Jonathan Judd, Jr. Diary Excerpt

“The year 1773 was creeping toward an end, and war rumors were increasing.  The people were disturbed and confused.  They were beginning to believe that there would be a conflict.  The young men, especially, were at a loss to know where to turn, and Jonathan [Judd], a natural leader, felt that he must do something to help these boys to receive some military training.  He began by asking each one, individually, to choose the rank he would be happy to bear.”


Nov. 25
Bates and Bascom cutting stone for stoves in the kitchen.  Father more poorly.  I have not got well but am very weak.  Sylvester unable to work.  At 5 about 70 people come with arms (military affairs).  Fired salute to Flagg (somewhat illegible).  I invite them in, they drank about 10 gallons rum and went off early.  this is the return I have from Ens. Kingsley for showing him respect.  He knew my health would not admit waiting on so much company.  Lt. Pomeroy here afterward.  Ensi. Kin here while they were here.  Col. Danks was in the Clubb.  Drank a little too much.

Dec. 8
Doc. Ball invited father, Mother and I to dine with him.  We declined.  Catched cold toward night.  In the evening Clark Lyman at our house setting the muster roll, about finished.  Father scome from N- with Doct. Shepard and Lydia Clapp.  Lyman and I went to Ens. Kings.  Shepard and I lodged together.  Slept very well till after 5.

Dec. 9
About 6 heard guns before Shepard, about 11 the Clubb at Lt. Pomeroys came over with him.  There were 35.  They escorted him to Ens. Kings.  The fired in the air, all but the Mountain Clarks, they fired down and Lt. Pomeroy repeats it to fire up.  They went in and drank then the Clarks squib when the rest fired. This conduct outrages the rest and they squibbed t em in return.  This provoked Supply Clark so much that he fired a squib upon Asahel Hannum.  It hurt him so much that he went to Doct. Shepard to get it dressed.  I treated the Company afterward at Sergt. Birge.  They were high at the Clarks.  Said but little to them while he was there.  The Clarks come along and went by.  At the door talked them to come in.  Some?  This is not a little abusive.  They went off and left the Company direct and they soon drew off for dinner.

Major Dwight, Col. Pomeroy and seven others arrived from N– Doct. Shepard, Lt. Sheldon, Ens. Kingsley and Ens. Searle with Father ? made up the complement.  Dinner was too late and we sat too long, we put in the Corporals.  Aaron Strong and Silas Sheldon refused.  Tim. Clapp, E. Strong, Burt and Joel Hannum took it.  We went out, walked round the Company while the Sergts. were for the colors.  Roll was called, commissions were read.  Then we spoke to the Company.  I spoke some time, never more terrified but got through.  Major Dwight spoke then fired a volley, marched Ens. Kings and were dismissed.  Then they fired rounds all but Zophar Searle fired up. People went off, we had the applause of all.  There were hear about 200 in the whole present.  Meeting of commissioned and non-commissioned officers.  Sociable till after 10.  The Company behave well and did not drink deep at all.  Thus the first training is over and things are happily done except in relation to the Clarks. Them we leave to Father Hannum

The Boston Tea Party

Dec 14
Heard tea is arrived Boston – very high.  Went in P. M. to N.- Was at Hodges and Major Hawleys in the evening.  Put up at Capt. Lymans.  Sundry people there.

Dec 20
Very cold and blustery.  At 1 Father and I set off for Suffield.  Was at Doct. Mathers.  Heard that the tea in Boston was all thrown in to the sea by a mob last Thursday Night.  Went to Mr. Grahams lodged with Father.

Dec 21
Father set off for Waterbury.  I come to Sheldons and then homeward.  Dined at Doct Mathers, was at Mr. Ballantines.  At Kings got a lone pair of steelyards.  Atwater expect tea tonight.  Home by 8.

Dec 27
No Business. Ens. King gone to Hartford to buy tea.

Jan 5
Sent some tea Mr. Alvord to sell for they don’t use hard enough here to get it off.

Jan 17
Ens. Kin gone to sell tea because it is fell in Northampton.

Jan 20
Ens. King come back yesterday.  Has sold 20 lb. tea.

Jan 29
Ens. King returned last evening. has sold the tea.  Cutting port in the afternoon.  All provisions very low this year which makes cash very scarce.

May 17
Yesterday went to N.- hear that an Act of Partiament shuts up the Harbour of Boston by first of June.  Hard measure though.  Gen. Gage is arrived Governor

May 23
Set out for Boston at 7.  Was at Mr. Caleb Strongs then at Warners got no cash of him as I expected on Mr. Burts account.  Dined at Capt. Dwights then at Chadwicks then at Waites put up at Whitmores. about 7 1/2.  Could get no cash for Sergt. Searle as I expected.  There has been much noise in the Country ever since the Late Act.  A nonimportation has been much talked of.

May 25
Got to Boston about 8.  Put up at Bracketts, company enough.  Saw the Cadet Company  went round a little.  Much talk about Port Bill and probability of other Acts of Parliament to curtail our priveleges.

May 31
Bought me a sword last night and put it in the wagon today.  Heard last evening that there are troops coming in to the Town of Boston.  After hearing paid out my cash and finished dinner.  Set off at 4 1/2 from Boston for home.  Stopped at Fessendens and overtook Boltwood and son at Watertown.  Stopt at Smiths at Weston then by 9 reached E. Howes and put out.

June 9
Trade not great.  More and more talk here about the Parliament taking us in hand.

Oct 31
Near noon people met.  Then I declared my non acceptance of the Captaincy.  Twill make a difficulty.  I never was at a greater quandry than now but my own impatience will govern me.  This P. M. Lt. Pomeroy,  Lyman and Abner Pomeroy were chosen the officers and things went peacably.   There was some strife for Ens. King but he could not be obtained.  Sociable at the shop in the evening.

Nov 2
Peoples impatience for being officers in the Minute Company must not now be gratified but the Field Officers must be chosen first by the other Officers.

Dec 5
Rainy and Training again.  Norwich people come in.  West Hampton people would not come.  Therefor they refused to accept them and so Norwich and Southampton make a company.  Then Capt. Pomeroy, Capt. D. Searle and Lt. Abner Pomeroy all went on peaceably.  We spend the evening in my shop very pleasurably.

Dec 9
Some men of war coming by report.

Dec 10
Upon the whole public matters now no better.  The aspect is worse for it seems the Dissolution ? Parliament was that the ministry get the upper hand in the New House before people had proper knowledge.  Tim. Lyman was very much hurt last week by falling under the crank of a sawmill.  Tis uncertain whether he will ever recover again.

Dec 12
In the afternoon an adjourned Town Meeting and the Minute Company a training.  My shop full so that I could not go to the meeting till after sunset.  Then meeting voted to pay 1 s for a master to instruct the Company.

Dec 13
Reports are circulated that the Troops are coming in to the country.

Dec 14
Preparation for Thanksgiving.  Col. Pomeroy has returned and collected the Committee of Correspondence at N-.  What is the matter nobody knows.

Dec 15
Thanksgiving.  John Drake came up yesterday.  Received a letter from Hardwick about the Troops coming in to the country and some papers from the Congress.  Two of the committee appointed to meet at Clarks at 1 tomorrow.  Capt. Pomeroy here after meeting.

Much noise has been and still continues about Gages blocking up Boston Neck.  Sim. Smith who was here on Saturday say people uneasy in Boston.

Paul Revere, Lexington, and Other War Musings

Mar 21
A muster of the Company.

Mar. 22
Some uneasiness appears in the Minute Men that they are to train with the Militia.

Mar 28
Things gro worse and worse.  Regulars are more haughty.

Apr. 3
More Acts of Parliament tis probable.

Apr. 18
Training in the afternoon.  Little demur about Minute Men not training with the Militia.

Apr. 20
Was round upon business.  Abut 8 heard that the Regulars had killed 8 men at Lexington. Now at ? is begun and none knows how or when it will end.  No particular account can be as yet obtained of the affair but tis supposed that the Regulars were upon their march to destroy the stores at Concord.   In the afternoon to Suffield.  Lodge at Mr. Grahams.

Apr 21
Come up to Westfield thro Suffield people marched yesterday.  People have not gone from here.  Tories are not molested.  Particulars can not be obtained.  Got home about sunset.  People gone from here.  Things look dark to think that we be engaged in this way those we used to call our friends.

Apr 22
We have it some things certain that the Regulars went and destroyed the stores at Concord when they were first attacked that they were followed to Charlestown many killed and taken and also of our people.  As the numbers on each side none can tell yet.

Apr 23
Things look with a very peculiar gloom.  Meeting house insome

Apr 24
Nothing new to be depended on.  Multitude of Reports are circulating.

Apr. 26
At night a number came to get provisions ready.

Apr 27
There about 40 of the provincials killed and how many Regulars nobody knows.

Apr. 28
Town met and agreed to pay for the provisions that are to be sent.  All are running to the utmost confusion.   People that are so much as suspected of Toryism upon the public roads have their eatable demanded of them, each what they think they want for the present.

Apr. 29
Sunday – there is now so great an anxiety about Public matters -?

May 1
People were collecting the provisions and beginning to load.  Norwich, joining when Capt. L. Pomeroy arriver.  He informs that they are forming an Army to stand till the last of December and have enlisted as many out of those who are gone down as they could.  Pomeroy and ? have left the command of the Company to Abner Pomeroy, a Captain.  No new extraordinary is brought.  Number of Regulars cannot ever be known that were killed.  By some supposed to be 300 or 400.  Boston people are to come out upon leaving their arms.  Some people are very much put out upon Capt. L. Pomeroys coming away.  Twill make a noise.  They were at much uncertainty about sending away the loading upon Capt. L. P. talking they had provision enough.

May 2
Much said about Capt. Pomeroys coming home.

May 12
Before breakfast come to Mr. Grahams, stopt at Mr. Ingersolls.  Was at Parks and there saw walkers from Boston.  People there in very great distress.  The Regulars conceal the number of their killed and wounded.  General Gage will let them bring no merchandise, indeed they are such a hurry to get away that multitudes bring but little of their household goods and generally not all.  Home before sunset.

Jun 14
Went round for rum etc. tis high.  The Regulars that were taken at Ticonderoga are about streets anywhere at 10.  Having found John Backer set out with him for Roches.  Stopt at Webbs, could not succeed.  Got Pomeroys about 12 1/2.  Got a dinner then bought rum, mollasses and sugar of him.  Capt. Backer left me and went for Middletown.  At 4 1/2 set out for Hartford.  In Weathersfield meet Martin Phelps whim I suppose loitered in order to know the price of me or Backer.  Therefor I told him nothing and we parted.  Let evary tub stand on its own bottom is his doctrine.  Therefore it shall be mine in my conduct to him.  Put up at Bulls again.

June 20
Reports grow warmer.  Mr. Graham is gone in the afternoon.  Shepherd brings a broken  account of our people being driven from their entrenchment near Charlestown and are supposed to be killed.

June 22
Father at Northampton.  The story is that there are about 40 killed 30 taken and 100 wounded and many more of the Regulars.  It seems the taking of the entrenchment is of but small consequence to us further than the name of losing it.  News from Canada is more favorable.

June 24
Ens. King come home from Rhode Island last night.  He rode one day with General Pomeroy who is come home.  He was in the engagment.  He tells a good story to set himself.  He says 50 are killed of our people and 1000 or more of the Regulars.

July 4
Went to Northampton.  Accounts about the killed at Charlestown of the Americans are doubled and more also the wounded, what to beleive nobody knows.

July 25
Newspapers bring nothing extraordinary.  A vessel that returned since the news of Lexington   Battle reports that is struck people very much in London.

Jan 20
Nothing new except the account which has been current this week that General Montgomery is killed and the Army there is defeated.

Jan 22
The account of the the defeat at Quebec seems to be certain.

Feb. 28
They began to Batter Boston of late or near beginning to Batter it.

Mar. 8
More and more noise firing at Boston and from it.

Mar 16
Rain in plenty last night and all the forenoon.  I stayed with 2 Boston men that came from the Southward and after dinner we set out.  I arrived at Hartford about 2.  There was an order sent this week to Capt. Wadsworth to prepare provisions for troops if they should march to the South.  There is some probability of the Regulars leaving Boston it appears from a letter by a Flagg from some gentlemen in Boston.  The justices and other Peace Officers come round to clear the Tavern of Town Inhabitants.

Mar 20
No great matter of business.  Hear Boston is deserted by the Regulars last Sunday.

Jun 13
Went to Boston.  The ravages of War are great in and around Boston.  Barracks and Fortifications in great plenty.  Bought a load of rum and barrels of Hardware and sent it out of Town.  Goods high enough.  An Expedition again the Kings Ships in the Harbour planing for the night.

June 14
Upon Beacon Hill could see the smokes of the cannon from and against the ships.   Was at Fort Hill, that well fortified.  At noon hear that the ships are gone out of the Harbour and blown up the Light House.  Paid cash to Green and Cleverly.

June 17
Desolation active at Chalestown.  Two cargoes of Highlanders brought in to the Harbour and the officers up to Town.  Paid out all my money and came away about 3 by Charlestown.  Saw Mr. Burt at Watertown.  Stopt a few minutes at Sudbury.  Put up near sundown at E. Howes.  Went to bed in tolerable season.

Sept. 9
Hear for certain that all Continental Troops have left Long Island.

Sept. 22
Sunday – went to Meeting all day.  Nothing strange there.  Fryday night yesterday and today hear that the Regulars have taken New York.  Our people left it the same day which was Sunday what is done there we can not understand fully.”

[From the article titled “Shadows of the Revolution in Southampton: Through the Diary of Jonathan Judd, Esquire” by Beula Bray, with assistance from Henry Healy, 1974.  Article taken from book Southampton: Newtown on the Manhan. copyright 1975. p. 30-31.]

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