52 Ancestors #28: Stephen Fountain, the Loyalist

Last night on Who Do You Think You Are some movie person that I’m not familiar with found out that her 5x great-grandfather was a Loyalist during the American Revolution. It reminded me that I too have a Loyalist ancestor, although I hadn’t done much research on him.

Stephen Fountain, my 6x great-grandfather, was born in Stamford, Connecticut around 1745 to Matthew Fountain and an unknown to me wife. Some online trees have Elizabeth Hoyt as the mother of all of Matthew’s children, but there is some conflicting information and I’m pretty sure that the first four or five children where from a different mother. More investigation is needed there.

In 1775 and 6, Stephen is married to Sarah (Scofield) and is a blacksmith/gunsmith in either Brookhaven, NY or Stamford, possibly both. And apparently, he is assisting the British ships in Long Island Sound with arms and supplies, and recruiting those sympathetic to the crown.

On 13 May 1776, the Joint Committee of Brookhaven hears “evidence being called to discover the secret plots and misconduct of sundry evil-minded persons”, namely Captain Jonathan Baker and blacksmith Stephen Fountain. Stephen’s apprentice Henry Hulse, Jr. testifies of secretive behavior:

a number of New-England people had staid in that neighbourhood, being to him strangers, who were often in private conference, in private places, with said Fountain, and would not let him (the deponent) come near them, nor hear what they said;

In all, 22 witnesses testify against Baker and Fountain and they are convicted “as persons that have acted inimical to the liberties of America in a most glaring manner”. The committee asks Lieutenant William Clarke to take the prisoners to the Provincial Congress in New York for disposition. On 8 June 1776, Congress confirms what the Brookhaven Committee had decided and sentences them to prison.

Jonathan Baker and Stephen Fountain, charged and convicted by the Joint Committees of Brookhaven, Manor of St.George, and Patenship of Meritches, of being enemies of their country, and, as such, of having taken up arms and held correspondence with our enemies on board of the Ministerial Ships of War, and very much promoted discord amongst the inhabitants, and seduced many to forsake the cause of their country, were sent to this Congress.
Resolved, That the said Jonathan Baker and Stephen Fountain, be committed to close custody.
And Ordered, That Daniel Goldsmith, the Jailer, he, and he is hereby, directed and requested to receive and keep them in safe custody until the further order of this Congress.

Details are sketchy on what happens next and how long he was imprisoned for, but it seems that Stephen escaped and joined the Royal Army.

In late 1780 through early 1781, Stephen was a member of the Queen’s Rangers. Fans of the TV series “Turn” might recognize the Lieutenant Colonel Commandant of his unit, one John Graves Simcoe, Esq. I’m hoping Stephen makes an appearance next season!

SFountainMusterRoll copy

Credit for this document goes to Linda Drake, a cousin that worked with UELAC to establish Stephen Fountain as a documented Loyalist.

In April of 1783, Stephen, wife Sarah and 207 other Loyalists boarded the ship “The Union” and were resettled in Nova Scotia. The Loyalists were granted land there and Stephen established a blacksmith shop and lived in Sandy Cove, Digby, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia until he died in 1818.

This post is 28th in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge series.

Special thank you to cousin Linda Drake, who worked with UELAC to document that Stephen Fountain was a Loyalist and to past president of UELAC Vancouver Branch Wendy Cosby who called this to my attention.

Testimonial quotes taken from this source:

AMERICAN ARCHIVES: Fourth Series containing A DOCUMENTARY HISTORY of The English Colonies in North America. By Peter Force; Volume VI.; Published by M. ST. Clair Clarke and Peter Force. Available here:

http://www.archive.org/stream/AmericanArchives-FourthSeriesVolume6peterForce/AaS4Vol6Pp0001-1856_djvu.txt
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Independence Day 52 Ancestors #25: Peter Stanhope – Rev War Soldier

I’m fortunate to have a direct ancestor that participated in the American Revolution, my 5th great-grandfather Peter Stanhope. I’ll eventually get around to filling out my Sons of the American Revolution membership application.

He and his older brother Samuel both served, of the two, Samuel’s service is better documented due to his pension records. I’m not sure why Peter doesn’t have a pension file. Samuel served two separate stints with the militia in Massachusetts, the first for 8 months in 1775. According to his pension record “that at the time Bunker Hill Battle was fought he was at home on a furlough”

Both served in Captain Manasseh Sawyer’s Company, Colonel Nicholas Dike’s Regiment for 3 months in the fall of 1776. Samuel’s application for pension provides a description of this service:

…he joined the army at Dorchester hill – at which place he assisted in the building of a fort and where he was stationed the principal part of the time – that towards the last part of this enlistment he was ordered to Castle Island where he worked on the fortress there being built on said island during the day, and returned at night to Dorchester Hill…

7726-Volume14-0826

Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War pg. 825 entry for Peter Stanhope

Peter was born 29 Nov 1759 in Sudbury, Massachusetts to Samuel and Elisabeth (Angier) Stanhope. Peter married Elizabeth Parmenter 30 Nov 1775 in Bolton, they had 12 children there and at some point between 1802 and 1810 moved to Plantation 4 [later Robbinston] in Washington County Maine. In 1845 he died there at age 86.

This post is 25th in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge series.

Sources:

Ancestry.com. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War (Images Online) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.
Original data: Massachusetts. Secretary of the Commonwealth. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary WarVol. 1-17. Boston, MA, USA: Wright & Potter Printing, 1896-1908.

Fold3.com. Case Files of Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Applications Based on Revolutionary War Service, NARA M804. Record of Samuel Stanhope, page 5 of Pension Application. Accessed 4 Jul 2014. http://www.fold3.com/image/27175135/.