Tag Archives: Bunker Hill

Jeduthan Stone, a Minuteman of Rutland



This is a photograph of the statue representing Captain John Parker sculpted by Henry Hudson Kitson and erected in 1900. This statue in Lexington, Massachusetts is commonly called “The Lexington Minuteman” Photo from Wikipedia

Because this is the week of July 4, following my introduction of Samuel Stone, Fifer, I want to introduce one more Revolutionary War soldier from my line, a Minuteman.

Today begins a marathon of New England Ancestors, particularly Stones and Howes, leading up to a family history trek to Massachusetts and New Hampshire in September. After this week, I will be working my way back from the most recent grandparents to the colonial family who founded the Wayside Inn in Sudbury Massachusetts. That Inn and the many small towns our ancestors lived in will be our family’s destination in September.

But I am skipping some generations to start with a 4x great-grandfather who was a Minuteman.

Jeduthan Stone 1748-1829

I do love the name Jeduthan. You just know that this is an early American, meant to be a Minuteman. And wasn’t a Minuteman one of the most exciting things to learn about in our history lessons on the American Revolution?

 North Rutland MA

Ware River, North Rutland MA, looking as it might have in the days when this was a frontier. Photo by John Phelan, from WikiMedia Commons.

In the early 1700’s, part of the Stone family had migrated to Rutland Massachusetts from Lexington, Massachusetts, led by Jeduthan’s great- uncle Capt. Samuel Stone. Capt. Stone was one of the men to receive a land grant in Rutland as a result of his service in the French and Indian war. Most of the new settlers were from Sudbury , with some from Lexington and other towns.

Jeduthan’s father Nathan, nephew of Capt. Samuel, moved to Rutland from Lexington with his wife new wife in 1740.  Coming from the far away (by their standards of distance) Sudbury (35 miles) or Lexington (50 miles)–close to Boston and close to the seacoast–a move to inland Rutland was quite the adventure.  The author of a history of Sudbury, written in 1889 said:

“It was as the great west to a place near the seaboard settlements as Sudbury; and the romance and adventure of pioneer life very likely took hold of the inhabitants…”

Just 17 years before Jeduthan’s family arrived, Indians had attacked settlers working in their fields and killed two boys and kidnapped two others from the same family. And perhaps knowledge of that attack was part of the reason that Jeduthan’s father, Nathan, enlisted with the troops fighting against the Indians in the French and Indian Wars.

Because there is apparently no record of Nathan Stone’s death or burial in Rutland, it is assumed that he died fighting. He was 36 years old when he died in 1758. Jeduthan was just ten years old when his father died and left his mother with six children to care for.

British Army Marching To Concord

British Army Marching To Concord, New York Public Library collection.

And for another interesting connection of my family lines, see the following story about why Rutland is called the Cradle of Ohio.

The bare bones account of Jeduthan Stone’s service in the Revolution is as follows.

  • Jeduthan  first was chosen as a private in Capt. Thomas Eustis’ company of Rutland Minutemen, when he was 27 years old.  When the alarm was raised about General Gage’s Redcoats marching on Concord and Lexington, the Minutemen of Rutland Massachusetts marched toward Cambridge, Massachusetts, just as Samuel Bassett was marching with the men of Sudbury. It was April 19, 1775–the Battle of Bunker Hill.
  • He next appears in Capt. Adam Wheeler’s company, Col. Ephraim Doolittle’s regiment, on a roll dated at Winter Hill, 6 Oct. 1775.
  • Jeduthan also served in Capt. David Bent’s company, Col. Nathan Sparhawk’s regiment, which traveled 226 miles on a march from Rutland, Massachusetts on 20 Aug. 1777, to Bennington, Vt., on an alarm.

To put a more human face on this military record, Jeduthan  married Elizabeth How of the nearby town of Paxton in January, 1773. Elizabeth was born in Sudbury Massachusetts at the Wayside Inn–and therein hangs a tale which I will tell in due time.

Jeduthan and Elizabeth’s first child was born in July 1773–just 7 months after the marriage–which indicates they might have been under some  pressure to get married.That “premature” child was Elizabeth, my great-great-great grandmother.

Their next child, Willard, was not born until 1776, when Jeduthan apparently was taking a slight break from his military duty.  Augustus, the third child, born in 1777, was nearly blind at birth but nevertheless lived a long and full life as a farmer, husband and father. Four more children were born to Jeduthan and Elizabeth between 1780 and 1786, when he had returned home from active duty, and the countryside was recovering from the Revolutionary War.

Jeduthan’s life was quiet after the Revolution–the life of a farmer in the fast-growing community of Rutland, not showing up in the elected officials or church leaders.

His early career as a Minuteman enabled his family and his neighbors to live peaceful lives. He lived until 1829, when he was eighty years old, never leaving Rutland.  Elizabeth How Stone lived to 1837 when she was eighty-five.

This has been my weekly ancestor story as part of the 52 Ancestors Challenge.  To see other people’s fascinating stories, go to No Story Too Small.

How I am Related

  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson Kaser, the daughter of
  • Vera Stout Anderson, the daughter of
  • Hattie Morgan Stout, the daughter of
  • Mary Bassett Morgan, the daughter of
  • Elizabeth Stone Basset, the daughter of
  • Jeduthan Stone and Elizabeth How Stone.

Notes on Research:

  • HISTORY OF RUTLAND: Worchester County MASS, by Jonas Reed, (Worchester, Miriet & Bartlett (1836), reprinted 1879 by Tyler and Seagrave), contains a muster roll for April 1775 and a list of the Soldiers of the Revolution from Rutland on pages 176 and 182. The book also presents a picture of life in early Rutland when it was a wild frontier, as well as names of prominent citizens.
  • Cemeteries of Ohio, Genealogical Publishing Com pg. 116 reproduces the words from the gravestones of several members of Stone families.
  • History of Sudbury 1638-1889 by Alfred Serno Hudson (1889;1968), gives history of the settlement of Rutland, mostly by citizens from Sudbury and Lexington.
  • Other details of relationships, birth and death dates come from records found through Ancestry.com
  • Research notes from Daughters of the American Revolution, prepared for my grandmother, Vera Stout Anderson probably in the 1930s or 1940s.
  • Reproduction of The British marching to Concord in April 1775 from the New York Public Library, described as follows:

    The British Army in Concord, April 19, 1775. “Plate II. A view of the town of Concord.” In: “The Doolittle engravings of the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775.” New York Public Library Collection Guide: Picturing America, 1497-1899: Prints, Maps, and Drawings bearing on the New World Discoveries and on the Development of the Territory that is now the United States. Humanities and Social Sciences Library / Print Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs.

Keene NH, Bunker Hill, and American Independence

In the History of Keene New Hampshire, 1874-1904  Frank H. Whitcomb (1904) reports the response of the people of Keene to the battle of Lexington. Samuel Bassett, my 4 times great grandfather, was among the first 23 men to respond and fight for American Independence.

Patriots had assembled military stores at various places, including Concord Massachusetts and General Gage, the British commander meant to destroy those weapons. But the colonists had an active grapevine, and kept close tabs on the British. So when the redcoats marched toward Lexington and Concord, the people of New Hampshire were ready to go to the aid of Massachusetts and fight for American independence.

War for American Independence

Revolutionary War Re-enactment at Sturbridge, MA Photo by Lee Wright.

On Tuesday, April 18, at 11:00 p.m., the British crossed the Connecticut River and as the dramatic story is told in the History of Keene New Hamshire,

The lanterns were hung in the steeple of Christ church on Copp’s hill.  Paul Revere crosssed Charles river in a boat five minutes before the British sentinels received the order to allow no one to leave Boston, mounted a fleet horse and sped away to Lexington, rousing the people as he went.  Other messengers hastened in all directions, bells were rung and neighbor sent word to neighbor.

Before Sunrise American citizens had been slain at Lexington, and minute-men and other patriots were flocking to the scene of action.  The tidings were caught up by relays of swift horsemen and fleet runners on foot…and carried to every township and every log cabin.

When the news reached Keene, 90 miles from Lexington, by a rider coming through the woods on a bridle paty, a meeting was called on the Green the afternoon of Thursday, April 20. A commander was chosen, and altogether thirty men marched for Lexington including Samuel Bassett, fifer.

Promptly at the hour [sunrise] on that Friday morning, the 21st of April, 1775–the men were there and immediately marched off down Main street…[on the] road to Boston.

Samuel was twenty-one years old.

Chapter 7 of the History of Keene, entitled “Keene in Revolution” starting at page 171, tells the details of what the men of Keene did during their march to Boston and the battles of Breed’s Hill and Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775.

American Independence at Bunker Hill

In this map, you can see The New Hampshire Regiment commanded by Starks on the first day as they attacked Breed’s Hill. Map from WIki Commons.

Col. Stark’s regiment, including the Keene men under Capt. Stiles, was in the front of the charge on Bunker Hill, and according to the History of Keene, a report to England from General Gage said “If a monument is to be erected upon that battle ground to an colonel, it should be to Colonel Stark of New Hampshire, whose services in the strife were more important than those of any other man bearing that title.”

Part of the report of the details of movements of the New Hampshire troops toward Bunker Hill is credited in the book to a statement by “Samuel Bassett of Keene, fifer in Stiles’s [sic] company, who was with the detached party.”

He carried his musket in the action and states that he discharged five or six rounds and received a flesh wound in his thigh (so slight that he was not reported wounded, as is often the case in battle), after which several minutes elapsed before the retreat began.

Samuel is also listed in the roster of Stile’s company transferred to the command of Massachusetts Col. Dudley Sargent on August 1, 1775.  There he is identified as a “Freamer,” a word I have been unable to track down. But since he is listed immediately following the Drummer, I assume it is another way of saying Fifer.

The Keene men were mostly dismissed at the end of their eight-month term of duty in October, 1775.

In December, since they considered the British evicted from rulership but there was not yet a written set of regulations for the country, the people of Keene wrote their own Resolutions. You can see what their main concerns were. (Although they used much more flowery language.)

1. Appoint 3 good men to enforce the resolutions.

2. Establish fines for profanity

3. Fine anyone loitering or tippling instead of working.

4. Fine or publicly whip anyone who smites another person or abuses or destroys property of another person.

5. If anyone brings tea into town intending to sell it, they must surrender it until “the minds of Congress are fully known.”

6. Each member of committee has power to enforce the resolutions.

7. An officer will be appointed and given power to bring trangressors to the committee.

And all masters and heads of families have the responstibility that their “children, servants, and others [I suppose that includes wives?] not trespass against these “particulars.”

And they voted to hire a minister.

The records also show that in 1775, “Samuel Bassett and Aaron Willson, by the aid of a bee, excavated the canal from the pond on West Street to a point on the river about a hundred rods below.”  This enabled the building of a saw mill and a grist mill (owned by other men). [Can anybody tell me what a ‘bee’ would be?]

On April 12th 1776, all able-bodied men of Keene were asked to sign a statement supporting the Continental Congress–

“….that we will do the utmost of our Power at the Risque of our LIves and Fortunes with ARMS oppose the  Hostile Proceedings of the British Fleets and Armies against the United American COLONIES.”

Samuel Bassett was one of the 133 men of Keene that signed the Declaration. The thirteen who refused to sign (mostly wealthy men of the town) were also listed.

American Independence Day Fireworks

American Independence Day Fireworks

On July 4th, when the citizens were ready to celebrate the new American Independence, they erected a Liberty pole and a nine year boy climbed the pole to affix the flag.  The following September (they had been in recess when Independence was declared), the legislature enacted a statement making the former colony the STATE of New Hampshire.

The legislature of the new state voted to raise two regiments of men, and Samuel Bassett volunteered the 6th Company of the regiment commanded by Nahum Baldwin of Amherst. They took part in the battle of White Plains in October.

In May 1777, he marched with 112 men under Col. Bellows to TIconderoga, but the threat was over when they arrived, and they were dismissed in late June.

If you want the entire 3-chapter history of Keene’s involvement in the Revolution, I suggest you read the detailed History of Keene, made available on line by the Keene Public Library. And on Monday, I’ll be sharing Samuel’s own account from his pension record.

How I am Related

  • Vera Marie Badertscher, the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson Kaser, the daughter of
  • Vera Stout Anderson, the daughter of
  • Hattie Stout Morgan, the daughter of
  • Mary Bassett Platt Morgan, the daughter of
  • William Bassett, the son of
  • Samuel Bassett.