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.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Biographical and Genealogical Information Regarding Revolutionary War Officer Samuel Tredwell Pell of the Manor of Pelham

Pelham's Revolutionary War history is surprisingly rich, yet nearly all that has been written about it has focused solely on the Battle of Pelham fought on October 18, 1776. One resident of the Manor of Pelham who served as an officer in the American Army during the War was Samuel Tredwell Pell. After the War he became a member of The Society of the Cincinnati, an organization consisting of officers who served during the Revolutionary War.

Today's Historic Pelham Blog transcribes two brief biographies of Samuel Tredwell Pell and provides genealogical information about Pell from an article published in 1912.

There are some discrepancies in the two biographies. The first biography, published in 1886, appears immediately below.


Captain 2d New York Regiment.

Born on the 26th of July, 1755, at the Manor of Pelham. Died there, unmarried, on the 29th of December, 1786.

It is claimed that the first proprietor of that large estate purchased from the Indians, known as the Manor of Pelham, was a 'gentleman of the bedchamber and a favorite of Charles I.,' and foreseeing the coming political complications in the old country, invested in lands in the New World as early as 1654. Sending his nephew, John Pell, to settle thereon, who, losing his life by drowning in Long Island Sound, off City Island, was succeeded by his son Thomas Pell, who married the Indian squaw 'Anna.' Their son Philip had a son Philip, who was the father of Captain Samuel T. Pell, and the patriot Deputy Judge-Advocate Philip Pell, Jr.*

At the age of twenty he applied for a commission in the army, and on the 28th of June, 1775, was appointed a Second Lieutenant in the 4th Regiment, New York Continental Infantry -- Colonel James Holmes. His commission was handed him on the 13th of July by Gouverneur Morris, and on the 11th of August another was forwarded to him with rank as Lieutenant, both of which are now preserved among the State papers.

Appointed on the 21st of November, 1776, Captain in the 2d New York Regiment -- Colonel Van Cortlandt's -- he served with it, after the reduction of the New York Quota, until finally honorably discharged the service in 1782.

After the war he settled on his portion of the Manor of Pelham, devoting himself to his farm and the raising of blooded stock, until his decease, caused by injuries sustained by the fall of his horse. His name appears on the Half-Pay Roll."

Source: Schuyler, John, Institution of the Society of the Cincinnati, Formed by the Officers of the American Army of the Revolution, 1783, With Extracts, from the Proceedings of its General Meetings and from the Transactions of the New York State Society, pp. 270-71 (NY, NY: Douglas Taylor 1886).

Samuel Tredwell Pell is buried in the cemetery at St. Paul's Church National Historic Site in Mount Vernon, NY (once within Eastchester). The Web site of St. Paul's Church National Historic Site also contains a brief biography of Samuel T. Pell. It reads:

"Samuel T. Pell (1754-1786) was an officer in the American army, serving in the 4th New York Regiment, during the Revolutionary War. His postwar life was deeply affected by the political divisions of the Revolution. Pell enlisted in the Continental Army in the spring of 1775 and served in the unsuccessful campaign to capture Canada and make it the 14th colony. Pell distinguished himself at the Battle of Saratoga (1777) in upstate New York. Here an entire British army was captured, leading France to recognize the United States and to openly support her through supplies and troops, a major diplomatic triumph for the young republic and one of the turning points of the war. In the same year Pell was part of the army that marched to the relief of Fort Stanwix in Rome, New York, and served under the command of General Sullivan, who marched an army into the Indian country of New York, burning villages and crops of the Iroquois, who were allied with the British. Pell experienced the harsh winter encampments of Valley Forge (PA) and Morristown (NJ). After the war, he returned to Eastchester where he tried to resume a normal life, but without success. His fiancée and cousin, Mary Pell, a Loyalist, refused to marry him, declaring she would not allow someone 'who had the scent of a rebel' near her. Pell's finely carved sandstone grave marker includes a drum, sword, spear, and other military emblems."

Source: St. Paul's National Historic Site, Revolutionary War Stone: Samuel T. Pell (visited Aug. 7, 2006).

It appears that Pell was a member of the 2nd New York Regiment -- not the 4th New York Regiment as reported by St. Paul's National Historic Site. Samuel T. Pell is listed as a Captain in the Second New York Regiment in the "Journals of the Military Expedition of Major General John Sullivan Against the Six Nations of Indians in 1779 with Records of Centennial Celebrations Prepared to Chapter 361, Laws of the State of New York, of 1885" by Frederick Cook (Auburn, NY: Knapp, Peck & Thompson Printers 1887). See also Dunlap, William, History of the New Netherlands, Province of New York, and State of New York, to the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Vol. II, p. XCVIII Appendix (NY, NY: Carter & Thorp 1840) (listing "Samuel T. Pell" as among "Captains" in the 2nd New York Regiment).

Another source lists Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants indicates that Pell was a member of the 2nd New York Regiment. It indicates that Samuel T. Pell a captain, 2nd Regiment, received Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grant, Ovid, Township No. 16, Seneca County, New York. See The Balloting Book and Other Documents Relating to Military Bounty Lands in the State of New York (Albany, NY: Packard & VanBenthusen, 1825) (reprinted by W. E. Morrison & Co., Ovid, NY, 1983).

The confusion seems to have arisen because Samuel T. Pell commanded the Fourth Company of the 2nd New York Regiment at the time of the Battle of Saratoga.

The following genealogical data for Samuel Tredwell Pell appeared in an article published in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record published in 1912. A citation to the underlying source appears after the quotation from the article beginning immediately below.


The dates of birth are taken from Samuel Tredwell's Bible in the possession (1890) of Mrs. Susan Amelia Tredwell.
i. Elizabeth, b. 28th March, 1766.
ii. John Augustus.

24. Gloriana Tredwell (Samuel, Thomas, John, Edward), born 12th April, 1731, died 10th September, 1814, buried in St. Paul's churchyard (just north of church), Eastchester, Westchester county, New York; married 9th August, 1752, Phillip Pell, born 2nd November, 1732, died 23rd May, 1788, buried beside his wife, son of Philip and Hannah (Mott) Pell. Residence, Pelham, Westchester county, New York.

Gloriana (Tredwell) Pell left a will dated 13th July, 1811, and probated 6th October, 1814.

'In | Memory of | Philip Pell | who Dep ed this Life | on the 23d of May 1788 | in 56th Year of his age.'

'In | Memory | of | Gloriana | Relict of Philip Pell | Esq r | who departed this Life | 10th Sept. 1814 Aged 83 Years | 4 Months & 28 days.' [Page 135 / Page 136]


i. Philip, b. 7th July, 1753, d. 1st May, 1811; mar. (1) Mary Ward; (2) Ann Lewis, living 13th July, 1811. Grad. Kings Col., 1766. Judge Advocate Cont. Army in Rev.' rode by side of Washington when entering N. Y. City on Evacuation Day. Member Soc. Cincinnati. 1 child.

ii. Sameuel Treadwell, b. 26th July, 1755, d. Pelham Manor, N. Y., 29th Dec., 1786, bur. St. Paul's churchyard, Eastchester, N. Y.; m. -- (?Treadwell). Major 2nd N. Y. Regt. S. p.

iii. Margaret, b. 24th Nov., 1758, d. --, 1779.

iv. David Jones, b. 13th (?30th) Jan., 1760, d. 18th Aug., 1823; mar. 1st March, 1790, Hester Sneden, b. 8th (?7th) May, 1770, d. 23rd Feb. 1842. 'Col.' In Continental Army. 10 children.

v. Mary, b. 16th Aug., 1762, living 13th July, 1811; mar. Charles Ward. Child.

vi. Nancy Hannah, b. 28th March, 1768, d. 15th Jan., 1829, bur. St. Paul's churchyard, Eastchester, N. Y.; mar. her cousin, Nathaniel A. Ogden of N. J. 2 sons."

Source: Robbins, William A., Descendants of Edward Tre(a)dwell Through His Son John, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. XLIII, No. 2, pp. 135-36 (Apr. 1912).

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.


Post a Comment

<< Home