The Hon. Richard Brodhead (1771-1843): “… a man of splendid physique, over six feet tall, and of a stern and serious character”

Garret Brodhead (1793-1872), son of Richard Brodhead (1771-1843) & Hannah Drake (1769-1832)

Garret Brodhead (1793-1872), son of Richard Brodhead (1771-1843) & Hannah Drake (1769-1832)

I think you’ll agree that photos, portraits, and physical descriptions of our ancestors are real treasures. If there is no photo or portrait, as is often the case, at least a physical description gives you some idea, however vague, of what someone may have looked like. So it was quite a thrill to discover some time ago that my fourth great grandfather, Richard Brodhead, was “a man of splendid physique, over six feet tall, and of stern and serious character.” Seeing that description in print made an impression on me. When I subsequently saw a photo of his son Garret, one of my third great grandfathers, I definitely thought the “stern and serious” description applied to him as well. No doubt there are glimpses of father Richard to be found in son Garret.

For this post, I am including some biographical information about Richard that I have found in several publications. Some of the information is redundant, but I will present it here “as is”. For links to these sources, please visit my “Links” page.

History of Pike County, Chapter IX, Lehman Township – Published 1886
“…Richard, who was born at Stroudsburg, July 26, 1771, and subsequently married Hannah Drake, of Stroudsburg, was the person who figured conspicuously during, his life in the history of Wayne and Pike Counties. He was a man of splendid physique, over six feet high and of stern and serious character.

He took great interest in State affairs, regarding it as a conscientious duty, and he looked upon the civil and political duties of man as matters of serious obligation. When Wayne County was organized, in 1799, although not thirty years of age, he was appointed first sheriff of the county by the Governor of Pennsylvania. In a paper written by himself in November, 1842, he thus enumerates the offices he has held as follows:

"Wheat Plains," the old Brodhead Homestead, Pike Co., Pennsylvania

“Wheat Plains,” the old Brodhead Homestead, Pike Co., Pennsylvania; the initial dwelling here was established by Richard’s father, Revolutionary War veteran Garret Brodhead and his wife Jane Davis.

1. Sheriff of Wayne. 2. Two years in the Legislature (1802 and 1803). 3. Eleven years associate judge. 4. Collector of United States revenue for Wayne County and Pike during the War of 1812. 5. Appointed State commissioner by Governor. McKean, in connection with General Horn, of Easton, to investigate the expenditures of five thousand pounds, granted by the State to David Rittenhouse, to improve the navigation of the Delaware River from Trenton to Stockport. 6. Postmaster seven years. 7. Major of the Second Battalion, One Hundred and Third Regiment Militia. 8. Prothonotary for Pike County. 9. County commissioner. 10. All the township offices, of all kinds, except constable. 11. County auditor. 12. Executor of five estates. And I now, hereby, bid defiance to all heirs, legatees, creditors and others to prove that I have ever wronged any man.

Judge Brodhead, during the greater part of his life, resided on his farm, on the Delaware River, then called Wheat Plains, fourteen miles below Milford, (now owned by Charles Swartout), where he moved about 1791. He had a post-office established at his house called Delaware, which was kept on that spot for nearly half a century. A few years before his death Judge Brodhead moved to Milford, where he died November 11, 1843.

He left quite a large family, and all the sons became quite prominent citizens.”

Commemorative Biographical Record of Northeastern Pennsylvania: Including the Counties of Susquehanna, Wayne, Pike and Monroe (Monroe Co., PA: J. H. Beers & Company, 1900):
“Hon. Richard Brodhead […] was born at Stroudsburg, July 26,1771, and about 1791 removed to Pike county, where he spent his remaining years, his death occurring November 11, 1843. He married Hannah Drake, of Stroudsburg, and had twelve children: Sarah, wife of Col. John Westbrook, member of Congress from 1841 to 1843, from Wayne, Pike, Monroe and Northampton counties; Garrett (1793), who married Cornelia Dingman; William (1795), who married Susan Coolbaugh; Jane, Mrs. Moses S. Brundage; Albert G. (1799) who married Ellen Middaugh; Anna Maria, wife of John Seaman; Rachel, who married Dr. John J. Linderman; Charles, […]; and Richard, Jr., United States Senator from Pennsylvania from 1850 to 1856. The other three children died in infancy. [Hon. Richard Brodhead] possessed a fine physique, being more that six feet in height, and was of firm and serious character. As he regarded it a duty to take an active part in public affairs, he held a prominent place in political circles, as is shown by the following memorandum written by himself in November, 1842, in which he enumerates his various official positions:

Thomas Doughty, American, Delaware Water Gap, 1827, oil on canvas, current location: Philadelphia Museum of Art

Thomas Doughty, American, Delaware Water Gap, 1827, oil on canvas, current location: Philadelphia Museum of Art

1. Sheriff of Wayne. 2. Two years in the Legislature(1802-1803). 3. Eleven years associate Judge. 4. Collector of United States Revenue for Wayne and Pike counties during the war of 1812. 5. Appointed State commissioner by Gov. McKean, in connection with Gen. Horn, of Easton, to investigate the expenditure of 5,000 pounds, granted by the State to David Rittenhouse to improve the navigation of the Delaware river from Trenton to Stockport. 6. Postmaster seven years. 7. Major of the second Battalion, 108 Regiment Militia. 8. Prothonotary for Pike County. 9. County commissioner. 10. All the township offices, of all kinds, except constable. 11. County Auditor. 12. Executor of five estates. And I now, hereby, bid defiance to all heirs, legatees, creditors and others to prove that I have ever wronged any man.”

Genealogical and Family History of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania – Volume I – Published 1906:
“Richard Brodhead, third son of Lieutenant Garret and Jane (Davis) Brodhead, born Stroudsburg, July 31, 1772, died Milford, Pennsylvania, November 11, 1843; married, 1790, Hannah Drake, born November 15, 1769, died July 31, 1832, daughter of Captain Samuel Drake. Richard Brodhead was the first of his family in direct descent from the American ancestor who did not lay claim to a military title or boast of prowess in the Indian wars or the Revolution ; but this was because he was too young to bear arms during the latter contest. He was, however, an officer of the state militia during the second war with Great Britain. He has been described as “a man of splendid physique, over six feet tall, and of a stern and serious character.” He was sheriff of Wayne county, 1798; member of the legislature, 1802-03 ; associate

My family's line of descent

My family’s line of descent

‘judge eleven years ; revenue collector for Wayne and Pike counties, 181 2-1 5 ; postmaster seven years ; major Second battalion, Pennsylvania militia; prothonotary Pike county, 1821 ; county commissioner, 1835-36, and county auditor. Richard and Hannah (Drake) Brodhead had: 1. Sarah, born 1791, married John Westbrook. 2. Garret B., Jr., born December 2, 1793, […]. 3. William, born 1795, married, February 6, 1816, Susan Coolbaugh. 4. Jane, born 1797, married Moses S. Brundage. 5. Albert Gallatin, born 1799, married Ellen Middaugh. 6. Anna Maria, born February 14, 1801, died March 14, 1868 ; married John Seaman. 7. Charles, born August 4, 1805, died September 5, 183 1 ; married Mary Brown. 8. Rachel, born January 5, 1803 ; married Dr. John J. Linderman. 9. Richard, born January 5, 181 1, died September 17, 1863 ; married Mary Jane Bradford. 10. Elizabeth, born 1814, died young. II. Elizabeth (2d), died in infancy.”


Categories: Brodhead, Drake, Pennsylvania, Pike Co., Stroudsburg, War of 1812 | 2 Comments

Our Ancestors Who Fought for Independence

Washington at the Battle of Trenton. An engraving by Illman Brothers. From a painting by. E.L. Henry, 1870. Image in public domain due to expired copyright.

This 4th of July, we remember our ancestors who served in the Revolutionary War and, if they were married at that time, the wives who supported them in their service. Yes, nieces and nephews, these patriots are all directly related to you! They are your fifth/sixth great grandfathers!

      • James Angus (b. 1751 in Scotland; d. 14 Mar 1806) Served in Albany County (NY) militia under Colonel Philip P. Schuyler (DAR ancestor no A002822); married Mary Magdaline Baker after the War (in 1781)
      • Lt. Garrett Brodhead (b. 1733 Marbletown, NY; d. 1804 Stroudsburg, PA), served in the Northampton County, PA militia under Col. Brinigh, and served on the frontier. Somewhere I remember reading that he was friends with Gen. LaFayette, but I can’t remember where; I’ll try to search that out. Married to Jane Davis whose father Frederick also served in the War. Garret signed oath of allegiance. (DAR ancestor no. AO14785). Garrett was the brother of Brig. General Daniel Brodhead whose exploits are well documented. The brothers and their siblings and parents were among the earliest settlers of Pennsylvania’s Minisink Valley, having moved there in 1737 from Marbletown, NY, to settle 1000 acres of purchased land. Stroudsburg was initially known as Dansbury, after Garrett’s father Daniel. Another brother, Luke, also served in the Revolutionary War, attaining the rank of captain and serving on the staff of General Lafayette. From the book Colonial Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania: “He [Luke]enlisted in the spring of 1776 as third lieutenant. First American Rifle Regiment, Colonel William Thompson commanding. He was appointed second lieutenant, October 24, 1776, in Major Simon Williams’ regiment. He was wounded and taken prisoner at battle of Long Island. Later he was commissioned captain of the Sixth Pennsylvania Regiment under Colonel Magaw in Continental service. He retired in 1778 incapacitated by wounds received in battle.”

Brigadier General Daniel Brodhead (1736-1809)

      • Lt. Col. Samuel Crow, b. 1741, Woodbridge, NJ; d. 1801 Woodbridge, NJ; Service in NJ militia. (DAR Ancestor no: A028247); married to Elizabeth Potter.
      • Frederick Davis b. 1701, Marbletown, NY; d. 1804 Stroudsburg, PA; Per Sylvester’s History of Ulster Co., NY, p. 74, Frederick signed articles of association for Ulster Co. (DAR Ancestor no: A030300); married to Margerie Van Leuven.
      • Andrew Dingman Jr. b. 1752 Northampton Co., PA; d. 1839 Pike Co., PA. Served in the NJ militia as a staff officer with Captains Van Etten, Nelson, Homer, Westbrook; Took oath of allegiance in 1777. (DAR ancestor no. A032282).  Married to Jane Westbrook. Father of Daniel Westbrook Dingman whose daughter Cornelia was married to Garret Brodhead (1793-1872).
      • Andrew Dingman Sr. b. 1711 Kinderhook, Albany Co. NY; d. 1796 Dingman’s Ferry, Northampton Co., PA. Signed oath of allegiance in 1777; suffered depredations (DAR ancestor no. A032281). Married to Cornelia Kermer. Father of the aforementioned Andrew Dingman Jr.
      • Capt. Samuel Drake, b. 1740 New Jersey; d. 1789 Lower Smithfield, Northampton Co., PA. Served in Capt. Jacob Stroud’s company (4th Battalion) of Pennsylvania militia, 1775, and as captain, 1776. (DAR ancestor no. A033472); married to Sarah Handy.
      • Colonel James Easton (1728-96), was with Ethan Allen at Ticonderoga; commanded a Berkshire County regiment in the Canadian expedition, 1775.  B. Hartford, CT; d. Pittsfield, MA. (DAR ancestor no. A035836); married to Eunice Pomeroy.
      • Normand Easton b. 25 Jun 1758, Litchfield, CT; d. 1806, Greenville, NY; Private; served under Capt. Hine, Lt. Wm Preston, 13th Regiment Militia (DAR Ancestor no: A035842); married Merab Perry after the war.
      • Pvt. Hezekiah Hand, b. cir 1730, d. ante 28 April 1800 in Westfield, NJ; private in the Essex Co., NJ militia, serving under Captain Benjamin Laing. (DAR ancestor no. A050961); married to Nancy.
      • Samuel Barron Jaques, b. abt. 1740, d. 1798 Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., NJ; commanded Rahway Company during the Revolutionary War; married to Mary Coddington.
      • Pvt. Isaac Newman (1731-1808), served as a private in the Associated Exempts of Westchester County at the battle of White Plains. b. Stamford, CT., d. Charlton, N. Y. (DAR ancestor no. A082986); married to Abigail Webb.

Campaigns of the American Revolution 1775-1781 (copyright-free image from Ookaboo)

      • Shubael Trowbridge, b. 1739 Morristown, NJ; d. 1782 Hanover, Morris Co., NJ. Served as a private in Capt. James Keene’s Company, Eastern Battalion, Morris County (NJ) Militia (also known as “The Rams Horns Brigades” (DAR ancestor no. A116272); married to Mary Bayles.
      • David Wait, b. 1754 Edinburgh, Scotland; d. 1810 Perth Amboy, NJ. According to the 1893 Biographical and portrait cyclopedia of the Third congressional district of New Jersey, he came to the colonies as a British soldier, took part in an engagement at Manhattan Island, and was taken prisoner by Americans and retained as a POW in Jamestown, VA, until peace was proclaimed. He then went to Sussex, Essex Co., NJ, and finally settled in Perth Amboy, where he began working as a carpenter in the building known as the “Old Castle” on Water Street, the oldest building in the city. An entirely different account was offered by Harlan Mendenhall in his 1903 book, Presbyterianism in Perth Amboy, New Jersey: “He ran away from his native land to escape service in the army, but the troublous times in America aroused his sympathy and he enlisted in the Continental army. He was captured by the British forces and incarcerated in the Barracks. When peace was declared he became a resident in the city and his descendants are now on the rolls of our church.” Married Irene Bell after the war (in 1784).
      • Johannis Westbrook (DAR Ancestor no: A123311); married to Marie.
      • Capt. Martinus Westbrook, b. 1754, Sussex Co., NJ; d. 1813, Sussex Co., NJ. Served as a captain, 3rd Regiment, Sussex Co., NJ, Militia. (DAR ancestor no. A123311); married to Margaret Lowe.
      • Lt. Elias Winans, b. 1742, Elizabethtown, NJ; d. 1789, Elizabethtown, NJ. Service: New Jersey (DAR ancestor no. A128111); married to Esther Perlee.
      • Pvt. Enos Woodruff, b. 1749 Elizabethtown, NJ; d. 1821 Elizabethtown, NJ; served as a private in the Essex Co., NJ, militia. (DAR ancestor no. A128636); married to Charity Ogden.
      • Major Reuben Potter, b. 1717 Woodbridge, NJ; d. 1799 Woodbridge, NJ; served under Col. Nathaniel Heard, lst Regiment, New Jersey Militia (DAR Ancestor #: A091752); married to Deborah (last name?, d. Oct 1, 1762).

Happy 4th of July!

Categories: Angus, Brodhead, Crow, DAR numbers, Dingman, Drake, Easton, Fourth of July, Gen. Lafayette, Hand, Jaques, Newman, Revolutionary War, Trowbridge, Veteran's Day, Westbrook, Winans, Woodruff | 1 Comment

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