Ervin, Sara Sullivan. South Carolinians in the Revolution: With Service Records and Miscellaneous Data, (Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1976.)
Kaminkow, Marion and Jack. Mariners of the American Revolution, (Magna Carta Book Company, 1967.)
Lewis, James A. Neptune's Militia: The Frigate South Carolina During the American Revolution, (The Kent State University Press, 1999.)
Middlebrook, Louis F. The Frigate "South Carolina": A Famous Revolutionary War Ship, (The Essex Institute, 1929.)
Moore, Caroline T., compiler and editor. Abstracts of Wills of Charleston District, South Carolina: And Other Wills Recorded in the District, 1783-1800, (self-published, 1974.)
Moss, Bobby Gilmer. Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, (Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1983.)
Pension Application of Daniel Russell W9274
Pension Application of Richard Wall S22032
For several months prior to this date, the writer of this blog has composed numerous posts addressing the life and martial deeds of men who served at some point on board the frigate South Carolina. These individual posts have varied in length, depth of detail, and information communicated. Some of these posts have consisted of solid, proven facts while a few others are based on pieced together bits of information from which likely assumptions have been formulated. But, until recently, the writer of this blog has not realized that all of these previous posts have addressed officers who served on board the frigate South Carolina. None of these individual biographies have addressed an NCO (petty officer) or an enlisted man. That is going to change with this specific post and the individual addressed here - Daniel Russell of Charleston, SC. Officers always seem to have had more written concerning them and have a greater chance of being singled out by their commanding officers for commendation by name in some type of official communication. These men frequently went on after the American Revolution to be pivotal in the life of their communities and thus had even more written about them and their post-war lives and accomplishments. But, the writer of this blog feels that enough information has been collected that an individual biography of a man of the lower ranks can be composed.
But, like the numerous posts concerning the officers addressed in this blog, the story of Daniel Russell has its own unique features to it. First, Daniel Russell is a native South Carolinian. There are other men who served on board the frigate South Carolina that were also native to the Palmetto State. But, Daniel Russell came to served the state of South Carolina on board the frigate South Carolina late in the war and only in time for the final, brief voyage of the patriot frigate.Second, Daniel Russell served first with John Paul Jones on board the Bon Homme Richard and participated in the epic battle with HMS Serapis. After this service, he would serve on board the frigate South Carolina. Third, but certainly not last of the mysteries concerning this man, Daniel Russell did not file his own pension application. His pension application, "The Pension Application of Daniel Russell W9274", was filed long after his death by his widow, Sarah Susannah Cross Russell. The life of Daniel Russell is interesting indeed and worthy of investigation for the part he played in the winning of the American Revolution.
The chronological details of the life of Daniel Russell are gathered from a number of divergent sources. For instance, the details of his early life are gleaned from his pension application which was filed by his widow, Sarah Susannah Cross Russell, on August 21, 1838, fourteen years after his death. This specific pension application is being filed by a widow and not by the veteran of the American Revolution himself, Daniel Russell. Thus, there is no first person testimony included in this document but, rather the citation of "second-hand testimony or knowledge" heard by Sarah Susannah Cross Russell from her late husband, Daniel Russell. According to the "Pension Application of Daniel Russell W9274", page 1, "She [Sarah Susannah Cross Russell] further saith that she was perfectly acquainted with her husband from early childhood both of them being connected in & brought up in the same neighborhood...". The same pension application goes on to say that Daniel Russell was born on December 25, 1758 and Sarah Susannah Cross was born on August 2, 1764. This particular portion of the pension application ends by stating that Daniel Russell and Sarah Susannah Cross married on August 8, 1784. According to Moss's work, Roster of South Carolina Patriots, page 838, Daniel Russell married Sarah Susannah Cross, the same identical woman, on the same date as that recorded in his pension application. The first line of the Moss work begins, "While residing in Charleston, he enlisted as a steward and master's mate aboard the frigate Bon Homme Richard.". Not only does this initial evidence indicate that Daniel Russell was a resident of Charleston, SC or the immediate environs of that city, as corroborated in the other official document, but, that he had more than likely grown up there and lived there for his entire life.
(Note: Later in this same pension application, there appears an entry indicating that Daniel Russell and Sarah Susannah Cross Russell had two children born to them in the course of their married life together. The "Register of the First Presbyterian Church" of Charleston, SC indicates the following information:
Mary Elizabeth Russell - born July 25, 1785
baptized January 1, 1786
Ann Russell - born December 25, 1786
baptized July 31, 1788
This is all that is recorded concerning these two daughters born to Daniel Russell and Sarah Susannah Cross Russell. It is mysterious that so much time passed between the births and baptisms of the two daughters. Usually, these dates are only several days apart instead of six months in the first case and eighteen months in the second case. Again, the pension application gives no indication as to the reason for this unusually lengthy time expanse between the two most important events in the life of an infant.)
Thus far, no further information has been located by the writer of this blog concerning the early life of Daniel Russell. Only the information provided in his pension application, which was filed by his widow, Sarah Susannah Cross Russell, and was based on her aging memories is all that is known to exist concerning his earlier life. The next pieces of information concerning his life are related to his military experiences during the American Revolution, especially those on board the Continental Navy frigate Bon Homme Richard under the command of John Paul Jones. According to Moss's work, Roster of South Carolina Patriots, page 838, "...he enlisted as a steward and master's mate aboard the frigate Bon Homme Richard under Capt. John Paul Jones. He was in the battle with the [HMS] Serapis and [HMS] Countess of Scarborough.". If his birthdate is correctly recorded in this post above - December 25, 1758 - then he would have been twenty years old when he would have been recruited on board the Continental Navy frigate Bon Homme Richard. At issue here is how he journeyed from Charleston, SC to L'Orient, France, where he would have been recruited on board the frigate Bon Homme Richard either by John Paul Jones himself or one of his active recruiting parties. Again, the pension application filed by his widow may shed light on this issue. According to the "Pension Application of Daniel Russell W9274", his widow recorded that "...she knows that he [Daniel Russell] left Charleston in the earlier part of the Revolutionary War & went to one of the northern ports; but she knows not whether he for the [indecipherable word, looks like "figtt"] time engaged in the naval service at one of those ports or under Paul Jones in France.". Unless she had an extremely sharp memory and had heard the story of his naval services, Daniel Russell's widow, Sarah Susannah Cross Russell, would not have known the particulars of his enlistment under John Paul Jones and thus would not have recorded them in his pension application. It is completely possible that Daniel Russell "...went to one of the northern ports...", like Philadelphia, PA or Boston, MA, and signed on board of one of the numerous privateers operating out of those ports. This privateer could have easily been operating in European waters, far from the colonial American waters, which is the area Daniel Russell would have been accustomed to having grown up in Charleston, SC.
Somehow, Daniel Russell made it to Europe and, more specifically, L'Orient, France, where he signed on board the Continental frigate Bon Homme Richard under the command of Captain John Paul Jones. This would have been at some point in the summer or fall of 1779. That he served on board this most famous of patriot frigates to sail during the American Revolution is confirmed by both his pension application, again filed by his widow, as cited above, as well as the supporting document filed by Richard Wall, Cadet of Marines on board the same frigate under the command of John Paul Jones. The supporting document states that:
"...to his own knowledge that said Daniel [Russell] was engaged in the Naval Service of the Colonies during the revolutionary war, he was one of the crew of the Bon Homme Richard he shipped on board the said Vessel as Purser, Steward and also served in the capacity of assistant Sailing Master of Master's Mate, after the first engagement, he was on board and fought in the battle between the American Squadron under the command of John Paul Jones and the English Squadron which resisted on the capture of Serapis & Countess of Scarborough to the knowledge of this Deponent, he shipped on board the above named Ship and served on her under Paul Jones for all the cruises & battles from the time she was fitted until she sunk.".
Cadets of Marines Richard Wall, a recent immigrant to Charleston, SC from Ireland, would have only known of the presence of Daniel Russell, a native-born Charlestonian, as an actual participant in the epic battle between the Bon Homme Richard and HMS Serapis through the personal testimony of Daniel Russell and by the testimonies of others familiar with these incidents since he, Richard Wall, would have been a prisoner in Forton Prison near Portsmouth, England at the time of the famous ship-to-ship engagement. Of course, Richard Wall would encounter Daniel Russell again on board the frigate South Carolina where they would renew their acquaintance that would last until Russell's death on May 10, 1824.
None of the sources addressing John Paul Jones and his command of the Continental frigate Bon Homme Richard in the fight with HMS Serapis mentions Daniel Russell at all. This is not unusual for warfare in the 18th century. Officers usually never mentioned or referred to enlisted men under their command unless they had distinguished themselves in action or done some other commendable act while under their command. The lack of reference to Daniel Russell as a crewman of the Bon Homme Richard only means that he did nothing worthy of commendation while under the command John Paul Jones that would have brought him to the attention of his commanding officer.
It would appear that at some point in time after the most famous of 18th century ship-to-ship battles of the American Revolution occurring on September 23, 1779, Daniel Russell himself also suffered incarceration in a British prison. According to Kaminkow's work, Mariners of the American Revolution, page 165, the following information is cited:
Daniel Russell - of Carolina. He was a prize master on board the Black Prince or Black Princess. He was committed to Old Mill Prison on October 20, 1781. According to British official records, he was still in prison in April 1782.
(Note: In the appendix of Kaminkow's work, Mariners of the American Revolution, page 220, there is recorded a patriot ship by the name of Black Princess being captured by the Royal Navy in October 1781. She evidently was a French privateer under the command of Edward M'Carty, possibly an Irishman in French service. Further information given indicates that a roster of the captured crew members exists but, no Public Records Office number nor High Court of the Admiralty number is given for the actual reference. If Daniel Russell was indeed captured on board a ship by the name of Black Prince or Black Princess, it was almost certainly this ship. Also, the date of the capture of this vessel and the date of Daniel Russell's commitment to Old Mill Prison are the same month - October 1781.)
(Note: Daniel Russell and Cadet of Marines Richard Wall might have known each other prior to the capture of both of them by elements of the British Royal Navy but, they would not have continued their acquaintance in prison. This is because they were not incarcerated in the same prison. We know and it has been recorded in this post that Daniel Russell was imprisoned in Old Mill Prison in Plymouth, England. But, according to Kaminkow's work, Mariners of the American Revolution, page 200, the following entry for Richard Wall is found:
Richard Wall - he was a mate on board the Bon Homme Richard. He was committed to Forton Prison on October 14, 1779. He was pardoned for exchange on December 11, 1779. According to British official records, he was still in prison in April 1782.
The facts of the capture of Richard Wall are recounted in the post entitled "Richard Wall, 'Cadet of Marines' on board the Frigate Bon Homme Richard / Midshipman on board the Frigate South Carolina & Cutting Lunt, Sailing Master of the Frigate Bon Homme Richard, Pt. IV - Additional Information -" and dated "10/26/2016". They were captured at different times but, were both released in a prisoner cartel at generally the same time. This specific event will be further addressed later in this post as it figures heavily into the two men meeting again, strictly by chance.)
This information seems to be further confirmed by Ervin's work, South Carolinians in the Revolution, page 87, on which appears a list entitled "List of Military Prisoners at Plymouth" in which the name of "Daniel Russell" also appears. the reference to "Plymouth" is almost certainly a reference to the Old Mill Prison in Plymouth, England which is recorded as having held prisoners-of-war captured by the Royal Navy during the American Revolution.
No reference to this captivity during the American Revolution appears in the pension application of Daniel Russell. Of course, once again, the pension application was made out and filed by his widow, Sarah Susannah Cross Russell, well after his death on May 10, 1824. He may have never mentioned it for one reason or another. Possibly, when she was drawing up the pension application, she may have forgotten about it or felt that it was insignificant or irrelevant to the actual pension application. For whatever reason, the fact of the captivity of Daniel Russell is never recorded or even alluded to in his pension application.
Thus, Daniel Russell would have returned to America as part of a prisoner cartel. In many of the past posts which form a portion of this overall blog, these prisoner cartels usually ran between England and France. Many of the first crew and marines of the frigate South Carolina were recently released prisoners who had found their way to France by means of one of these prisoner cartels and then signed on board the frigate South Carolina in an effort to return home to America. But, it seems that the later cartels transported their incarcerated American charges across the Atlantic Ocean and released them in either Philadelphia, PA or at Dobbs Ferry, just north of British-held New York City. From the "City of Brotherly Love", these newly released American prisoners would have had to make their own way home. For Daniel Russell, this would have been easy because a South Carolina state ship lay in the harbor of Philadelphia, PA when he arrived in the city. That ship was the frigate South Carolina. Thus, his signing on board the frigate South Carolina was possibly more an act of wanting to get home conveniently and quickly rather than wanting to continue his participation in the conflict that was winding down.
Richard Wall also arrived in Philadelphia, PA at around the same time, probably on board of a different prisoner cartel but, possibly as part of the same cartel that carried Daniel Russell back to his homeland. All the sources are silent on this issue. This arrival is recorded in the supporting evidence he provided in order for the widow of Daniel Russell to secure his pension application after his death on May 10, 1824. Richard Wall cited in his supporting document that:
"...he [Richard Wall] further saith that afterwards he on his return to America he again met the said Daniel [Russell], on board the armed South Carolina in the service of the Colonies of the said Ship after the War was over [Daniel] Russell he returned to Charleston and married his present widow, Deponent continued on intimate terms with him until his [Daniel Russell's] death...".
It is interesting to the writer of this blog to note that Daniel Russell and Richard Wall would have known each other on board the Continental frigate Bon Homme Richard under the command of Captain John Paul Jones and would later both serve on board the frigate South Carolina under the command of Commodore Alexander Gillon. Yet, so much had happened to both of these men between these two separate services in the patriot naval forces of the rebelling colonies. Still, it is remarkable that these two men, both from Charleston, SC, would have met again after so long a space of time in the middle colony port of Philadelphia, PA on board of a ship-of-war in the service of the state of South Carolina. Such is the irony of war...
But, the next issue is the length of time that these two men served on board the frigate South Carolina. Most probably, the prisoner cartel or cartels carrying Daniel Russell and Richard Wall would have arrived in Philadelphia, PA early in the summer of 1782. Both probably signed on board the frigate relatively soon after their arrival in Philadelphia, PA and after hearing of the frigate South Carolina being in the harbor of the city. But, the next significant event concerning the frigate South Carolina was her departure from the harbor of Philadelphia, PA and her subsequent capture just off the Capes of the Delaware on December 21, 1782. But, only one of these two men would have their names recorded on one of the three prisoner rosters written by the pursers of the three British men-of-war that actually captured the frigate South Carolina. According to Middlebrook's work, The Frigate "South Carolina", page 21, the name of Richard Wall appears as a midshipman recorded on the prisoner roster maintained by the purser of the HMS Astraea. He and all the other members of the officers, NCOs, and enlisted men of the crew and marines of the frigate South Carolina who were carried into New York City harbor on board HMS Astraea are cited as being "...discharged December 27, 1782 Prison Ship New York...". As an officer, Richard Wall would most probably have been discharged on parole on Long Island, which was the fate of the other officers carried into New York City harbor on board HMS Diomede and HMS Quebec. The fact that this distinction is not made for any of the prisoner-of-war American officers carried on board HMS Astraea may just be a sign of negligence or oversight by the recording purser of HMS Astraea. But, the name Daniel Russell does not appear at all on any of the lists for any of the three British men-of-war that carried the captured crew and marines of the frigate South Carolina into New York City harbor that fateful day in December 1782.
There may be a few reasons for this absence of Daniel Russell's name from the prisoner-of-war lists collected by the purser of each of the Royal Navy men-of-war. First, it could possibly just be an error of omission. His name could have simply been omitted or possibly even deleted from the list for an unspecified reason. According to Middlebrook's work, The Frigate "South Carolina", page 20, the only other captured individual who is recorded in the capacity of purser was David Porter who was transported to New York City harbor on board HMS Diomede and was paroled along with the officers on Long Island on December 28, 1782. Thus, it is completely possible that Daniel Russell's name was omitted for some reason and he ended up in the relative safety of Long Island instead of the disease-ridden prison "hulks" moored in Wallabout Bay, NY. As far as reference by his widow in his pension application to either or both of these imprisonments is concerned, if Daniel Russell failed to mention the first imprisonment he endured after the capture of the privateer Black Princess, then he would have as likely not mentioned his second imprisonment after the capture of the frigate South Carolina.
A second possible reason for his name not appearing among the three prisoner-of-war lists is that he might have left the service of the frigate South Carolina prior to the sailing of the frigate South Carolina on it's final voyage. It is possible that he signed on for a short period of time and that period may have expired prior to the final cruise of the frigate. When Daniel Russell's time enlistment had expired, he would have simply left the frigate and found another way home, possibly in the company of Alexander Gillon who set out at some point in November 1782 for Charleston, SC. It is also possible that Daniel Russell, in the capacity of purser, may have journeyed south to his home city with Lieutenant John Mayrant and Captain of Marines Michael Kalteissen on recruiting duty. These two men were dispatched earlier by Commodore Gillon to recruit more sailors and marines as it was expected that the frigate South Carolina would arrive in Charleston, SC needing more crew members. The reason for this information not being recorded in his pension application is again that his widow drew up the application and might not have remembered this detail or may have never heard of it at all.
One piece of factual evidence we know for sure was that Daniel Russell was not numbered among the few deaths experienced by the crew and marines of the frigate South Carolina during her desperate flight from the three British men-of-war that finally captured her on December 20-21, 1782 just off the Capes of the Delaware. According to Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, page 94, "...what casualties there were in this battle, some six killed and wounded, were suffered by the South Carolina sailors aloft, a good indication of where the British cannoneers were aiming...". We can definitively state that Daniel Russell was not among the killed on board the frigate South Carolina because there are other sources that state that he returned to Charleston, SC after the conclusion of the American Revolution, married Sarah Susannah Cross, raised two daughters, served as witness to a few wills being probated, and died on May 10, 1824. Daniel Russell was certainly alive and well at the cessation of hostilities with Great Britain and ready to return to his home land and resume his life as a civilian. As all evidence indicates, he did exactly that.
Another item at issue concerning Daniel Russell was his true rank and rating on board the frigate South Carolina during his service on board the frigate. Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, the section entitled "Appendix: Crew and Marines of the South Carolina", page 164, lists him as follows:
Daniel Russell "no position given"
This seems strange because so many of the others sources cite some type of rank or rating for Daniel Russell. But, all of these documents address service on board of other ships-of-war prior to his service on board the frigate South Carolina. Thus, all the documentation concerning the rank and rating of Daniel Russell comes from his naval services prior to his actual service on board the frigate South Carolina. But, these should also act as an type of indicator of his position on board the frigate at a latter date. A sailor, even one desperate to get home, would be very unlikely to accept a rank lower than a previously held rank or rating, just to obtain a berth on board a ship to reach home. According to Moss's work, Roster of South Carolina Patriots, page 838, the following is stated concerning Daniel Russell:
"...he [Daniel Russell] enlisted as a steward and master's mate aboard the frigate Bon Homme Richard under Capt. John Paul Jones...".
A steward is a kind of personal servant who is entrusted with the security of an officer's personal effects and possessions. Thus, he must be an individual of integrity who is trusted to not steal from the officer they serve. Also, a master's mate is a skill, experienced sailor, usually an able seaman (at least three years nautical experience) who assists a master in the performance of his duties. Thus, from these two descriptions of the ratings of Daniel Russell who know that he was an individual who was skilled and trusted on board of the frigate Bon Homme Richard.
Later on, after his service on board the frigate Bon Homme Richard under Captain John Paul Jones, Daniel Russell would serve on board the "French" privateer Black Princess. According to Kaminkow's work, Mariners of the American Revolution, page 165, the following information is recorded for Daniel Russell:
Daniel Russell (of Carolina) - he was a prize master on board the Black Prince or Black Princess.
A "prize master" was the nautical terminology for an individual who was placed on board of a captured enemy vessel in order to take it into a friendly port city where it could be disposed of and the captain and crew of the capturing vessel receive the prize money for the sale of the seized ship and whatever cargo it was carrying at the time of its capture. For an individual to be named as a "prize master" would have indicated that he was experienced in handling unfamiliar vessels and taking them into a port for "condemnation" and sale. He would have been an accomplished sailor and skilled in the many facets of the operation of a sailing vessel. As far as the writer of this blog is aware, this is the only instance in which Daniel Russell is referred to as a "prize master". Again, this was after his service on board the frigate Bon Homme Richard and prior to his service on board the frigate South Carolina. It would be this service on board the Black Princess that would lead directly to his capture and subsequent imprisonment in Old Mill Prison until April 1782.
One, last piece of information we have concerning the possible rank or rating of Daniel Russell comes from the pension application that was filed by his widow, Sarah Susannah Cross Russell, on August 21, 1838. According to the "Pension Application of Daniel Russell W9274", page 1, his widow, Sarah Susannah Cross Russell confirmed that:
"...she is the widow of Daniel Russell, deceased who was a Purser Stewart [Steward] and also acted as assistant sailing master or Master mate on board the Frigate Bon Homme Richard and served under John Paul Jones during the revolutionary war...".
This agrees at least in part with Moss's citation above where Daniel Russell is referred to as "...a steward and master's mate..." while he was on board the Continental Navy frigate Bon Homme Richard under Captain John Paul Jones. This entry constitutes the only reference to Daniel Russell having served as a Purser except for the supporting documentation supplied by Richard Wall. This documentation provides that following information concerning Daniel Russell:
"...he [Daniel Russell] was one of the crew of the Bon Homme Richard he shipped on board the said Vessel as Purser, Steward and also served in the capacity of assistant Sailing Master or Masters Mate...".
Obviously, there was some degree of cooperation between the widow of Daniel Russell, Sarah Susannah Cross Russell, and Richard Wall, former Cadet of Marines on board the Bon Homme Richard, in drawing up this statement proven by the fact that the details of the two separate statements so closely match each other. Both statements are very specific concerning the ratings held by Daniel Russell on board the frigate Bon Homme Richard and under the command of Captain John Paul Jones. But, these same statements are more vague and uncertain concerning the subsequent cruises and naval engagements that Daniel Russell participated in after his service on board the frigate Bon Homme Richard during the American Revolution. Whether these two statements were "fabricated" in a cooperative manner between the widow of Daniel Russell and the life-long friend of the same man or if there is some degree of truth in these statements of service of Daniel Russell is somewhat difficult to discern. This may possibly never be wholly confirmed.
In summation, in the humble opinion of the writer of this blog, it is believed that Daniel Russell was certainly more than an "Able Seaman", which would have meant, in the 18th century use of the term, that he had more than three years nautical experience and was generally viewed as a competent, skilled sailor. Many sailor never rose beyond this rating, even with many additional years of service in the naval forces of a country. But, it would seem that Daniel Russell did indeed rise beyond this rating, probably to a rating of Petty Officer of some sort. He was more than likely literate. This is simply an assumption drawn from the fact that his widow, Sarah Susannah Cross Russell actually signed his pension application rather than "making her mark" on the document in the form of an "X", which the latter is a good indication of illiteracy. The assumption here being that since Sarah Susannah Cross Russell was literate that her husband would have been likewise literate. Thus, he could have held the position of Purser, which would have entailed duties on board a ship associated with a modern-day accountant. He, too, could have been an individual poised and refined enough to be desired as a Steward to an officer or group of officers. If Daniel Russell was skilled enough at sailing, he could have been an assistant Sailing Master or another form of Master's Mate on board the frigate Bon Homme Richard. Later on in the American Revolution, after his services on board the frigate Bon Homme Richard, this knowledge would have qualified him to act as a "Prize Master" on board the French privateer Black Princess, a service that would have ultimately have lead to Daniel Russell's capture and imprisonment in Old Mill Prison in Plymouth, England. If he was skilled in the manner described here, when he reached Philadelphia, PA as part of a prisoner cartel and wanted to ultimately reach home, Daniel Russell would have appeared very attractive to Commodore Alexander Gillon as a potential recruit for the frigate South Carolina. At this point in the life of the frigate South Carolina, Commodore Gillon was desperately in need of skilled crew members and marines to fill up his roster so that the patriot ship-of-war could get back to sea once again and hunt for prizes. Skilled, knowledgeable, literate, and, most likely, self-confident - Daniel Russell would have easily signed on board the frigate South Carolina.
(Note: In his supporting statement attached to the "Pension Application of Daniel Russell W9274", Richard Wall's selection of words seems to indicate that Daniel Russell actually reached Philadelphia, PA and signed on board the frigate South Carolina prior to Richard Wall doing the same. According to the supporting statement by Richard Wall:
"...he [Richard Wall] further saith that afterwards he on his return to America he again met the said Daniel [Russell], on board the armed South Carolina in the service of the Colonies of the said Ship...".
This would seem to imply that after Richard Wall was signed on board the frigate South Carolina as a midshipman, he subsequently met and renewed his acquaintance with Daniel Russell, who evidently had already signed on board the frigate South Carolina at some earlier date. Still, there remains the issue as to why the name of Midshipman Richard Wall appears on the prisoner-of-war lists compiled after the capture of the frigate South Carolina on December 21, 1782 and the name of Daniel Russell does not appear.)
At some point in time, most probably after the cessation of hostilities with Great Britain in 1783, Daniel Russell returned to and resumed his life in Charleston, SC. There is not much information concerning Daniel Russell and his activities and life after his return to civilian life in Charleston, SC. He resumed his relationship with Sarah Susannah Cross, whom he had known since childhood, and eventually married her on August 8, 1784. Within the next two and one half years, the naval veteran and his wife would have two daughters - Mary Elizabeth born on July 25, 1785 and Ann born on December 25, 1786. The only other information on both of these daughters is recorded in a note recorded above. Daniel Russell must have been active in the social life of the Charleston, SC community in the years after the conclusion of the war. According to Moore's work, Abstracts of Wills of Charleston District, South Carolina, page 386, he served as a witness to a will being probated for one John Coon of St. George's Parish, Dorchester. According to his pension application, "Pension Application of Daniel Russell W9274", page 1, Daniel Russell "...departed this life on the 10th of May in the year 1824 and since his death she [Sarah Susannah Cross Russell] hath never been again married. When Sarah Susannah Cross Russell signed her name to the pension aplication "...before the Honorable Jacob Axson Recorder of the City of Charleston & Judge of the City Court..." it was August 21, 1838 and she had been a widow for over fourteen years. Unfortunately, Sarah Susannah Cross Russell must have fallen on hard times and felt the need to apply for compensation through her deceased husband's naval services during the American Revolution. She concludes her portion of the pension application with the following verbage:
"This Declarant humbly craves the consideration of her claim for the benefit of the aforesaid Act of Congress, and accompanying testimony to prove the Services of her said husband now deceased, and also the benefit of any further proofs that may be derived from the Records of the Department in Washington.".
But, ultimately, Sarah Susannah Cross Russell, the widow of Daniel Russell, mariner on both the frigate Bon Homme Richard and the frigate South Carolina, must have seen her desires for a comfortable existence in the autumn years of her life fulfilled. The pension application bears a numerical designation of "W9274". The initial letter of "W" means "widow" and indicates that the pension application was granted to a surviving family member of a veteran of the American Revolution. Hopefully, the amount sought by her was enough to make her life comfortable as she herself neared the end of her mortal existence there in Charleston, SC, the city where she and her husband, Daniel Russell, had both grown up together.
Daniel Russell had served his fledgling country at the moment of it's greatest need in a most commendable manner by any standards. He had served first on board the Continental Navy frigate Bon Homme Richard under the command of Captain John Paul Jones. He was present on board that same ship-of-war at the famous engagement between the frigate Bon Homme Richard and HMS Serapis which resulted in a patriot victory and lost Jones his flagship. Later, Daniel Russell served on board a French-commissioned privateer, the Black Princess, was evidently captured on board this vessel, and committed to Old Mill Prison until April 1782, when he was returned to the United States in a prisoner cartel. Once in Philadelphia, PA, Daniel Russell found the frigate South Carolina and signed on board the frigate, ostensibly in order to get home to Charleston, SC. But, indications are that he did not sail on the frigate's final, fateful voyage which culminated in her capture off the Capes of the Delaware on December 21, 1782. We do not know for sure what he was doing or even where he was located at this period in time. We do know that at some point later he reappeared in Charleston, SC and resumed his civilian life, marrying a long-time friend and raising a family with her. He died on May 10, 1824 at the age of sixty-five years old. Again, by any standards, Daniel Russell had lived a heroic life in service to his country. In his early years, this service was of a martial nature against the enemies of America on the high seas. But, later on, after the war's conclusion, he lived out his civilian life in an equally commendable manner, raising a family and laboring in the new society that he had helped to found by fighting for it. His final service was to his widow, Sarah Susannah Cross Russell, in that his service provided the factual evidence for her to apply for a pension based on his naval services to the newly independent United States of America. His service to his country was based in his life and his services to his widow continued well beyond his death. Service both in life and in death. Rest in Peace, Daniel Russell, thy warfare is o'er... Well done!