LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
011 769 531 1
John Latham I should like to find.)
Elizabeth, m. Joseph Ambler; Benjamin,
died young ; Lydia, m. Davenport ;
James, m. Joanna Castle ; Benjamin, m.
Bethiah Weed ; Ezra, m. Sarah Kellogg ;
Joanna, m. Stephen Warren ; Elijah, m.
Of this family Benjamin remained in
Norwalk and had the homestead. James,
in 1759, was one of a force intended to
aid in the capture of Quebec, but it was
too late for that service, as they received
the news of its surrender while on the
way and so retraced their steps. Return-
ing leisurely towards home he passed
through the town of Amenia, N. Y. He
may have stopped for dinner at the
tavern kept by Daniel Castle at South
Amenia, and been as much attracted by
the landlord's daughter as he was by the
beautiful valley. At any rate they were
married in the following spring, his
father meantime having purchased for
him a farm near at hand where they
built a house and raised a family of four-
teen children, all of whom married, and
all but one of whom left descendants.
He was miller, farmer and merchant, and
successful in all ; and he was also a public
man in a right sense, being prominent in
town affairs as well as an officer with the
rank of major in the Revolutionary army.
His brother Eliakim* Reed moved to
the same town in 1773, having purchased
a farm there. His children were as
Sarah, m. Matthew Fitch ; Eliakim, m.
Rebecca Fitch and Mrs. Breek ; Simeon,
m. Abial Rice ; Silias, m. Bethiah Hurd ;
Samuel ; Phineas, m. Esther Reed ; Ezra,
m. Jemima Fitch and Esther Edgerton ;
Enoch, died young, Esther, m. Jacob
Edgerton ; Ruth, m. Jeremiah Fuller.
Of this family Simeon, Silas and Samuel
are numbered among the men from
Amenia who served i: the army of the
revolution. Ezra bought the farm upon
the death of his father, and his son New-
ton Reed, before mentioned, succeeded
to it in turn, passing his ninety-one years
there. It is now owned by Henry V, D,
Reed, son of Newton, and on it have
been born the ninth generation of Reeds
CAPTAIN REUBEN MARCY.
Orders to Captain Marcy from General James Waclsworth, through Colonel John
Chester and Major Ripley.
BY THOMAS KNOWLTON MARCY.
WHEN a novice begins to study
closely any part of Colonial or
Revolutionary history he is surprised to
find how few documents of the period
either in print or manuscript have been
preserved. Letters written home or to
friends by actors in various scenes for the
most part were soon lost or destroyed.
Our early newspapers printed no local
items on the theory that readers knew
already the happenings of the neighbor-
hood. In like manner after events had
been talked over around the family fireside
the household did not dream that des-
criptions of campaigns and battles from
the absent member could have any further
Not so was it with Captain Reuben
Marcy. He had a praiseworthy habit of
carefully putting away in his desk every
scrap of writing. In due time he was
gathered to his fathers and the desk went
to the garret to make place for more
modern furniture. After long banishment
it was at length restored to its ancient
honor with its precious treasures intact.
Here are official papers yellow with age.
Here are autographs from men and
women whose descendants have since
At the outbreak of the Revolution the
town of Ashford, Conn., had a well
equipped, well drilled military company
under command of Lieut. Reuben Marcy,
the leading merchant of the region. The
office of captain was vacant. Near by
lived a farmer who in early youth had
served in three campaigns and whose
soldierly qualities were well known.
Thomas Knowlton was elected to the
vacancy. His brilliant career proved the
wisdom of the choice. After the return
from the hurried march to Boston, fol-
lowing the Lexington alarm, Lieut. Marcy
resigned. His business was large, de-
manding personal attention. Besides at
that moment there was no lack of volun-
teers. Every one seemed eager to go.
A little more than three months after
the evacuation of Boston by the British,
March 17, 1776, Sir William Howe, with
an army of 30,000 men, supported by a
powerful fleet, appeared off New York
harbor. Anticipating an attack at this
place. General Washington put forth
strenuous efforts in its defense. Heavy
drafts were made on the resources of
Connecticut. Seven battalions were
quickly recruited for the brigade under
command of Brigadier-General James
Wadsworth. Capt. Reuben Marcy raised
and commanded the fourth company of
Col. John Chester's battalion. It con-
sisted of seventy- four non-commissioned
officers and privates. John Holmes, who
died Aug. 27, was first lieutenant ; Samuel
Marcy, 2d lieutenant, and Daniel Knowl-
ton, brother of Col. Thomas Knowlton,
ensign. This was the second company
raised in Ashford and vicinity for active
CAPTAIN REUBEN MARCY.
service. Nearly all the able bodied men
of the town were now in the field.
The following documents, copied from
the originals show the vigor with which
the work was pressed.
East Hartford. June 30, 1776.
I send you a coppy of Gen'l Wad-
sworths orders by express to me the one
rote Last Evening the other this Sabbath
Morning by which you will see the
Necessity of marching with what men you
furnished with amies, and that none be
suffered to go without as it will be im-
possible to procure them at Head
Quarters & their service will consequently
be renderd Useless.
James Wadsworth Jr., Brig'r Gen'l.
To Col. John Chester.
Durham, June 30th, Sabbath Morn, 1776.
Last evening by express I receivd
another Letter from Gen'l Washington
HOME OF captain REUBEN MARCY IN ASHFORD, CONN.
can Possiblv equip & furnish by next
Thursday at fartherest. Orders are as
follows, viz :
Durham, June 29, 1776.
In consequence of orders receivd
from Gen'l Washington you are hereby
directed to give the Necessary orders for
expediteing the march of your Regiment
in the manner heretofore orderd as soon
as they can Possibly be musterd and
equipt, & Direct that all your men be
requesting in the most pressing manner
not Loose one moment time in sending
forward the Regiments Destind for New
York. Must therefore direct that you
give all Possible Attention to the Raiseing
equiping and Sending forward immedi-
ately your Regiment in manner befor
Directed as the safety of our army may
under Heaven depend much on the
seasonable arrival of the Connecticut
jAMfs Wadsworth, Jr., Brig'r Gen'l.
CAPTAIN REUBEN MARCY.
These letters were sent to me from
Durham by express to Wethersfield &
from thence forwarded by another express
to this place where I was attending the
funeral of Parson Williams Lady.* I
have seen the principle men here & they
are engaged to stir up the people to
Enlist immediately if they will not Col.
Wm, & Jno. Pitkin tell me the Gov'r is
Determined to draught from the Militia.
I have also orderd the men here to be
ready to March by next Thursday at
furtherest — if they find it Difficult to get
Accoutrements, Blanket and Knapsack,
You will send these orders to all the
Captains and direct them to communi-
cate them to all their subalterns in the
four Companies Nearest you. They
must give notice to the nearest muster
Master to Muster them immediately —
dont fail yourself of going next Thurs-
day & Let me hear from you again. Ex-
press must be sent if Necessary.
I am in greatest haste your verry
Humble Serv't John Chester.
< -f- .;^;';^./ / ;^<'>W \f'^^ -^"^-7 y^ /TV, / /7,J^7o~^\
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'^///(i, M9^' "^' '^''
tFAC-SIMII,E OF ACCOUNT OF CAPT. MARCY WITH THE CONTINENTAI, GOVERNMENT.
compleatly furnishd with Cloathes &c.
opportunities are frequent & conveyances
Cheap for Articles of Cloathing to be
sent them by their friends afterwards but
they must be compleatly equipt with
To Capt. Rubin Marcy Sir In persu-
ance of the foregoing orders from Gen'l
Wadsworth to Colo. Chester & fm him to
Me you are hereby Ordered to March
the Compy Under your Command To
*The wife of Rev. Eliphalet Williams, daughter of Rev. Elisha and Eunice
(Chester) Williams. Her father was sufficiently versatile to be a clergj-man, a Colonel
of a regiment in active service and rector (president) of Yale College.
tThis document has an added interest from the fact that Capt. Marcy was paid back
for money advanced in 1776 in sheets of dollars. We do not know just the date, but as
the United States did not adopt the decimal system for their monej- until 1786, he must
have waited more than ten years for payment. The note added changing the dollars to
pounds, shilling and pence and making them agree to the fraction is interesting.^ [Editor. ]
CAPTAIN REUBEN MARCY.
New York by Land or water as you think
Most Convenient there to join the Con-
tinental Army if the Whole Company is
Not in Readiness you are to March as
soon as you have Twenty-five Men Ready
with one Commissioned & Two Non-
commissioned officers & in that propor-
tion. And forward the Rest in Suitable
divisions as fast as they become ready
and To do it with all Convenient Speed.
Thursday next is the Day Perfixed for
Marching as you see in the foregoing
orders from Colo. Chester you are to see
that your Compy is well furnishd with
Good amies with Bayonets Sa Cotoach
Boxes Blankets & Knapsacks youl apply
to Majr Brown who is the Nearest Muster
Master To Muster your men as they be-
Given Under My Hand in Windham
(by order of Colonel) this 2d day of
July A.D. 1776.
John Ripley, Major.
July 3Td 1776.
Capt. Marcy please to forward the Let-
ter to Capt. Lyon by an express this
night if possible beg you will not fail as I
am so Unwell & have Took physick this
Day & Expect to Go to N. York Tomor-
row so that I Cannot procure any body
here to go besides you Live Much Nearer
& I Conclude ye Expence will Be Re-
mitted again by ye Public & am your
The story of the campaign around New
York City is too well known to require
repetition. Col. Chester's battalion was
stationed at the Flatbush pass on Long
Island, where it was attacked on August
27th, and barely escaped capture. It
shared in the fight at White Plains, Oct.
28th. Its term of service expired Dec.
The means, patriotism and humanity
of Capt. Marcy were such that he ad-
vanced to his men and to their families
full pay and for indemnity awaited the
convenience of the government.
At the close of the campaign he re-
sumed the cares of a business which de-
manded personal attention. His store
was the chief distributing point for an
area of fully sixty square miles. Imported
goods for the interior were then hauled
over land, mostly by oxen, from different
ports. To meet the demands of his
trade Capt. Marcy often had over thirty
teams on the road at the same time.
During the blockade he transported goods
from a point as far distant as Portsmouth,
N. H., though his main sources of supply
were Boston, Providence and Norwich.
During the Revolution he was especially
kind to the families of absent soldiers.
The freedom with which he gave both
directly and through credits, made heavy
drafts upon his fortune.
In late youth he spent four years in
Providence and Boston learning in a
broad way the details of mercantile busi-
ness. Not only the experience thus
acquired but the friendships then made
proved very serviceable in later years.
Raised on a farm he was noted through
life for judgment in passing on the points
and value of horses and live stock. This
gift proved especially useful in purchases
made for the American and French
armies during the Revolution.
A few articles that once belonged to
Capt. Marcy are still preserved. Mrs.
L. B. Loomis, of Windsor, has his watch.
As it has been under water as well as
under fire its virtue long ago departed.
His musket that saw service in the Revo-
lution descended through intermediate
generations to the writer, who gave it
two or three years ago to his youthful
kinsman, a great-great grandson of Capt.
Marcy, Charles Guilford Woodward, of
Hartford, who rightfully inherited from
011 769 531 1
his grandfather, the late Ashbel Wood-
ward, M. D., a keen appreciation of
Reuben Marc)^ was son of Edward,* who
served as first Heutenant, 6th company,
4th regiment. Conn, troops, in the ex-
pedition against Crown Point, in 1756,
Among the descendants of John are to
be found in both male and female lines
many persons of distinguished merit.
Mention might be made of General Ran-
dolph B. Marcy, of the U. S. Army ; Wm.
Larned Marcy, Governor of New York ,
Secretary of War, 1845-9, ^.nd of
and later as captain; and grandson of State, 1853-7; of Prof. Oliver Marcy,
John Marcy, one of the pioneer settlers &c., &c.
of Woodstock, Conn. The late Prof.
Oliver Marcy, LL. D., of the North-
western University, in a genealogical
article, published in 1875, says that John,
the emigrant, was son of the high sheriff
of Limerick, Ireland.
Capt. Reuben Marcy was born Nov.
28, 1732, and died January 14, 1806. He
married Rachel Watson, of Barrington,
Prof. Oliver Marcy erroneously makes Reuben the son of James.
BY JOHN HOWARD.
At first the face arose, then that behind
Slow issued forth my waking sense to charm.
When, having seen, my heart in glad alarm
Flowed out to meet in welcome free and kind.
For as it slow encroached upon my mind
With silent pace, I glad perceived the form
Of her, who once, with love's affection warm
My longing heart did sooth, but since most blind
Had been to all my love. Now thus she spake, —
'• Dear heart, I love you," then she kneeling sued
And sobbing, begged that I the vision take
As hopeful sign, of former love renewed.
But I awoke from dreams so wondrous sweet
Another day of love denied, to greet.
011 769 531 1
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