Pioneer JOHN BOUTWELL, of Otto

JOHN BOUTWELL, Revolutionary War Veteran of Otto, N.Y.

John Boutwell was the son of Kendall and Sarah (Boutell) Boutwell and was born on 8 Aug. 1762 in Amherst, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire.

John served during the Revolutionary War. On 13 Sept. 1832, John Boutwell met with the Honorable Judge Dan Allen, one of the Judges of the Court of Common Case in Cattaraugus County, N.Y. and dictated to the judge the history of his service in the Revolution as best as he could recollect. Paineas Spencer and Benjamin Waterman, along with Judge Allen, signed a certificate that John Boutwell was well-known to them, was a reputable man, and they believed him to have been a soldier of the Revolutionary War. This dictated account and certification was used by John Boutwell as an application for a pension allowed to Revolutionary War veterans. He was granted pension number S. 23545 on his application and he received this pension in Otto, N.Y. for the remainder of his life.   

According to the account that John dictated to the Honorable Judge Dan Allen, "...he was born in the town of Amherst, County of Hillsborough, State of New hamshire on 8th August 1762. That he resided in said town from the time of his birth till 1778 as he verryly believes that in the month of August in that year about the first of Said month he Enlisted as a Volunteer in a company Commanded by Capt. Hezekiah Lovejoy Col. Nicholl's Regt. - Marched from Amherst to Rhode island & Joined General Sulivan & was with him on his being attacked by the british & retreated with him to a place (as he thinks) called Butts Hill At which place he was dismissed from Capt. Lovejoy's & Enlisted the service as a waiter for Col. Stephen Peabody & staid with him in that capacity till Winter Thinks the time in this tour with Lovejoy & Peabody about 4 Months" [John Boutwell's account describes his part in the Battle of Rhode Island. New Port, RI. had been occupied by the British. A land force under Gen. John Sullivan and the French fleet commanded by the Comte d'Estaing cooperated in an operation designed to dislodge the British. Before the French troops could be landed, however, Admiral Howe's British fleet appeared in the bay. D'Estaing halted the landing and set out in pursuit. Two days later, on 11 Aug. 1778, before the ships had actually engaged, they were dispersed by a storm. The American ground forces, lacking French assistance, were forced to retreat from the island. At Butts Hill on 29 Aug. 1778, they fought a strong rearguard action that became known as the Battle of Rhode Island. The Americans did not meet their goals in these actions and the British remained in Newport.]  

"That Early in the Spring of 1779 he again Enlisted with Capt. Lovejoy to go to Portsmouth (New hampshire) to guard the Harbor in this service under Capt. Lovejoy he staid 2 months at the End of which time he was [dismissed] from Lovejoy's Company & Enlisted to stay there longer at said place under the Command of an officer whose name he does not now recollect in whose service he staid till Winter. Was out he thinks in this last tour 6 or 7 Months"  

"That in the Spring of 1780 he Enlisted under the Command of Ensign Odell and Joined a Company of Rangers commanded he thinks by a Capt. Aldrich Major Benjamin Whitcomb Commandant in this service he marched from Amherst to Newbury (Vermont) & Haverill (New hampshire) from thence was marched to Peacham (Pelham, NH.) to a Picket fort at which place he served through the season was out in this campaign he thinks about 7 Months"  

"That in the Spring of 1781 he Enlisted on board of the Ship Franklin Capt. Turner Commander on a Privateering cruise saild from Salem Massachusetts for the English Channel (England) on our voyage fell in with, & after a Contest of 5 Slopes (sloops) Captured the British Ship James & Rebecca of 18 guns & returned for Salem with our prize & to refit and on our fourward passage the Prize was retaken but we escaped in a Fog & so made our Port Salem as aforesaid on our return in to Port as aforesaid the same season After my 3 Months tour Expired with the Franklin He Enlisted on board a Vessel called the Grand Turk Simmons Commandant and sailed from Salem to the bay of St. Lawrence on this cruise we had an Engagement with a british brig of 18 guns but she escaped at the End of our 3 months tour we returned to Salem he then immediately shipped on board the Mohawk for a Privateering cruise off the West India Islands in cruise we took 2 prizes sent them to Martinica (Martinique) & sold them & returned home to Beverly in Massachusetts was out in this cruise say as near as I recollect 6 months"

 [Martinique was a heavily used port in the West Indies. Many American privateering cruises took captured British ships there, sold them, and took the money back to the States to help finance the Continental Army. Many of the arms taken from the captured ships or "prizes" were taken back to the States and used against the British Army. The privateering raids on British shipping were more injurious to the British than the "major" naval battles were. By the end of the war, privateering raids had taken about 1500 British vessels and captured more than 12,000 British sailors. By 1781 British merchants were screaming for an end to the hostilities because their trade was virtually halted.]


"That in the fall of 82 I think he again Entered on board of the Grand Turk then Commanded by Capt. Pratt for a cruise off the West India Islands took several prizes & carried them in to Martinica, that is some of them and a part in to Salem the Particulars of this Cruise he cannot particularly state for that whilst on this Cruise he was taken sick & in this situation he returned home in to the port of Salem was out on this cruise he thinks 6 Months"

Following the war, John Boutwell moved to South Reading, MA. He married in Reading, MA. on 29 Jan. 1784, Elizabeth ("Betsy") Eaton. Betsy was the daughter of Joshua and Mary (Hervey?) Eaton and had been born in Reading, MA. on 6 Feb. 1765. In about 1787 they removed to Chester, Windsor County, Vermont. They remained there until about 1810 when they removed to Hamburg, Erie County, N.Y. Here they remained for about three years. In about 1813 they removed to Collins, Erie Co., N.Y. They lived in Collins for about eleven years and finally settled in the part of Perrysburg, Cattaraugus County, N.Y. that formed the town of Otto on 29 Jan. 1823. He may have been living with his son John in 1824. The assessment-roll for that year for the town of Otto names John Boutwell as located on Lot 71, Township 5, Range 7.

Betsy (Eaton) Boutwell died in Otto, N.Y. on 6 Nov. 1843 at the age of 78 years and 9 months. John Boutwell died in that town on 12 Sept. 1847 at the age of 85 years, 1 month and 4 days. Both were buried in North Otto Cemetery in the town of Otto. He was listed in the History of Cattaraugus Co., New York, Pub. Philadelphia: L.H. Everts, 1879 in the section titled Soldiers of the Revolution and War of 1812 with those who were buried in the town of Otto. It states, "John Boutwell was a soldier of the Revolutionary war, and died Sept. 12, 1847, aged eighty-five years." Children: 1. Betsy, b. 4 July 1785 in Reading, MA.; d. 6 Sept. 1871 in Farmington, PA.; m. Charles Twining (b. Quakertown, NJ. 20 July 1789; d. Farmington, PA., 18 Apr. 1871; son of Thomas and Sarah [Crook] Twining). * 2. John, b. abt. 1788 in Chester, VT.; d. bet. 1865 and 1870; prob. bur. Dake Hill Cemetery although no gravestone can be found; m. 1.) bef. 1824, Sarah Ballard (b. 17 Jan. 1792, prob. in VT.; d. 28 Mar. 1829 in Otto; bur. in Dake Hill Cemetery - also called Barber Cemetery in that town); m. 2.) bef. 1835, Mary Parkinson (b. 30 Apr. 1787 in Albany County, N.Y. or in New Jersey; d. 27 Jan. 1856; bur. Dake Hill Cemetery). John lived on Lot 17, Township 5, Range 8 according to the 1823 Collins assessment-roll. He settled eventually in the town of Otto, Cattaraugus County, N.Y. John was a farmer. By 1860, John Boutwell had moved in with his brother, Joshua E. Boutwell and his family in East Otto, N.Y. He remained in this home until his death. John had two children: * Sally (b. 14 June 1824; d. 23 Dec. 1875; bur. Dake Hill Cemetery; m. abt. 1843, Philo Brooks [b. 12 Sept. 1817, prob. in Norwich, Chenango Co., N.Y.; d. 1 July 1891; bur. Dake Hill Cemetery]); Name unknown (dau., b. bet. 1835 and 1840; prob. d. young [by 1850]). 3. Willis, b. abt. 1790 in Chester, Windsor Co., VT.; d. abt. 1833; m. 1816, Ann Comstock (b. 7 Jan. 1790 in Charlemont, MA.; d. 1842; dau. of Benjamin and Mehitable [Cressey] Comstock). Willis drowned in Cattaraugus Creek. "One of the first drowned [in Cattaraugus Creek] was Willis Boutwell at Zoar. He was engaged in washing sheep with others and it is said was under the fatal influence of liquor and so lost his life. His body was buried upon Poverty Hill near the James Parkinson farm [the corner of Zoar Rd. and Button Rd.] - from Munger Scrap Book - "Drownings in Cattaraugus Creek." Willis Boutwell lived on Lot 20 in Collins, N.Y. in 1825 and 1826. Willis and Ann (Comstock) Boutwell had 6 children: Julia Emmeline (b. abt. 1817; m. Heman Heath); Harriet (b. abt. 1818; m. Ambrose Hanchet); Philander (b. 20 Oct. 1819); Elizabeth (b. abt. 1823; m. Eli Wilkinson); Celista; and Lucy Ann (b. abt. 1827; m. Henry Shattuck). 4. Charles, b. abt. 1792 in Chester, VT.; m. Rebecca Ballard (poss. b. NH. abt. 1797). From Log Houses (on Zoar Rd.) by S. Clark Munger, "Charles Boutwell had a log house just west of the present site of the school house on Poverty Hill..." Charles Boutwell was a trustee of School Dist. 13 (Perrysburg and Collins) in 1823. From the Collins assessment of 1830, Charles owned Lots 91 and 20 for a total of 198 acres. He was listed as living on Jolls Road in Perrysburg in 1835, and the school district report of 1836 noted that he had 5 children. They removed from the area by 1840 and were living in Wayne, DuPage County, IL. in 1850 and 1860. Only 3 of their children are known to me: Lafayette (b. 1828); George (b. abt. 1833); Charles (b. 1840 in IL.; m. Leona _____; prob. returned to Otto, NY. by 1870). 5. Joshua E., b. 22 Apr. 1798 in Chester, VT.; d. 18 July 1873 in East Otto, N.Y.; m. abt. 1840, Ann Jane Moore (b. 8 June 1807 in Warren County, N.Y.; d. 5 May 1891 in East Otto, N.Y. at ae. 83). Joshua was a farmer. They are both buried in the North Otto Cemetery with his parents. Listed in the 1824 Otto, N.Y. assessment-roll as living on Lot 16, Township 5, Range 8. They had 3 children: Elizabeth J. (b. 1841; d. 1858); Joshua E. (b. 1844; whereabouts unknown at the time of the settlement of his father's estate); George W. (b. 1847; d. 1869).______________________________________________________________________________ My wife, Susan (Pawlowski) Ladwig is a direct descendant of John Boutwell, through John's son, John Boutwell, Jr.'s daughter, Sally Boutwell and her husband, Philo Brooks. Much of the information presented here comes from John Boutwell's application for a pension allowed to Revolutionary War veterans through the Act of Congress passed 7 June 1832, and from the essay Boutell-Boutelle-Boutwell, Descendants of James Bowtell of Salem and Lynn, compiled by Donald Erlenkotter, 1987. Both of these were shared with me by Philo J. Brooks of Ransomville, N.Y., to whom I am greatly indebted.

Submitted by John W. Ladwig

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