The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Thought to be dead, Thomas was held on a prison ship

THOMAS DOUGLAS, who was born about 1750, was living in New Fairfield, Conn., a few years prior to the Revolutionary war. His wife Eleanor SEELEY, was born in New Fairfield, May 21, 1754. Probably they were married in 1771. In 1773 or 1774, while their first child was an infant, they removed to Pownal, Vt.

At the breaking out of the Revolution, in 1775, Thomas DOUGLAS entered the army as a volunteer, and marched to Boston, Mass. His first engagement was at Bunker Hill, where he fell, mortally wounded, as a neighbor of his who had accompanied him reported to his wife. She mourned his loss for more than three years, and then married William STEWART, by whom she had one son, William.

After the close of the war, Mrs. STEWARD was sitting one day knitting or sewing, with her two children, Ebenezer DOUGLAS, aged about eight years, and William STEWART, aged about three, playing near by when Thomas DOUGLAS walked into the house. The scene which ensued Ebenezer never forgot, and he related it many years afterward to his descendants.

It appeared that Thomas had not been wounded, but stunned by a ball striking the buckle of his cross-belt, and not recovering until the patriots had been swept from their advanced position, he became a prisoner in the hands of the British. He was sent to the infamous prison-ship at Halifax, N.S., where he was confined during the entire war, not being allowed to communicate with his family*, or let them know of his whereabouts.

At the close of the war he was released, and coming home found like Enoch Arden, that his wife had supposed him dead, and had married again. An arrangement was made whereby Mr. STEWART paid Mr. DOUGLAS a certain sum for the property which had come by his wife, and the latter retired to Prescott, Ca., leaving his wife to procure in due form a bill of separation for desertion.

Mrs. STEWART finally removed with her children to Ticonderoga, NY, where she died, Dec. 5, 1822. She had but one child by Thomas DOUGLAS.

The above article is taken from A Collection Of Family Records, With Biographical Sketches, And Other Memoranda of Various Families And Individuals Bearing The Name DOUGLAS or Allied to Families of That Name. Compiled and Edited by CHARLES HENRY JAMES DOUGLAS, (c) 1879.

Can anyone tell me who this Thomas Douglas was?

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