finished a job of work in Hubbard. In
accordance with this arrangement, Mr. Burnham was relieved
about midwinter, and went into Mr. Kinsman's store in the
capacity of a clerk, where he remained until the breaking out of the
war of 1812, when he was called to serve in the army, as has already
In the organization of the township militia, Mr.
Burnham was first appointed lieutenant in Captain Randall's
company, and afterward promoted to captain. Returning from the
army, Captain Burnham at once devoted himself to the
cultivation and improvement of his farm.
He was married to Miss Sophia Bidwell, of
Gustavus, 1814. IN 1816 he was elected a justice of the peace,
in which capacity he
served uninterruptedly twenty-one years. His official acts
were ever marked with justice and propriety; and of all his
decisions appealed from during his long administration, it is said
that not any (if any, certainly but very few) were reversed by the
In 1806 he was chosen collector of the civil township
of Green, embracing under that name what is now Kinsman, Gustavus,
and Green. Afterward he was appointed county collector, when
the law required the collector to call at the residence of every
person taxed to make the collection. This arduous duty was
performed by himself alone, going on horseback from house to house
throughout the county. Afterward he had the office of county
assessor, the duties of which were performed in a similar manner,
and required about the same amount of time and labor. The
duties of his offices were attended to with a high degree of
exactitude, promptness, and fidelity.
He held the office of deacon in the Vernon, Hartford,
and Kinsman Church, and, after the formation of the Congregational
and Presbyterian Church in Kinsman, the same office in that until
his death. His long, prosperous, eventful, and useful life
closed early in the year of 1874.
Esq., became a resident of Kinsman in 1817. His dwelling
and farm were on the center road, something over a mile south of the
north line of the township. The following are the principal
events of his life, substantially, as given by himself, and recorded
by his son, Joshua Fobes, Esq., in 1835:
"My ancestors were among the early
emigrants from England to America. They settled in Bridgwater,
Mass. Their names was originally Forbes. When and by
whom the letter 'r' was left out, changing the name to
Fobe, is not known. My grandfather, Caleb Fobes,
whose wife was named Abigail had five children - Joshua,
who lived to be eighty-four, was married, and raised a numerous
family; Caleb, who lived to be eighty-four; Simon, my
father, who lived to be eighty-six; Nathan, who had a family,
and lived to the age of seventy; and Sarah, who married a
Wallbridge, had a number of children, and lived to an advanced
age. My grandfather died when my father was but a boy.
At the age of six years he was apprenticed to a farmer, with whom he
lived until he was of age, when he married Thankful Ellis, by
whom he had eight children - four sons
and four daughters. The eldest died at birth. The names
of the others were Thankful, Joshua, Bethiah, Simon, Nathan,
Ellis, and Eunice. Joshua died in childhood;
Thankful in 1826; Ellis, 1831; and Bethiah, 1836,
aged eighty-two years. My brother Nathan removed to
Ohio in 1806, and settled in Wayne, Ashtabula County, where he
raised a numerous family, and had the pleasure of seeing them all
settle about him. He died in the hope of the Gospel November
23, 1833, aged seventy-five years. My parents lived in
Canterbury, Windham County, Conn., and were respected members of the
Congregational Church in that place.
"I was born the 5th of April, 1756. At an early
age I was employed on the farm, and kept steadily at work.
When I was about fourteen my father sold his farm in Canterbury, and
removed to Amherst, Hampshire County, Mass. His property was
small, and my opportunities of learning and education were quite
limited. The extent of my acquirements was to be able to read
and write, cipher to the rule of three, and cast interest."
It was about this time, during the years of his
there was no special religious interest in the community, that he be
came impressed with a sense of his sinfulness, and, after months of
spiritual depression, was enabled to rejoice in the hope of the
He united with the Congregational Church, and was a consistent
member of it through a long life.
FROM THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON TO THE EXPEDITION, UNDER ARNOLD, TO
"In the year 1774, the troubles between
Great Britain and the Colonies having assumed a very serious aspect,
the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts recommended that all
able-bodied men, liable to do military duty should form themselves
into companies, and exercise with the view of being prepared for
war. My father, being a firm friend to his country, but too
old and feeble to take any active part himself, encouraged me to go,
and I accordingly enlisted into a company of minute-men (so-called),
and to some extent learned military exercise.
"When the alarm was made by the first blood shed at
Lexington, on the 17th of April, 1775, I had been to Canterbury, in
Connecticut, with one of my sisters, on a visit to our connections
and friends. On our return, when in the township of Union,
about thirty miles from home, I first heard of the dreadful
catastrophe at Lexington. We proceeded homeward as fast as
possible. The tidings spread. The
voice of war rang through the land, and preparations were everywhere
commenced to carry it forward with vigor.
"Immediately after reaching home I made some change of
clothing, took my gun and accouterments, and started, in company
with some others, for Cambridge, six miles north of Boston, where
the American troops were collecting. I there joined my company
of minute-men, which had marched the day before I got home, and
began active military service. After a while I enlisted for
the remainder of the year into a company commanded by Captain
Eliakim Smith, of Old Hadley. Our regiment was commanded
by Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Ward, and our brigade and
General Artemas Ward. In the mean time my parents sent me
a suit of clothes, and I continued with the troops without returning
"Our regiment was stationed at a breastwork, called
Fort No. 2, a little back of Cambridge, toward Boston. We
often stood sentry down on the marsh, where the mosquitoes were very
troublesome, and so near the British sentries that we could hear
them sing out every hour of the night, 'all is well.'
"On the evening preceding the 17th of June one thousand
men, under the command of General Putnam, were sent to make
an intrenchment of Bunker's Hill, nearer the Birtish ships, lying at
anchor in Boston Harbor. By daylight, next morning, they had
thrown up a breastwork about eight rods square, and four feet in
height. When the British saw what had been done they soon
began a terrible cannonade from the ships and floating batteries;
also from a forenoon lost but one man. Soon after twelve,
three thousand British troops, commanded by Major-General Howe,
crossed Charles River for the purpose of taking the redoubt.
The battle and result that followed are well known.
"Soon after the firing, on that memorable day, had
begun, about one-half of our regiment marched, as a re-enforcement,
from Cambridge to Charlestown Neck, where the British were
continually firing. There we lay awhile, waiting for orders.
When the orders came we marched on behind the buildings, as well as
we could, across the Neck, which was partially flooded, it being
"When we started from the fort, in Cambridge, marching
in double files, I was near the center of the detachment, fully
go as far as my officers did. In crossing the Neck I soon
perceived that fully one-half of our soldiers were missing, and I
was near the front of the detachment.
"As we ascended the hill the other side of the Neck, the
musket-balls whistled merrily. I noticed my officers dodging,
first one way, then the other. For my part I knew not which
way to dodge. A ball struck my gun near the lock as I was
carrying it on my shoulder, and split off a piece of the stock.
All this, together with the frequent meeting of our men, bringing
off the wounded and the dying, made it a trying time for young
soldiers. I can not tell which way or how my hair stood, for
it seemed to me it stood every way.
"As we were hurrying on without much order, some one
called to us to come that way, and there was a good place.
We advanced to a post and rail fence through a shower of
musket-balls, where we made a stand. I discharged my gun three
times at the British, taking deliberate aim as if at a squirrel, and
saw a number of men fall. I had become calm as a clock.
When loading my gun the fourth time, I happened to cast my eyes
around, and, to my astonishment, my fellow-soldiers were running at
full speed down the hill. I had heard no orders to retreat.
That instant my sergeant, who stood near me, started to follow them.
Then it was I saw a company of British regulars marching rapidly
toward us. I finished loading my gun as quick as I could.
When they had got within a few rods of us, however, I fired it off
at them, and then ran for my life. At the same time the
British were ordered to halt, make ready, and fire. The balls
whistled again, but did no material injury. One of my mates
received a flesh wound. Firing down hill they shot over us.
"A very large number of men, both old and young, had
now collected. All seemed to be bustle and tumult.
Charlestown, now wrapped in flames, added greatly to the interest of
the scene. I saw the lofty steeple when on fire. It
trembled and fell to the ground. Our officers, with evident
anxiety and perplexity, were running to and fro, endeavoring to
devise some plan by which we could drive the British from the hill.
"A noted officer (I do not recollect his name) now
stepped forward, and marched round in the crowd calling for
volunteers to attempt the retaking of the hill. A large body
of us volunteered, and we marched on near to the neck, where our
commander came upon General Putnam. Our soldiers were
very poorly equipped, nearly one-half being armed with old rusty
guns without bayonets.
was so fortunate as to have a good gun and bayonet. The
British had now paraded on the top of the hill with heavy artillery.
While General Putnam and our commanding officer were
talking together, a cannon-ball struck the stone wall near the
former. After conversing awhile. General Putnam
wheeled his horse and rode off. Prudence seemed to direct that
the attempt should be abandoned. After remaining in suspense
until near dark, we were dismissed, and with
our officers marched back to our tents.
" In the mean time some of our soldiers had been to
Cambridge, and got a pail of rum for us to drink when we returned.
It being hot weather, I had become very thirsty and was much
fatigued. At the door of the tent stood a pail, containing water as
I supposed, with a pint tin cup in it. Some one asked me to drink. I
took the cup and dipped it almost full, and drank the most of it
before I was aware that it was rum. I was very much startled,
fearing the consequences of what I had done. Being very weary,
I lay down, and was soon asleep, and did not awake until the next
morning. When I arose I found that my fears were not realized.
I had sustained no material injury, as in ordinary circumstances I
doubtless should have done, and I was ready to do my duty as usual.
"About noon we were alarmed by a report that the enemy
was advancing to attack us. We were immediately paraded, and I
don't know but I was as willing to go then as I was the day before.
However, the word came that the alarm was without foundation, and we
"When I was a prisoner aboard a British ship in the St.
Lawrence, a man of intelligence, and who was acquainted with the
facts regarding the battle of Bunker's Hill, told me that the
British lost in that engagement about one thousand men. The
weather being very hot a great many died of their wounds.
"After the battle of Bunker's Hill the regiment to
which I belonged remained at Cambridge. There I frequently
attended public worship on the Sabbath. On week-days we often
had little or nothing to do.
" Some time in August we left our tents and marched to
Dorchester, three miles south of Boston, and were quartered among
the inhabitants. There we continued to do military duty.
In the mean time our Captain Smith was taken very sick
with a fever, and was removed to Waterton, seven miles from Boston,
where he soon after
died, greatly lamented, and was buried with military honors.
"While we lay at Dorchester, the non-commissioned
privates of our company agreed upon some by-laws, to be in force
among ourselves, particularly with regard to pilfering and
uncleanliness about the camp. If any one, on being accused and
tried by a court-martial consisting of the sergeants of the company,
was found guilty, he was fined or whipped at the discretion of the
These by-laws were strictly enforced. A soldier was brought
before the court for some misdemeanor, tried, found guilty, and
sentenced to be whipped. He was immediately taken into an
orchard, tied to an apple-tree, and smartly whipped with rods.
Another was caught on a pear-tree stealing fruit, and he was tried
and severely punished.
EXPEDITION TO CANADA
"About this time, by direction of General
Washington, Colonel Benedict Arnold had succeeded in raising
one thousand volunteers for an expedition against Canada.
Captain Jonas Hubbard, of Worcester, a stout athletic man, and
much esteemed and beloved by all his acquaintances, was one of the
volunteers. A number of our company, including myself, were
enrolled in his company, when we were marched to Cambridge, and
quartered on the inhabitants of the town while preparing for our
contemplated expedition. Some time about
the middle of September, the necessary preparations having been
completed, we took our baggage, and marched by land to Newburyport,
thirty-three miles north north-east from Boston. We lay in
Newburyport over the Sabbath, and attended public worship in
military order. Monday we shipped aboard some dirty coasters
and fish boats, and sailed into the mouth of the Kennebec.
During this short voyage I became very seasick; and such a sickness,
making me feel so lifeless, so indifferent whether I lived or died!
It seemed to me that had I been thrown into the sea I should hardly
have made an effort to have saved myself. We sailed up the
Kennebec about fifty miles to a place called Fort Weston, where we
left our shipping, went ashore, and encamped. While we were
shifting our baggage to some bateaux, one of the men, in a passion,
fired into a room full of soldiers, and killed one of their number.
He was taken and tried by a court-martial, and found guilty of
murder. He was sent back under guard to headquarters at
"When baggage and boats were ready we moved up the
river, some proceeding by land, some in boats. We were
frequently obliged to haul our boats against a rapid current, and
being heavily loaded, our progress was slow. At Fort Halifax,
there was a short fall that was impassable and we were compelled to
take our baggage and
ATTEMPT TO TAKE QUEBEC
AS A PIONEER
1. Per Ohio, Soldier Registrations, 1804-1858:
John Kyle - b. 1771, PA - Enlisted May 21, 1812 - Discharge Date:
Jul. 24, 1812 - Died Apr. 28, 1870, Kinsman, OH - Buried Old Kinsman
Cem., Kinsman, OH - Rank: Private in Army.
He can be found in 1830 Census, Kinsman, Trumbull Co., Ohio as well
as 1850 as well as 1860 living with his wife in the home of his
possibly daughter, Minerva (Manerva) and her husband Henry Fry.
NOTE: This needs to be verified)
There are many other things on Ancestry.
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