Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Capture of the British Ship Schuldham in Pelham Waters During the Revolutionary War

Every Pelham school child knows the story of the Battle of Pelham fought on October 18, 1776. Of course, Pelham sat in the midst of the "Neutral Ground" throughout the entire Revolutionary War. Much happened in the area during the War. Today's Historic Pelham Blog publishes an account of one such incident.

In 2004, New York University Press published a wonderful book by Marilyn Weigold entitled "The Long Island Sound - A History of Its People, Places, and Environment". In it, she describes the capture of a Loyalist supply sloop in the waters off Pelham during the Revolutionary War. She wrote, in part, as follows:

"Off City Island . . . a small group of whaleboat men from Darien, after portaging their craft over Rodman's Neck, drew up alongside a merchant sloop known to be a regular supplier of the British ship Schuldham. Taking over the sloop and pretending to be its regular crew, the whaleboat men were allowed to board the Schuldham in the early hours of the morning. Needless to say, the British crew on board had a rather rude awakening as they saw their captain, with a gun at his head, guiding the vessel eastward to Stamford. Patriots throughout the Sound were thrilled to hear about this exploit. They remembered the raiding parties frequently put ashore by the Schuldham to requisition supplies. The inhabitants of Westchester remembered even more the brutalities perpetrated by the raiders as they took away their provisions, leaving behind much grief and resentment."

Source: Weigold, Marilyn, The Long Island Sound - A History of Its People, Places, and Environment, p. 26 (NY and London: New York University Press 2004).

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