Tag Archives: Pomfret CT

Traitor in Pomfret, CT

My class has been investigating about Patriots and Loyalists in Pomfret, CT in 1774, and my research led me to Nathan Frink who was born in Pomfret in 1757 and lived there around 1774. Frink was a successful lawyer and ultimately described as a traitor. His sister married Israel Putnam’s youngest son, Schuyler Putnam, which made him an in-law of Israel Putnam’s family. Putnam was a noted military man, a Son of Liberty, and Patriot during the Revolutionary War. Because of this marriage, Nathan Frink pretended to be a Patriot, but he did not see a future for him with the Patriot cause and became King’s Attorney. He took on the position of “deputy stamp-master of the north part of Windham County” and built an office near Rectory School’s campus to manage the stamps. However, the Pomfret residents never let him open it, and kicked him out of town.

Benedict Arnold

Subsequently, Frink offered his services to the British commander in New York. As a loyalist, he served as a Captain in the King’s American Legion, the unit raised by Benedict Arnold after his defection, and during the British raid on New London and Groton (1781), Frink acted as an aide and guide to Benedict Arnold.  A quote from the book History of Windham County Connecticut shows us the reaction of his family and friends. Frink’s “aged father most piteously bemoaned ‘that he had lost his son…[and everything that] was dear to him,’ and soon went down into the grave mourning. His sister, the wife of Schuyler Putnam, a large circle of family connections, and all the earnest patriots of Pomfret and its vicinity were overwhelmed with grief, shame, and resentment at this ’mournful defection.’”

After the American Legion disbanded, Nathan Frink resettled to Saint-Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada with other Loyalists in 1783. He lived there until his death on Dec 4, 1817, and he was buried at the Loyalist Burial Ground in Saint-Stephen. The inscription on his gravestone reads “In memory of/Capt. Nathan Frink/who died/Dec 4, 1817/in the 60th year/of his age.”  Additional evidence that he was a loyalist is his listing in the directory of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada (UELAC).

Loyalist Burial Ground in Saint-Stephen

Sources:

http://historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=7649

http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=aek740a&id=I058207

https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Frink&GSfn=nathan&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GScntry=10&GSob=n&GRid=43262882&df=all&

http://www.uelac.org/Loyalist-Info/detail.php?letter=f&line=359

https://books.google.com/books?id=RkxKAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA57&dq=nathan+frink+windham+county&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjg_vrTu53TAhXm7YMKHRTfDMMQ6AEIGzAA#v=onepage&q=nathan%20frink%20windham%20county&f=false

https://benedictarnold.smugmug.com/As-British-General-in-Connecti/Capt-Nathan-Frink-Grave/i-BSXDJL2

Griggs, Susan J. Early Homesteads of Pomfret and Hampton. Salem, MA: Higginson Book, 1984. Print.

Larned, Ellen D. History of Windham County, Connecticut. N.p.: Swordsmith Edition, 2000. Print.

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nbststep/loyalistcem/loyalistbg.htm

Photo Credits:

factfile.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Benedict-Arnold-Facts.jpeg

http://www.uelac.org/Loyalist-Info/detail.php?letter=f&line=359

 

 

 

 

 

Pomfret’s Resolves

In my last post, I wrote about how Patriots in Pomfret sent aid to the residents in Boston when they were being flooded by British soldiers. Many towns in CT wrote resolves against British influence and in support of the people of Boston when the British Parliament closed the Boston port. These resolves were made to show a whole town’s support against the British policies and forces.

On June 23, 1774, Pomfret declared its resolves, and the town adopted a resolution that they felt passionate about. This sentiment is expressed in the Resolves opening sentence: “The present situation of the American colonies … has become … of so serious

Index

Page from the Pomfret Resolves

a nature that it calls aloud for the sentiments of every town and even every individual to be known and communicated.”

The key parts of the Resolves are “we therefore hereby assure our brethren that we will to the utmost of our abilities, contribute to the maintaining and supporting of our just rights and privileges, and to the removal of those evils already come upon us, and more particularly felt by the town of Boston.” The Resolves also declared that they would “encourage” “such a spirit of …  frugality among ourselves” that they would not have any need for British goods.  Furthermore,  “we do resolve, that every person who shall hereafter send for, and impact any British manufactures from Great Britain, or trade or deal with any who shall do so, until the loyal subjects of America are restored to, and can enjoy their just rights and privileges, shall be deemed and treated by us an ungrateful enemy to America.” What that means is anyone who deals or trades with the British will be considered an enemy; it was at that point that the citizens against the British considered themselves wholly patriotic.

After the Resolves were made, three people from Pomfret were chosen to be the messengers between the towns and to communicate with other Committees of Correspondence. These people were Ebenezer Williams, Thomas Williams, and Samuel Crafts. The Committees of Correspondence was a “provisional Patriot emergency government” first formed in November 1772 in Boston by the Patriots to support opposition to British policies. They were also the way of communication between Patriots in the 13 colonies.

Sources:

Larned, Ellen. History of Windham County Connecticut 1760-1880. Self-contained book, Swordsmith Productions, September 2000, Pomfret, CT 06258.

https://www.bostonteapartyship.com/committees-of-correspondence

Image Credit: https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/324c0ab0-da3e-0132-d05e-58d385a7b928

Pomfret, Connecticut’s Aid To Boston.

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Reverend Hunt’s Discourse

What happened in 1774 in Pomfret, Connecticut?  Did the town side with the patriots or were there loyalist sympathies?  In my research, I discovered a discourse delivered on Thanksgiving Day in 1841 at the First Congregational Church of Pomfret by its minister, Reverend Daniel Hunt. This sermon has been recorded in a book form, and in this 40-page book, Rev. Hunt talks about the history of Pomfret. The book is a wealth of knowledge about who was in Pomfret at this time in the 1770s, and it firmly states that there were many patriots in Pomfret. In the sermon, Hunt mentions a letter sent to Pomfret from Boston. The letter thanks Pomfret for sending provisions to Boston when it was under siege by the British in 1774. It is interesting that this letter also describes the conditions in Boston.

This is the letter. “GENTLEMEN:—By the hand of Mr. Elias Wells we received your generous and kind benefaction for the poor of this distressed town. We cannot enough express our gratitude for this instance of your bounty, in which you have liberally contributed to the relief of many. What you have thus lent to the Lord, we trust and pray that he will pay you again. It gives us great consolation amidst our complicated and unparalleled sufferings, that our brethren in the other colonies show [sic] such christian [sic] sympathy and true benevolence towards us. That we are greatly distressed, needs no comment. Our harbor blockaded by a fleet of ships; our foreign trade actually annihilated; thousands of poor reduced to extreme want; troops continually pouring in upon us, to insult us in this our distress, is a consideration that must excite pity in the most obdurate. However, although we thus suffer, we are willing to suffer still more, rather than give up our birthright privileges. With great regard, we are your brethren and most humble servants.” JOHN SEELEY, TIMOTHY NEWELL, SAMUEL AUSTIN, JOHN PITTS.

The letter tells you that there were a lot of patriots in Pomfret since they agreed to send aid to the people of Boston, who were under siege by the British at the time. In the book, History of Windham County Connecticut by Ellen D. Larned, I found out that one hundred and five sheep were sent to Boston as a gift.

Sources: Larned, Ellen. History of Windham County Connecticut 1760-1880. Self-contained book, Swordsmith Productions, September 2000, Pomfret, CT 06258.

Hunt, Daniel. History of Pomfret: A Discourse Delivered on the Day of Annual Thanksgiving, In the First Church in Pomfret, November 19th, 1840. Hartford: J. Holbrook, Printer. 1841.

Photo credit: https://books.google.com/books/about/HIST_OF_POMFRET.html?id=OpAYvgAACAAJ&source=kp_cover

An Arduous Life of Godfrey Malbone, Jr

 

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An established estate of Godfrey Malbone

The life of Godfrey Malbone Jr. was delineated in his familial relationships, personal businesses, early life in Newport and his following achievements to his society. A complete description of his autobiographical experiences provides an intricate sketch of his temperament, which also reflects the historical background of America around that period. As I comprehend deeper and analyze through Malbone’s experiences during the American Revolutionary War, his personality was thoroughly ingrained and understood in that painstaking era.

Godfrey Malbone Jr. was born on September 3, 1724, in Newport, Rhode Island, who was the descendant of Peter Malbone of Virginia. His father, Godfrey Malbone Sr., purchased 3000 acres of lands in the towns of Pomfret and Brooklyn, Connecticut, while he gradually became the wealthiest man in Newport through his involvement in privateering and the triangle trade. During the American Revolutionary War, his father’s mortgaged land was impounded by the state of Connecticut, for the reason of his inclinations to the loyalists. In his later life, he accomplished the feat of the construction of Trinity Church with the establishment of an original Malbone Estate. The construction materials utilized the deposits of brown sandstone from his land holdings, which are durable and easier to laminate than slate or granite. Eventually, he died on November 12, 1785, and is buried in his old Trinity Cemetery.

All in all, Godfrey Malbone’s personal experiences and the in-depth historical backgrounds behind his life reflect both a zeitgeist and a painstaking “conception” of an individual’s life. For my next research, I will delve into the specifics of the Malbone Estate, to understand more historical backgrounds of him that are related to his entrepreneurship.

Sources:

  1. http://www.rihs.org/mssinv/Mss549.htm
  2. http://library.brown.edu/riamco/xml2pdffiles/US-RNR-ms551.pdf
  3. http://newporthistory.org/2012/history-bytes-godfrey-malbone-and-brownstone/
  4. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=58261655
  5. Photo Credit:  By Ssaco – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27607738

Godfrey Malbone Jr Loyalist

My English language skills class is researching freedom and slavery around 1774 in our local area, Pomfret, Connecticut.  Can we find out who were patriots and who had loyalist sympathies?  We started by trying to identify patriots and loyalists in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

My topic is Godfrey Malbone Jr, who lived in Pomfret/Brooklyn, CT from 1766 to 1785 when he died. He is buried there in the church, Old Trinity Episcopal, which he built in 1770-1771. In my research, I found that his father, Godfrey Malbone Sr. (1695-1768), was born in Virginia and relocated to Newport RI around 1700 when Godfrey Jr would have been about 5 years old.  Godfrey Malbone Sr owned merchant ships and was famous for being a part of triangle trades and for slaver trading, which made him the wealthiest man in Newport, Rhode Island.  He built the Malbone Hall in Newport, which was “considered the most splendid edifice,” but it burned in 1766, which is one of the reasons why Godfrey Malbone Jr moved to Pomfret, CT.  Another reason is that as a loyalist, he “suffered greatly from Newport mobs” and privateers, so he escaped to the “forest and meadow land” of Pomfret, CT.

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One of Malbone’s homes in  Brooklyn

With his wealth, Godfrey Malbone Sr had bought land in Pomfret/Brooklyn, Connecticut in 1739. The land was transferred to his son, Godfrey Malbone Jr, in 1764. The deed shows that the farm had 3000 acres, “80 cows, 45 oxen, 30 steers, 59 young cattle, six horses, 600 sheep, 180 goats, 150 hogs and 27 Negroes, in that order.” Until recently, researchers thought Godfrey Malbone Jr was the largest slave owner in CT at the time.  However, archeologist Gerald Sawyer from Central Connecticut State University has found a plantation with slaves owned by Samuel Browne in Salem, CT, which operated from 1718 until about 1780. Samuel Browne had 4000 acres and 60 slave families. My next research step is to find out more about Samuel Browne and the plantation in Salem, CT.

SOURCES:

Griggs, Susan J. Early Homesteads of Pomfret and Hampton. Abington, CT., 1950.

Lang, Joel.  “Chapter One: The Plantation Next Door.” Hartford Courant 29 September 2002. Web 6 April 2017. http://www.courant.com/news/special-reports/hc-plantation.artsep29-story.html

http://www.genealogy.com/forum/regional/states/topics/ri/4581/

http://newporthistory.org/2012/history-bytes-godfrey-malbone-and-brownstone/

Photo Credit  http://www.putnamelms.org/