1814, Revolutionary War General William Barton, Als, From Danville Prison
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1814, Revolutionary War General William Barton, Als, From Danville Prison:
This item is a wonderful,original document dated 1814, from the Limits of Danville (Vermont), to William Bradley, where William Barton has written and signed a letter from Danville Prison regarding the fact that his memorial has been received by Congress, but as of now they do not know what session it may be heard in.....he then relates the current situation with the War of 1812, in that those that opposed it are no longer in office, and there are cries for the President to resign...top of second page Barton writes about a Negroe from the Green Mountains, Cuff Cato, who is from Boston and has heard the politics from the Boston Federals (a strange rant by Barton)...signed at lower right by William Barton. Letter is 8x13, larger than my scanner, bottom of letter did not quite fit, folds, docketed on back . Barton kept a handwritten copy of every letter he wrote and frequently re-wrote and sent them if he received no response from the receiving party.Barton spent nearly 13 years of his life in Danville Prison .
William Barton (1748–1831) was an officer in the Continental Army during the American War of Independence who retired with the rank of colonel. He later served as adjutant general of the Rhode Island militia.
Barton was born in Warren, Rhode Island on May 26, 1748. He worked as a hatter in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1771, he married Rhoda Carver. In 1775, he enlisted in the Continental Army as a corporal. He fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill. In 1777, as a major in the Rhode Island state troops, he planned and led a raid on British headquarters, capturing Major General Richard Prescott. For this exploit, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and honored by a resolution of the Continental Congress.
When Rhode Island ratified the Constitution of the United States in 1790, Barton was sent to New York to notify George Washington.
In 1781, Barton petitioned the governor of Vermont for a grant of unsettled land near the Canadian border. He was joined in this petition by Ira Allen (brother of Ethan), John Paul Jones, and others. The town of Barton, VT came into existence at this time.Then Col. Barton was jailed over a land dispute. He refused to pay a real estate tax on some land he had sold to a party named Wadhams. This put the title in dispute. Wadhams found out about that, repurchased the land from another man, and then demanded that Barton return his money to him. After several court actions, Barton was ordered to pay the original amount, plus court costs. He refused to do this, insisting he would "go to jail and rot" before paying.
At the age of seventy-seven, he was released at the initiative of the visiting Marquis de Lafayette, who agreed to pay the balance of his fine. Barton died on October 22, with the year of death being given variously as 1831 or 1833. He is buried in the North Burial Ground in Providence, Rhode Island. Fort Barton in Rhode Island was named after William Barton.
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