Jemima Howe, Frontier Pioneer to Wealthy Widow


December 9, 2021
by Jane Strachan Also by this Author


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Jemima Howe (1724–1805) reflects the strength it took to endure the harsh realities of the Vermont frontier during the American colonial and Revolutionary War eras. Although recognized as the “fair captive” then and now, Jemima was far from a damsel in distress. During her full life, she outlived three husbands and five of her nine children, was a witness to divided loyalties in her own home during the American Revolution, and through her tenacity and wit became a wealthy widow and financial matriarch to her family. Because Jemima Howe is only known to a few historians and experts on Indian captivity narratives, it is time to bring her back to life as a remarkable woman of her time.

Jemima Sartwell was born in Groton, Massachusetts, on March 7, 1724, the fourth generation of her paternal family from Somersetshire, England, who settled in the area west of Boston. Jemima’s great-grandfather, Richard Sawtell, was an early proprietor and selectman of Watertown, Massachusetts, and later the first town clerk of Groton. Her father, Josiah Sartwell, was born in Groton where he married his second wife and Jemima’s mother, Lydia Nutting. Having served as a soldier and sustaining wounds likely during Dummer’s War, in 1738 Josiah received a military grant of 100 acres just west of the Connecticut River in present day Vernon, the most southeasterly town in Vermont bordering New Hampshire.[1] This is where Jemima Howe would spend most of her years, in the frontier wilderness of the Connecticut River Valley where the dark shadows of international and local wars and politics loomed large over her and her family.

During the late 1730s and early 1740s, Jemima’s family and neighbors built a chain of more than a dozen forts—or, more accurately, twenty-foot by thirty-eight-foot log cabins packed with multiple, large families—to defend against French-instigated Abenaki attacks. The earliest and most northerly link in the chain was Fort No. 4 located in present-day Charleston, New Hampshire, on the east side of the Connecticut River. Just south of Brattleboro, Vermont, was Fort Dummer; a few miles farther south stood the fort named after Jemima’s father and built in 1737; and Orlando Bridgman’s Fort rested another one-half mile south of that.[2]

Despite these community efforts to protect family and home, the constant threat of attacks and actual captivity by the French and their allied-Indians were a part of Jemima Howe’s life. Her uncle, Obadiah Sartwell, was captured and returned by Indians in 1747 only to be killed two years later while hoeing the field near Fort No. 4. Her younger brother Jonathan was captured near Fort Hinsdale and brought to Montreal where he died. Her second father-in-law, Nehemiah Howe, was captured in 1745 near Fort Dummer and died in a Quebec prison two years later, just before his expected release.[3] For Jemima, the story continued.

Jemima Sartwell married her first husband, William Phipps, an early settler in the Connecticut River Valley, most likely in 1740 at age sixteen and soon bore him two daughters—Mary and, two years later, Submit. On July 5, 1745, William Phipps was killed at Great Meadow, present-day Putney, Vermont, in a skirmish with French-allied Indians.[4]

Not long after, the young and by all accounts beautiful widow Jemima married her second husband, Caleb Howe, originally from Grafton, Massachusetts. From a grant chartered in 1753 by the provincial governor of New Hampshire, the Howe family became early settlers of Hinsdale, New Hampshire, which then spanned both sides of the Connecticut River. They lived on the west bank of the river in what is today Vernon, Vermont.[5]

Caleb Howe was active in military and local government affairs. He was a captain in Phineas Steven’s Company and a sergeant at the often-besieged Fort No. 4. At the first proprietors’ meeting for Hinsdale he was elected constable. Soon after, he was appointed tithingman and to a committee to search for the town’s minister.[6]Jemima and Caleb had five sons born every other year from 1747 through 1755: William, Moses, Squire, Caleb, and Josiah.[7]

When the French and Indian War broke out in 1754, Indian attacks around the Connecticut River Valley were once again more frequent. The Howe family and several neighbors took refuge at Fort Bridgman. On June 27, 1755, Caleb Howe, his two oldest sons, William and Moses, and neighbors Hilkiah Grout and Benjamin Gaffield were attacked by a dozen Abenaki while returning to the fort. Caleb was pierced with a spear, scalped, and died the next day. His two sons were captured. Hilkiah Grout escaped, while Benjamin Gaffield drowned in the river trying to flee. Jemima and her remaining five children, as well as Mrs. Grout and Mrs. Gaffield and their four children, were seized from the unmanned fort.[8]

Although there are no known records written by Jemima, primary sources can help us piece together certain facts about the difficulties she endured during her three years of captivity. One of the most well-known sources is from Hinsdale’s first and long-serving Congregational chaplain Rev. Bunker Gay, a graduate of Harvard College and neighbor of the Howes. At least some of our knowledge about Jemima’s captivity comes from her telling her own story—her oral history—to Reverend Gay who published A Genuine and Correct Account of the Captivity, Sufferings and Deliverance of Mrs. Jemima Howe in 1792. Although Reverend Gay has been criticized for being overly “sentimental” to “boost sales and enhance readability,” there is some degree of credibility to his narrative, thus making it noteworthy.[9]

Jemima and her young family endured a tedious march for eight days to Crown Point, at the narrows of Lake Champlain about fifteen miles north of Fort Ticonderoga, where they remained for a week. They then proceeded by canoe to St. Francis, the Abenaki First Nations reserve called Odanak in Quebec, at the confluence of the St. Francois and St. Lawrence Rivers about midway between Montreal and Quebec City. Their Abenaki captors separated Jemima from her children, who were likewise separated from one another.[10]

Early that winter, Jemima was taken on an arduous trip to Montreal for ransom, but there was no market for a mother with an infant. Soon after, Jemima’s infant was taken from her and brought to the northern shore of Lake Champlain by her captors while she and her Abenaki family, which included a so-called sister and her husband, roamed from one place to another during the harsh winter months. With great difficulty, Jemima managed a few brief glimpses of her emaciated sons Caleb and Squire and soon learned that her infant had starved to death.[11]

After nearly a year in captivity, Jemima’s Indian sister’s husband sold her to a Frenchman, Joachim de Saccapee, captain of the fort at St. Johns on the Richelieu River, not far from Montreal. While there, she had considerable liberty and became a missionary to other captives brought to St. John’s. This freedom didn’t come without its downsides. Saccapee and his young adult son became “excessively fond” of Jemima, who required a “large stock of prudence” to maintain her virtue. She prevailed on Col. Peter Schuyler, a wealthy New Jersey landowner, who had the ear of the French-Canadian Gov. Pierre de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagnial. Although a prisoner himself, Colonel Schuyler used his time on parole to help countless prisoners of war and civilian captives, like Jemima. Colonel Schuyler informed the governor of the disgrace the Saccapees tried to inflict upon the beautiful widow. Using his political position as governor, Marquis de Vaudreuil sent the young Saccapee away on military assignment and chastised the father. Upon hearing that her daughter Mary might soon be married to an Indian, Jemima again prevailed on Governor Marquis de Vaudreuil whose wife, Jeanne Charlotte de Fleury Deschambault, arranged for Jemima’s daughters to be placed in a Montreal nunnery.[12]

In addition to Reverend Gay’s narrative of Jemima’s story, first-hand accounts shed further light on her plight as word of her captivity reached various corners of New England. Several influential men had met with her and attempted to have her and her children ransomed and brought back home.

Early in 1758, Rev. Ebenezer Hinsdale, from a wealthy Deerfield, Massachusetts, family and for whom the town and fort were named, and friend and neighbor of the Howes, felt duty-bound to write New Hampshire Governor Wentworth to appeal for a ransom for Jemima Howe and her children. Reverend Hinsdale heard that a petition had been filed with the general court on her behalf, as well as the other captured women, and hoped the governor would support their “redemption.”[13]

Reverend Hinsdale’s letter to Governor Wentworth included two enclosures. One was a plea from Dr. Benjamin Stukes, surgeon of the New Jersey troops stationed in upstate New York and on parole when he and Colonel Schuyler met Mrs. Howe at Fort St. Johns. Dr. Stukes wrote that Mrs. Howe had been sold to the captain of the fort there and was “in miserable circumstances.” The surgeon reminded the governor that to provide relief for her would be “well pleasing in the sight of God.”[14]

Reverend Hinsdale’s package to the governor also included an extract of a letter from Col. Nathan Whiting, a successful merchant in New Haven who had first-hand military knowledge of the difficulties facing the Connecticut River Valley frontier and especially Fort No. 4. Colonel Whiting, who had been with Colonel Schuyler in Canada, confirmed Jemima Howe’s bleak predicament. He wrote that Colonel Schuyler had given his “parole of honor” to do everything possible to secure her exchange upon his return from parole back to Canada in the spring of 1758.[15]

Finally, near the end of the year, ransom money was paid by New Hampshire in the amounts of £600 for Jemima Howe, £800 for her eldest son William, and £1,200 for sons Squire and Caleb.[16] The list of prisoners to be released was negotiated and signed in duplicate by Colonel Schuyler and Governor Marquis de Vaudreuil. Colonel Schuyler, Dr. Stukes, Captain-Major Israel Putnam who had been captured by French-allied Indians late that summer, and more than one hundred prisoners, including Jemima and her three sons, were soon exchanged and released.[17]

Once back in Vernon, Jemima Howe focused on the plight of her daughters who were still in Canada and candidates to be converted to Catholicism. Again, with help from Jeanne-Charlotte de Fleury Deschambault, Submit and Mary were brought to the Ursuline convent in Quebec a year apart, one in the fall of 1756 and the other the following year.[18]

Another long-term captive, Susannah Johnson, who had been taken from Fort No. 4 and knew the Phipps sisters, met with them at the Ursuline convent, noting they were “beautiful, cheerful and well-taught” under the special care and tutelage of Mother Superior, Esther Wheelwright, who had been captured by French Canadians and Wabanaki from her home in Wells, Massachusetts (now Maine), at the age of seven.[19]

In late June 1759, not long before the British assault on Quebec, the Marquis de Vaudreuil’s wife had the two sisters placed in the Congregation of Notre-Dame in Montreal.[20] Eventually, Mary was married to Cron Lewis, a French aide to Conte d’Estaing, a match likely arranged by the governor and his wife. Sometime after 1760, Jemima returned to Canada determined to bring her daughters back home, only to learn that Mary was already in France; Mary was never seen again by her family.[21]

Now Jemima was resolute in her efforts to bring Submit home, but the young girl required considerable coaxing to leave the convent. Another young captive, Frances Noble, recalled the “grief and lamentations” of Submit who was now well-indoctrinated into Catholicism and being forced to return to what would have been a strange, long-forgotten place and people. Jemima enlisted the support of Thomas Gage, the British military governor of Montreal, who ordered the Congregation of Notre-Dame to persuade Submit to return home with her mother, which she finally did.[22] Moses Howe also returned home around the same time although there are no records showing exactly how or when.

Survivor that she was, Jemima continued to move forward. She married her third husband, Amos Tute, originally from Deerfield, Massachusetts, an early settler of Vernon and six years her junior. Jemima and Amos had two boys. The oldest was Jonathan, who died at a young age due to a smallpox vaccination administered by his father, and Amos Jr. who lived but three years. Tute, a politician and landowner, lived until age sixty, making this relationship a lasting one for Jemima.[23]

During this time, Jemima Tute and her family were swept up in the decades-long, acrimonious and, at times, deadly land grant controversies between the provinces of New York and New Hampshire over possession of land that is now Vermont. In 1768, the situation worsened with politicians and landowners jockeying for position, often disrupting allegiances within families caught in the middle.[24] That same year, New York governor Cadwallader Colden appointed Amos Tute coroner of Cumberland County. His affiliation was pro-New York. Jemima’s son Squire, however, was pro-Vermont.[25]

Amid this long-term local strife, Jemima faced a major blow to her and the family she had tried for so long to hold together. The American Revolution brought a house divided between her Patriot and Loyalist sons, Squire and Caleb.

Squire spent most of his military career in the artillery, beginning in late 1775 at Ticonderoga as a gunner and then as a bombardier in Col. Richard Gridley’s and Col. Henry Knox’s artillery regiments.[26] After this early training, Squire served in the Rhode Island artillery in Col. Robert Elliot’s Regiment, working his way up to captain lieutenant in 1780.[27]

Loyalist Caleb was an ensign and then a lieutenant in Lt. Col. John Graves Simcoe’s Queen’s Rangers, serving in Capt. James Murray’s Company from late 1777 and for the next six years. As a Queen’s Ranger serving under the disciplined Simcoe, Caleb would have been self-reliant, well-versed in the methods of light infantry, the effective use of the bayonet, and precision shooting.[28]

In the Revolutionary War widow’s pension application filed by Squire’s wife, Martha (Field) Howe wrote that her husband often told her of the many difficult battles he was in during the war, including meeting Caleb “face to face in a bloody engagement,” and heard them speak later about their “feelings towards each other when they met as enemies.” Squire Howe, Jr., submitted an affidavit for the pension record, writing that his father was at the siege of Yorktown and the surrender of Cornwallis on October 19, 1781. Maj. Mathias Joy, a neighbor of the Howes, also provided sworn testimony that Squire was a “substantial friend to the cause of liberty” who left his new bride Martha in the spring of 1781 and finally returned home some six months later after Cornwallis’ssurrender.[29]

Although there are no known military records for Squire Howe during his time away from home that year, these pension documents combined with the two brothers’ numerous military records and type of training suggest they may have been in the front lines during the siege of Yorktown.[30]

It could be, for example, that Brig. Gen. Henry Knox of the 2nd Continental Army Regiment at Yorktown, knew first-hand of Squire’s long history in the artillery and ensured that his expertise was put to good use. If so, Squire’s rank may have meant an assignment to command from the batteries and redoubts surrounding Yorktown in rotating twenty-four-hour shifts, bombarding British trenches using mortars and howitzers.[31]

Caleb’s records aremuch more definitive. He was stationed at Redoubt Number One at Gloucester Point about 1,500 yards across the York River from Yorktown. As the Americans and French tightened the noose around Yorktown, Caleb may have served as a sentry to prevent communications leaks across the river into enemy hands at Yorktown, a guard to secure Cornwallis’s potential escape route north from Gloucester Point, or in small skirmishes like the aborted attack on the French who had taken several redoubts at Gloucester.[32]

After the British surrender and the capture of Cornwallis, Caleb became a prisoner of war along with more than 300 Queen’s Rangers. As an officer, he commanded fifty men with loaded knapsacks who marched north through the Blue Ridge Mountains and across the Shenandoah River to prison camps in Pennsylvania and eventually to Long Island.[33]In 1785, Caleb was granted land in Parr Town, now St. John, in New Brunswick where he remained with his wife Esther (Fairweather) and son Charles and daughter Submit, until his death in 1810.[34]

It is impossible to know for certain if, and, if so, to pinpoint exactly where Squire and Caleb fought face-to-face as Martha Howe wrote. It is certain, however, that the long-term effects of captivity on Jemima and her young children and the division within her family brought on by the Revolution were profound and clearly on her mind for the rest of her life.

In Jemima’s will, she wrote that Caleb would have one year to claim his inheritance for land, realizing she would likely never see him again once he had been exiled to Canada as a Loyalist.[35] Her probate records, including her will and codicil, dated 1797 and 1798 respectively, show that she helped her children financially, with notes totaling more than £1,800 outstanding from Moses, Squire, Caleb and grandson William Howe, and bequeathed nearly 350 acres of real estate, appraised at £3,000, equally to them. She also amassed personal property, comprised of items such as glassware, pewter, a gold locket with 117 gold beads, a gold ring, silk gown, and considerable livestock, valued at more than £3,000. Her clothing and furniture were to be divided equally among granddaughters Polly (Mary) and Charlotte Willard and the remainder of her personal estate among her two granddaughters and Jonathan Willard, all children of Submit who died in 1781.[36]

In other ways, Jemima carried the weight of family responsibility on her perpetually strong shoulders. When her daughter Submit died, she left behind three children under the age of four. Granddaughter Mary was the oldest with two of her own children passing while Jemima was still alive. Jemima, now the family matriarch, took care of them all.[37]

Amos Tute died in April 1790. According to Jemima and the other heirs of his estate, Amos was not of sound mind when he signed his will the day before he died. The Probate Court agreed.[38] Accordingly, Jemima inherited her dower’s share of Amos’s real estate, which was valued at £1,495, including the north portion of the Sartwell Farm, sixty acres in Hinsdale and a farm from Arad Hunt, Esq., as well as £575 in personal property.[39]

Nearing the end of Jemima’s life, she amassed a fine estate, some of it likely from her dower’s share from Amos, but some coming from her own determination and innate smarts. She had become a peer of some of the most powerful gentlemen in the area, acknowledged by them or not. In addition to the outstanding notes to her sons, there were nearly £700 in notes outstanding to a dozen neighbors, including Micah Townsend, a Princeton-educated attorney and Vermont Secretary of State from 1781 to 1788, and to Arad Hunt, Esq. and his brother, Lt. Gov. Jonathan Hunt, both major land speculators responsible for accelerating the early growth of southeastern Vermont.[40] Local tax records also show that she was engaged in selling and buying property.[41]

The year following Jemima’s death in 1805, her homestead and 225 acres of land were posted for sale. It was comprised of a dwelling house, a large barn and corn house, an orchard with fruit trees and a new orchard with one hundred trees. Seventy of these acres were handsomely situated on the bank of her beloved Connecticut River.[42]

Jemima Howe was an original, an indomitable pioneering woman who overcame the perils of the frontier right in her own backyard, in a hostile foreign country and against a tyrannical foe in the cause of liberty. She may never have known if her strength came from within or from the unspoken attraction of the Connecticut River Valley itself.[43] Perhaps it was both. And just perhaps there was even more to her remarkable story.

The prolific New England historical novelist, Marguerite Allis, wrote a well-regarded story of Jemima Howe’s event-filled life. At the end of the novel, Allis described Jemima, a woman nearing the end of her time, holding a newly-minted silver dollar of the United States of America, a gift from her favorite son, Squire. For Jemima, the hard coin was a symbol of what she, her entire family, friends and neighbors had put into the land along the Connecticut River: “steadfastness and courage, disappointment, frustration, blood, bitterness and death” and a lasting will for freedom. Such is her heritage, the real story of the “high priestess of the River.”[44]


[1]Massachusetts: Vital Records, 1620–1850online database,, Groton, births, 209. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847–1972), 126:3–4, 8, 14–15. Herbert Williams Denio, “Massachusetts Land Grants in Vermont,” Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts (Cambridge: John Wilson and Son, 1920), 24:40–41. Samuel A. Green, Groton During the Indian Wars(Cambridge: John Wilson and Son, 1883), 147. Sartwell, Sawtell and Sawtelle are among the most often used spellings of the surname and of which Richard is the forbear, in Genealogical and Family History of the State of Maine, ed. George Thomas Little (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing. Co., 1909), 1:421.

2Benjamin H. Hall, History of Eastern Vermont, from its Earliest Settlement to the Close of the Eighteenth Century, with a Biographical Chapter and Appendixes (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1858), 1:26–27. Abby Maria Hemenway, Vermont Historical Gazetteer. A Local History of All the Towns in the State, Civil, Educational, Biographical, Religious and Military (Brandon, Vt.: Published by Mrs. Carrie E. H. Page, 1891), 5:277.

3 Emma Lewis Coleman, New England Captives Carried to Canada: Between 1677 and 1760 during the French and Indian Wars (Portland, Me.: Heritage, 1926), 2:183–184, 186 (Obadiah Sartwell) and 2:198 (Jonathan Sartwell). Nehemiah How, A Narrative of the Captivity of Nehemiah How, who was Taken by the Indians at the Great Meadow Fort Above Fort-Dummer, where he was an Inhabitant, October 11th, 1745 (Boston: N.E., 1748), excerpted from Samuel G. Drake, Indian Captivities, or Life in the Wigwam(Auburn, MA: Derby and Miller, 1852), 127–128.

[4]James Axtell, “Sawtelle, Jemima,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 5, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–,

[5]Massachusetts: Vital Records, 1620–1850, Grafton, births, 73. The Provincial and State Papers of New Hampshire. State of New Hampshire, Town Charters, Granted within the Present Limits of New Hampshire, Vol. XXV, Town Charters, ed. Albert Stillman Batchellor (Concord, N.H.: Edward N. Pearson, 1895), 2:115–119.

[6]Hinsdale, New Hampshire, Town Records, 1753–1836,, 1:3–7 (DGS 5510738, images 8–10).

[7]Harlan L. Howe, “Jemima (Sartwell) (Phipps) (Howe) Tute,” The Howe, Willard, Sartwell Families of Vernon, Vt. (Manuscript, n.d.) held at Brooks Memorial Library, Brattleboro, Vermont. Daniel Wait Howe, Howe Genealogies (Haverhill, MA: Record Publishing Co., 1929), 45–46. For son Caleb Howe, see, UK, Pension Applications for Widows and Family of Military Officers, 1776–1881online database, in “Loyal American and Canadian Corps,” doc. no. H.25 (pp.179–186), W.O. 42/61, from The National Archives, Kew, UK.

[8]Axtell, “Sawtelle, Jemima,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 5, 2003. Women’s Indian Captivity Narratives, ed. Kathryn Zabelle Derounian-Stola (New York: Penguin Books, 1998), 96–97.

[9]Derounian-Stodola, Women’s Indian Captivity Narratives, xix.

[10]Ibid., 97–101.

[11]Ibid., 98–101.

[12]Axtell, “Sawtelle, Jemima,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 5, 2003; Derounian-Stodola, Women’s Indian Captivity Narratives, 101–103.

[13]Reverend Hinsdale was the chaplain at Fort Dummer. Collections of the New-Hampshire Historical Society (Concord, N.H.: Printed by Asa McFarland for the Society, 1837), 5:256–257.

[14]Ibid., 5:256–257.

[15]Ibid., 5:257–258.

[16]Coleman, New England Captives Carried to Canada, 2:317.

[17]Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, ed. E.B. O’Callaghan et al., 15 vols. (Albany: Weed, Parsons and Company, 1853–87), 10:882–884 for the list of prisoners to be exchanged.

[18]Pole culturel du Monastèe des Ursulines. MQ/1K/7/1/2/2. Livre des entrés et sorties des pensionnaires1719 à 1838, no. 2.

[19]Narrative of the Captivity of Mrs. Johnson, Containing an Account of her Sufferings during Four Years with the Indians and French, Fourth Ed.(Lowell, MA: Published by Daniel Bixby, 1834), 67. Ann M. Little, The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016), 186–187.

[20]Pole culturel du Monastèe des Ursulines. MQ/1K/7/1/2/2. Livre des entrés et sorties des pensionnaires 1719 à 1838, no. 2, noting that Submit and Mary left the convent on June 26, 1759; Little, The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright, 186–187 and 276, n. 31.

[21]Coleman, New England Captives Carried to Canada, 2:320.

[22]Samuel Gardner Drake, Tragedies of the Wilderness; or True and Authentic Narratives of Captives who have been Carried Away by the Indians from the Various Frontier Settlements of the United States, from the Earliest to the Present Time (Boston: Antiquarian Bookstore and Institute, 1841), “Captivity of Frances Noble,” 165–172, 169. Axtell, “Sawtelle, Jemima,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 5, 2003.

[23]H. L. Howe, The Howe, Willard, Sartwell Families.

[24]Hemenway, Vermont Historical Gazetteer, 5:1–3.

[25]Hall, History of Eastern Vermont, 2:767. Early Vermont Settlers Index Cards,1750–1784online database,, citing Legacy of Dissent: Religion and Politics by Revolutionary Vermont, 1749–1784 (Worcester, MA: D.A. Smith, 1980), for Amos Tute in “Civil Enemy Officers” and “Pro-New Yorkers” index cards and Squire Howe in “General Eastern Vermont” and “Pro-Vermont” index cards.

[26]“Squire How/e” in U.S. Compiled Revolutionary War Service Records, 1775–1783 online database,, citing NARA Record Group 93, Publication M881, NARA Roll 77.

[27]Joseph Jencks Smith, Civil and Military List of Rhode Island 1647–1800 (Providence, RI: Preston and Bounds Co., 1900), 343, 355, 357, 371, 394.

[28]Murtie June Clark, Loyalists in the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1999), 2:465–489 (passim), 562, 586, and 627. John Graves Simcoe, Simcoe’s Military Journal. A History of the Operations of a Partisan Corps, Called the Queen’s Rangers, Commanded by Lieut. Col., J. G. Simcoe, During the War of the American Revolution (New York: Bartlett & Welford, 1844), viii.

[29]Martha Howe widow’s pension application no. W.21431, for Squire Howe’s service, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files (NARA microfilm publication M804, 2,670 rolls), Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15, National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[30]Revolutionary War Service, 1775–1783,” at Military Resources: American Revolutiononline resource at the National Archives ( The Department of War attempted to reconstruct the Revolutionary War records destroyed in fires of 1800 and 1814; however, many service records were lost, perhaps including those of Squire Howe.

[31]William W. Reynolds, “The American Gunners at Yorktown,” The Journal of the American Revolution, May 9, 2017,

[32]Donald J. Gara, The Queen’s American Rangers (Yardley, PA: Westholme, 2016), 316–317, 320–325. Banastre Tarleton, A History of the Campaigns in the Southern Provinces of North America (London: Printed for T. Cadell, 1787), 376–389.

[33]Gara, The Queen’s American Rangers, 343–352.

[34]UK, Pension Applications for Widows and Family of Military Officers, 1776–1881 online database,, for Caleb Howe. See also, Index to New Brunswick Land Grants, 1784–1997(RS686) online database, Provincial Archives of New Brunswick,

[35]Vermont (Marlboro District), Probate Recordsat, Jemima Tute’s will and codicil at 3:29–32 (DGS no. 7714773, images 34–36).

[36]Vermont (Marlboro District), Probate Records, at, Jemima Tute inventory at 3:51–54 (DGS no. 7714773, images 45–47) and div. of estate at 3:70–72 [DGS no. 7714773, images 55–56]. H. L. Howe, The Howe, Willard, Sartwell Families.

[37]H. L. Howe, The Howe, Willard, Sartwell Families.

[38]Ibid.; Vermont (Marlboro District), Probate Recordsat, court petition at 1:167 (DGS no. 7714772, image 116) and purported will at 1:356–357 (DGS no. 7714772, image 212).

[39]Vermont (Marlboro District), Probate Recordsat, Amos Tute inventory at 1:226–231 (DGS no. 7714772, images 146–149), div. of estate at 1:235–240(DGS no. 7714772, images 151–153) and acct. summary at 2:229 (DGS no. 7714772, image 353).

[40]Vermont (Marlboro District), Probate Recordsat, Jemima Tute inventory at 3:51–54 (DGS no. 7714773, images 45–47). Early Vermont Settlers Index Cards, 1750–1784 online database,, Micah Townsend in “Civil Enemy Officers” and “Pro-New Yorkers” index cards, and Arad Hunt in “Pro-New Yorkers” index card. Hall, Eastern Vermont, 700–706. Clark Jillson, Green Leaves from Whitingham, Vermont: A History of the Town (Worcester, MA: Printed at the Private Press of the Author, 1894), 72–73, 78.

[41]Cheshire Co., New Hampshire, Land Records at, 24:78–79 (DGS no. 7836177, images 44–45), 53:10 (DGS no. 8291333, image 14). Vernon, Vermont Town Records, 1763–1908 at, 1:306–307 (DGS no.7919211, image 191).

[42]“Advertisement,” Advertisement Reporter 4 (published as The Reporter in Brattleboro, VT) (March 1, 1806) no. 159, 1 at America’s Historical Newspapers.

[43]Marguerite Allis, Not Without Peril (1941; repr., Charlestown, N.H.: Old Fort No 4 Associates, 2004), 31.

[44]Ibid., 402–404.


  • Many thanks for piecing together the history of this remarkable woman. I have shared it with my DAR chapter sisters to acknowledge the strength of the women who enabled the Revolution to happen.

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