"Richard Brown-John King and Christopher
Joseph Booth-David and Thomas Vail, Surities
Tim Hudson John Corwin and John Alborson,
David Terreye-Nathan Tuthill and Nat Griffng,
Israel Moore-Sam'll Brown and Benajah
John Griffing-James Murrison and Benajah
James Havens-Ned Penne and Jonathan Conklin,
David Gardiner*-Tom Wines and James Reeve,
Son of Jo Reeves, Bondsmen
Robert Hinksman-John Griffing and his
son James, Bondsmen
John Hubbard-Daniel Osban and Capt. Halliock,
Joseph Peck-John Hubbard and Daniel Osbond,
Ruphas Tuthill-Peter and Jonathan Tuthill,
*David Gardiner, Dr for ye excise for
ye said year (1776) 1 pound. Which I paid out of my own pocket"
The above area
list for the years 1775-1776, and the subjoined are retailers. In cases
of repetition, the holders conducted both a tavern and a store. The retailers
were not supposed to sell in less than gallon lots. An examination of several
hundred accounts for a period of years shows that this minimum was strictly
adhered to. Once there is an entry of a "bottil of rumme", but the great
majority lugged it off' by the jugful. One widow in Mattituck bought four
gallons of rum of John Hubbard every Saturday for fourteen years.
Oringe Webb-He was a ship captain and kept
a small chandlery Tom Webb
Amon Taber-A master builder of the day,
specialized in windmills and was a cabinet maker of distinction. He built
the pews in the second church that stood on Barnabas Horton's second
or east home lot.
"Cash received, of John Hubbard, 5 shillings"
"Deacon Wells at ye millers, and his son,
a hogshead." This entry would indicate that Freegift Wells and his son
Giles bought a hogshead of rum and divided it among the neighbors. The
last pages of Joseph Cleveland's account book chronicle a similar transaction
at Hackabacke (Aquebogue) when Capt. Thomas Goldsmith tapped a hogshead
and divided it among 79 of his neighbors. These transactions were not confined
to gallons since we find that Jerediah Cleaves bought only a gill. The
amount was so small that he was not required to pay for his dram, where-as
the gallon customers were assessed four shillings, six pence.
Gustas Pack (Peck)
Gamalie Bayley (He was the town clerk)
Ben King, Juner
James Macklure (An Irishman who had dwelt
at Shelter Island with the Hudsons. This is contrary to the evidence adduced
by Mather, but it is attested by the books of Samuel and Jared Landon.
Richard Brown (already mentioned as a
Samuel Griffing and Ruphas Tuthill (also)
John Pack (Peck), where the Cahoon Memorial
Library now is.
Simon Moore, (one time host to Alexander
David Gardiner (who has been mentioned
Tom Conkling, Fraderick Hudson and James
Havens complete the list.
men were licensed to sell ruin to 3100 people. If there is any merit in
the Kittredge theory of taverns as news depots, surely Southold of 1776
could not have been either thirsty or ignorant.
It should not
be predicated that the Southold we are considering on the eve of the Revolution
was a drunken and disorderly place. Rum fitted into the scheme of things
precisely as coffee does today. There was a certain amount of drunkenness
and `training day' that came every Monday saw not a little of it; but Tuesday
morning saw the men going about their business as usual. Southold had not
abandoned the whipping post, and those who were persistent in their cups
found themselves bare of back undergoing the lash at the hands of the sheriff.
Persistence brought the stocks and here the youth of the day found one
of his sports. A person confined was subject to a bombardment of over-ripe
eggs and such vegetables as seemed more suitable for quick handling than
for home consumption. When Tryon invested the town, one of the first things
the riff-raff did was to uproot the stocks and the pillory and make way
with the ducking stool. The latter was saved and for many years was in
the possession of the late Hubbard Payne. Like many another thing, it has
of 1776, and now I speak of the village proper, was a prosperous capital.
Holding the town meeting had served to retain the ascendancy of the parent
village, which in earlier days had been threatened by Oysterponds and its
tobacco plantations. The Booth family had specialized in fast horses, and
the town's first racetrack ex-tended from the cattle pound in front of
the Braddick house, once the mansion of John Budd, cousin to the Royal
house of Warwick and great-grandson of Henry VII. It is now the residence
of Daniel Halsel Norton, owner of the Barnabas Horton Cask. It extended
to the run at the foot of what had come to be known as Mill Hill. Here
the center of the road was reserved for fast horses of the town and the
oxen had to keep to the sides of the road. So great was the Booth prestige
in things sporting that we find as matter of common knowledge that the
house on the shores of Dickerson's Creek was called the jockey House. The
presumption is that they had imported a jockey of skill to handle their
horses. The youth of the town found plenty
to do, and the long summer evenings found them throwing the iron bar, wrestling,
lifting weights, a feat in which none had ever been able to excel Isaac
Overton, the strong man of Southold, or Lymas Reeve, of 1Vlattituck, who
held the champion-ship at the western end of the town. These two were not
contemporary, but the tales of their prodigious strength served the youth
of the entire town for many generations.
Quoits and a
form of bowls called `Duck on the Rock' were ever popular. Cards were played
in the taverns and in the homes of some of the rich. The town records carry
the information that apprentices must not play dice, but nothing was said
in regard to attending cocking mains. By 1774, this form of sport had been
forbidden by the Continental Congress, but we find Gideon Salmon making
a pair of `cokrel spirrs' for young Tom Conkling after this date. The remains
of the cocking main may still be seen in the hollow at the lower end of
the George H. Wells farm. This spot, where once the Harvest Home Festival
was held, had been the cock-pit of the Booth family who held these acres
for many years. Perhaps the outstanding sport of that day was shooting
at the mark.
Early in the
town's history the bloods had betaken themselves to Oyster pond and had
shot wild turkeys. After these were exterminated, battues became a thing
of the past. Shooting at the mark was considered a rather expensive
proceeding, but the tavern keepers offered mugs of rum for the best shots,
so that the element of gambling entered and the practice continued.
women of the town did the spinning and much of the weaving, and all of
the barnyard chores, their influence in the town was completely minus.
Southold, and for that matter every other town in the new world, was a
man's paradise. So great was the prestige of the male that when a town
wished to punish a man for beating his wife, they did not bring a direct
complaint, but trumped up a charge of Sabbath breaking. The man in his
appeal to the Governor's Council at New York openly makes the charge and
presumably he should have known as to its truth, which he was at no pains'
It was to such
a town as I have tried to picture in the last few paragraphs that the news
of impending invasion came. As I have told, they had been circularized
on behalf of the Continental Congress and the Association, as it was called,
found many signers. The feudal atmosphere of the town is well shown by
the fact that three of the richest men
of the plantation were their leaders.
Let the richest men in Southold town attempt to lead us anywhere today
and you will get the point I am making. Thomas Dering of Shelter Island
was one of the group of nabobs that made that place a replica of the James
River Plantations. Ezra L'Hommedieu of Southold, by far her most distinguished
a man of great wealth and kept an establishment
commensurate with his position. The third member of this triumvirate, Jared
Landon, was the son of judge Samuel, and a man of independent means. He
paid his father 250 pounds in gold for the home place, approximately where
S. Lester Albertson now resides. This sum in specie was an added burden
to Cyrus, personal attendant to judge Samuel. Cyrus had been a slave in
the Osborne family and had been given to the judge because, as Lawyer Osborne
said, when he wanted Cyrus he was always hanging around
judge Landon's kitchen engaged in making
love to Zipporah, who presided over the judge's cuisine. Cyrus lugged aboard
the Polley eight bags of silver and gold, doubloons, pistoles, Louis Tor,
guineas, Spanish dollars, and so on to the amount of X24,000.
Before the judge
went aboard the lugger he rendered an account of the powder and shot in
Decr ye 1776, Pouder and Ball of the Town
John Franks 13 lb
David Landon 3 lb
Jonathan Vaill 3 lb
Samuell Landon 4 lb
Samuell Landon 45 lb of Ball at 7p pr
Pound Lawful money
John Pain 1 lb
On the margin
he wrote `Guilford', and a duplicate account appears among the papers of
Doctor David Conkling, who had been commissioned by Col. Livingston to
render a report on the stock of munitions on hand.
TRAINING DAY AND MINUTE MEN
With so much mention
of war and its rumors, we may stop and consider the military aspects of
the town. From the beginning there had been a military force called the
Train Band, modeled after a similar force in England. Membership was obligatory,
and the ages were from 16 to 60. Nothing but absolute decrepitude could
excuse a settler from this duty. They met at eight o'clock every Monday
morning and drilled for two hours, with time out for visits to the tavern
and then back for another hour of drilling. The church was the armory,
and as late as 1803 provisions were made in the new church for storing
the arms of the militia, which had succeeded to the duties of the early
This matter of
weekly training is established by the books of Jonathan Horton, 3rd, who
was a storekeeper and surveyor from 1694 to 1742. He sold innumerable half
pounds of powder on Mondays and often on the margin of the ledger he would
write `trainin day'. Another evidence of weekly training is offered by
judge Samuel Landon in his
account with a certain Luke, who had engaged
to serve him for 24 pounds a year. Weekly for several years the Judge makes
this entry, "to one day's training and two days drunk."
I have mentioned
the weekly training because this was not the common custom in the other
towns making up the County. The first Monday in the month was the accepted
day for training, but the early Southolder was so enamored of arms that
they gave four days a month to this while their neighbors were only giving
one. The ease with which Captain Thomas Terry raised a company of seventy-five
men to serve in the Mohawk Valley campaign of 1760 plainly tells of the
attitude of the Town toward war.
a company of Minute Men even as the parent colony. When the Militia began
to bear this title is unknown. So much of the New York data has been lost,
but we have this list of the South old company and Captain Thomas Terry
has risen to a colonelcy. I append the complete list of 57 names that all
may know with the least effort the names of those who cast their lot with
the Continental Congress and decided, to paraphrase Franklin, to hang together
rather than separately.
MUSTER ROLL OF CAPT PAUL REEVE CO
out of Coll Thomas Terry' Rigment Southold, August 5th, Southold, August
_Conklin g, Serjt
Steers Hubbard, Serjt
Solloman (Salmon) Corp
Fradrik Hudson, Fif
this list of names must be added the roll of Lietit. Joshua Youngs' company
K. Racket, Corp
Four of these
men had served under Terry in the Mohawk Valley campaign. John Corwin,
Constant Havens, Joshua Corwin and Samuel Hudson were the veterans. These
lists do not exhaust the roster of those who served in the War of Independence.
There were scores of impatient who were already at the camps in Roxbury
and Cambridge. In order that those who had staid at home might keep in
touch with those at the front, an enterprising man, Nathan Bushnell, Jr.,
offered in the pages of the Connecticut Gazette to deliver mail to the
camped at Roxbury and Cambridge. This
paper was read in Southold and of course circulated among the shore towns
of Connecticut where the Refugees from Southold were being maintained by
the Patriot authorities. Lyme, Killingworth, Guilford and several other
towns received the first delegations. Illustrative of the Southold attitude
toward New York was the protest against being quartered in the same towns
with Refugees from New York!
To return to
the Minute Men who were drilling in the various villages their collective
hearts were gladdened by the arrival of a messenger from Colonel Smith
bringing Col. Thomas Terry their bounty money. Each man who had enlisted
received the "summe of five, dollers." This money had been supplied by
Already the British
were requisitioning the cattle that were left in the town. From the Diary
of Colonel Josiah Smith we learn of the first efforts to offset these depredations.
The Colonel's spelling leaves a great deal to be desired; but he was in
good company as his commander to-be, George Washington, always showed a
complete indifference to
spelling books and dictionaries.
"August ye 7-1776
1 sot oute Eastward to South hold and gave Capt (Paul) Reves orders &
Ingaged Magor Wick-
ham to secure the Stock on Robings Island
from the Enemy.
"August ye 8-I
spente my time along to Oyster pond & Order Leutenant (Joshua) Youngs
to take the Stock of Plume Island and I staid with Coll (Thomas) Terry
were the lot of the citizens of Southold. Parker Wickham held the reins
of government. The Wickham family had split. Thomas was heart and soul
for the patriot cause and found time from his regular duties as a committee
man, handling the affairs of the Refugees to equip as sloop and do some
active privateering. Mattituck
became the seat of the government and
remained as such for several years (1777-1781). Dr. Craven in his History
of Mattituck has written an interesting chapter on Mattituck during the
Revolution. I cannot go the whole way with him in some of his conclusions.
And until our public squares are cluttered up with the statues of failures
I cannot accept the conventional attitude toward the Tories. They guessed
wrong and there exists no reason why there should be any especial tenderness
in judging them. To be exact I cannot agree with his judgment on Capt.
Peter Hallock who raided Col. Phineas Fanning's cow pen. Trumbull in his
letter of rebuke was mindful of the fact that Fanning had given his parole
to remain inactive against the patriots and until there existed evidence
that he had broken it his property was inviolate. So too in the matter
of Parnel Wickham's sorrel mare with the white face. Miss Wickham was entitled
to consideration as the niece of Capt. or Maj. Wickham.
For the better
information of the reader I will cite from Onderdonk's Revolutionary Incidents
of Long Island, (1846). These are cited as set down in this volume and
some of them will overrun events that are to be treated as having arisen
from these happenings.
New London, Nov. 8, '76.
A number of troops
from R. I. and East end of L. I. landed at Setauket and in a skirmish killed
10 Tories and captured 23.
New London, Jan. 3, 1777.
are loading wood at the east end of L. I, under guard of some men of war.
'Tis said the inhabitants suffered much from the soldiers, who rob them
of their effects.
New London, March 14, 1777.
raided and cattle taken. 20 ships at anchor in Gardiner's Bay.
New London, May 2, 1777.
Levi Allen (brother
of Ethan) posted at Mrs. Hubbard's in Mattituck, some counterfeit bills
(as a warning to the public) gave one to Rufus Tuthill at Oyster Pond and
one to John Brown of Fisher's Island.
This item call
for explanation. The counterfeit bills were replicas of British Money and
military notes and the Province was being flooded with them at the instance
of the Revolutionary authorities. By this means those who might be prompted
to accept pay from the Britons were to be discouraged. This form of boring
from within is almost as old as the practice of warfare.
On December 24,
'77 the Connecticut Gazette relates of the attack on Capt. Ayscough at
Southold. The officer was here superintending the loading of wood. They
were bivouacking in Moore's tap-room when they were apprised of the coming
of Captain Hart and a body of patriot soldiers. Hastening to their ship
they were overtaken and in a running fight the British forces lost 7 prisoners
and the rest of the little group were either killed or wounded.
Wood was in great
demand and the invading force added insult to injury by burning the stump
ground after they had stripped it of wood.
The next citation
is from Rivington's Gazette. This paper found no good in the patriot cause
as the wording will indicate.
Feb. 26, '78.
evening a small party of rebels, came from the Main to Mattituck, rapaciously
seized and carried off into Conn. a quantity of goods, landed from one
of the vessels driven ashore in the late storm. Next day a gang ofruffians
(sic) (John Clive Symes his daughter married William Henry Harrison), Peter
Griffen, Wilmot Goldsmith, and Tuthill late residents of Southold) brought
wagons from the east end of the Island, stripped the schooner Clio, Capt.
Simmons, of her sails, rigging, &c, which they carried off, and have
no doubt sent across the Sound.'
But on the 2nd
of January preceding, the shoe had been on the other foot. A company of
Tories, 130 in number had raided Oyster Pond and robbed the honest inhabitants
of clothing, money, grain and cattle. From one man they took 120 pounds
THE RAID ON SAGG HARBOR
There are many
more such incidents, some of which happened before Tryon marched his force
out to the East End and made his headquarters at Southold in the house
of Peter Vail, son-in-law of judge Samuel Landon. The event that determined
Tryon's course has been recounted often. It is the raid of Col. Return
Jonathan Meigs on
Sagg Harbor. Briefly, Meigs with a force
of 160 men had rowed across the Sound from Guilford to Southold, pulled
their boats across the narrow beach now claimed by the Town, had made their
way through Tom's Creek and out into the Bay and thence to Sagg Harbor.
There, under the fire of an armed schooner, they burned the British transports
100 tons of hay and grain, and according to one account, destroyed 100
hogsheads of rum and some other West Indian goods, presumably sugar. The
New London account numbers the prisoners at 90. Among the vessels destroyed
was one with a complement of 6 or 8 guns. The fire of the British ship
was ineffective and the raiders were uninjured. The total time of the expedition
was 24 hours.
This raid occurred
in 1777. A year or two later Jared Landon was accused of having piloted
this raid and was thrust into the Southampton jail by Benjamin Morrison.
The paper, which I have copied in full below is a recent discovery. Until
this was found there existed no exact knowledge of the spot where Jared
Landon had been imprisoned. It was known that he had been held a prisoner
for his support of the patriot cause, but his family apparently never knew
the place of his incarceration. It had been a family joke for years that
Grandfather Jared had learned to like skippers in his cheese from a year's
stay in a British prison, thought to have been the notorious prison ships.
"My Intrist hath suffered by the British
since the War as Fallows-or those acting under there Command sence the
Year (blank date). "Viz: To Cash
to Soporte me wile in Prison
To the lose of Clothing as Follows
1 great coat 3-12-0
4 pr of Wosted three Threaded Stockings
at 12-0 2-8-0
1 Shirt at 14-0, one vest at 16-0, Shoes
at 10-0 2-0-0
The lose of my watch 4-0-0
1 pair Knee buckles at 12-0, one gold
ring at 12-0 1-4-0
new saddle and bridle 3-0-0
three bridls stold by the troops at Other
Capt Kinloch Stold my horse which just
before Cost me 25 pounds-never received him untill the cost exceeded ye
Trator Arnal Stolid one calf I just paid
4 pounds for 4-00-00
his or himself stolid four hogs &
three geese 20-00-00
1/2 load of hay taken from me with
pay at 6 pounds a tun 3-00-00
to 5 hundred wait burnt at 6-0 1-10-00
Capt Hulet Company Stold about 5 shock
Oats & Busher 1-12-00
Benjn Meurrison Imprisoning me at Southampton
last time & Expence of horse Riding 10-04-06
at Other times troops stool from me the
value cloathing 14-06
Decd Fathers watch Stold belonging to
the Estate 6-00-00
Seven Guineas I Expended to Prevent my
Considered as Reable Place & to save
my Reant from the British 13-01-04
this sum other expenditures occurred to him and he appended the following:
Hire Mr Maps Going to New York to get
my discharges 2-0-0
Cost in Riding to Mr Plat for him to bring
my Cloths I left in Prision 2-19-0
11 months and eight days Confinement being
accused of Piliting Coll Maggs to burn the Hay Fleet at Sag Harbor 40-00-00
(New Total) 197-02-04
lost unNotesed beside the Amazing damidge my confinement was to my Intrest."
to Section 3
Arnal' who `stolid' one calf and possibly four hogs and three geese was
none other than Benedict. This raid on the barnyard must have happened
in Connecticut. It perhaps preceded the storming of Fort Griswold with
the attendant murder of Colonel Ledyard by Major Bromfield. For the benefit
of one who doubted Fanny
Ledyard as a Refugee, I will cite from
page 235 of Mather's Refugees from Long Island: "A bright picture of the
ministering angel is that of Fanny Ledyard, a niece of Col. Ledyard, and
herself a Refugee. On the morning after the attack she brought wine, water
and chocolate to cheer the wounded who were still within the Fort."
The matters treated
above have taken us ahead of our story. From the fact that Samuel Landon's
watch was stolen, it is evident that his son Jared must have been imprisoned,
for the second time, after the elder Landon's death, which occurred at
Guilford in 1782. The arrest must have been effected in January 1782. Jared
brought his father's body from Guilford in a coffin that John Pain had
built at a cost of one pound, four shillings. In his neat handwriting one
may find the whole account of the funeral and, pinned to the page, is Dr.
David Conkling's receipt for attendance on the judge. Dr. Conkling had
bought his way out of a British jail a few years before, so he could sympathise
with the younger Landon when, on the instigation of Parker Wickham, the
British commander seized the well-known sympathizer with the cause that
Washington was leading. The hatred of these two men for each other was
marked. Once Jared had unburdened himself to his father to the effect that
the town was not large enough for him and `P. Wickham' and that `P. Fanning
was no better.' When the war was over Jared Landon avenged himself on P.
Wickham by having his estates confiscated and bidding them in through the
agency of one Norton, who appeared for him in many business matters. His
punishment of Phineas Fanning was more subtle. He never failed to insult
him whenever they met, and one entry in the great ledger reads as follows:
"Finny Phannigan, the dastard Irishman, bought a pair of boots." Having
relieved the pent-up anger, our Surrogate, for such he was at this time,
filled out the rest of the account without further maiming Fanning's name.