Family:Whitney, David (1757-1850)

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Gen. David5 Whitney (Joshua4, David3, Joshua2, John1), son of Joshua4 and Amy (Blodgett) Whitney,[1] was born 25 Mar 1757, Norfolk, CT,[2] and died 10 May 1850, Bridport, VT, aged 93 years.

He married firstly, ----- -----, of whom nothing is known.

He married secondly, 15 Jun 1799, Bridport, VT, Phebe Bennett.[3]

He married thirdly, 3 or 30 Mar 1818, Addison, VT, Eliza Wilson,[4] daughter of Lawrence and Jane (Smith) Wilson. She was born 1802, Morristown, NJ, and died 3 Sep 1884, Bridport, VT, aged 82 years, of dropsy.[5] She married secondly, 8 Mar 1855, Bridport, VT, Calvin Sollace,[6] son of Calvin and Sophia (-----) Sollace. He was born about 1786, Walpole, NH, and died 26 Oct 1865, Bridport, VT, aged 79 years. She married thirdly, 9 Mar 1870, Bridport, VT, Lyman Pease.[7]

Gen. David Whitney came into Addison soon after the close of the Revolution, and settled on the farm previously owned by Kellogg. He afterward removed to the farm on the north bank of Ward's Creek, where he lived until a few years previous to his death, when he moved to Bridport, where he died 10 May 1850, at the age of 93. He was a member of the Constitutional Conventions of 1793, 1814, 1836, and 1843; represented Addison in 1790, 1792, 1793, 1797, 1798, 1808 to 1815, and 1824. He was a shrewd politician and always one of the leading men in the town; possessed considerable conversational powers, spiced with a quiet vein of humor. I recollect his account of having the lake fever soon after he came into town, and as it illustrates the practice of the day, I give it: It was whilst he lived on the Kellogg farm. He was taken very sick - pulse bounding, eyes bloodshot and starting from their sockets, the blood coursing through his veins like liquid fire. The doctor was sent for; on arriving, ordered every window and door closed, although it was in the hottest days - cold water forbidden, warm drinks ordered. Thus days and nights of intolerable suffering went by, and when he begged for just one drop of water it was denied. One night two neighbors, weary and tired from the harvest field, came in to watch through the night. One of them soon dropped off to sleep; the other, more enduring, still kept watch. At midnight, after giving the general his medicine, he brought in a pail of water, fresh from the well. How quick the sick man would have given the wealth of the Indies for one draught of that sparkling water. Could he not by stratagem secure it? He feigned sleep, and the tired man, fixing himself as comfortably as possible, was soon in a sound sleep. Whitney now crawled from the bed on his hands and knees, and made his way to the pail. With what eagerness he clutched the cup and drained it, draught after draught. He then wished he could breathe a little fresh air, it was so stifling where he was. The man still slept; be opened the door. How still and quiet everything lay in the moonlight. The dew on the grass sparkling like diamonds-the chirp of the cricket alone broke the silence. How delicious was the night wind, as it fanned his fevered cheek and burning brow. The idea of escape from his prison, as he regarded it, presented itself, and instantly he started, crossing the road and through a thicket edge that grew beside the fence, into a meadow, and plunging down amid the tall wet grass, he clapped his hands for joy, as he rolled from side to side. But now the fever is upon him; the fire is quenched and his strength is gone. He cannot rise. The watchers have missed him. They shout his name. He tries to answer but is too weak. They find and carry him to the house, and in alarm run for the doctor. He does not get there until morning. A quiet, refreshing sleep has removed all symptoms of fever. The doctor would give him pill and potion, but the General would none of it, and told him that he had a new doctor, old Dame Nature, who seemed to understand the case altogether the best, and he should trust to her. Returning health showed his judgment in choosing. Ague and fever, and bilious intermittent prevailed extremely in the early settlement of the town, but for quite a number of years little or none has been known. General Whitney lived to be 98. [From the Vermont Historical Gazetteer.]

His right arm was amputated after he was 80 years of age, and he then learned to write with his left hand.

The following is all the information I have been able to find in regard to General David Whitney in the adjutant-general's office at Vermont: He served as a private four days in Captain Abraham Salisbury's company in 1780, and also twelve days in 1781 under the same command. Was a member of the General Assembly in Oct 1790, and 18 Oct 1793, Colonel David Whitney was elected brigadier-general of the 6th brigade. Was a member of the General Assembly in Oct 1797, 1798, 1809, and 1812. It does not appear that he was ever adjutant-general. These facts came from a Vermont history called "Governor and Council." General Whitney served in the Revolutionary war, in the early part in the Connecticut line, and more than I have found on the rolls, but the Vermont records are very imperfect and unsatisfactory in every way. He was pensioned March 4, 1831.

Nova Scotia Bennett, town clerk at Bridport, sends the following of General Whitney: General David Whitney, who died in this town 10 May A. D. 1850, aged 93 years, was formerly a resident of Addison, an adjoining town to this. He bought a small place in this town in 1839, where he lived awhile, and subsequently sold that and purchased another in the village, where he lived and died, leaving a widow, who was his third wife, but he never had any children of his own by either wife. His last wife was a Miss Eliza Wilson of this town whom he married when he was at the age of 60 years and she was 16 years old. She died in this town age 82 years. He died, s. p., 10 May 1850; resided Addison and Bridport, VT.

He received a pension for service in a Connecticut regiment under the Act of 1832. After his death, his widow received a pension, No. W.2013, for that service.

Notes

He did not marry, 30 Nov 1788, Douglas, MA, Olive Tiffany.[8] Instead, this was David5 Whiting [Caleb4, Josiah3, Samuel2, Nathaniel1]. This is proven by the birth records of the latter couple's children, recorded in Douglas, MA, vital records.

Census

220 235 Eliza Whitney 48 F - $1000 Vermont Harriet Norton 14 F - " Attended school

  • 1860, Bridport, Addison Co., VT, p. 35:

58 59 Calvin Solace 70 M - Farmer $5000 Vt. Eliza W. " 56 F - $2000 " Mary S. " 16 F - "

  • 1870, Bridport, Addison Co., VT, p. 10:

71 73 Pease, Lyman 75 M W Farmer $4000 $1000 Massachusetts Married in Mar " , Eliza 67 F W Keeping house $600 New York Ober, Ellen 14 F W Domestic Vermont Attended school

  • 1880, Bridport, Addison Co., VT, p. 20A:

182 187 Pease, Lyman W M 85 ---- mar Farmer Massachusetts Conn. ---- -----, Eliza W. W F 78 Wife mar Keeping House New Jersey Connecticut Connecticut Taria, Mary W F 21 Srvt sgl Servant Vermont Canada Canada Converse, Mary W F 50 Brdr sgl School teacher Vermont Vt. N.J.

References

1.^  His parentage is proven by his birth record and his age at death.

2.^  "David [Whitney], s. Joshua & Ami, b. 25 Mar 1757," according to the Barbour Collection of Connecticut Vital Records, Norfolk, vol. TM, p. 6.

3.^  Vermont, Vital Records Index, Marriages.

4.^  Vermont, Vital Records Index, Marriages. Also, "WILSON, Eliza, aged 16, and Gen. David Whitney, aged 62, [married] at Addison, Vt. Gazette of June 13, 1818," according to Rhode Island, Vital Records.

5.^  Vermont, Vital Records, 1760-1954, at FamilySearch.org.

6.^  Vermont, Vital Records Index, Marriages.

6.^  Vermont, Vital Records, 1760-1954, at FamilySearch.org.

8.^  "David [Whitney] and Olive Tiffany, [married] 30 Nov 1788," according to Franklin P. Rice, ed., Vital Records of Douglas, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (1906).


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