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Colonel Edward Antill

11 Apr 1742 - 21 May 1789

At the Battle of Yorktown, Edward Antill and Alexander Hamilton each led regiments under General Moses Hazen, leading to a friendship between the men. After the war, Antill's daughter Mary married a young New Yorker who had led one of the charges at Yorktown under Hamilton, Gerrit G. Lansing. When Colonel Antill's wife died in 1785, soon after giving birth to their daughter Frances, Edward left the baby with the Hamiltons and returned to Canada. Frances was later married to Arthur Tappan in her sister Mary Lansing's home. Tappan and his brother Lewis were the cofounders of the Anti-Slavery Society.

William Nelson, Edward Antill, A NY Merchant of the 17th century, and his Descendents

Edward, first son of the said Anne, was born at the same place [Piscataqua NJ] the 11th of April, 1742, at eleven of the clock in the morning, and was abaptized in the same church, by the Reverend William Skinner, on Palm Sunday the 2nd of May following, Peter Kemble of this Place, merchant, and doctor -- Mercer, of Bound Brook, Gentn and Farmer, being his Godfathers, and Eufamia Norris (his aunt by the mother) his Godmother, who being in England was personated by Mrs. Catherin Johnston.

He was graduated from King's (now Columbia) College in 1762, and received the degree of A.M. in course, a fact of which he was naturally proud, sufficiently so to note it on his very neat book-plate. Having studied law he was admitted to the bar in New York, but shortly removed to Quebec, where he remained until the Revolution began. When that city was besieged by the American troops in the Fall of 1775, he refused to respond to the call of the Governor of the city to take up arms in its defense, and was sent out to the American lines, where to his delight he was at once assigned to duty as chief engineer of the army, by General Montgomery. He was with that gallant officer when he fell, and was despatched by Gen. Wooster to relate the particulars to General Schuyler and the Continental Congress.

On January 22, 1776, he received a commission as Lieutenant-Colonel of Colonel Hazen's Second Canadian ("Congress Own") Regiment, and in May, 1776, General Benedict Arnold assigned him to duty as Adjutant General of the American Army in Canada. In the following December he was sent on a recruiting tour through New Jersey and the Southern States, with the approbation of General Washington (who wrote him a commendatory letter, Jan 8, 1777), and Congress voted him $2,000 for his expenses.

He was among the prisoners captured by the British, when Gen. Sullivan led his ill-fated expedition against Staten Island, August 22, 1777. For a time he was confined on one of the prison ships. Happily for him, his brother John, then in the British service, was one day sent to examine the condition of the prisoners, and the first person he saw among them was his own brother, whose release he soon effected. He and other American officers made a return, at Flat Bush on Long Island, August 15, 1778, of the officers and other prisoners on Long Island, for purposes of exchange.

In August 1779, he was still at large on Long Island, on parole. His exchange was effected Nov 2, 1780. On Jan 7, 1782, he returned 77 men of his regiment belonging to the Pennsylvania line, who had not received the gratuity allowed them. He was retired from the service Jan 1, 1783.

He was licensed as an attorney in New Jersey at the November Term, 1783. About this time (1783-4) he opened a law office in New York city, at No. 25 Water street, and later moved to No. 87 Broadway, corner of Wall Street. In a letter dated "31 Golden Hill, New York City," December 16, 1785, he applied to John Jay, then Secretary for Foreign Affairs to be appointed Translator in the Department of Foreign Affairs. Secretary Jay replied with his compliments that the office was not vacant. He then removed to Canada, joining his brother John there.

He married at Quebec, May 4, 1767 (the Rev. John Brooks, chaplain of the garrison, officiating), Miss Charlotte Riverain, daughter of Joseph Riverain. She died at New York, September 3, 1785, aged thirty-two. He died at the town of St. John's, on the Richelieu river, near Montreal, in Canada, May 21, 1789, aged forty-seven years. He was appointed Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Clinton County NY in 1789, but probably died before he could fill the office.

Documents Relating to the Colonial History of New Jersey Vol XXIV
Edward Antill, born at Piscataqua, N. J., April 11, 1742, son of Edward Antill, 2d, and Anne Morris, daughter of Gov. Lewis Morris. He was graduated from King's College in 1762, and was admitted to the New York bar, but removed to Quebec; at the beginning of the Revolution he took sides with the Americans, and was commissioned as a Lieutenant Colonel, serving until 1783. He was licensed as an Attorney in New Jersey in 1783, and had an office in New York. He died at St. John, near Montreal, May 21, 1789. See "Edward Antill, a New York Merchant of the seventeeth century, and his descendants," by William Nelson, 1900.

Gleanings of Virginia History, p.232
New York, July 17th, 1784.

Sir: Major Lloyd informs me you wished for an explanation relative to some charges in my public account against certain officers then belonging to the Regiment. I will take up that of Captain mcConnel for instance (the others are in the same predicament.) I advanced Captain McConnel for the recruiting service at different times as per receipts 1104 dollars, together with twenty dollars as per memorandum Book dated in Feb., 1777. The whole of these 1124 dollars were given him from the time he received his recruiting instructions in 76 to March, 77 -- In the beginning of March, 1777. I received a letter from Mr. R. Peters, Secretary of war, dated Baltimore, Feb. 24, 1777, in the following words: "Sir, congress having received intelligence of the enemy's being reinforced in New Jersey Very considerably it becomes absolutely necessary both for the preservation of the army under General Washington and to check the progress of a cruel and remorseless enemy that he be joined immediately by all the forces that can possibly be procured. You have the resolve of Congress on that head inclosed by Direction of the Board of War with which they request you will instantly comply by sending all the men raised in your Regiment. Let them bring what Arms Blankets and clothes they have or can by any means obtain and the deficiency will be supplied at Philadelphia or Head Quarters. Let nothing delay your immediate march either by companies or parts of companies as you can get them together as the safety of our country much depends on the exertions of its army at this trying period and it is hoped no care or pains of yours will be wanting when all we hold dear and valuable demands them. Signed Richard Peters Secry."

Upon receipt of this letter anxious to comply with its contents, and unable to remove the troops without a considerable sum of money, they having received neither pay or subsistence since engaged, many of them in Nov. and Dec., 1776, I procured a loan from Lowman and Hubley of 6,000 Dollars, and from Mr. Atlee of 4,000 Dollars, 14th of March or thereabout, for which I gave them my Draughts on Congress, which were accepted, and for which sum I stand charged on the same day having hurried thro' my wish to meet the requests of Congress and not having time to take Receipts I began to pay out this money, and as I paid it Entered it in my book, I was obliged to recieved the money from those Gentlemen in such as they had, and I paid to Capt. McConnel that Day

1,000making in the whole.

Thus stands the matter as to this charge, and I am ready and willing to give you or Capt. McConnel any further light in the business in my power. The entry in my book is fair and clear, and I am willing to sware to the best of my knowledge and belief to its Justice.

I am with regard,
Your Very Humble Servant,
Edw. Antill.


Graduated King's College in 1762
Book on Antills for sale
Papers on scientific topics (#9)
Among George Washington papers (3:154)
At Yorktown

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