Waldo County, Maine Gen Web Site

Joseph Plumb Martin

"Joseph P[lumb] Martin was one of the original settlers. He was the son of a minister of Berkshire County, Mass. He was born November 21, 1760. He died May 2, 1850 and is buried at the Sandy Point Cemetery. At the age of sixteen, he enlisted in the Revolutionary army, in 1776, and served until the close of the war. He was present at the surrender of Cornwallis. He was listed as a settler in the Wast Book in 1774, but old records say that he built his cabin in 1784 on the land now owned by Harold McKenney. Mr. Martin served for twenty-five years as town clerk of Prospect. He was a poet, a writer, and an artist. He wrote the book, Life of a Revolutionary Soldier, also several poems and songs. In September 1836, The Light Infantry marched from Belfast to Buckstown on an excursion. In passing through Prospect, now Stockton Springs, they honored Mr. Martin, hero of the Revolution, by firing a salute in front of his house."1

1 Ellis, Alice. The Story of Stockton Springs, Maine. p21.


"The future was less kind to Joseph Plumb Martin. Having served in the army through the entire war, Martin took up land in Maine near the mouth of the Penobscot River in what became the town of Prospect. By 1818, at age fifty-nine, Martin was destitute, his total property assessed at fifty-two dollars. Age and infirmities left him barely able to support himself, his sickly wife, and five children. Martin scraped out an existence from his veteran's pension of ninety-six dollars a year and from whatever else he could earn as a town official and an occasional laborer."2

2 Leamon, James E. Revolution Downeast: the War for American Independence in Maine. Amherst, the University of Massachusetts Press, c1993, p192.

Cites the following sources:

Gross, The Minutemen and Their World, pp. 177-179.

Taylor, "Liberty-Men and White Indians," pp. 46-52.

Joseph Plumb Martin, Private Yankee Doodle: Being a Narrative of Some of the Adventures, Dangers, and Sufferings of a Revolutionary Soldier, ed. George E. Scheer (Boston: Little, Brown, 1962), pp. xii-xv.


1999-2008 All rights reserved Tom Elliott
This page last updated on March 25, 2008