Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Revolutionary War Brought Military Success And Financial Ruin

The story of Colonel Oliver Spencer embedded in the story of his son Oliver's capture by Native Americans.

The most prominent settler of Columbia [Hamilton County, Ohio] was Colonel Oliver Spencer, father of our narrator. Colonel Spencer was not only of the best English descent, but, a point of greater importance, he was entirely worthy of his ancestry. A native of Connecticut, he removed at an early age to Elizabethtown, New Jersey, where he married the daughter of Robert Ogden. 

Colonel Spencer engaged in the tannery business with his father-in-law and was rapidly acquiring wealth when the Revolution came to alter his whole future course of life.  We need note in this connection only that while he served with credit throughout the war, rising to the rank of colonel in the continental service, he found himself at its close a ruined man, his capital dissipated, and his home and tannery (the latter one of the largest in America) gutted. Under such circumstances he turned a ready ear to the project for colonization on the Ohio, with the prospect it held out to men of energy of beginning life anew under more favor able circumstances than the settled East could offer. [Source]

Oliver Spencer is not an ancestor of mine, but is a distant cousin. He was born in East Haddam, Connecticut, into the Spencer family who were among the first settlers there in 1662.  My ancestor was Gerard Spencer (1).

Oliver Spencer's ancestry:
 Samuel(4) Spencer (Isaac(3), Samuel(2), Gerard(1), born at East Haddam, 10 Jul 1708, died there 4 Sep 1757...child:
iii. Oliver, b. 6 Oct 1736; d. 22 Jan 1811

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