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

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  • Captain Abijah Savage

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    Birth:

    2 July 1744 in Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut. Connecticut Town Birth Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection), Middletown Vital Records 1651-1854, p. 172

    Death:

    9 June 1825. Connecticut, Church Record Abstracts, 1630-1920, Volume 22 Cromwell, Cromwell First Congregational Church, 1715-1875, p. 132

    Marriage:

    Martha Strickland Torrey; 20 August 1765. Rev. Frederic W. Bailey, ed., Early Connecticut Marriages as Found on Ancient Church Records, Prior to 1800, Book 6, p. 94.

    Children:

    14; Charles Collard Adams, Middletown Upper Houses: A History of the North Society of Middletown, Grafton Press, 1908, p. 643.

    Education:

    Unknown

    Military:

    French and Indian War, 1761-1763. Second Lieutenant of 4th Company, Spencer’s Regiment for Quebec Expedition, captured 31 December 1775 (p. 91); Captain of Colonel Henry Sherburne’s Additional Continental Regiment, appointed 25 February 1777 following his release from British captivity in a prisoner exchange; retired 1 June 1780 (p.253); Connecticut Cincinnati Society, 1783 (p. 375). Henry P. Johnston, ed. The Record of Connecticut Men in the Military and Naval Service during the War of the Revolution, 1775 – 1783, Hartford, 1889.

    Cincinnati:

    Founding member of the Society of the Cincinnati.

    Occupation:

    Shipwright (Adams, p. 643).

    Discussion:

    Following in his father’s footsteps, Abijah, at the age of seventeen, joined the British forces with three of his brothers, and participated in the French and Indian War from 1761 to 1763. Returning home, Abijah married Martha Torrey in 1765; the couple celebrated the birth of the first of many children, Joseph, named for Abijah’s father, in 1767.

    On 1 May 1775, following Concord, Abijah joined the militia surrounding Boston and, as a result of his earlier experience, was appointed a lieutenant in General Spencer’s 2d Regiment. Washington assumed command of the militia forces soon after the Battle of Bunker Hill and began planning a two-pronged invasion of Canada and capture of Quebec to be conducted by Montgomery and Arnold. Lieutenant Savage answered the call for volunteers and joined Arnold’s expedition, subsequently assigned to Captain Oliver Hanchett’s company. The force departed Cambridge and sailed from Newburyport on 19 September to the Maine coast; a historical marker in Danvers, Massachusetts commemorates Arnold’s expedition. By the time that Arnold reached the Saint Lawrence River in November, his force which numbered 1,300 when it departed Cambridge, was reduced to 600 starving men. Finally assaulting Quebec on December 31, the battle was a devastating loss for the Americans; Montgomery was killed, Arnold was wounded, and 350 men were captured, including Lieutenant Savage. He remained a prisoner until January 1777, when he was released in a prisoner exchange after thirteen months of captivity. In March, he was appointed a Captain in Colonel Sherburne’s Regiment of the Continental Army. The 1778 Muster Rolls of Sherburne’s Regiment indicate that Abijah Savage was serving as a company commander. The Continental Congress established this regiment as an “additional” regiment in reserve, formed out of companies from several colonies. One of Captain Savage’s duties during this period was service as “an officer in the guard” of French general, Marquis de Lafayette.

    Eight letters from Captain Savage, all written during the war, are found in George Washington’s papers. Most written while he served as a quartermaster are requesting supplies; the letter of May 1780, composed in Morristown, New Jersey stands out as it reflects the sorry state of the Continental Army. His regiment had been disbanded, and Captain Savage remained without support or any form of compensation. He requests discharge to attend to the needs of his family.

    Following the war, Abijah was an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati. In 1792, he received land on the Hocking River in Athens County, Ohio, in payment for his service. His daughter Chloe and her husband, Elisha Hurlbut, relocated there. When Lafayette visited the United States in 1824, Abijah Savage entertained him in his home in Middletown; he died the following year.

    Biography of Captain Abijah Savage by Colonel (Ret.) Michael J. Blyth.

  • Major Jonathan Bigelow

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    Birth:

    November 20, 1739, Hartford, Connecticut

    Death:

    June 26, 1780 Hartford, Connecticut

    Marriage:

    Hannah Wadsworth who born on April 8, 1750 and died on February 26, 1801. They married on June 30, 1771.

    Children:

    Four sons and one daughter. James born June 10, 1774; John born Dec 6, 1775; Henry born December 19, 1777; Richard born December 29, 1779. Nancy [no information to be found on her birth or death]. His son Richard was lost at sea in 1797.

    Education:

    Information regarding his education is unknown.

    Military:

    He first served as a volunteer under Benedict Arnold at Ticonderoga in May 1775. He was a captain in an independent company, Connecticut artillery, January – December 1776. Served subsequently as Major in the Connecticut artillery military. He supplied uniforms to officers in the State of Connecticut.

    Occupation:

    Besides his military career there is no known occupation.

    Discussion:

    He was taken prisoner by the British on July 8, 1777 in the West Indies. He was sent to New York under a flag of truce to negotiate an exchange of Capt. Judd of the Antelope for Capt. Manly of the Hancock. He was commissioned a Major in 1778 and appointed to oversee the manufacture of clothing for the soldiers of the Continental Army, and the same year appointed by the Governor and Council to purchase cloth suitable for officers in Connecticut. He held other positions of trust, according to Howe’s Bigelow genealogy, which does not specify. Major John Bigelow received a letter from George Washington and Alexander Hamilton. Both of these letters were in regard to the garments he was providing the soldiers of the war. His widow married James Tiley. She died February 26, 1801 at Windsor, Connecticut.

    Reference:

    Bigelow Family Genealogy, Volume I, page 85.

    Biographical information provided by Alfonso Ferrentino.

  • 2nd Lt Thomas Tanner

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    Birth:

    17 June 1743, Cornwall, Connecticut to Thomas Tanner, Sr. and Martha Borden.

    Death:

    17 January 1817/18, Cooperstown, New York.

    Marriage:

    30 October 1765, Cornwall, Connecticut to Anna Baldwin. She was born in October 1741, probably at Goshen, Connecticut, and died in 1821 or 1822, probably at Cooperstown, New York.

    Children:

    4 sons and 3 daughters.

    Parents:

    2nd Lt. Thomas Tanner’s father was Thomas Tanner who was born about 1695, probably at Haddam, Connecticut, and who died before 19 June 1750. His mother was Martha Borden who was born on 11 September 1700 at Lyme, Connecticut, and died after 1753 at Cornwell, Connecticut. 2nd Lt. Thomas Tanner’s parent were married on 26 December 1727 at East Haddam, Connecticut.

    Occupation:

    Carpenter.

    Military:

    French and Indian War:

    Enlisted at age 18 (abt. 1761), and served 2 years.

    Revolutionary War:

    Second Lieutenant, Bradley’s Connecticut State Regiment, Captain Smith’s Company, 10 June 1776; Taken prisoner at Fort Washington, 16 November 1776; Billeted and paroled as a prisoner of war at Flat Bush, Long Island, New York; Released after 4 years a prisoner of war.

    Cincinnati:

    First represented in 2017 by Ryan James Corker.

    Discussion:

    From Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas Tanner, Sr. ,(1893):

    “In October 1773, a war with England pending, he was made ensign of a “trainband” of his townsmen. In May [sic] 1776, he was appointed second lieutenant of Capt. Smith’s company, Col. Bradley’s battalion, Gen. Wadsworth’s brigade. He was in the Battle of Long Island, August 27, in the retreat to New York, Harlem, Washington Heights and into Fort Washington; where, with more than 2,000 Connecticut and Maryland troops, he was taken prisoner November 16. During the night, he and his comrades were marched through New York to Brooklyn, where he was held 4 years a prisoner, meanwhile following his carpenter trade for his support. Released then on parole, he returned to his family in Cornwall, to their great joy and relief. Soon after, in 1781, he moved with his family to New Lebanon, New York, where some of his brother William’s family had doubtless preceded him, and where he remained some twelve years, pursuing his trade, and where his two youngest children were born. In 1793, he removed to Cooperstown, where his two oldest sons had preceded him. Here in this young thriving town, he continued working at his trade till old coming on, he died in 1817, aged 74, and was buried in the old Christ Church cemetery. His wife, Anna, followed him some four years later. Of his moral and religious character, of his personal traits, habits and manners there is nothing known. Family tradition says he was a large, heavy man, while his wife was a quite slim and small woman; hence perhaps the medium size of most of his descendants. His army trunk, hair covered and iron bound, still exists in a great grandson’s family at South Cortland, N. Y.”

    References:

    Bates, Albert C., ed. Lists and Returns of Connecticut Men in the Revolution: 1775-1783, in Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, Vol. XII. Hartford, CT: Case, Lockwood, & Brainard Company, 1909. https://archive.org/details/collectionsofcon12conn.

    Ford, Worthington Chauncey. “Prisoners of War: British and American, 1778,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (1893): 11-12. https://archive.org/details/prisonersofwarbr00ford.

    Heitman, Francis B. Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution, April 1775 to December 1783, New, Revised and Enlarged Edition. Washington D. C.: The Rare Book Shop Publishing Company, Inc., 1914. https://archive.org/details/franheitmanreg00bernrich.

    Johnston, Henry Phelps, ed. Record of Connecticut Men in the War of the Revolution. Hartford, CT: The Case, Lockwood, and Brainard Company, 1889. https://archive.org/details/waroftherevolution00recorich.

    Tanner, Elias F. Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas Tanner, Sr. Lansing, MI: Darius D. Thorp, Printer and Binder, 1893. https://archive.org/details/genealogyofdesce00tann.

    The National Archives. “Thomas Tanner: Bradley’s Regiment, Revolutionary War” in Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War. NARA M881, Record Group 93, Roll 363. https://www.fold3.com/image/16839154.

    ________. “A Pay Roll of Capt. Simeon Smith’s Company in Col. Philip B. Bradley’s Regiment” in Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783. NARA M246, Record Group 93, Roll 27, Folder 195. https://www.fold3.com/image/ 10109216.

    ________. “Return of the American Officers and Other Prisoners on Parole on Long Island” in Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783. NARA M246, Record Group 93, Roll 136, Folder 6. https://www.fold 3.com/image/9685388.

    Biographical information provided by Ryan James Corker.

  • Capt Caleb Bull, Jr.

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    Birth:

    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).

    Death:

    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..

    Marriage:

    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.

    Children:

    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.

    Occupation:

    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.

    Military:

    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.

    Cincinnati:

    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.

    References:

    “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. Fold3.com(http://www.fold3.com/image/4345220/). 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.

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