Thomas Edgar, Carpenter

Thomas Edgar. Born in 1748, Thomas Edgar emigrated from New Castle upon Tyne in England and settled in New London at about the commencement of the Revolutionary War. He married Mary Latimer, born on 6 November 1742 to Samuel Latimer and Elizabeth Hallam of New London, on 9 November 1777. The following year, Edgar enlisted as carpenter on the ship of war General Putnam under Captain Thomas Allen. Edgar’s name appears on a list of officers and men belonging to the Connecticut privateer dating to May 1778 when the ship was being fitted out in New London. His wife’s cousin Lucretia’s husband Nathaniel Saltonstall also served onboard the Putnam as 1st Lieutenant. According to his pension application #W-37905, Thomas Edgar enlisted on the Trumbull under Captain James Nicholson on 15 September 1779 for one year as carpenter. He served during the engagement with the British letter of marque Watt, afterwards putting into Boston for refitting. The Trumbull then sailed in company with the Deane until she fell in with two British warships and “made for the Delaware.” While the ship was laid up in Philadelphia, Edgar was transferred to the Confederacy in the same capacity as carpenter. Apparently he was acquainted with Jesse Breed, who served on the same cruise of the Confederacy. He sailed with her in November 1780, when she took on arms, ammunition and clothing and was with her when captured. He was sent to the Jersey prison ship for about two months then put on board the 64 gun Europe where he was kept for a couple of months. His name appears on the prisoner list of the Jersey prison ship. He was sent to England and confined in Mill Prison, Plymouth until exchanged in July 1782. Sent on a cartel, he landed in Boston in August 1782. On his return, Thomas Edgar joined the Marquis De La Fayette commanded by former Connecticut Navy Captain Elisha Hinman. Edgar was first mate and Richard Law second mate, both officers having served on the Trumbull in her celebrated battle with the Watt. This vessel was the last of the Connecticut privateers, cruising to Europe at the close of hostilities and going out of commission 13 August 1783. Edgar wrote that while serving on Gunboat #51 under William Coit, Sailing Master, he fell down the hatchway due to ice and was disabled as a result. On 30 May 1792, the federal government settled the payroll claims of Thomas Edgar related to his service as volunteer on the Confederacy to 14 April 1781 for $17.33. Edgar lived in New London after the war. In 1818, he notes his wife was recently deceased and he is “entirely supported” by his unmarried daughter Nancy Edgar. Thomas Edgar died 26 September 1823.

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