Declaration of Robert Young
Morris County, New Jersey

Morris Co. Up


Robert Young is the third and final soldier in this series. Next will be Phebe Willis Kitchel's Declaration, and then some notes. Again, I engaged in some minor editing here, but left everything intact. A couple of words I could not make a out are marked (?).
Enjoy, Kevin

Declaration of Robert Young age 87 July 3, 1838 "an aged citizen of Randolph township"

I am in the 87th year of my age , since 13th February 1838.

I was a soldier in the war of the Revolution & was personally well aquainted with William Willis , who was also a soldier in the same war, & who performed Militia service from 1776 until the end of the war. He married Phebe Wilson about the year 1773 or 74 , whom I know very well. She is now the widow of  (?) Aaron Kitchel, who was her last husband , & who died some 12 or 14 years since. I think she was married to some other person after the death of Willis & before her marriage to Mr. Kitchel.

When a young man , I worked at Boonton Iron works as a blacksmith in Col. Saml. Ogden's employ &  there became acquainted with William Willis , who lived near Boonton. Phebe Wilson ,afterwords Willis' wife, lived part of her times in Col. Ogden's family & I knew they were married before the war. The first Militia service in which I remember seeing William Willis engaged was at Springfield in the month of December , 1776, at the first battle of Springfield, under Gen'l Heard's command in Colonel Ford's regiment & in Capt. Josiah Hall's company, as I believe. After the fight, Willis and his co. were stationed below Springfield a month for defense of the frontier. A number of Hessians (70 or 80) were taken prisoner by Col. Spencer, who had his horse killed under him.

Captain Hall , after this term, enlisted a company of men to form 3 months & William Willis enlisted under him (?) this period in the winter & spring of 1777, in the neighborhood of Quibble town & Amboy, while the enemy lay in Amboy & Brunswick. I often saw him during that winter under Col. Seely & Gen'l Winds. There were many fights & skirmishes with the enemy that winter, in some of which Capt. Hall's co. were engaged. I recollect Willis performing a months' Militia duty in the neighborhood of Pompton & New Windsor in the fall of '77 before Burgoyne surrendered, in Hall's company, under Gen'l Winds & Col. Seely. I remember him on a months' duty at Elizabeth town in the summer of '77. He was also engaged in a months' duty at Redbank & Haddonfield near the Delaware, in Capt. Debows' company & Col. Seely's regiment. I recollect him also at the battle of Monmouth under the same officers & along the sound opposite Staten Island, between Amboy & Rahway, a month in the summer of '78.

I was with William Willis on a tour of duty near Trembly's point under Col. Seely, keeping guard along the shore between the point & Blazing star ferry, in the season of green corn & early apples.

I remember Willis at the battle of Acquackanonck bridge , in which Gen'l Winds commanded the Militia , aided by Colonels Seely, Hathaway, Frelinghuysen , Hays & others, in the early part of the fall. He was also with us at the battles of Springfield & Connecticut farms in 1780- the latter in May & the former in June. He was stationed below Springfield a month performing guard duty.

Some of his Militia tours were performed under the immediate orders of Captain Jonas Ward, but I cannot say which of them with certainty. Besides the tours mentioned , I often saw him out on alarms , for periods of 10 or 12 days.

I was also personally well acquainted with Joseph Willis , brother of William Willis, who came fron New England, working for Col. Ogden in the Boonton Iron works, slitting nail rods, which was a then a new business in New Jersey. I was then a young man, a blacksmith by trade, working in the same Iron works with the two Willises, my business being to keep their tools in good order. Here I also became acquainted with Phebe Wilson, now Mrs. Kitchel, who was much of her time in Col. Ogden's family, where she became acquainted with her husband. She is now living & is still the widow of Aaron Kitchel. Said Phebe had one child born in wedlock with William Willis before the war began & whilst we all lived at Boonton, & I think she had more than one before the war commenced , but of this I am not certain.


Copyright 1999-2015 by Brianne Kelly-Bly, all rights reserved.