John Adams wrote, “Posterity! you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it.”
Our goal is to ensure that the sacrifices of our patriot ancestors are never forgotten. By remembering what they did, and recalling why they did it, we can understand and appreciate our founding documents all the more. We also begin to understand our obligations to protect and defend what they gave us. We have an obligation to, as President Ronald Reagan stated, “preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”
Below are the stories, as far as they are known, of the ancestors of the members of the Thomas Jefferson Chapter who sacrificed to create the United States of America. They risked all so that we might be free. We honor their memories.
John Phillips was born on 14 Mar 1757 in Halifax County, NC. He was the son of Henry and Edith Phillips. John died on 20 November 1839 in Johnston County, NC. He was married (1) in 1824 to Mary Polly Thompson (1792-1870), by whom he had a son, Lewis Patrick Phillips; and then married (2) in 1780 in Wayne County, NC, to Darkis Hamilton, daughter of Guy and Ann Hamilton. John and Darkis Hamilton had two children: Rev Dixon Phillips (1787-1864), who married Edith Oliver; and Hamilton Guy Phillips, who married Evelina Pittman on 29 July 1847 in Johnston County, NC.
John Phillips served during the American Revolution as a private under Captains Fort and Joseph Wood, and Colonels Powell and Philip Alston. He received Pension W 3862.
John Pintard was born in New York on May 18, 1759, a descendant of Antoine Pintard, a Huguenot from La Rochelle, France. He was orphaned in his first year when both his parents died on a voyage to Haiti. He was raised by his uncle, Lewis Pintard. He attended the College at New Jersey (later Princeton University), but left school to join the patriot forces when the British arrived at New York. He went on various expeditions to harass the enemy. He returned to school briefly and received the degree of A.B. in 1776. He served as deputy commissary of prisoners at New York. On November 12, 1784, he married Elizabeth Brashear, daughter of Col. Abraham Brashear of Paramus, New Jersey.
Benjamin Proctor, a son of Captain Nicholas Proctor and Nannie Smith, was born in 1760 in Rowan County, North Carolina. As a young child, he was seriously maimed in both arms, which would make him ineligible for military service. After his family moved to Fort Boonesboro, Kentucky, however, he volunteered for the military in 1776 at the age of 16, and served for a year under the command of the famous frontiersman, Col. Daniel Boone, and then for four years at Estell’s Station under Capt. James Estell.
Although unable to engage in combat, Benjamin provided valuable service as a scout and spy at the request of the famed frontier military leader, George Rodgers Clark. He excelled in this capacity of finding out the movements and intentions of the Indians. Benjamin had as many as eight brothers, some of whom were with him as he performed his military service. During this time, he was also a member of a party that rescued Col. Boone after having been taken captive by the Indians.
Patriot Eber Rice was born 10 Oct 1755 at New Marlboro in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. He was the son of Waity Allen (1732-1816) and Stephen Rice (1720-1806). He married Mary Alcott in Tinmouth, Rutland County, Vermont on April 2nd or 3rd 1788.
While residing in Tinmouth, Rutland County, VT, 3 July 1776, Eber Rice enlisted in the Revolutionary War. He served thirty days as a private in Capt. Ebenezer Allen's Company of Vermont Rangers; Capt. Gideon Bronson's Detachment, raised for the immediate defense of the frontiers of VT in 1776.
The family of Timothy Sexton, Sr., emigrated from Ireland about 1653 and settled in New Jersey. Timothy was born there in 1750 and when the Revolution came, he enlisted in the Continental Army in 1777. He served in an Infantry Company commanded by Captain Henry Dickinson of Morristown, New Jersey. They were part of the New Jersey 3rd Regiment under the command of Colonel William Dayton and Brigadier General William Maxfield. He saw action in the battles of Brunswick, Amboy, Wertfield, Monmouth, Staten Island, Long Island and New York.
Solomon Spafford was born on September 21, 1756 in Salisbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut. He was the son of Rebecca Smalley and Jacob Spafford. He married Sally Sheldon and together they had nine children: Ira, Henry, Abijah Pratt, William, Solomon S., Maria or Almira, Sarah and Rebecca. The children were born in Tinmouth, Rutland County, Vermont and in the Ontario Providence of Canada.
In Solomon’s early youth, he joined the Green Mountain Boys. The Green Mountain Boys were established in the late 1760s in the territory between the British provinces of New York and New Hampshire, known as the New Hampshire Grants. The Green Mountain Boys were an unauthorized militia organized to defend the property rights of local residents who had received the land grants in New Hampshire. At that time, New York disputed the legal rights of grants to the west of the Green Mountains. The Green Mountain Boys helped resist New York’s attempts to control the territory and to help local residents retain their grants.
Hardy Stevens, the son of John Stevens, was born about 1749 in New Hanover County, North Carolina. He purchased land in Duplin County on the east side of Great Cohairie Creek.
Hardy married Jemima Brown (the daughter of Reverend Edward Brown of Brown’s Baptist Church), and had at least six children: John Stevens (1767), Micajah Stevens, Edward Stevens (1772), Hardy Stevens II, Theophilus Stevens (25 October 1780) and Susannah Stevens.
Moses Tyson was born in 1755 in Pitt County, NC, and died in 1823 in Pitt County, NC. He was the son of Moses Tyson, Sr., grandson of Cornelius Tyson, and great grandson of Mathias Tyson. Moses Tyson was married to Elizabeth Joyner in 1762, and she died on September 15, 1820. Elizabeth is believed to be the daughter of John and Anna (Albertson) Joyner. Moses served in the Pitt County Militia during the American Revolution. After Moses died in 1823, his son Seth Tyson, and John May, his son-in-law, were named as administrators of his estate. Moses Tyson and Elizabeth Joyner had 8 known children: Sherrod (1785-1842), Seth (1787-1832), Martha (1790-1836), Elizabeth, Anna, Moses, Orpah, and Sally Tyson.
The Woodson family comes from England. The immigrant ancestor was Dr. John Woodson of Devonshire, who came to Jamestown on the George in April 1619. He was a surgeon with a company of soldiers sent to defend the colony against Indian attacks.
John Woodson was born about 1730 in Goochland County, Virginia, the son of Josiah Woodson and Mary Royall. John Woodson married Dorothea Randolph, the daughter of Colonel Isham Randolph of Dungeness, on October 1751. They had twelve children:
Amos Woodworth was born on May 4, 1741 in Salisbury, Litchfield, Connecticut. He was the son of Jane Munger (1705-1774) and Caleb Woodworth (1704-1780). On April 12, 1764, he married Eunice Newland (1748-1820) in Salisbury, Connecticut. Eunice was the daughter of Abigail Babbit and Joseph Newland.
Amos served as a private in the Revolutionary War under his brother, Captain Ephraim Woodworth, Colonel Cornelius Van Veghten's 4th Company, 13th Regiment, Albany County, New York. He took part in the capture of Burgoyne at Saratoga in the Battle of Bemis Heights.