Lt Adonijah Strong 1743-1813Leave a Comment
Biography of Adonijah Strong Feb-12-2012 by J. Michael Phelps
Birth: 5 July 1743, Coventry (Tolland) CT [Dwight, Benjamin, Descendants of Elder John Strong (Albany NY, Joel Munsell,1871, “Strong Genealogy ”) p. 1042
Death: 2 Feb. 1813, Salisbury (Litchfield) CT [Ibid.]
Marriage: m-1 Abigail Hale 8 March 1770, prob. Suffield (Hartford) CT [Ibid.]; she d. 5 Sept. 1772 [Ibid.]
m-2 Mary Pearce 28 June 1774, Suffield (Hartford) CT [Ibid.]; she d. 24 Sept. 1775 [Ibid.]
m-3 Abigail Bates 28 July 1777, Litchfield (Litchfield) CT [Ibid.]; she d. 15 March 1834, Salisbury (Litchfield) CT [Ibid.]
Children: By m-1: Josiah Strong b. 10 May 1771; d.y.; By m-2: Josiah Hale Strong b. 1 March 1775; d.y.;By m-3: Martin Strong, b. 7 Dec. 1778; d. 28 Feb. 1838; John Bates Strong, b. 4 Oct. 1780; d. 23 Oct. 1825; Rev. William Lighthouse Strong, b. 18 Oct. 1782; d. 31 Aug 1859; Rev. Henry PierceStrong, b. 23 Feb. 1785; d. 28 Aug. 1835; Mary Strong, b. 19 Oct. 1787; d. 24 Dec. 1863; m. Rev. Jonathan Lee; Sarah Pardee Strong, b. 15 March 1791; d. 12 Feb. 1824; m. Jacob Chamberlain;Betsy Strong, b. 30 Dec. 1794; d. 28 Nov. 1843; m. Simeon Lyman. [Strong Gen. pp. 1042-1043]
Education: As an attorney and judge, he obviously was well read. The book by his great-grandson Theron George Strong also described (at pp. 2-3 of Landmarks of a Lawyer’s Lifetime) the large library he inherited from his grandfather, Judge Martin Strong (who likely inherited at least a part of said library from Adonijah). However, the details of the education of Adonijah Strong are unknown.
Military: Deputy Commissary General, Col. Benjamin Hinman’s 4th CT Regiment April 1775- ? [Francis Heitman, Historical Record, Officers of the Continental Army (Washington DC. Rare Book Co. 1914) p. 63; CT Adjutants General, Records of Service of Connecticut Men in the War of the
Revolution (Hartford CT, 1889) p. 430 (misidentified as “Jeremiah Strong” of Salisbury, appointed “to supply all necessary stores and provisions for the troops then to be raised”), hereinafter “CMWR”; various correspondence in American Archives]; 1st Lt, Capt. John Bigelow’s CT Artillery Company, 23 Jan. 1776 – ?; noted as “on furlough to Conn. By Gen. Gates” [CMWR p. 124, hereinafter “CMWR”]; also served as Colonel in CT Militia [Strong Genealogy p. 1042]
Cincinnati: Original Member, CT Society [CMWR, p. 376]; subsequent representation by Theron George Strong [G-GS], 1895-1929; Prentice Strong, Sr. [GG-GS] (1926-1960); Prentice Strong, Jr. [GGG-GS](1960-2008); Currently represented by a Hereditary Member who joined in 2009.
Occupation: Farmer; lawyer, Salisbury, CT; Litchfield County court judge
Discussion: He was a man of a good deal of humor, and did not always try to wrap up its edge in velvet.” [Strong Genealogy, p. 1042]. “While Adonijah Strong was rough-hewn, like most of the men of those days, he was evidently a leader of men, and a patriot as well, for as colonel of the militia and later as commissary-general, he turned his plowshare into a sword and his pruning hook into a spear and gave his services to his country in the days of the Revolution. At its close, he turned them back again and being enrolled as one of the original members of Washington’s society of the Cincinnati he resumed his farming and his law.” [Theron G. Strong, Landmarks of a Lawyer’s Lifetime, (NY, Dodd Mead & Co. 1914) p. 3] “He had a powerful personality and while his wit was rough-edged, and he had peculiarities and eccentricities, his influence with juries was great, his practice for those days was large, and he attained imminence in his locality.” [Strong, op.cit. p. 4]. “He was one of the roughest pieces of granite that ever existed; with a powerful mind, full of wit and humour, of great common sense, and much force and ability, which produced a marked effect upon the court and jury. He belonged to the Congregational Church and was a great supporter of it.” [Strong, op.cit. pp. 5-6]. “At a Bar meeting, December Term 1804, the following resolution was passed unanimously, namely: that Adonijah Strong, Esq., on account of his great eminence as a lawyer and eloquence as an advocate be considered as a member this Bar for the purpose of instructing students, although he shall not continue to practice.” [Strong, op. cit. p. 7]. There are several letters to, from, or pertaining to Adonijah Strong which demonstrate that he was involved in purchasing food and supplies for the troops of the Connecticut Continental Line, at least in 1775 and 1776. The fact that he may have served in such a capacity until the end of the war [Strong p. 3] and since he joined the Society of the Cincinnati as one of its original members appear to demonstrate that he served as Deputy Commissary General for at least three years.
Main sources: CT Adjutants General, Records of Service of Connecticut Men in the War of the Revolution (Hartford CT, 1889); Francis Heitman, Historical Record, Officers of the Continental Army (Washington DC. Rare Book Co.
1914); Theron G. Strong, Landmarks of a Lawyer’s Lifetime, (NY, Dodd Mead & Co. 1914); Dwight, Benjamin, Descendants of Elder John Strong (Albany NY, Joel Munsell,1871).