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Gideon Todd of North Haven CT

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Gideon Todd4, Capt. (Gideon3, Michael2, Christopher1) born Nov. 3, 1737, Died March 22, 1817, married first Dec. 31, 1761, Prudence, daughter of Daniel and Phebe (Beach) Tuttle, who was born July 6, 1746, died Dec. 10, 1798, being a sister of Jabez Tuttle who married Mary Todd, see No. 202. “A very remarkable woman.” He married second March 7, 1799, Eunice Brockett, who was born Feb. 21, 1744, died March 27, 1810. Married third July 4, 1816, Eliza Brockett, a sister of his second wife.

Prudence Tuttle was from Wallingford, Conn., her father being an officer there under the King. Gideon Todd was born in North Haven, Conn. Their marriage created a sensation in Colonial society. The Tuttle’s were a wealthy and aristocratic family and when young “Gid” Todd asked their daughters hand in marriage, he was haughtily refused. He was their equal by birth and lineage, but had his fortune yet to make, and they had other views for their daughter. One winter day, there was consternation and dismay in the Tuttle mansion; Prudence was missing and investigation revealed the fact that she had eloped, mounted on a pillon, behind her lover, they had ridden to North Haven and were married. Her parents disowned her and her name was never to be mentioned. As time passed, reports reached them that Gideon Todd was getting on in a remarkable way; accumulating property and esteemed by every one, and they thought it time to forgive the disobedient daughter; so, they loaded a cart with bedding, furniture, and other valuables, and started the hired man with it for her home, they going on horseback. Arriving there first, they found their son-in-law at home, and were courteously received. After a time, the cart drove up to the door and they then announced that they had brought some presents, when Capt. Todd said with dignity, “Time was when the furniture and bedding would have been acceptable, for when we were first married, we slept on the floor on a straw bed; but now I can supply my wife with every comfort, and your presents cannot come into the house; but you will always be welcomed.” And tradition has it, they returned home, as chagrined and mortified, as their neighbors were amused.

Mr. Todd supported the King, when the trouble came about taxation, until the time of the Boston “tea-party,” when he threw himself and his fortune into the cause of the Colonists. When the news came of the British invasion of New Haven, he was in his barn, dressing off an ox, for meat carts were unknown in those days, when a man passed by on horse-back, crying, “The British have entered New Haven.” Jumping on his horse he started at once for Fort Hale. His plucky wife, Prudence, at once took hold, and helped finish the work of dressing off the creature, with only a boy to assist, loaded the carcass into a cart, and immediately started, in her husbands wake, for Fort Hale, saying, “The soldiers must have meat to give them strength to fight.” When the load arrived some-one shouted “Three cheers for Captain Todd’s wife,” and they were given with a will.

Capt. Todd was widely known, as he took an active interest in civil and educational affairs. His tavern, which was on the Northford Turnpike, “The Rising Sun” was a famous hostelry, and a favorite stopping place for travelers. It was also called “The Half Way House,” between New York and Boston. It is well preserved, and is now the home of his grandson, G. Henry Todd, who takes pleasure in showing the old tavern sign, the military hat and vest, sword and other interesting relics of Colonial days. There are two deeds, given in the Reigns of their Gracious Majesties George II, and George III, Kings of England, and a permit for the first carriage ever owned in North Haven, for which luxury Gideon paid a tax. The wine cellar of the spacious mansion, is interesting, as are the wainscotted chambers. The story of its being haunted, only adds to its charm. During the Revolution, when excitement ran high, an enthusiastic patriot exclaimed in the bar-room that he would shoot at sight a tory; a poor ignorant slave boy cried, “I’se a tory, I’se a tory,” when the impetuous rebel seized his gun and fired. It has been said that his ghost walks the broad hall at night time.

He was a Captain during the Revolutionary war, and a man of energy and decision. It is said that he fitted out a privateer, to help the cause, at his own expense, for he was a rich man for those days. There are many interesting stories told of the valient “Captain Gid.”

Children:
*220. Caleb, b. Jan. 31, 1764.
*221. Justus Lyman, b. March 5, 1766.
*222. Samuel Beach, b. April 5, 1768.
223. Lucinda, b. April 22, 1770, d. March 24, 1804, m. James Pierpont, by whom she had seven sons and one daughter who m.(???)Hart, of North Haven, Conn.
*224. Melicu, b. Aug. 31, 1773.
225. Sally, b. July 19, 1776, d. Dec. 29, 1865, m. Benjamin Baldwin.
226. Clarissa, b. Nov. 26, 1779, d. Oct. 25, 1803, m. Samuel Chapman.
227. Aurilla, b. July 20, 1781, m.(???)Todd; removed to Vermont.
228. Betsey, b. Jan. 24, 1787, d. July 12, 1795.
*229. John, b. Feb. 4, 1791.


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