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Sketches of
Some Revolutionary Soldiers
of Piscataquis County, ME
by Edgar Crosby Smith
Source:  Historical Collections of
Piscataquis County, Maine, etc.
Publ. Dover: Observer Press - 1919

DURING the period covered by the Revolutionary War the Territory which is now Piscataquis County was but a wilderness, visited only by the Indian and an occasional trapper; hence hers could not be the honor of furnishing any of her sturdy sons to her country.  However, a number of veterans of that war were among the early settlers of the county.
     In the sketches which follow, will be found chronicled some account of the lives of a number of these pioneers, but at present the writer has been unable to obtain data to any degree of completeness regarding them all.
Name Page Town
Ames, Phineas 154 Sangerville
Brown, Enoch 157 Sebec.
Chase, Ezekiel 160 Sebec.
Dean, Ebenezer 163 Blanchard
Dwelley, Allen 166 Dover
Hart, John 169 Atkinson
Hinds, Nimrod 171 Dover
Leathers, Enoch * 174 Sangerville
Leland, Henry 177 Sangerville
Longley, Zachariah 180 Dover
Rolfe, Jeremiah 183 Abbot
Royal, Isaac 186 Dover
Spaulding, Eleazer 190 Foxcroft - Dover
Stickney, Samuel 192 Brownville
Sturtevant, Asa 194 Dover
Thomas, Ichabod 198 Brownville
Towne, Thomas 200 Dover

PLEASE NOTE:   If you want any of these transcribed, Please Contact Me HERE. ~ Sharon Wick

     Thomas Towne was the son of Elisha and Mercy (Foster) Towne, and was born at Topsfield, Mass., Feb. 8, 1743.  He was the fifth generation from William Towne, who was the common ancestor of nearly all the Townes of New England, and who came to this continent about 1640 and first settled in Salem, but shortly after removed to Topsfield, Mass.
     Thomas Towne first married Elizabeth Towne of Thompson, Conn.  She lived but a short time after her marriage, and for a second wife he married Sarah Burton of Wilton, N. H.  He was the father of a family of thirteen children; the first, Sarah, born in 1775, and the last, Mary born March 4, 1790.
     Mr. Towne was one of the early settlers of Wilton, N. H., which was incorporated in 1762, but in the year 1778 or 1779 he changed his residence to Temple in the same state, where he resided until he came to Maine in 1802; except he possibly may have lived for a short time in Lyndeborough.
     Thomas Towne's first service in the Continental Army was in Captain Benjamin Taylor's company of militia, which marched from Amherst, N. N., Dec. 8, 1775, to join the regulars at Winter Hill, near Boston.  Just how long his service at this time is not certain, but it appears that he served until after the evacuation of Boston by the British, Mar. 17, 1776.  His next enlistment was in Capt. John Goss' company, Nichols' regiment and Gen. Stark's brigade, with the Northern Department.  He enlisted July 20, 1777 and was in the service at this time two months and eight days, receiving his discharge Sept. 27, 1777.  He was one of those patriots who won enduring fame and glory at the battle of Bennington, on Aug. 16, 1777, and who assisted Gen. Stark in winning for his services the just recognition of merit so log deferred.
     These soldiers under Stark to the number of about eight hundred, were gathered together hurridly, and were entirely independent of the regular army; in fact, the whole conduct of the General in the matter was a piece of insubordination, but such splendid success crowned his doings that the insubordination was overlooked, and the man and his services were accepted at their true worth.
     Thomas Towne's military services are credited to the town of Wilton, N. H., where he resided at the time.
     As above stated, he removed to Temple, N. H., in 1778 or 1779, and lived there until 1802 when he came to Maine.  He came to that part of Piscataquis County which is now Dover, in the fall of 1801, on a hunting expedition, accompanied by his son Moses.  While here Moses bargained with Abel Blood for a part of a tract of land which Blood had bought of the proprietors, and on which he was then making a clearing.  In the spring of 1802, Thomas, with two of his sons, Moses and Eli, returned and made a clearing, planted a small crop, and built a cabin.  Their land was located on the site of the present village of East Dover.  They remained here until fall, when Eli went back to Temple, having made arrangement to return the following spring with his family.  Thomas and Moses spent the winter of 1802-3 on their new possessions, subsisting on the small crop they had harvested in the autumn, but no doubt well supplied with fish and game by the old gentleman, whose prowess as a hunter is unquestioned.
     After the corn had been harvested Mr. Towne fashioned from stone, a mortar and pestle by the means of which, with considerable labor, they reduced the corn to a coarse meal, or, as then called, samp, an article of diet originating with the American Indians.  Father and son wintered in good health and with a fair degree of comfort, and were ready and waiting to welcome Eli, who arrived with his wife and child on May 8, 1803.  Eli was the first settler who came into Piscataquis County with his family, and became a permanent resident.  Moses sold out his interest to Eli and soon after took up another tract of land nearby, but the father, Thomas, always made his home with Eli.
     Thomas Towne
was a famous hunter.  He once made the remark, "I never lost any game for fear of being bitten or scratched, sir."   Some of the stories told of him are well avouched for and are worth repeating.  Once a loupcervier was discovered in a cornfield not far from the cabin, and one of his sons started out to capture it; the old gentleman followed close in his wake, and as the younger man was about to fire, his father cautioned: "Take good sight, son, take good sight."  The shot was fired, but the wound was not fatal, and before the son could reload his firearm, Mr. Towne had rushed upon the animal and throttled it.
     On another occasion he had fired a shot at a bear swimming across a pond, and as the shot did not take effect in a vital part, the bear kept on swimming for the shore.  As he neared the land the hunter's dog rushed in and grappled with him; the bear, in self-defense, started to put up a vigorous fight, and succeeded in dragging the dog under water where he soon would have drowned.  Uncle Thomas seeing the danger to his favorite comrade, took to the water himself with the cry, "Drown my dog, will he!"  and soon, with his own hands, came off the conqueror, and came to the shore with a dead bear and a live dog.
     Thomas Towne first received a pension under the act of 1818, which benefit he drew until his death.  During the later years of his life his eyesight began to fail, and for a few years before he died he became totally blind.  He lived to a ripe old age and before he passed away he had seen the unbroken wilderness about his primitive homestead assume the aspects of civilization; a thriving settlement grown up about his humble cabin, and Piscataquis County, instead of having one lone family for its inhabitants, supporting a population numbered by thousands, with twelve incorporated towns and settlements on nearly as many more townships.
     Mr. Towne died May 28, 1824, at the age of 81 years.  His remains rest in an unmarked grave in the East Dover cemetery, almost within the shadow of his first dwelling place here.  He has numerous descendants in this locality.
~ Pages 200-203
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