The Bravery of Captain William Scott


Other Scott Family Information

Thank you to researcher Janice Farnsworth for her kind permission to reprint her original posting about one branch of the Scott family, formerly of Groton, Massachusetts. Part of Janice's info includes a description of a heroic sea rescue made by Capt. William Scott, who passed away at Litchfield, Herkimer County, in the early days of the town's settlement by New Englanders. This info was originally shared with the mailing list on June 7, 2000.

Subject: Capt. William Scott of Groton, MA
Source: "Groton Historical Series" by Dr. Samuel A. Green Vol IV 1899


Capt. William Scott was a son of John Scott and Mary (Chamberlin) Scott of Groton, MA. He was born on July 1, 1742.

"The Boston Gazette and the Country Journal," July 16, 1792
On the third page is printed in a long extract from "a Philadelphia paper of July 2, 1792," giving an account of a severe hurricane that swept over the eastern part of Pennsylvania on July 1. The storm did much damage in Philadelphia and its neighborhood, but fortunately there was no great loss of life. At the end of the extract the following episode is given, with some editorial comment by the Boston Gazette within brackets, as here printed: -

"Since writing the above account, we further learn, that a boat from this city (Boston) to the Jersey shore was overset within fifty rods of Samuel Cowper's Wharff. There were in the boat Capt. (William) Scott, Mr. Blake, his wife and four small children, a young woman, and Mr. Betis, in all nine persons, none of whom could swim but Capt. Scott."

"The Captain, by the most astonishing and praise-worthy exertions, was able, providentially, to save them all. He swam ashore with one child hanging around his neck, and one to each arm; and he returned to the boat amidst the boisterous waves raging in a furious and frightful manner, and brought the others, who had with much difficulty held by the boat, safe to the land."

"For the honor of Captain Scott, an old and valiant soldier, a Son of Massachusetts, this circumstance should be handed down to posterity." [The above mentioned hero, is Capt. William Scott, of Groton (MA) in this Commonwealth; and an invalid officer of the United States. At the commencement of the late war in the Battle of Bunker's Hill he received several wounds, was taken prisoner, and confined in gaol in this town, when in possession of the British and suffered much mal- treatment.]"

The "Columbian Centinel" (Boston), July 14, 1792, also mentions the same incident, but does not give so many particulars:

"William Scott was a son of John and Mary (Chamberlin) Scott of Groton, where he was born on July 1, 1742. It will be noticed that the act of heroism was performed on his own birthday, on the day when he was fifty years old, and this fact may have incited him to make special exertions. During the Revolutionary War he saw much military service, and at one time was in the navy. For a sketch of his life, see Dr. Albert Smith's "History of Peterborough, New Hampshire (p. 248 of 2nd Part). His death took place at Litchfield, New York on Sept. 19, 1796 at the age of 54 years."

Groton Marriages - "History of Groton" by Caleb Butler, p.434

John Scott and Mary
Mary Scott b. April 11, 1733
John Scott b. Dec 15, 1736
Thomas Scott b. Mar 1, 1738/9
William Scott b. July 1, 1742
Aaron Scott b. Aug 1, 1744
Abigail Scott b. June 3, 1747

Subject: John Scott of Groton Source: "Groton Founders Series Book Two" by Elinor Skeate, p.62

Robert Conant b. before Feb 2, 1755 son of Rachel Hobart and Josiah Conant. Rachel Hobart b. 1725, Groton dau of Shebuel Hobart and Martha Prescott. Josiah Conant b. abt 1722/23 - both died at Pepperell, MA He was the son of Robert Conant.

Robert Conant was born at Pepperell, MA and died Nov 14, 1776 military service. He m. before 1775 to Ruth _____. She m. (2) John Scott, Jr. b. Dec 15, 1736 at Groton, MA son of John Scott and Mary (Chamberlain) Scott. By Robert Conant she had one child. She m. (3) Capt. Jonathan Keep b. 1745 at Westford, MA son of Capt. Jabez and Sarah Keep, who m. first July 26, 1769 at Westford, MA Hannah Hildreth who d. at Pepperell. (see p. 456 - History of Westford, MA by Rev. Hodgman 1882)

p.456 -" Hist. of Westford"

Jonathan Keep b. 1745 8th child of Capt. Jabez Keep and Sarah Keep of Westford, MA. Jonathan Keep m. Hannah Hildreth 1769 and had:
1. Hannah Keep b. 1770 m. Isaiah Hall of Groton, 1788
2. Abigail Keep b. 1771
3. Jonathan Keep Jr. b. 1773
4. Charlotte Keep b. 1775
5. Sylvia Keep b. 1777 at Harvard
6. John Keep b. 1779 m. Lucy Fletcher
7. Samuel Keep b. 1781
8. Susanna Keep b. 1783
9. Imla Keep b. 1785
10 & 11. Luther and Lucinda Keep, twins b. 1787
12. Matilda Keep b. 1789.

Note: Shubael Hobart Jr. brother of Rachel Hobart who m. Josiah Conant m. Esther Parker dau of Lieut Isaac Parker, Esther b. 1714.

Materials gathered and transcribed by Janice Farnsworth.

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Created 6/10/00
Copyright © 2000 Janice Farnsworth
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