Lewis Evans, Carpenter’s Mate

Lewis Evans. Lewis Evans was born in 1754 or 1755, most likely in Philadelphia. An association with acclaimed early cartographer Lewis Evans has not yet been established. According to his pension application #S-34820, Lewis Evans entered on board the Confederacy in the Summer of 1781 as Carpenter’s Mate. It appears from his brother Ephraim Evans’ testimony, the family resided in Philadelphia before and during the war. Ephraim Evans was a celebrated Philadelphia Windsor chairmaker who moved to Alexandria, VA in 1785.

According to tax records, one Lewis Evans appears to have lived two doors down from Confederacy Lieutenant Thomas Vaughn in 1780. The Pennsylvania Archives includes General Returns of the Philadelphia Militia for Captain John Hewson’s Fourth Company of the Second Battalion Regiment of Foot commanded by Colonel Benjamin G. Eyre dated 10 August 1780 indicating that Lewis Evans was “on Board the State Ship Confederacy”. Records also indicate that Evans served in Captain Joseph McClane’s Seventh Company of the First Battalion of Philadelphia Militia. When the Confederacy was captured in April 1782, Evans was taken on the Jersey prison ship. With “a number of the crew”, he was put on board a Ship of War and kept for about three months. Evans was then sent sick to a hospital on Long Island. As soon as he was able, Evans “made my escape” and traveled at night to the East End of Long Island, crossing over to Killingsworth. He made his way to New Haven where 2nd Lieutenant David Phipps helped him to “git home” by the later part of the summer of 1782. His brother recounted “I recollect perfectly well that his wife was in a distressed situation” waiting for his return. After the war, Lewis Evans lived in Boston and late in life, notes he has “a wife who is old and infirm” and no children at home. He states his occupation as “Seaman- but unable to follow the Sea.” He was Carpenter’s Mate according to the Journals of the Continental Congress of 31 August 1781 as noted in Seth Harding: Mariner by James L. Howard page 212. This Lewis Evans may be the person who married Hannah Atkins in Boston on 27 September 1778 and who lived on Salem Street in Boston’s Ward I in a household of six during the 1810 Census. Lewis Evans died on 14 February 1834.

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