“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Romulus in Seneca County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Degory Prowtt

Degory Prowtt Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 30, 2016
1. Degory Prowtt Marker
Degory Prowtt
Drummer Boy, 1776 - 1783,
at siege of Fort Stanwix
on the Sullivan Expedition,
at surrender of Cornwallis,
lived a mile west of here.

Erected 1935 by New York State Education Department.
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Sullivan-Clinton Expedition Against the Iroquois Indians marker series.
Location. 42° 43.577′ N, 76° 45.787′ W. Marker is in Romulus, New York, in Seneca County. Marker is at the intersection of New York State Route 89 and Swick Road, on the left when traveling north on State Route 89. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Romulus NY 14541, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Dean's Cove (approx. 1.3 miles away); Site of Frisbie's Ferry (approx. 1.9 miles away); Seneca Army Depot (approx. 3.8 miles away); Thomas R. Lounsbury (approx. 4.8 miles away); Tillinghast Manor (approx. 4.8 miles away); Agricultural College (approx. 5.7 miles away); Sullivan Trail (approx. 6.1 miles away); Honoring the Over 100 Dispossessed Families (approx. 6.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Romulus.
Regarding Degory Prowtt.
Northward image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 30, 2016
2. Northward
From a pdf file on the Seneca County web site: Degory Prowtt was born May 13, 1761, in Cornwall on the Surrey side of London. His father Thomas Prout was an Irish sea captain. His mother was Charity Hawke, the niece of Edward Hawke who was the Baron of Towton and the First Lord of the Admiralty. Thomas and Charity had three sons, the youngest of whom was Degory. In 1763, Thomas and Charity and their three sons moved to New York where Thomas continued as a sea captain. Unfortunately, on a third trip to India, Thomas and his two oldest sons were lost at sea. At about age thirteen, his mother apprenticed Degory to a trade. Feeling ill-treated, Degory ran away and enlisted as a drummer boy under Captain James Greig on March 4, 1776, in the 3rd New York Continental Regiment commanded by Colonel Peter Gansevoort. Later he was transferred to Captain DeWittís Company and then to Captain Van Sitze in the same regiment. In 1780, the last mentioned company was transferred to the 1st NY Regiment commanded by Col. G. Van Schaick. He was present at the siege of Fort Stanwix in August 1777. Col. Peter Gansvoort had refused British Brigadier General Barry St. Legerís terms of surrender of the fort (which was now renamed as Fort Schuyler). Gansvoortís soldiers held out valiantly for twenty days until reinforcements under Benedict Arnold arrived, causing St. Legerís British forces to withdraw. The
Southward image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 30, 2016
3. Southward
failure of the British to capture this fort helps to explain why the British did not gain control of the Mohawk Valley during the Revolutionary War. During 1778 and 1779, Prowtt was part of detachments on duty at several points in the Mohawk Valley and Albany. Prowtt took part in the so-called Sullivan Expedition against the Iroquois Indians in 1779. This means that Prowtt was on lands that would become Seneca County. Following this Sullivan Expedition, his regiment spent the winter at Morristown, New Jersey. Then they were posted in the Highlands of the Hudson River for much of the remainder of the war. The Prowtt family has a wonderful story about the quick thinking actions of Degory Prowtt in an incident during General Sullivanís campaign against the Iroquois. As the story goes, Degory was crossing a bridge when he spied a crouching Indian. Degory quickly aimed his drumstick at the Indianís head and dealt so powerful a hit that it killed the Indian. The family story goes on to say that Degory used the tanned skin from the Indianís back for his drum-head. Prowtt also served in the battle of Yorktown, Virginia, the last real battle of the Revolution. During the Revolutionary War, Degoryís mother Charity had tried to reconcile with her family, an estrangement that arose because of their opposition to her marrying Thomas Prout. Charityís brother, who was a merchant in London, named her and her sons as his heirs. Charity decided to wait until Degory returned from the War before she would return to England and
actually reconcile with her brother. Unfortunately, just a few days after Degory returned from the War, Charity died of yellow fever. Degory decided to try to make a success of himself here in America before trying to go to England and claim the inheritance that would eventually come from his uncle. Prowtt married twice. About 1784, he married a Jemima Sherwood of Massachusetts. They had four children: William, Daniel, Thomas and Jemima. A few years after his first marriage, Degory learned of his uncleís death. On two different occasions, his wifeís family scuttled his plans to go to London to claim his uncleís inheritance. About 1825, Degory entrusted a Methodist minister named John B. Youngs to take Degoryís paperwork for his claim when Youngs went to London. All trace of the minister and Proutís paperwork was lost. In recognition of his services in the army, New York gave Degory 600 acres in the township of Solon, now Cortland County. Like what so many Revolutionary War soldiers did, Degory sold and deeded away these lands—which were then a wilderness—to a Stephen Hogeboom of Claverick for 15 pounds. According to a history of the Town of Romulus, Degory Prowtt settled on Lot 84 in the town of Romulus. It is easy to speculate that he, like other soldiers in the Sullivan Expedition, such as Lawrence Van Cleef, saw the natural beauty and economic potential of the lands they traversed in destroying Iroquois settlements, and decided to settle in this area. According to the December 13, 1834 Assessment Roll of the Town of Romulus, Prowtt owned 8 acres on Lot 84, worth $96 for a tax levy of 26 cents! He had purchased this property from Asa and Catharine Church on September 27, 1820. Family records report that Degory was so bothered by arthritis that only four acres of his property had been “cleared” for farming. While a resident of Seneca County, on May 4, 1818, he applied for a veteranís pension. He received $8 a month. The history of the town of Romulus stated that he was a local Methodist exhorter (preacher). He was a member of the First Methodist Church of Varick at McDuffietown. His wife, Jemima, died February 26, 1833, and in 1835 he married Hannah Ball, a widow with two daughters. He lived just a few months after this second marriage. On September 15, 1835, he summoned his neighbors Aaron and Titus Phillips to be witnesses to a will Degory made out. He bequeathed his land, his two cows, household goods, the family Bible, his watch, a big clock, and books to various heirs. He died September 20, 1835, at age 77, and was buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery at McDuffietown. His widow Hannah died in 1847, and is buried next to Degory.
Also see . . .  Written History of Seneca County. A biography of Degrory Prowtt is listed on the Seneca County historian's page, but it must be downloaded, therefore I have posted most of it on this HMdb page. (Submitted on July 31, 2016, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.) 
Categories. War, US RevolutionaryWars, US Indian
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 106 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page was last revised on August 6, 2016.
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