The Society Of the Cincinnati in The State of Connecticut

The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, December 26, 1776-1828. Left: Jonathan Trumbull Jr. (1740-1809) - Speaker of the Us House of Representatives. Right: Jonathan Trumbull Sr. (1710-1785) - Governor of Connecticut
The Battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17, 1775. Right: William Hull (1753-1825) - Lieutenant-Colonel in the Continental Army
The Resignation of General Washington, December 23, 1783. Left: Thomas Y. Seymour (1757-1811) - Lieutenant in the 2nd Continental Regiment of the Dragoons
The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton, January 1777

Capt Caleb Bull, Jr.

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Caleb Bull, Jr. was born on 16 January 1746. He was the son of Caleb Bull, Sr. (b. abt 1717 d. 1789) and Martha Caldwell (b. 1724 d. 1786) Caleb Bull, Jr. was the eldest of 12 children, all of whom lived to marry: Caleb; Samuel (b. 1747 d. 1818); William (b. 1748 d. 1799); James (b. 1751 d. 1820); Frederick (b. 1753 d. 1797); Esther (b. 1754 d. 1786); Ruth (b. 1757 d. 1823); Hezikiah (b. 1758 d. 1811); George (b. 1761 d. 1812); Michael (b. 1763 d. 1831); Thomas (b.1765 d. 1830); and Hepzebah (b. 1768 d. 1843).


Caleb Bull, Jr. died on 12 February 1797 at Hartford, Connecticut. The Connecticut Courant reported as follows:

Died, on the 12th instant, after an illness of just a week, Capt. Caleb Bull, of this City, Merchant, aged 51 years; a man the loss of whom will be universally lamented, and more particularly by the poor. Mr. Bull has uniformly sustained the character of a honest, friendly, benevolent, charitable man, and was a singularly obliging neighbor. He had, for some years, sustained the office of Deacon, in the North Church of this City, the importance of which office he always appeared to realize, giving evidence of it, by an uniform exemplary deportment. On the Tuesday following his remains were deposited in the family tomb, and the citizens of Hartford now mourn the loss of one of its best inhabitants.

The following week, Caleb’s brother and another relative that lived at Caleb’s residence died on the same day after a similar illness.

His father had died eight years earlier, in 1789, during a visit to Caleb Bull, Jr.’s sister in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. On that occasion, The Berkshire Chronicle carried the following report:

Last Saturday died in this town, Mr. Caleb Bull, of Hartford, in Connecticut. He set out about a fortnight ago, on a visit to his daughter in this town, and on his journey he was taken with a apolectic fit, which deprived him of the use of his limbs and speech till his death. His body was last Monday carried to Hartford, to be interred in his own tomb..


Caleb Bull, Jr. married Rebecca Butler of Harwinton in 1763. She died on September 26, 1775 at age 27. Her 6-year-old son, Caleb, died the same year. Caleb married again to Mrs. Abigail Morrison at Hartford, Connecticut on February 10, 1788.


The children of Caleb Bull, Jr. and his wife Rebecca were William W. Bull (called Beau Bull) and Mary Otis Bull who married John King at Hartford, Connecticut in November 1806. He also had one son, Caleb, who died in 1775 at age 6.


Caleb Bull, Jr. was a merchant selling in dry goods and provisions. He invested in real estate and and was one of the founders of the Hartford Bank, which later became the National Bank of Hartford.


Captain Caleb Bull, Jr. was commissioned a Captain in Webb’s Continental Regiment, 1st January, 1777 but resigned 23d March, 1778.

Caleb Bull participated in a general court martial of Lemuel Ackerly on July 29, 1777 at Peekshill, New York. Lemuel Ackerly of Westchester County, New York was brought to trial on charges of being an enemy of the country, on being a robber taken in arms, and as being a spy from the enemy. The details of the court martial are as follows:

The Prisoner pleads that he is not guilty of the Crimes above alleged against him —- but says that he went to the Enemy last fall, and enlisted before he went away with Wiliam Underhill of Cortland Manor—- but after he got to the Enemy was turned over to Capt. Frost in the Enemy’s service —- that they were called Rangers —- was in their service about six months —- was on pickett this side of Kingsbridge, from which he came away with one Mead, came up to [illegible] afterwards to a place called Hay hill near Croton bridge, lay there concealed a day or two with Mead, was taken in the bushes at Bedford Newpurchase, was alone when taken, had his arms and some ammunition with him also a green Regimental Coat on when taken —- that he came from the Enemy with an intention of giving himself up, but waited till he could get some information whether here was any Proclamation in virtue of which he might come in and resign up —- that he has never had a hand in any Robbery committed upon the Inhabitants —- that Stephen Seamans gave him some invitation to go and rob Major Benedict and Capt. Seely which he refused and did not go with him or have any concern in the matter —- that made frequent attempts to get from the Enemy but could not —- that it was about three week from the time he came from the Enemy to the time of his being taken up —- that the man who took him presented his gun as he advanced towards him (the prisoner) that he told the man he need not shoot that he was willing to be taken that he was over persuaded when he went away —- that William Wright, Mead and one Travis and the prisoner himself, upon Travis’s proposal, when to Mr. Neals in order to rob him, that the above persons came to him and persuaded him to go along with them —- that Travis broke open the door, the rest of them also at the door, that himself and Travis went in but did not take anything —- that Travis brought liquor before they set out, that he (the prisoner) drank freely and was much in liquor when at Neals —- that he was out with them only that time —–confesses that old Mr. Neal was pulled out of bed, that it was said he did it, but he don’t remember he did —-

It being unnecessary to produce any Evidence (altho it might have been had) the prisoner having of his own accord confessed as much as was necessary to satisfy the Court of his guilt —- The court adjudged the prisoner guilty of the charges alleged against him and sentenced him to suffer the pains of death.


Member. Caleb Bull was active in the affairs of the Society:

New Haven, July 15

On Tuesday the 7th instant, the State Society of Cincinnati assembled in the Town to celebrate the Twentieth Anniversary of American Independence: The Day was ushered in by firing of Cannon and ringing of Bells — At 11 o’Clock they moved in Procession to the Brick Meeting House, were a crowded Audience were highly entertained with a sermon preached by the Rev. Doctor Dwight, from Isaiah xxxiii, 6. “Wisdom and Knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of Salvation.” In which were pictured, with a rich variety of sentiment and expressions, the vices which have tarnished and destroyed former Empires, and those virtues which form the durable basis of a happy Government. The Sermon was succeeded by an Oration on the same subject, elegantly written and pronounced by Mf. James Gould. The exercises were interspersed with several beautiful pieces of vocal and instrumental music, performed by the Musical Society. After which the Society returned, and, having completed the business of the day, dined together, and drank a number of patriotic toasts.

General Ebenezer Huntington was chosen President of the Society for the ensuing year. Delegates were chosen to attend the next general meeting of the Cincinnati in Philadelphia in May of the following year, i.e., 1796. Capt. Caleb Bull, of Hartford County, was appointed to a Committee to whom all Applicants are to be made for Relief from the Funds of the Society along with Capt. Erastus Wolcott.


“New-Haven, July 15”, American Mercury, Hartford, Connecticut, 20 July 1795, p. 3, col. 3.

American Mercury, Hartford, Connecticut, 20 November 1806, p. 3, col. 4.

The Berkshire Chronicle, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, February 20, 1789. p. 3, col. 2.

Connecticut. Adjutant-General’s Office. Record of Service of Connecticut Men In the I. War of the Revolution, II. War of 1812, III. Mexican War. Hartford: [Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co.], 1889. pp. 246 & 376.

The Connecticut Journal, New Haven, Connecticut. February 20, 1788, p. 2, col. 3,

Daughters of the American revolution. Connecticut. Ruth Wyllys chapter, Hartford. Restoring of the Ancient Burying-ground of Hartford And the Widening of Gold Street: With Lists of Contributors to the General Fund And of Descendants Who Contributed for the Preservation of Family Monuments. Hartford, Conn., 1904. pp. 28 & 64.

Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution April, 1775, to December, 1783. Washington, D.C.: The Rare Book Shop Publishing Company, 1914. p. 131.

Royal R. Hinman. A Catalogue of the Names of the Early Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut: With the Time of Their Arrival In the Country And Colony, Their Standing In Society, Place of Residence, Condition In Life, Where From, Business, &c., As Far As Is Found On Record. Hartford: Case, Tiffany, 1852-1856. pp. 394-397.

Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 360. Maj. Gen. Israel Putnam, Apr. 4, 1777-June 30, 1778, p. 83.

Samuel Blachley Webb. Family Letters of Samuel Blachley Webb, 1764-1807. New York: s.n. p.123.

P. H. Woodward. One Hundred Years of the Hartford Bank, Now the Hartford National Bank of Hartford, Conn., 1792-1892. Hartford, Conn.: Case, Lockwood & Brainard, 1892. p. 39.

Biographical information compiled by V. Allen Gray.