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Guest Contributors...            Edwin R. Scollon
 

Researching Lake Champlain...
The Valcour Bay Research Project- XII (b)

Lieut. Thomas Rogers

 


LCMM Researcher and Associate George Quintal discovered a centuries-old, widow’s tribute to her fallen patriot husband in Westford’s Fairview Cemetery.  Roger Harwood captured the essence of the monument on a cold Spring day in April, 2003

 

Historian and genealogist George Quintal has studied the lives of Revolutionary soldiers for nearly three decades.  Concentrating his efforts on participants the war’s northern campaigns, he has identified hundreds of individuals who served the Valcour fleet. 

In the pension records of Jonas Holden, Mr. Quintal uncovered a first-hand account of the tragic misfiring of one of the fleet’s cannon.  In 1835, Holden recounted his wartime injuries to a pension officer:

“The first battle I was in was at Concord, 19 April 1775.  The next, was at Bunker Hill, where I was wounded by a musket shot thru the thigh.  The next was on Lake Champlain under Arnold, on board a gundola, where I was again wounded on the right arm and side, by the bursting of a cannon” ¹ 

Mr. Quintal was surprised to discover a second reference to the exploding cannon during a later, research effort.   He found it in Westford, Massachusetts’ Fairview Cemetery, in the timeless lament of a patriot’s young widow.  There, Mrs. Molly Rogers had erected a monument to her fallen husband, Lt. Thomas Rogers:

 

Drawn by Adam Loven from a rubbing by Edwin
Scollon. LCMM Collection
 


 

Lt. Rogers' stone is in remarkably good condition. The moving inscription can still be easily read. Click the thumbnail at left to see a photo of Ed Scollon doing a rubbing of the memorial.

Once aware of the cannon’s discovery in Valcour Bay, Mr. Quintal shared the stories of Jonas Holden and Thomas Rogers with VBRP members.  His research brought the Valcour discoveries into context with historical record and presented VBRP members with a means to gain exciting new perspectives of the site’s artifact scatter.

Mr. Quintal later expressed the significance of his discoveries:

“I found this stone as part of a long-term project I was involved in at the time to find the gravestone of every Valcour veteran. This all dovetailed with my project of reading the entire 2670 roll U.S. Revolutionary War pension set to find the names of all possible Valcour veterans, among others. This is where the Jonas Holden pension emerged. Finding the two together was the single most exciting and rewarding moment of my entire twenty-seven years of research.  Your discovery of the exact same cannon mentioned by Holden was so truly astounding that ‘serendipity’ was surely at work.”²

The members of the Valcour Bay Research Project couldn’t agree more and are grateful to Mr. Quintal for his meticulous research and his contributions to the Valcour project.

Continued here: Mrs. Molly Rogers

Back to the VBRP HOME PAGE

 

 
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Other links about Valcour Island and the Battle of Valcour within
The Lake Champlain and Lake George Historical Site

The Battle of Lake Champlain
: The American Revolution on Lake Champlain

Sources/Notes:

¹ Pension Records of Jonas Holden.  Roll 1306 of M804, National Archives.  Selected documents available on Westford Colonial Minutemen Website:

² George Quintal, personal communication, January 2003.

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