history-genealogy site

This is a site where I will discuss my family genealogy research and related history. When a blog deals with a particular family group, I will try to include it in the title so uninterested people can skip it without skimming it. It is my hope to get feedback on research methods, family members and historical context from other historians, genealogists, and researchers. (c) Barbara L. de Mare 2006, 2007

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Location: Englewood, New Jersey, United States

Sunday, July 22, 2007

THOMAS CARPENTER, Revolutionary War ancestor & Quaker

Some notes concerning Thomas Carpenter, a great-grandson of Samuel Carpenter the Philadelphia immigrant, and one of my Revolutionary War ancestors. My sister and I found and photographed his residence at Carpenter's Landing, now Mantua, New Jersey on Veteran's Day, 2002. Carpenter's Landing was located at the furthest inland navigable point on the Mantua Creek from the Delaware River. From there supplies were unloanded and goods were loaded for sale from the Carpenter glass works in nearby Glassborough. The mansion house stood at the top of the slope going up from the landing spot. These pictures will be posted if I figure out how to do it! - - - - - - - - - - Married by Rev. Jonathan Odell. Before the ceremony, THOMAS CARPENTER was required, under the colonial law then in force, to execute a bond with security that no impediment existed, which bond is still on file in the office of the Secretary of State in Trenton according to Carpenter book, p. 58 (written in 1912). - - - - - - - Carpenter book (1912) contains the following article about Thomas, which may be a quote from an unnamed source: (pp 58-60) "Thomas Carpenter served an apprenticeship in an auction store at the corner of Front and South Streets, Philadelphia. Auctions, being prohibited within the jurisdiction of the City Councils, were conducted outside the southern boundary of the city. He formed an early attachment to MARY TONKIN and was but twenty one and five months old when they were married. He commenced life upon a farm belonging to his grandfather [Samuel 2d], called the Smith farm, near the Salem County almshouse, in Salem County. "In the early stages of the War of the Revolution he was commissioned pay master of the militia of the counties of Salem and Gloucester. His commission bears date March 19, 1777. He was also quartermaster of the first battalion of Salem troops, commanded by his friend Col. Samuel Dick, M.D., a prominent and patriotic citizen of Salem, where he had a large and lucrative practice as a physician. Being one of the staff of Col. Dick, THOMAS CARPENTER was present at the successful retreat of the American army from the banks of the Assanpink around the flank of the British army, on the night of January 3, 1777. This movement so successfully accomplished, whereby General Washington withdrew his undisciplined troops from the front of a powerful British army, to a position in the rear, where he threatened its communications and stores, and finally placed them in secure winter quarters near Morristown, without serious loss, has received commendation of the best historians and military critics. The chagrin of the enterprising British general, upon finding he had been outgeneraled by the enemy he professed to despise, may be imaged. "The personal recollections of these events by THOMAS CARPENTER, as he used to relate them, were substantially as follows: "The American army, commanded by General Washington, was encamped on the south side of the Assanpink Creek, a narrow stream fordable in many places within the limits of the City of Trenton. Lord Cornwallis, intent upon the destruction of his adversary, arrived and encamped on the opposite bank late in the afternoon prepared to give battle the next morning. All the available detachments in South Jersey had been hurried up to reinforce General Washington. The weather was warm and rainy, the roads almost impassable. Colonel Dick's battalion marched from Salem through Woodbury, Haddonfield, Mount Holly, and Recklestown to join the army; but, delayed by the bad roads and the breaking of an axle of a field gun, did not arrive in camp until late in the evening. About the time of their arrival, the wind changed and it soon became intensely cold. Having secured comfortable quarters with other officers in a neighboring house, CARPENTER loaned his overcoat to one of his less fortunate companions who had left his own with the baggage in the rear. At midnight an officer detailed to look up stragglers entered the apartments and informed them that the army was no longer there, had been gone an hour, and they must immediately mount and follow. Washington, afraid to risk a battle with his army, composed largely of raw, undisciplined troops, had taken advantage of the darkness and frozen roads to break up his encampment, leaving his camp fires burning to deceive the enemy, and marched, by a by-road called the "Old Quaker Road," around the flank of the British army, on Princeton. In this emergency THOMAS CARPENTER had nothing but a blanket which he tied around his neck and waist with handkerchiefs,--a poor defense against the piercing cold, from which he suffered greatly. His party overtook the army near Princeton, where a sharp engagement took place between the head of the column and two regiments of Hessians that were marching to reinforce the British army at Trenton. The noise of the firing was the first notice to Lord Cornwallis that the Revolutionary army had left its position on the Assanpink, and was then twelve miles in his rear directly on the line of his communications. After the action was over, MR. CARPENTER, in company with Colonel Dick, called upon General Mercer, who had received a mortal wound and was lying pale and suffering in his tent. It was the intention of General Washington to seize the stores of the British army at New Brunswick, but the accidental encounter at Princeton disconcerted his plans. Unable to cope with the British forces in hot pursuit, he continued his retreat and established himself in secure winter quarters in the vicinity of Morristown. "The detachment commanded by Colonel Dick was discharged on the completion of its term of service. Dr. Dick became a member of the New Jersey Assembly. THOMAS CARPENTER, detailed for the duty, was actively engaged in purchasing and forwarding supplies for the use of the army. The winter of 1777 was exceptionally severe. The snow fell at frequent intervals, enabling him to dispatch long trains of sleds laden with provisions and forage from time to time from the lower counties of the State to the encampment at Morristown. Whenever the roads would begin to wear out, a providential fall of snow would make them good. "Here is a copy of a letter from "Light-Horse Harry Lee" to THOMAS CARPENTER, purchasing commissioner. (The original is in the possession of Miss Susan M. Carpenter, 38 N. 2d Street, Camden, N.J.) Burlington, January 17, 1780 Sir:-- I have written to the Magistrates of Salem County begging them to aid you in the immediate conveyance of the flour to camp. Send on what is already manufactured with hurry, expedite the manufacture of the remainder and then convey it to Mr. Thomas at the "Black Horse." If the river should open send it to Trenton. You must procure drivers to go to camp with your cattle, or at any rate to the "Black Horse" where Mr. Thomas will take charge of them. For God's sake perform this business with all possible despatch. I am Sir, Your obedient (signed) HENRY LEE, JR. (Title indistinct) "THOMAS CARPENTER visited Red Bank on the next morning after the battle in which Count Donop and his Hessians were so signally defeated by Colonel Greene, and saw the wounded commander and the dead and wounded Hessians that encumbered the Whitall House, the lawn, and the ground about the fort. The house is still standing and plainly shows the mark of a cannonball which pierced its wall during the action. Many of the dead and wounded were shot in the back in their efforts to escape from the trap in which they had been caught. "In the year 1785 he removed to Cooper's Point and engaged in mercantile business. A curious set of bullet-moulds for casting musket-balls and buckshot has been preserved, which he made use of at the time to supply his customers with buckshot to shoot the deer which were then plenty in the forests of New Jersey. It is now in the possession of General L.H. Carpenter, is in excellent preservation, and bears upon the handles the initials T.C. 1786 E.C. 1834. He remained at Cooper's Point about two years. From thence, having formed a partnership with Colonel Thomas Heston, his wife's nephew by marriage, he removed to Carpenter's Landing (now called Mantua). Heston and Carpenter built and established a large glass manufactory at Glassborough, where they acquired a large landed property. A store and lumber business were also maintained and carried on at Carpenter's Landing. The business was successfully prosecuted until the death of Colonel Heston. The property was then divided, THOMAS CARPENTER retired, and was succeeded by his son Edward, by whom it was continued until his death in 1813. Glassborough is still distinguished for its glass factories, and has become a large and flourishing village under the auspices of the descendants of Colonel Heston. "THOMAS CARPENTER continued to reside at Carpenter's Landing the remainder of his life. [physical descriptions follow of Thomas and his wife Mary] "Both THOMAS and MARY CARPENTER lie buried in the cemetery adjoining the Friends meeting house in Woodbury, N.J. Their graves adjoin each other on the north side of the enclosure. about midway, and near the boundary fence, each designated by a small marble, with name on its top. Lately a stone retaining wall has been placed there for their protection. "THOMAS CARPENTER left no will. The farm at Carpenter's Landing was divided and sold in parcels after his death. The mansion, garden, orchard, and adjacent grounds, with the buildings, were purchased by Charles Martel, whose family still own and occupy them. "NOTE--Thomas Carpenter was adjutant of Colonel Dick's battalion in the Princeton and Trenton campaign from November, 1776, to the latter part of January 1777; afterwards quartermaster. He was for a time ensign of Captain Roanes' company of Dick's battalion. (See petition of THOMAS CARPENTER for a pension.)" - - - - - - - Pension File: New Jersey Carpenter, Thomas R17117 1/2 State of New Jersey ss: Mercer County On this first day of July one thousand and eight hundred and fifty one before me the subscriber one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, personally appeared Thomas P. Carpenter Esq., who being duly sworn according to law on his oath saith That he makes the foregoing declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7, 1832, granting pensions to those who served in the Revolutionary War S6. That he is the grandson of Thomas Carpenter who was a Paymaster to the militia and ? of the Counties of Salem and Gloucester in said state in the War of the revolution. That said declarant claims for himself, Mary C. Howell (wife of Richard W. Howell), James S. Carpenter, Samuel T. Carpenter, and Edward Carpenter such amount of pension as may be justly due on account of the services of his Grandfather as Paymaster from 1777 to 1781 in said Revolutionary War. Sworn and subscribed the day ) T.P. Carpenter and year above written ) (CERTIFICATE) State of New Jersey I Thomas S. Allison Register of the Perogative Court of the State of New Jersey holden at Trenton in and for said State do hereby certify that satisfactory evidence has been exhibited to said Court, that Thomas Carpenter, who was a PayMaster for the militia of the State of New Jersey in the War of the Revolution, died on the seventh day of July One thousand eight hundred and forty-seven at his residence in the County of Gloucester in said State, leaving no widow, and the following named grandchildren viz: Mary Howell, James S. Carpenter, Samuel T. Carpenter, Edward Carpenter and Thomas P. Carpenter, being the only heirs of the said Thomas Carpenter dec'd. In Testimony whereof I have here unto set my hand and affixed the seal of said Court at Trenton this twenty third day of June eight hundred and fifty-one. Thos. S. Allison, Register Abstracts of the Council of Safety Minutes, p.67: "1777 December 12 [Friday]. The Council met at Princeton. Present--Governor, Mr. Speaker, Camp, Manning, Mehelm, Elmer, Col. Fleming, Smith. Application to the Board for payment of money due to the Militia in Gloucester Countyunder the command of Col. Ellis. Agreed that Col. Ellis be informed by letter that the Legislature directed the Delegates to obtain from Congress $120,000 dollars for paying the debt due to the Militia of this State anf that the proportion og $16,000 dollars, when obtained, be given to Thos. Carpenter for the payment of the Militia of Gloucester & Salem."

4 Comments:

Blogger Me said...

do you know if your Thomas Carpenter was related to any Benjamin Carpenter of NJ in the vicinity of Philadelphia?

3:00 PM  
Blogger his gene, esq. said...

There are two Benjamin Carpenters in my data base who are related to Thomas. Do you ave a time period or middle name?

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:09 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

Sooo... I get that Thomas Carpenter is the Great Grandson of Samuel Carpenter, but I can't seem to find the other names anywhere. Well documented (thanks for all your work!!! <3 ) to Thomas and then everything I have just states Great grandson of Samuel Carpenter and jumps to Samuel. Who his Thomas's Father and Grandfather? Thanks Aunt Barbara!! P.S. how accurate is Wikipedia about Samuel Carpenter?

11:59 PM  

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