Tag Archives: Putnam family

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