171. MAJ. THOMAS YOUNGS6 SEYMOUR (Thomas5, Thomas4, Thomas3, John2, Richard1), born at Hartford, Conn., 19 June 1757, died there 16 May 1811: married first, 1781, his cousin, MARY ANN3 LEDYARD, born at Groton, Conn., 16 Feb. 1763, died at Hartford, 9 Mar. 1782, daughter of Col. William2 (John1) and Anne (Williams); married second, 30 Oct. 1784, SUSAN BULL, born about 1763, died at Hadley, Mass., 9 Jan. 1846, daughter of Amos and Mindwell (Pease).
Thomas Y. Seymour was graduated from Yale College in 1777. In January of his senior year, he was offered a commission by Col. Elisha Sheldon in the Second Continental Regiment of Dragoons, and accepted it, serving after his graduation in that organization during the summer and fall of 1777 and 1778, being with General Gates in the Northern Department. His military record is:
Lieutenant, January 10, 1777: Captain, October 20, 1777 in Colonel Sheldon's Light Dragoons; detached with his company to serve under Gates in Burgoyne's campaign and actively engaged. Resigned, 23 November, 1778. Member of the Society of the Cincinnati.
He participated actively in the Battle of Saratoga and at the Surrender of Burgoyne, acting as an aid on the staff of General Benedict Arnold. His company was called “the Blacks” from the color of their horses.
Col. Thomas Seymour of Hartford, afterwards the First Mayor, wrote to Governor Trumbull, 22 Sept. 1777.
I have the Honor to inclose your Excellency Copy of my Sons Letter, &
hope it may give some pleasure & Satisfaction– I am with very great
The enclosed letter, a copy of that written from Camp by Thomas Y. Seymour, reads:
I now attempt to give a relation of an Engag[e]ment between the Enemys
whole Force & Genl. Arnolds Division, it began in the morning of the 19th.
instant between some Advanced Parties till noon, soon after which it became
General, and an unusual Fire continued the whole day, we obliging the Enemy
to quit the Field for three times, though they obstinately contended to keep
possession of it, – the Action was Bloody & would undoubtedly have been
decided, had not the Night parted us.–in the Course of the day 1000 were killed
of the Enemy, & 46 taken Prisoners all british Troops, as they were in Front,
& we lost in the above Action 34 kill'd 120 wounded & missing.–Some officers
of Distinction were lost on our side, such as two Colonels and some of a
less degree, the Militia of our State was engaged, & behaved bravely–Capt
Wadsworth of Hartford in particular has done himself eternal Honor, tho'
I am afraid [the] good man is mortally wounded–One of Mr Tucker's Sons
was instantly killed after acting the soldier.–Our Tents are all Struck, and
we momently expect to put an end to the Warr in this department, god
grant us success in a day so big with Jmportant Events–Genl Lincoln is in
the Rear of the Enemy, & will disappoint all possible hopes of their Retreat;
their Situation, a[s] I observed in a former Letter is desperate, for they
fought as if it was so, yet the Spirit of our Troops & Consciousness of the
Justice of our Cause made us an Overmatch for them–The Army still
Continue in Spirits and are doubly animated from the late Engag[e]ment–
I still Continue to be in health notwithstanding I experience great fatigues–
I am &c–
P.S. Various Reports say Genl Burgoyne recd. a fatal Shot in the Action
abovementioned–we are this day joined by 200 Indians of the Onoiada Tribe
& with the Riflemen are now gone to beat up the Enemys quarters–This
Letter I hope will be excused as it was written on my knee under Arms–
Camp advanced of Still Water Sepr 20th 1777.”
Burgoyne's letter to Gen. Gates, 14 Nov. 1777, which got him into such very hot water with the Continental Congress, was transmitted by Captain Seymour.
After the surrender of Burgoyne, he was selected by Gen. Gates to escort the captive general to Boston, and performed this delicate duty so much to Burgoyne's satisfaction that at the end of the trip he presented him with a magnificent saddle and leopard skin saddle cloth and a brace of silver mounted pistols, which Captain Seymour always took pleasure in using when in command of the Governor's Horse Guards of which he was one of the original members and its second commander.
In Trumbull's picture of the “Surrender of Burgoyne,” hanging in the rotunda of the Capitol at Washington, Captain Seymour is represented in the foreground mounted on a black charger.
He resigned from the army in November, 1778, and took up the study of law in the City of Philadelphia. It is said that he visited Europe during this year, and devoted his particular attention to the study of military science in France. In 1780 he returned to Hartford and began the practice of law, having been admitted to the bar in that year. He acted as State's Attorney for Hartford County from 1796 to 1807, and represented the Town of Hartford in the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut at six sessions between 1795 and 1806. He was an active member in and one of the Committee of Correspondents in 1791 in an Anti-Slavery Society then existing in Connecticut, organized and carried on for the purpose of accomplishing the abolition of slavery in this country.
In 1787, a proposal was made to establish a volunteer troop of cavalry in Hartford County, to be called the Governor's Horse Guards, to be composed of some of the officers of the late army. Major Seymour was for some years commander of this organization, which included some of the wealthiest and most prominent citizens of Hartford, resigning in 1796.
In 1807 his health failed him, his mind becoming unbalanced, and he retired from business, never to return. He died May 16, 1811, at Hartford, aged fifty-four years.
A miniature of Major Seymour, painted by Trumbull in 1792 is in the Trumbull Collection in the Yale Art School and is illustrated herein.
Susan Bull Seymour, the second wife of Major Seymour, after his death applied for a pension, and in support of her claim filed, as she was required, affidavits to properly prove her right to same, which affidavits are on file in the Pension Office at Washington.
“I, Susan Seymour, formerly Susan Bull, hereby certify that the annexed
record taken from my Prayer Book is a true record of my marriage to
Thomas Y. Seymour, and the oldest record I possess.
(Signed) Susan Seymour.
Sworn to, etc.”
Then follows a page cut out of an old prayer book, being Psalter for the thirtieth day, Psalms CXLVIII, CXLIX and CL, and in a woman's hand writing an entry in ink as follows:
“Thomas Y. Seymour married to Susan Bull, 30 Oct., 1784.
Tho. S. Seymour, born 6 Sept., 1785.
Mary Ann Seymour, born 16 June. 1789.
John Jay Seymour, born 5 Oct., 1791.
Charlotte Ann Seymour, born 19 Oct., 1794.
James Davenport Seymour, born 19 Dec., 1797,
who died 2 June, 1802.
Susan Elizabeth Seymour, born 6 May, 1800.
James Edward Seymour, born 21 Dec., 1802.
Egbert Davenport Seymour, born 9 Oct., 1806.”
In addition, she filed the following:
“Being requested on behalf of Mrs. Seymour, widow of Thomas Y.
Seymour, Esqr., late of Hartford, deceased. to state what I know respecting
the said Seymour having served in the American Army during the Revolutionary
War, do say, that all the information I have was derived from said
Seymour himself with whom I was in habits of friendly intercourse for many
years after the war. Major Seymour told me that he belonged to the Army
of 1776, and served in New York in the memorable campaign of that year.
That he belonged to the Northern Army in 1777 and was present at the surrender
of Burgoyne, and that he then commanded the only troop of horse that
belonged to that army. That he escorted the British officers to their station
in the neighborhood of Boston, and that he received from Gen. Burgoyne a
present of a very beautiful leopard skin to be used as a cover for the saddle
in testimony of the General's estimation of the civil and obliging manner in
which he performed his duty. The leopard skin I have often seen Major
Seymour use while commanding the Horse Guards in this town. And I
further say that according to my recollection, I have heard Major Seymour
say he retired from the Army in the year 1778 and entered upon the study
of the law.”
Hartford, Aug. 13, 1838.
(Signed) Nathl. Terry.
Sworn to, etc.
New Haven, 11 Aug., 1836.
Mr. Jesse Charlton,
Your letter of the 9th is received, and in reply I have to say that I left
the service in February, 1777, about the time that Col. Sheldon's Regiment of
Light Horse (in which Mr. T. Y. Seymour commanded a company of troop),
was raised. I therefore had personally no knowledge of his military service.
But his reputation for gallantry and faithful conduct was such and so unquestioned
that I felt myself perfectly justified in introducing his portrait in the
picture of the Surrender of Burgoyne, and I have not the smallest doubt that
his widow has a just title to whatever compensation the Government of the
United States are accustomed to bestow upon the widows of their meritorious
deceased officers of the Revolutionary War. With hearty wishes that Mrs.
Seymour's application may be successful, I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
(Signed) Jno. Trumbull.
The will of Susan Seymour of Bridgeport, Conn., dated 31 Dec. 1838, proved in Hampshire County, Mass., 5 May 1846, gave all her property to her daughter, Mary Ann Woodbridge, wife of Rev. John. At the time of her death, she was of Hadley where she had been spending her declining years at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Woodbridge. A daughter, Charlotte Ann Clark, appealed from the proving of the will; the testator had become insane and was sent to Worcester in 1843.
|Children by second wife:|
|262.||i.||THOMAS S.7, b. 6 Sept. 1785.|
|ii.||MARY ANN, b. 16 June 1789; d. at Hadley, Mass., 16 Jan. 1858; m. at Hartford, 4 May 1814, REV. JOHN7 WOODBRIDGE, D.D., b. at Southampton, Mass., 24 Dec. 1784, d. at Waukegan, Ill., 26 Sept. 1869, s. of Dr. Sylvester6 (John5, John4, John3, John2, John1) and Mindwell (Lyman). Nine children.1)|
|iii.||JOHN JAY, b. 5 Oct. 1791; supposed to have been drowned while escaping from a British vessel in Chesapeake Bay, having been impressed into the British service.|
|iv.||CHARLOTTE ANN, b. 19 Oct. 1794; d. at Colorado Springs, Colo., 13 July 1873; m. at Hartford, 23 May 1816, MAJ. NATHAN CLARK of Cincinnati, Ohio, b. 7 May 1789, d. at Fort Winnebago, Mich., 18 Feb. 1836. He was in the War of 1812, where be distinguished himself, and brevet Major for ten years' meritorious service. Six children.|
|v.||JAMES DAVENPORT, b. 19 Dec. 1797; d. 2 June 1802.|
|vi.||SUSAN ELIZABETH, b. 6 May 1800; d. at Brooklyn, N.Y., 11 Feb. 1879; m. 15 Nov. 1820, STEPHEN HOPKINS FULLER, M.D., b. at Vershire, Vt., 20 Apr. 1791, d. 25 Apr. 1865, s. of Rev. Stephen and Phebe (Thurston).|
|1.||Lydia Marion, b. 9 Dec. 1821.|
|2.||Mary Ann Seymour, b. 7 Mar. 1824, d. 22 Aug. 1846.|
|3.||Robert James, b. 18 Apr. 1827, d. 1 Nov. 1860; m. Nov. 1856, Eleanor Norton Williams.|
|4.||Helen Maria, b. 10 Apr. 1830, d. 8 June 1845.|
|5.||George McKean, b. 31 Jan. 1833; m. 22 Oct. 1857, Mary Ann Batterson.|
|6.||Stephen Edward, b. 8 Dec. 1836; used the Seymour wings on his seal in 1880; res. Brooklyn, N.Y.; m. (1) Julia Seymour Comstock; m. (2) 7 Feb. 1872, Jeannie M. Keyes.|
|7.||Joseph Egbert, b. 24 Feb. 1840; m. 24 Dec. 1869, Cora Rebecca Fuller.|
|vii.||JAMES EDWARD, b. 21 Dec. 1802; d. 10 Mar. 1816.|
|viii.||EGBERT DAVENPORT, b. 9 Oct. 1806; d. at Charleston, S.C., in 1837; m. at New York, N.Y., in 1828, SARAH ANN WILLIAMS, of Jamaica, L.I. They had one daughter:\ I. Elvira Adelaide8, b. at New York, 15 May 1829; m. at Paris, Pa., 20 June 1850, James Ferdinand Taunt, of Buffalo, N.Y.; res. Washington, D.C. Two children.|
MARY ANN7 (SEYMOUR) WOODBRIDGE (1789-1858). Of Mary Ann Seymour, Major Thomas' second child, afterwards Mrs. John Woodbridge, I read:
Her elegant form, her noble and benignant countenance, her kind manners and
gentle tones, and even her white dimity dress and black mantle, were well and
long remembered (p.86). She had the rare merit of daring to be singular, more
mild and more uniformly genial, with more blandness of manner and much
more tact than her husband, she was equally brave and detennined. (“The
New England Minister of Sixty Years Ago,” by Rev. Sereno D. Clark, Boston,
1877, pp. 80-90.)
The book in question contains accounts of several Seymours, – members of Mrs. Woodbridge's immediate family.
STEPHEN EDWARD8 FULLER (1836- ), of Brooklyn, N.Y., used the two wings conjoined in lure, forming the paternal coat of the family, in his correspondence, at least as early as 1880, prior to the appearance of the alleged Seymour Bible. This was the same heraldic device employed by his ancestor, Thomas Seymour, the First Mayor, in sealing his will in 1807, and also by the latter's father. His wife was a granddaughter of the family beauty, Mary Juliana Seymour, and thus a cousin of Mr. Fuller.