A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 4

Grand Jury notes
Supr. Ct. Springfeild. Septr. 1778 Coram G: Jury Capt. Wm. Duglass.1 I gave orders to march to Wm. Brown James Rennolds John Gardner, Eleazer Simeon Franklin to Albany. they did not appear at time & place & also Elijah Cunningham & Samll. Rogers & Jabez Carr. I had not given orders to the others persons of Hancock. I had continued to go to Bennington & when we mustered; Elijh. Brown Martin Townsend jr. John Cunningham, Richd. Gardner; Richmond Carr; Philemon Lee John Franklin Thos. Rogers, were out of their way & had not orders given them, & I did not see them till after the Bennington Fight & the above persons who were warned were not to 54 be found till after sd. Fight. I first saw Thos. Rogers in Enemys Line in custody of Wheeler Duglass as a Prisoner. I never gave him orders to march because of his Fitts, but it did not impair his Reason; the Monday after fight I saw in Bennington M:H. Richd. Carr, Elijah Cunningham John Cunningham, John Gardner, Benja. Gardner, John Franklin, Eleazer Simeon Franklin, James Rennolds wth. the other Prisoners taken in the Battle2 Reuben Eli of Hancock, Robert Carr told me he knew wn. they went from Pownal they were going to Enemy, gave em Bread & Cheese & wished em Good Speed Capt. Saml. Clark of Williamstown: Danl. Peirce Richd. Huddleston, Joseph Vaughan had orders, but never wt. to be found: I recd. them at Tory Breastwork & put em in Ben. M:H. I asked em how they come there, I also saw Elijah Cunningham & a number of Persons from Jerico; 3 Peirce was considered as a Tory, & Huddleston would not bear Arms & Vaughan was not much called upon to duty being poor & weakly Joseph Whetford of Sunderland in Vermont I used to live in Jerico & at Bennington in time of action Saturday I joined Colo Herrick. took Martin Townsend he told me Whitman Vaughan was killed at the Breastwork Peter Payne of Pownal: by Capt. John Reister in Hoosuck I saw on Thursday Danl. Peirce, Richard Hudelston. Saml. Rogers, Jos. Vaughan, one John Dayfort was sent back to Pilot in six more, at Blakely. Danl. Peirce clap’d his hand on hearing the Enemy was coming Walloon Scaik, a few of Jerico men vizt. Saml. Rogers & Richd. Huddleston had arms, at Esqr. McCooms, Col. Feister4 musterd em all & put me under Capt. Anderson. they he said they were brave men he sd. they were come to assist him. 77 men mustered, Col. Feister sd. they would have arms wn. they got to the Line Friday PM we went to the lines at Walloon Scaik & went to building the Breast Work. I saw Saml. Rogers there under arms. Capt. Anderson bid us put white paper in our Hatts to mark us. I saw Benja. Gardner & John Gardner after they were taken, they sd. they were taken within enemy lines Col. Joab Stafford5 of New Providence, I went Thursday to Reinforce Genl. Stark, at my house I askd. Solomon Bunnel 6 where he got his wound he sd. at the Tory Breastwork, he sd. he ment to fight for the King. 55 Shubael Wilmarth, New Providence, I saw Sol: Bunnel at the Bridge by Breast Work & took him Wm. Kettel, Cambridge District } see Thos. Rogers within Enemy lines & Danl. Peirce: Richmond Carr: Franland Martin Townsend Elijah Brown Richard Huddlestone John Gardner Benja. Gardner Joseph Vaughan Blackman Browning7 ) of Cambridge district Albany county I was there on Saturday being taken prisoner by Indians see Thos. Rogers Benja. Gardner Richman Carr Martin Townsend Elijah Brown John Gardner Caleb Clark Elijah Cunningham Shibner Spink } of Hancock. I saw Thos. Rogers with his Pack on Wednesday he asked me where he cd. find his Uncle Edwd. Carr Bethuel Boker } of Lanesborough Ashbel Goodrich } of Lanesborough. Danl. Galusha ) of Elijah Cunningham & Richd. Huddleston, Danl. Peirce went to St. Scoik with his cattle Jason Wood: saw Danl. Peirce in Enemies Lines Jacob Galusha ) abt. Elijah Cunningham & Richard Huddlestone Benja. Swet of Hancock ) 56 John Nichols of Hancock ) Caleb B. Gardner of Hancock ) Ezel. Whitford. set out from Hancock on Wednesday morng. vid his Evidence at large Richmond Carr: I went from Hancock wth. Philemon Lee & Wm. Browne & march’d as Ezl. Whitford has related, to Ransalares Mills where I saw Lee shake hand with his brother & left him there. Brown went to Enemies Quarters. Eleazer Bateman ) John Franklin of Hoosuck was drafted by Capt. Duglass. I saw him among the Prisners. Joshua Josiah Farnum. I saw Solomon Bunnel at the Bridge, he was taken among the prisoners. he used to say he would not fight on either side Wheeler Duglass. Thos. Rogers Edward Wheeler. saw Thos. Rogers at home the Wednesday before. I took him after the Battle in the Lines Abraham Havens saw Phil. Lee, Wm. Brown Richman Carr Ezl. Whetford Clark Gardner, Caleb Clark, Gideon Clark, Benja. Gardner, John Gardner Thos. Rogers, John Franklyn, Peleg Carr, Simeon Franklyn; Phil. Lee perswaded me to go on Wednesday Evening, met at Wm. Brown at Esqr. McComb old Hoosuck we proposed to go to the Enemy we went into the Barn had 3 guns, 4 more brought in. Thos. Rogers, Peleg Carr, one of Franklyns, John Gardner took Guns Phil. Lee the 2 Sweets carried guns from house. Phil. Lee said he would have satisfaction, soon after we got to the picket guard Govr. Skeen ordered us to march from the Mills to Walloon Scaick. Jason Wood. Saw Daniel Peirce within Enemies Lines and among the Prisoners traveling wth. Capt. Saml. Clark8, & in Bennin. M. House Capt. Wm. Duglass. I gave orders to march to Wm. Brown James Rennolds John Gardner Simeon Franklin 57 Elijah Cunningham Saml. Rogers Peleg Carr I saw Thos. Rogers in Enemies Lines I saw in Bennington Meeting House Richard Carr Elijah Cunningham John Cunningham John Gardner Benja. Gardner John Franklin Simeon Franklin James Rennols Mr. Attorney Sir9 1st Did not the prisoners by going into the enemy, comply with & follow the direction of Burgoine’s proclamation—Was it not doing what the Genl. Burgoine, invited them to do, in order to effect a conquest? Did they not adhere to the enemy & desert us in the very manner the enemy proposed? Some of the Witneses say that it was talked by some of the company that they need not take up arms unless they chose it. The very terms of the proclamation hence the prisoners, might, say after they had join’d the enemy that they did not mean to take up arms. But after they were in the enemy’s camp, & of course in their power, could not the enemy compel them actually to take up arms in which case of cumpulsion, would not their crime consist in putting themselves in the enemy’s power. Is not the crime the same in them altho that compulsion is not used? If in the Case of murder, the persons who are of the company, altho they stand still & do nothing, are accessory to the murder, as their very presence tended to dishearten, the murdered man for from defending himself—or attacking the assaillant—Shall not persons, who are in company with the enemy, at the time of action, be principals in treason, as in such an instance, their very presence tends to encourage the enemy to attack & animate them while fighting on the one hand, and on the 58 other hand, by their appearance & numbers, even at a distance, tend to discourage our people from attacking, and dishearten them while engaged? How many battles victories have been obtained, from less services by their adverseries—, than those rendered by the prisoners and the company in the present instance?

MS .


Capt. William Douglas of Hancock commanded the 3d company, Col. Benjamin Simonds’s (Berkshire County) regiment (Mass. Soldiers and Sailors of the Rev. War, 4:903).


Battle of Bennington, Aug. 16, 1777.


Jericho Plantation was established as the town of Hancock in 1776.


Col. Francis Pfister, a retired English officer who was living on half pay near Hoosick Four Corners, commanded the loyalist American Volunteers at the Battle of Bennington (Frank Warren Coburn, A History of the Battle of Bennington, Vermont [Bennington, 1912], 38).


Joab Stafford was a captain, not colonel, in the New York militia. He was wounded at the Battle of Bennington (F. B. Heitman, Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution [Washington, D.C., 1893], 378).


Solomon Bunnell served as a private in Capt. Joseph Barns’s company, Col. Benjamin Simonds’s (Berkshire County) regiment in Apr. and May 1777; and in Capt. Ebenezer Newell’s company, of the same regiment, July 1777 (Mass. Soldiers and Sailors of the Rev. War, 2:810).


Blackman Browning was a sergeant in Capt. William Douglas’s company (Mass. Soldiers and Sailors of the Rev. War, 2:706).


Capt. Samuel Clark’s (2d Williamstown) company.


In another hand.