stolen by the Tories

In 1847, Asa Fitch, a country doctor and a noted etymologist, began to ask his elderly patients questions about their experiences during the American Revolution when they were young. He carefully recorded their answers and, although they may be the imperfect recollections of people advanced in years, they reflect the uncertainties and trials their families faced. Tryphena Martin Angell of Salem recounted her family’s experience fleeing from the advancing army of General Burgoyne.

In the war Father was away from home when the families evacuated the town. … It was said [that General Burgoyne] had a hundred thousand soldiers with him—British, Hessians, and Indians—and was coming down through this place and would kill every enemy of the King.

Daniel Livingston … helped us to get away. Some of our things were buried, others sunk in the well, and the rest were put into the ox-cart. … Mother rode on the old mare and I was tied on behind her or had to hold on to her. …

On the road somewhere towards Hoosick was a large slough hole [swamp] or brook across which poles were laid to keep the horses, et cetera, from miring in it. The foot of the horse we rode got caught between these poles so that she fell pitching Mother and me off into the mud. We were not hurt but badly frightened and sadly besmeared with muck and mud. A few days after our arrival at Brown’s my brother Moses was born. We came back before cold weather. … part of our things were buried in time of the retreat before Burgoyne: pots and kettles, a large brass kettle, pewter platters and other dishes, the iron trammel [a chain and hook for raising and lowering a kettle] that hung in the chimney. When we got back we found all these things had been stolen by the Tories. We never got any trace as to who it was that had taken them.

This excerpt is from In the Words of Women, Chapter 3, pages 77-78. The illustration is of an iron trammel mentioned in the text.

posted June 14th, 2012 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Patriots, Saratoga, Tories


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