Biographical Sketch of John Sheldon
John, son of Isaac (2) Sheldon, was born December 5. 1658. He settled in Northampton, Massachusetts. He removed to Deerfield and conducted a public house. He was one of the first board of selectmen, ensign of the first military company and captain in 1707. and deacon of the church. He built the old Hoyt house, the door of which, cut by tomahawks and bullets, is preserved in Memorial Hall. In the winter of 1705 he was sent by Governor Dudley on a difficult and dangerous mission to Canada to redeem the captives and returned the following spring with five, two of whom were Hannah, wife of his son, and Esther Williams, daughter of the Deerfield minister. The next winter he was sent again and returned with forty-four redeemed captives of the French and Indians, sailing for home. May 30, 1706, and again with fifty-seven on the brigantine “Hope.” Mr. Williams said of him : “He was a good man and a true servant of the church in Deerfield, who twice took his tedious journey in the winter from New England to Canada on these occasions.” He made a third trip in 1707-08, and returned with seven captives, making a total of one hundred and thirteen that he brought back to their old homes, after the horrors and hardships of captivity. He removed to Hartford. He died in 1734. He married (first) November 5, 1678, Hannah Stebbins, when she was less than fifteen years old, daughter of John Stebbins. She was killed by the Indians. He married (second) in 1708. Elizabeth Pratt, widow. He lived in Northampton until 1684. when he came to Deerfield. Children, born at Northampton and Deerfield: John, September 19, 1681, left no issue; Hannah, August 9, 1683: Mary, July 24, 1687, married Samuel Clapp; Abigail, 1689, died young; Ebenezer, November 15, 1691, mentioned elsewhere; Remembrance, February 21, 1693; Mercy, August 25, 1701, killed by Indians; Abigail, September 10, 1710; John, March 8, 1718.