Hoyt, Max Ellsworth and Frank Johnson Metcalf. Index of Revolutionary War Pension Applications, (Washington, DC: National Genealogical Society, 1966.)
Kaminkow, Marion and Jack. Mariners of the American Revolution, (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1967, reprinted edition 1993.)
Lewis, James A. Neptune's Militia: The Frigate South Carolina during the American Revolution, (Kent, OH: The Kent State University Press, 1999.)
Moss, Bobby Gilmer. Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983.)
No Last Name Given, Barbara. "Find a Grave Memorial: Samuel Treadwell (1752-1835), (www.findagrave.com, record added - September 2, 2010.)
Revill, Janie, copier. Copy of the Original Index Book: Showing the Revolutionary Claims Filed in South Carolina Between August 20, 1783 and August 31, 1786, (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1969.)
Pension Application of George Fisher S46036
As is occasionally the case in this overall blog, an individual crew member of the frigate South Carolina will present himself for examination. Yet, even with continued research, he and his life will persist in being fairly indecipherable and unknown, with only vague and conjectural information being arrived at. It is indeed a fact that this particular individual served on board the patriot frigate and should rightly be included in the further research on the ship-of-war and her crew. But, try as one might, this specific man and concrete information regarding his life remain just out of reach, as it were, and thus leaves us with many unanswered questions concerning his life both before, during and after his experience on board of the frigate South Carolina. One of those men is Samuel Treadwell.
At the outset, Samuel Treadwell's case presents some interesting facets. First, we are not sure of the spelling of his last name - Threadwell, Treadwell, or Tredwell. The writer of this blog feels relatively certain that the initial last name cited can be excluded with a fair degree of certainty for reasons presented later in this post. But, this still leaves two possible last names for the individual in question, which is not at all unusual. But, both variants of this man's last name have different ratings associated with that specific last name - one is "Sailor/Cook" and the other is "Marine". As mentioned just above, the writer of this blog feels relatively certain that one of these last names can be discounted but, is unsure what to do with the rating attached to this specific name. Possibly, there are two individuals by very similar names but, the writer of this blog is uncertain of this possibility. The writer of this blog will hopefully be able to address this issue as the overall post develops.
Second, it appears from other historical documents that Samuel Treadwell did file a pension application at some point after the conclusion of the American Revolution. But, that specific pension application is not available to the writer of this overall blog. Pension applications frequently indicate valuable information such as the place and date of birth of the applicant, his wife's and children's names, services he provided during the American Revolution, officers and other enlisted men with whom he served, the date he married his wife and the dates of the births of his children, and any supporting affidavits that were provided in support of his pension application. All of this crucial information is missing in the case of Samuel Treadwell. This makes the exact identification of Samuel Treadwell all the more difficult. There appears to have been several individuals by this same name who served during the American Revolution. It is very difficult to discern whether or not the specific Samuel Treadwell who served on board the frigate South Carolina is the one being addressed in any given set of information or if it might be another individual altogether.
With all of that said, the writer of this blog will attempt to proceed with the documentation of Samuel Treadwell who did indeed serve on board the frigate South Carolina. According to Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, section entitled "Appendix: Crew and Marines of the South Carolina", pages 167 and 168, the following entries appear:
Samuel Threadwell (Treadwell, Tredwell) Sailor, Cook
Samuel Treadwell (Threadwell?, Tredwell) Marine
There could possibly be two separate individuals by virtually the same name here. But, then again, the first name is consistently "Samuel" in each case of the appearance of the name with only the last name varying in its spelling by usually just a single letter. This could just as easily be an alternate spelling of the last name but, referring to a single individual.
(Note: As stated in the above explanatory paragraphs, the writer of this blog feels with relative certainty that the spelling of the last name as "Threadwell" can be excluded from this continuing post. None of the historical sources seem to contain this name spelled as "Threadwell". This includes the sources cited in the bibliography of this specific post as well as other sources not cited here. For instance, the 17-volume, exhaustive work, Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, contains three citations for "Samuel Treadwell" but, no citations for a "Samuel Threadwell". Hoyt's and Metcalf's work, Index of Revolutionary War Pension Applications, cited in the bibliography of this post, cites a pension being filed by "Samuel Treadwell" but, none being filed for "Samuel Threadwell". A citation for a "Treadwell" or a "Tredwell" may well turn up in different works but, a citation for a "Threadwell" never turns up. Both a "Treadwell" and a "Tredwell" turn up in Moss's work, Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, but, no citation for a "Threadwell". Thus, the writer of this blog will exclude this specific name from further research efforts, unless the name begins to turn up in other works examined in the course of this specific post.)
There is quite a bit of information on Samuel Treadwell but, at issue here is whether or not it is all concerning the same individual. As an example, the reference cited above, but not appearing in the bibliography of this post, concerning Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, cites three different Samuel Treadwells. All of these men are cited as having served in the militia of Massachusetts. None of their citations state that they served on board of any kind of patriot ship-of-war during the course of the American Revolution, much less the frigate South Carolina. This same work includes many citations of numerous men having served in both the ground and naval forces in the course of the American Revolution. Most of the evidence of Samuel Treadwell serving during the American Revolution does not mention the frigate South Carolina at all.
But, we do have some definitive information which clearly places him on board the patriot ship-of-war. According to Revill's work, Copy of the Original Index Book, pages 385-386, have the heading of "A List of Officers & Men of the Frigate South Carolina to Whom Certificates Have Been Issued". Page 386 contains the following entry:
Name: Return No. Amount Received:
Samuel Treadwell 86 42 pounds, 19 shillings, 2 pences
(Note: "Return 86" indicates that the set of audited accounts that this specific claim was included among was the 86th such set of accounts to be sent to a legislative council for final approval. But, the date that this was done is recorded in Revill's work, Copy of the Original Index Book, page 379, and was sent to this council on November 21, 1785.)
This would seem to definitively indicate that a Samuel Treadwell did indeed serve on board the frigate South Carolina. But, this is also the sole specific reference to his having served on board the patriot frigate.
There exists two pieces of information that seem to address the same individual in regards to the first name of the spouse of Samuel Treadwell. According to Hoyt's and Metcalf's work, Index of Revolutionary War Pension Applications, page 1177, a "Samuel Treadwell" of Massachusetts received a pension application designated as "W22450". The letter "W" preceding the numeric designation of the pension indicates that the widow of Samuel Treadwell received this pension after his death. Her name is indicated as being "Susanna". According to Barbara No Last Name's work, "Find a Grave Memorial: Samuel Treadwell (1752-1835)", a "Samuel Treadwell" is buried in Treadwell Cemetery in West Kennebunk, ME which is located in York County, Maine. The only other information given concerning Samuel Treadwell is that he "...married Susanna Edwards on December 5, 1780 in Wells, ME...". These two pieces of information may well concern the same individual because both pieces of information mention the wife of Samuel Treadwell as being named "Susanna". Also, the grave of Samuel Treadwell is marked by the Sons of the American Revolution as being the grave of an individual who served in the "Revolutionary War".
(Note: There are two further pieces of information that should be made note of here. First, the entry for "Find a Grave Meorial" indicates that Treadwell Cemetery in West Kennebunk, ME is a private cemetery. Second, the writer of this blog disputes the marriage date of Samuel Treadwell to Susanna Edwards for reasons he will illustrate later in this post.)
Thus, this information cited above. apparently seems to be concerned with the same individual. It is possible though that this information addresses two separate men who might well be completely unrelated. But, we only have fragmentary evidence to attempt to reconstruct the life of Samuel Treadwell during the American Revolution. Thus, we can only rely on information that seems to address the same individual. It is in this manner that we proceed with the speculative life of this individual.
There are two pieces of information that do seem to address the same individual in regards to the military duties of Samuel Treadwell during the American Revolution. According to Kaminkow's work, Mariners of the American Revolution, page 191. we find the following entry:
"Samuel Treadwell - he was a native of Ipswich, MA. He served on board the Fancy. He was committed to Old Mill Prison on August 7, 1777. He escaped on February 1, 1778. He was re-captured on March 14, 1778. He was pardoned for exchange on December 11, 1779.".
(Note: According to the post entitled "The First and Second Rosters of the Frigate South Carolina, Pt. IV - Possible Previous Imprisonments by the British of Members of the Crew and Marines of the Frigate South Carolina - Information Assessed and Hypotheses Drawn - Last Names N-Z" and dated "11/16/2015". According to information shared in this specific post, the ship-of-war Fancy was a Massachusetts privateer brigantine. According to this earlier post, there may have been as many as eight crew members and marines of the Massachusetts privateer brigantine Fancy who went on the serve on board the frigate South Carolina. They had previously been imprisoned in England and were exchanged in a prisoner cartel to France towards the end of the war. These men, once they had reached French soil, would have heard of the imminent sailing of the frigate South Carolina for America. They were keen to return home after their imprisonments and would have readily sought out the patriot frigate in Amsterdam, Holland. Once they had signed on to the frigate South Carolina, they would have departed the service of the patriot frigate at some convenient point during the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean or left the service of the frigate when she docked in Philadelphia, PA on May 29, 1782.)
Samuel Treadwell could easily have been one of the several members of the crew or marines of the Massachusetts privateer brigantine Fancy who also served on board the frigate South Carolina after his earlier capture by the British. In particular, his pardoning for exchange date of December 11, 1779 seems to be a auspicious date for future crew members and marines of the frigate South Carolina. Many of them have been confirmed to have been pardoned on this specific date. Also, according to the information provided above, Samuel Treadwell was a native of Ipswich, MA. Many of the first crew members and marines to sign on board the frigate South Carolina were from New England, particularly from Massachusetts. They were there in Europe as a result of their privateer ship-of-war having been captured by the British Royal Navy and their subsequent incarceration in a British prison. When they were released in a prisoner cartel, they found the frigate South Carolina ready to receive them as crew members or marines for her maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.
This next piece of information dove-tails nicely into this last bit of shared information. The writer of this blog has noticed that the Kaminkow's work, Mariners of the American Revolution, frequently does not provide the function of an individual on board their particular patriot ship-of-war. This is also the case for Samuel Treadwell. But, the following entry appears in Moss's work, Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, page 939:
"Samuel Treadwell - see Samuel Tredwell.
Samuel Tredwell - he served as a marine from June 15, 1780 to March 15, 1782. During 1782, he was in the militia. A.A. 7900; I38; Y510."
The second citation of Samuel Treadwell cited both at the beginning of this post and in Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, section entitled "Appendix: Crew and Marines of the South Carolina", page 168, indicates that Samuel Treadwell was indeed a "Marine" on board the patriot frigate. The citation immediately above this paragraph also implies that he was a marine on board a patriot ship-of-war. The writer of this blog used the term "implies" because there were marines who during the course of their enlistments never set foot on the deck of a ship-of-war and served their entire term of service on land as marines. Yet, the entry above does imply that he served on board a ship-of-war because it does not specify otherwise.
the pardon for exchange date of Samuel Treadwell is interesting in itself. Just because a specific date was assigned for his exchange to French soil does not mean that he was actually sent by cartel boat to France on that particular date. He could easily have been exchanged a few weeks or months after that date. The date of exchange of December 11, 1779 is very important to the frigate South Carolina. Many of the crew members and marines of the patriot frigate were pardoned for exchange on that specific date. At some point afterwards, they would have made their way to France and sought a means to return home to America. Some of them would have encountered recruiting parties which were specifically recruiting the crew and marines of the frigate South Carolina. Some of them would have sought out Benjamin Franklin, the American emissary in France, who knew of the frigate lying in Amsterdam harbor, being fitted out and recruiting her crew and marines. He would have pointed them that way if they were in a hurry to get home. These men would have made their way to Amsterdam, Holland and presented themselves to the officers of the patriot frigate. Many of the subsequent crew members and marines of the frigate South Carolina found their way on board the frigate South Carolina in just such a manner. Samuel Treadwell could easily have been among these recently released Americans looking for a way to get home.
The dates provided in the citation form Moss's work, Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, page 939, fall within the reasonable dates of service on board the frigate South Carolina as she voyaged from Holland towards America. The frigate South Carolina did not depart Amsterdam harbor until August 4, 1781. Samuel Treadwell was pardoned for exchange on December 11, 1779. The above cited date for the beginning of his service as a marine is June 15, 1780 which falls between these two dates. At the time of the second date cited above, his completion of service as a marine, ostensibly on board the unnamed ship-of-war, the frigate South Carolina was lying in Havana, Cuba's harbor, fitting out for the expedition against New Providence, Bahamas. The combined Spanish-American invasion fleet did not set sail for the Bahamas Islands until April 22, 1782. This would have given Samuel Treadwell plenty of time to make his decision to leave the service of the frigate South Carolina and seek his own way home to Massachusetts. It is a proven fact that a number of the crew members and marines of the patriot frigate did so prior to the departure of the frigate for the Bahamas Islands. Later in 1782, well after having arrived at home, he could have served in the militia.
There does exist one more citation to and confirmation of the presence of Samuel Treadwell as having served on board the frigate South Carolina. This comes from the "Pension Application of George Fisher S46036" and is towards the end of the actual application. George Fisher was probably attempting to prove he was himself on board the patriot frigate because he cites, by name and rank, several members of the ship's crew who also served on board the frigate South Carolina at the same time that he served. The final name cited by George Fisher was "...Tredwell [Samuel Treadwell], Cook...". This is the only reference to Samuel Treadwell being a "Cook" on board the frigate South Carolina that the writer of this blog has encountered in the course of research for this specific post. The writer is aware of the citation of "Samuel Threadwell" as having the rating of "Cook, Sailor" on board the patriot frigate but, has not seen this rating designation cited in any other source containing information concerning Samuel Treadwell.
One final issue needs to be addressed prior to the conclusion of this specific post. This issue is the marriage date of Samuel Treadwell to Susanna Edwards. According to Barbara No Last Name Given's entry, "Find a Grave Memorial: Samuel Treadwell (1752-1835)", the date of marriage given is December 5, 1780. If this date was accurate, then the Samuel Treadwell who is focused on in this post would have been on board the frigate South Carolina for about six months and would still be in Europe. But, if the date was exactly ten years latter - December 5, 1790 - then the possibility of this being the correct individual increases. Again, according to Barbara No Last Name Given's entry, "Find a Grave Memorial...", the marriage date provided is December 5, 1780. But, the same entry also cites their children, Martha Treadwell and Joshua Treadwell, as being born respectively in 1792 and 1794. This would mean that their children were born twelve and fourteen years after they married one another. This is not impossible but, rather unlikely if compared with the births of the children of other members of the crew and marines of the frigate South Carolina who also have entries for them in "Find a Grave Memorial". Usually, within one to two years after a marriage has taken place the children of that union begin to be born. If the year date of the marriage were changed from 1780 to 1790, then the births of the children would be more feasible. Thus, the writer of this blog postulates that the year cited for their marriage is incorrect by ten years - a mistake not at all uncommon in records composed in the 18th century. So, in the postulated corrected form, Samuel Treadwell and Susanna Edwards would have married on December 5, 1790, about seven years after the cessation of hostilities between the United States of America and Great Britain. Their first child, Martha Treadwell, would have been born a little over one year later and their second child, Joshua Treadwell, would have been born just over three years later. In the opinion of the writer of this blog, this time frame for the births of their two children is much more feasible within the context of a marriage that took place in December 1790 rather than December 1780. It must be emphasized that this could all be wrong calculations or assumptions and the dates could stand as recorded.
So, a short synopsis of the life of Samuel Treadwell and his services during the American Revolution on board of the Massachusetts privateer brigantine Fancy and later the frigate South Carolina might be cited as follows:
At some point after the outbreak of the American Revolution, Samuel Treadwell signed on board the Massachusetts privateer brigantine Fancy. He served on board this patriot privateer until it was captured by elements of the Royal Navy in August 1777. He was then transported to Old Mill Prison in England where he was incarcerated. He attempted one escape on February 1, 1778. This escape attempt ultimately failed with him being recaptured on March 14, 1778. He was brought back to Old Mill Prison and, most likely, consigned to the "black hole" (solitary confinement) for a period of two weeks as punishment for his attempted escape. He was pardoned for exchange on December 11, 1779. At some point after this date, he and his fellow freed prisoners were transported on a prisoner cartel ship to France. Having arrived in France, Samuel Treadwell heard of the frigate South Carolina outfitting in Amsterdam, Holland's harbor for a cruise to America. He traveled to that Dutch city and signed on board the patriot ship-of-war as a marine or a cook/sailor. He was on board the ship when she set sail from The Texel on August 4, 1781. At some point after she had stopped in Havana, Cuba's harbor on January 12, 1782, Samuel Treadwell, like many of his fellow crew members and marines, decided to leave the service of the frigate South Carolina and make his own way home. He made his way home to Massachusetts/Maine and settled back into his earlier civilian life in Wells, ME, his original hometown. There he married Susanna Edwards on December 5, 1790. At some undislcosed point in time, he and his wife removed to Kennebunk, ME where they would reside for the remainder of Samuel's life. The couple had two children, Martha Treadwell, born in 1792, and Joshua Treadwell, born in 1794. On January 29, 1835, Samuel Treadwell died in Kennebunk, ME and was buried in Treadwell Cemetery (a private cemetery) in West Kennebunk, ME. He was eighty-three years old at the time of his death.
So many of the individual men who served on board the frigate South Carolina and have so far been addressed in this overall blog have had a great deal recorded concerning them. Some have a larger quantity of information associated with their names and lives. Others, not as much. Many of them have been officers about whom a larger amount of records still exist concerning them and their lives while some of the enlisted men have only a little personal information or records concerning their lives. Thus far, none have had so little recorded with certainty concerning them than Samuel Treadwell. Only two sources concerning the life of Samuel Treadwell - Revill's work, Copy of the Original Index Book, and the "Pension Application of George Fisher S46036" - definitely place Samuel Treadwell on board the frigate South Carolina. Two of the other sources - Hoyt's and Metcalf's work, Index of Revolutionary War Pension Applications, and Barbara No Last Name Given's entry for "Find a Grave Memorial: Samuel Treadwell (1752-1835)" - cite that he was married to a woman named Susanna or Susanna Edwards. Kaminkow's work, Mariners of the American Revolution, cites that he was a mariner on a patriot privateer, while Moss's work, Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, cites that he was a marine with the implication that he served on board of a ship-of-war. All of this information could easily be referencing the same man. But, just as easily, there could be a couple of unrelated Samuel Treadwell's whose information has become intermingled and confused here. Only further research may possibly elucidate the true identity of Samuel Treadwell. But, for the purposes of this overall blog, at one point in time during the American Revolution, an enlisted man named Samuel Treadwell did indeed walk the decks of the frigate South Carolina.