Silas Cleveland, Corporal of Marines

Silas Cleveland. Silas Cleveland, Jr. was born in Canterbury, CT on 17 March 1756, son of Silas Cleveland, Sr. and Elizabeth Hyde. He enlisted on 25 June 1776 at Canterbury in Captain Asa Bacon’s Company of John Chioles Regiment. They were sent through Norwich to New London then to New York where he served until his discharge at Peekskill on 25 December 1776. In the Fall of 1778 “at Thanksgiving time”, he joined the Confederacy, serving until July 1779. His youngest brother Isaac (1770-1863) of Brooklyn, Windham, CT recalled that Silas went on board the Confederacy in November of 1778. Silas attested to Marine Oliver Roger’s pension application, as did his older brother Solomon Cleveland (1754-1823) who was married to Hannah Sharpe, younger sister of Silas’ wife Lois. Captain Silas Cleveland lived in Canterbury, Windham Co. in 1832 when his pension application #S12486 was denied for claiming that he was only “a hand” on board the Confederacy. This application intriguingly lists a number of the ship’s crew and their posting onboard. It indicates he was posted as Ship’s Corporal due to the influence of his uncle Frederick Curtis, Master at Arms. Frederick Curtis was married to Laurenah Hyde, the sister of Silas’ mother Elizabeth. A 1782 deed suggests that Silas Cleveland was acquainted with Benjamin Durfee of Canterbury, father of the boy Asa Durfee who died at sea on the Confederacy. One source suggests that Silas Cleveland achieved the rank of Captain of the Fifth Regiment of Connecticut Militia. On 22 March 1793, Silas Cleveland married thirty-five year old Lois Sharpe of Pomfret, Windham, CT. They had at least three sons, all born in Hampton, NY; Mason born 25 February 1796, John born 4 September 1797 and Chauncey born 26 February 1799. His son Hon. Chauncey Fitch Cleveland, who became Governor of Connecticut, remembered “Silas Cleveland was much like his father, a man of wonderful memory and fine abilities. During the Revolutionary war my father (Silas) then a young man, about Sept.1, 1780, went to Bethel, Vermont, with the intention of settling there. When in the woods at work with a man by the name of David Stone, a band of Indians from Montreal captured them and took them to Canada. Silas was so copper-colored, they dressed him in their paint and feathers, Stone they killed. My father they kept six months, when they put him in the British Prison called the Stone Jug, in Montreal, Canada; there he was kept six months longer and then exchanged. He dwelt awhile in Bethel and then returned to Hampton”. Cleveland is included among a “Return of Prisoners sent from the Province of Quebec for Exchange” in Publication M246 of the National Archives. He is listed with prisoners of war from New York and New England who were returned in September 1781 by way of Lake Champlain.  Silas Cleveland spent most of his life at Hampton in the occupation of farming. His wife Lois Sharpe Cleveland died five days after her fifty-fourth birthday on 29 June 1811. At 84 years old, Silas Cleveland was living in Hampton when he died on 24 September 1840.

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