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Record Of The Extraordinary Attack On Stonington

NEW LONDON, AUGUST 17, 1814. On Tuesday the 9th instant, at 5 P. M. the “Ramilies”, 74, “Pactolus”, 38, a bomb ship, and the “Dispatch”, 22 gun brig, arrived off Stonington, and a flag was sent on shore with the following note– “”On board his Majesty’s Ship, Ramilies, Stonington, Aug. 9.” TO THE MAGISTRATES OF STONINGTON. Gentlemen–One hour is allowed you from the receipt of this communication, for the removal of the unoffending inhabitants. THOMAS M. HARDY.[2] This notification was received by two magistrates[3] and Lieutenant Hough of the drafted militia, who went off to meet the flag. The officer was asked whether a flag would not be received on board. He said no arrangements could be made. They inquired whether Com. Hardy had determined to destroy the town. He replied that such were his orders from the Admiral, and that it would be done most effectually. When the gentlemen reached the shore, a crowd waited with great anxiety for the news; which being stated, consternation flew through the town. An express was despatched to General Cushing,[4] at New London. A number of volunteers hastened to collect ammunition; others ran to the battery, which consisted of two 18 pounders and a 4 pounder, on field carriages, with a slight breast work, 4 feet high. The sick and the aged were removed with haste: the women and children, with loud cries, were seen running in every direction. Some of the most valuable articles were hastily got off by hand, others placed in the gardens and lots, or thrown into wells, to save them from the impending conflagration. The sixty minutes...

Letter From Capt. Amos Palmer To The Secretary Of War

[From Niles’s Weekly Register, Oct. 21, 1815.] DEFENCE OF STONINGTON. The defense of Stonington by a handful of brave citizens was more like an effusion of feeling, warm from the heart, than a concerted military movement. The result of it, we all know, and it afforded sincere delight to every patriot. But the particulars we have never seen so accurately described as in the following concise narrative from the chairman of the committee of defense, to the Secretary of War, of which we have been provided with a copy for publication.–“Nat. Intelligencer.” “Stonington Borough, Aug. 21, 1815. To the Hon. Wm. H. Crawford, Secretary of War. SIR: The former Secretary of War put into my hands, as chairman of the committee of defense, the two 18-pounders and all the munitions of war that were here, belonging to the general government, to be used for the defense of the town,–and I gave my receipt for the same. As there is no military officer here, it becomes my duty to inform you [of] the use we have made of it. That on the 9th of August last [year], the “Ramilies” 74, the “Pactolus” 44, the “Terror” bomb-ship, and the “Despatch” gun brig, anchored off the harbor. Commodore Hardy sent off a boat, with a flag; we met him with another from the shore, when the officer of the flag handed me a note from Commodore Hardy, informing that one hour was given the unoffending inhabitants, before the town would be destroyed. We returned to the shore, where all the male inhabitants were collected, when I read the note aloud; they all...

Extract From Gen. Root’s Speech In Congress, 1817

In the House of Representatives, on the Bill to provide for the payment of Militia called out by State authority, and not placed under the command of the United States. [After animadverting with great severity on the affair at Pettipaug point,[19] and the course pursued by Governor Smith, of Connecticut, for the defense of New London]– “There was “one” achievement, said Mr. R., which brightened the annals of Connecticut and shed lustre on the American character. He alluded to the “Defense of Stonington”. A more brilliant affair, said he, had not taken place during the late war. It was not rivalled by the defense of Sandusky, the glorious triumph on the Niagara, nor the naval victories on Erie and Champlain. And yet that heroic exploit is claimed in favor of Governor Smith’s militia, and is to gild the pill which we are called upon to swallow. The detached militia, said Mr. R., had nothing to do in that affair. It was achieved by fourteen democrats, “volunteer” democrats, who were determined to defend the town or perish in its ruins. Commodore Hardy, fearful that that democratic town would send torpedoes among his squadron, demanded a pledge that no harm should be done to his ships. No pledge being given, and after advising the removal of women and children from the town, the enemy made a vigorous attack, first in barges, and afterwards in a brig of war. This heroic little band, with a single gun mounted on a small battery, drove off the brig as they had before driven off the barges. They sent havoc and death among the enemy,–saved...

The Battle Of Stonington, By Philip Freneau

BY PHILIP FRENEAU. “In an attack upon the town and a small fort of two guns, by the “RAMILLIES”, seventy-four gun ship, commanded by Sir Thomas Hardy; the “PACTOLUS”, 38 gun ship; “DESPATCH” brig, and a razee, or bomb ship,–August, 1814.” Four gallant ships from England came Freighted deep with fire and flame, And other things we need not name, To have a dash at Stonington. Now safely moor’d, their work begun, They thought to make the Yankees run, And have a mighty deal of fun In stealing sheep at Stonington. A deacon then popp’d up his head, And Parson Jones’s sermon read, In which the reverend doctor said That they must fight for Stonington. A townsman bade them, next, attend To sundry resolutions penn’d, By which they promised to defend With sword and gun old Stonington. The ships advancing different ways, The Britons soon began to blaze, And put th’ old women in amaze, Who feared the loss of Stonington. The Yankees to their fort repair’d, And made as though they little cared For all that came–though very hard The cannon play’d on Stonington. The “Ramillies” began the attack, “Despatch” came forward–bold and black–And none can tell what kept them back From setting fire to Stonington. The bombardiers with bomb and ball Soon made a farmer’s barrack fall, And did a cow-house sadly maul That stood a mile from Stonington. They kill’d a goose, they kill’d a hen, Three hogs they wounded in a pen–They dash’d away,–and pray what then? “This” was not taking Stonington. The shells were thrown, the rockets flew, But not a shell, of all...

Celebrations Of The Battle of Stonington

1815. Thursday, Aug. 10th, the first anniversary of the battle, was observed as a day of thanksgiving and prayer. The old flag was again hoisted on the flag-staff at the battery: and a procession, formed at that place, marched to the Congregational meeting-house, to listen to a discourse by the pastor, Rev. Ira Hart. On its conclusion, the procession returned to the battery, where the exercises of the day were closed by prayer. “On Friday evening a grand anniversary ball was given; the assembly being both numerous and brilliant.”–“Conn. Gazette, Aug. 23d.” 1818. Celebration at the Borough, on Monday, Aug. 10th. “The company was very numerous, and the business of the day went off with great eclat.”–“Id. Aug. 12th, 1818.” 1824. An Oration was delivered at the Congregational meeting-house, by Rev. David Austin, “characteristic of his talents, patriotism, and eloquence.” The concourse of citizens from Stonington and the neighboring towns was unusually large and respectable. An excellent dinner was provided by Major Babcock, at the Borough Hotel, to which a large number of citizens and invited guests did ample justice. The following were among the volunteer toasts: By Capt. Edmund Fanning. “The Grasshopper Fort”[B]–may it never be forgotten by those whom it defended. By Samuel Copp, Esq. “American Eighteen-pounders”–as handled in the Grasshopper Fort. By Gen. J. Isham. “August 10th, 1814”–May no vile calumniator hereafter attempt to tarnish the hard earned fame of the heroes of that day. By Gurdon Trumbull, Esq. “John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson”–Their elevation to the first offices of our government, will demonstrate that sovereignty is yet with the “people”, and guarantee the defence...

Defense of Stonington Notes

NOTE 1, page 9. Stonington Borough, incorporated by the Legislature [of Connecticut,] in 1801, is situated on a narrow point of land about half a mile in length, at the eastern extremity of Long Island sound. On its eastern side lies Paucatuck bay, and on its west the harbour, terminating in Lambert’s Cove. It has four [two] principal streets running north and south, intersected at right angles by nine cross streets, and contains about one hundred and twenty dwelling houses and stores. It has also two houses for public worship, an academy, where the languages are taught, and two common schools; two rope-walks, commodious wharves, and ware houses for storage…. In the census of 1810, the “town” contained 3043 inhabitants, and there are now [1819], 335 qualified electors.–“Pease & Niles’s Gazetteer of Connecticut.” NOTE 2, page 9. Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, Bart.–afterwards Vice-Admiral, and G. C. B.,–was at this time not far from thirty-five years of age. He entered the British navy, as a midshipman, at twelve; and was promoted to the rank of commander in 1797, for distinguished gallantry in the capture of a French brig, under the walls of Vera Cruz. He commanded the “Mutine” brig, in the battle of the Nile,–became the favorite of Nelson, and was appointed to the command of his flag-ship, serving with him, successively, in the “Vanguard”, the “Namur”, the “St. George”, (at the battle of Copenhagen), the “Iris” and “Amphitrion”, and the “Victory”, on board which Nelson conquered and fell at Trafalgar. Capt. Hardy was created a baronet, in February, 1806; from which period, until 1824, he was almost constantly on...

Letters Of Commodore Hardy

Since the foregoing pages were printed, my friend Professor D. C. Gilman, has brought to my notice the original letters of Commodore Hardy, to the inhabitants of Stonington and to General Isham, which are now in the Library of Yale College. The first (of August 9th) was copied with sufficient accuracy in the account published by the magistrates, warden and burgesses (page 25), I reprint it here, but with a facsimile of the signature. “His Britannic Majesty’s Ship”, PACTOLUS, “9th August, 1814. 1/2 past 5 o’clock, P. M.” Not wishing to destroy the unoffending Inhabitants residing in the Town of Stonington, one hour is granted them from the receipt of this to remove out of the town. [Illustration: (Hardy Signature)] “To the Inhabitants of the Town of Stonington.” The second, is in reply to the letter from the magistrates which was sent on board the “Ramillies”, by Col. Isaac Williams and Dr. William Lord, on Wednesday, the 10th. As “official etiquette” did net permit Col. Green to obtain “an exact copy,” he could only print its substance “as far as memory served” (see page 14). The magistrates allude to it, in their published account (p. 30), as “the singular communication received from Commodore Hardy, which preceded the fire on Thursday.” It is evident that the British commander was strangely in error as to the assurances and engagements which he professed to have received, or that the gentlemen entrusted with the delivery of the letter from the magistrates must, in their conference with the Commodore, have exceeded their instructions. “Ramillies, off Stonington, 10th August, 1814.” GENTN I have received your...

Biography of John Gallup

John Gallup, assistant treasurer of the Missouri Portland Cement Company comes to the Mississippi valley from New England, where the family has been represented since early colonial days. He was born in Mystic, Connecticut, December 14, 1844, son of John Gallup and Roxanna Fish. He received his education in the public schools of Mystic, Connecticut, and also studied under private tutors. After leaving school he gave special attention to accounting and later was associated with his father in the lumber business. In Mystic, Connecticut, October 5, 1870, Mr. Gallup was married to Ellen E. Noyes, daughter of George W. and Prudence Dean Brown Noyes. One child was born to them, Mary Elisabeth, now the wife of Harry F. Roach of St. Louis, Missouri. In 1880, Mr. Gallup came to Peoria, Illinois, and there took charge of the office work of S. C. Bartlett & Company, grain dealers, and when the firm established a branch business at La Fayette, Indiana, he became office manager there and so continued for five years. In 1887 Mr. Gallup came to St. Louis and was offered the position of auditor and treasurer of the St. Louis, Kansas City and Colorado Railroad, a new line being built out of St. Louis to Kansas City. The Santa Fe afterward purchased the Frisco, when the management was merged into that of the Frisco. In October, 1895, Mr. Gallup became connected with the Missouri Portland Cement Company, with which he has since held executive positions, serving now as assistant treasurer. His connection with the company covers more than a quarter of a century and he has witnessed and...

Biography of Eliphaz Perkins

Eliphaz Perkins, son of John Perkins, a leading citizen of Norwich, Connecticut, was born at that place, August 25, 1753. Deprived of his father at an early age, he was nevertheless enabled, through the exertions of his mother, to obtain a liberal education. Soon after leaving college, Mr. Perkins married Lydia Fitch, daughter of Dr. Jabez Fitch, of Canterbury, Connecticut, and engaged for a time in the mercantile business in that town. Subsequently he engaged in the same business in New Haven; having, however, an inclination to professional pursuits, he finally entered on the study of medicine with his father-in-law, and this was his vocation during the rest of his life. The times being hard, and his family increasing, Dr. Perkins decided to remove to a new country, and, in the spring of 1789, leaving his family in Connecticut, he started for Marietta. On his arrival here he found a number of persons from Clarksburg, Virginia, engaged in laying out a road between that place and Marietta. At their urgent solicitation he returned with them to Clarksburg, where he practiced medicine for nearly two years. The Indian war began about this time, and Dr. Perkins witnessed some terrible scenes of border warfare. In one instance the savages killed and scalped a family near where the Doctor was passing the night. One member of the family, a girl about fourteen years old, was scalped and left for dead in the fence corner. Dr. Perkins found her the next morning, still alive, took her under his care, and with good treatment and an elastic constitution, she was finally restored to health....

Biographical Sketch of David Pollard

David Pollard came in from Norwich, Conn., in 1790, and settled on the east side of the river, one mile below Afton, on the place now occupied by William Landers. He made a small clearing and built a log cabin and then sent for his family, consisting of his wife Polly, and six children. He died here December 30, 1830, aged 85, and his wife June 9, 1821, aged 69. His children were Polly, who married Richard Church, Lucy, who married William Olden, Cynthia, who married Heman Kelsey, Thomas, who moved to Seneca Falls some fifty years ago and died there, David, who married Polly Landers and lived and died on the homestead, Joseph, who married Polly Pool, and settled about a mile west of Afton, on the north end of the farm now owned by his son Luman C. Pollard, and after becoming too feeble to work it sold it to his son Jeremiah, (who is now living in California, to which State he removed in 1849,) and removed to the village, on the east side of the river, where he died March 13, 1859. Only two grandchildren are living in the county, Luman C. and Lysander Pollard, both in...
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