Paul Dudley Sargent

Paul Dudley Sargent (Baptized June 23, 1745, Salem, Massachusetts – September 28, 1828 Sullivan, Maine) was a privateer and soldier in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.[1]

Paul Dudley Sargent
Paul Dudley Sargent
Born23 June 1745
Died28 September 1828 (aged 83)
Spouse(s)Lucy Smith Sanders
Parent(s)Epes Sargent
Catherine Winthrop
RelativesDaniel Sargent Sr. (brother)
John Sargent (brother)
Dudley Saltonstall (cousin)

Early life

Sargent was born in 1745 and baptized on June 23, 1745 in Salem, Massachusetts. He was the son of Catherine Winthrop (1711–1781), a widow of Samuel Brown and the second wife of his father, Epes Sargent. His father was one of the largest landholders in Gloucester and was a colonel of militia before the Revolution and a justice of the general session court for more than thirty years.[1] His younger brother was John Sargent (1750–1824), was an exiled loyalist who became a lieutenant in the King's American Regiment, and his elder half-brothers included Winthrop Sargent (1727–1793) and Daniel Sargent Sr. (1730–1806), a prominent merchant.[1]

As a first name, 'Winthrop' occurs frequently among descendants of Epes Sargent's first wife, Esther McCarty, though it was Colonel Sargent's mother Katharine Winthrop Browne.[2] His maternal grandparents were Ann Dudley, daughter of Joseph Dudley, and John Winthrop (1681–1747), son of Wait Winthrop, grandson of John Winthrop the Younger and great-grandson of John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Sargent's paternal ancestor, William, came to America from Gloucester, England, before 1678. Among his first cousins was Dudley Saltonstall, a notorious Revolutionary War naval commander. Through his brother Winthrop, he was uncle to Winthrop Sargent (1753–1820), a major in the Continental Army who was appointed the first Governor of the Mississippi Territory by president John Adams, and Judith Sargent Murray, an early American advocate for women's rights, essayist, playwright, poet, and letter writer.[1] Through his brother Daniel, he was an uncle to Lucius Manlius Sargent, the author, antiquarian, and temperance advocate, Henry Sargent, the artist who was the father of Henry Winthrop Sargent, the prominent horticulturist, and merchant prince Daniel Sargent of Boston, paid the elderly Colonel Sargent's respects to his former comrade-in-arms Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette during the latter's visit to the United States in 1824.[1] The painter John Singer Sargent was descended from the first Winthrop Sargent's youngest son Fitzwilliam.[1]


Revolutionary War Service

Paul Dudley Sargent commanded a regiment at the Siege of Boston, was wounded at Bunker Hill, commanded a brigade in the summer of 1776, and fought at Harlem Heights, White Plains, Trenton, and Princeton. See the List of Continental Army units (1776) for information on Col. Sargent's regiment, the 16th Continental, (later designated the 8th Massachusetts), and the Massachusetts Line article for his earlier command of the 27th Massachusetts, disbanded after the Siege of Boston. For a time during the campaign in New York in '76 he was brevetted Brigadier General, having taken command of the regiments of Col.s Selden, Talcott & Ward in addition to his own.[3] He and his regiment were among the force that famously crossed the Delaware with Washington on December 25, 1776.

Sargent also had interests as owner or bonder in numerous privateer vessels, on his own behalf and in partnership with James Swan, Mungo Mackay, Joseph Barrell and others. Among these was one of the largest privateers ever commissioned, the 300-ton three-decker Boston, formerly the British merchant ship Zachariah Bayley, captured by Sargent's much smaller privateer Yankee in 1776.[4] Laden with supplies intended for the British army, the prize was significant enough to be the subject of congratulatory correspondence between Gen. Washington and John Hancock.[5]

Though apparently separated from the Continental Army as of 1777 Sargent remained active in the Revolutionary cause, being commissioned Colonel of the 1st Regiment Essex County Massachusetts Militia, September 26, 1778.[6]

Post-war Occupations

After the war, ruined by shipping losses, Sargent withdrew to the hinterlands, serving as chief justice of the court of common pleas of Hancock County, Maine, its first judge of probate, first representative of the (pre-statehood) district to the Massachusetts General Court, postmaster, justice of the peace, and as one of the founding overseers of Bowdoin College.

It is unclear whether Sargent continued his privateering activities after the war, but he did engage in real estate speculation, successfully petitioning in 1784 to acquire an archipelago off the Maine coast including Rogues, later Roques Island,[7] which some years afterwards was transferred to the Gardner family, who still hold it. By 1788 he and his family had moved to Sullivan, on the mainland not far from Rogues. There is reason to suppose the departure from Boston for such a distant place may have been in part an attempt to evade creditors.

In 1803 Sargent played an inadvertent role in a test of the early republic's constitutionally mandated separation of powers, having been, along with William Vinal, the target of an effort by the Massachusetts General Court to strip him of his commission as Justice of the Peace for seeking to be reimbursed for expenses in amounts in excess of what was allowed. "It was urged in mitigation that the charges against the judges 'originated in party contention and personal revenge', and in view of the fact that Sargent's overcharge amounted to only $3.33 and Vinal's to only $9, the statement is probably true."[8]

Since the assembly's action had removed the judges' powers without a hearing, it was felt by John Quincy Adams and Henry Knox, among others, that the future independence of the judiciary was threatened by the precedent. Both put their names to strongly worded protests.[9]

Unlike many of his business partners and relatives, Sargent left no monument of domestic architecture by Charles Bulfinch or oil portrait by John Singleton Copley or Gilbert Stuart. However he did manage to raise a large number of educated and accomplished young men and women despite the remoteness and comparative poverty of his retirement. A well-stocked library, frequent extended stays with family in Boston and Salem, and much visiting back and forth with French revolutionary expatriates at nearby Fontaine Leval [2] contributed to the cultivated atmosphere of the Sargent household, where Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord was a guest on at least one occasion.[10]

Perhaps representative of Sargent's taste, or that of any man of his times and circle, is the silver service he commissioned from Paul Revere when in funds during 1781, the tea pot being the same type as that displayed in the famous portrait of its creator by Copley.[11] His father Epes's bookplate, engraved by the same hand, is in the collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts,[12] as is the Revere coffee pot, both displaying the Sargent coat of arms.[13]

Personal life

Col. Sargent's wife was Lucy Smith Sanders (often spelled 'Saunders', as it is pronounced) of the Salem mercantile family which gave its name to Sanders Theater in Harvard's Memorial Hall and whose members were among the first mansion-builders in Salem's Chestnut Street District. Like other branches of the family, the Sargents of Sullivan have many descendants.[14]

His father died in Gloucester in 1762, two years after Copley painted the iconic portrait which hangs in the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e Sargent, Winthrop (1920). Colonel Paul Dudley Sargent. Philadelphia. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Mrs. Samuel Browne, Jr. (Katharine Winthrop)". MFA for Educators. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  3. ^ How, David (1865). Diary of David How, a private in Colonel Paul Dudley Sargent's regiment of the Massachusetts line, in the army of the American Revolution. Morrisania, NY: H. O. Houghton and Company.
  4. ^ Allen, Gardner Weld (1927). Massachusetts Privateers of the Revolution. Boston, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Historical Society.
  5. ^ NDAR, "George Washington to John Hancock," V, 1072-1073
  6. ^ Catalogue (1921). Portraits of Epes and Ann Sargent, children of William Sargent, 2nd, and their descendants in the Sargent-Murray-Gilman house, Gloucester, Massachusetts. Printed privately.
  7. ^ (1784). Acts and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, ch. 22. Boston, Massachusetts: Adams & Nourse.
  8. ^ (1919). Bulletins for the Constitutional Convention 1917-1918, Volume 2, p. 553-54. Boston, Massachusetts: Wright & Potter Printing Company.
  9. ^ (1919). Bulletins for the Constitutional Convention 1917-1918, Volume 2, p. 585. Boston, Massachusetts: Wright & Potter Printing Company.
  10. ^ Sargent, Ignatius (January, 1887). Colonel Paul Dudley Sargent of Sullivan, Maine, and Family. Bangor, Maine: Bangor Historical Magazine.
  11. ^ Yves Henry Buhler, Mrs. (1961) Toward a Tea Set by Paul Revere. Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Sargent, Emma Worcester (1923). Epes Sargent of Gloucester and his Descendants. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin.
  15. ^ Copley, John Singleton (1760). "Epes Sargent". Retrieved 24 August 2017.


8th Massachusetts Regiment

The 8th Massachusetts Regiment also known as 16th Continental Regiment and Sargent's Regiment, was raised on April 23, 1775, under Colonel Paul Dudley Sargent at Cambridge, Massachusetts. The regiment would see action at the Battle of Bunker Hill, New York and New Jersey Campaign, Battle of Trenton, Battle of Princeton and the Battle of Saratoga. The regiment was furloughed June 12, 1783, at West Point, New York and disbanded on November 3, 1783.

Boston Brahmin

The Boston Brahmin or Boston elite are members of Boston's traditional upper class. They form an integral part of the historic core of the East Coast establishment, along with other wealthy families of Philadelphia and New York City. They are often associated with the distinctive Boston Brahmin accent, Harvard University, Anglicanism and traditional Anglo-American customs and clothing. Descendants of the earliest English colonists, such as those who came to America on the Mayflower or the Arbella, are often considered to be the most representative of the Boston Brahmins.The term was coined by the physician and writer Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., in an 1860 article in the Atlantic Monthly. The term Brahmin refers to the highest ranking caste of people in the traditional Hindu caste system in India. In the United States, it has been applied to the old, wealthy New England families of British Protestant origin which were influential in the development of American institutions and culture.

The term effectively underscores the strong conviction of the New England gentry that they were a people set apart by destiny to guide the American experiment as their ancestors had played a leading role in founding it. The term also illustrates the erudite and exclusive nature of the New England gentry as perceived by outsiders, and may also refer to their interest in Eastern religions, fostered perhaps by the impact in the 19th century of the transcendentalist writings of New England literary icons such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman, and the enlightened appeal of Universalist Unitarian movements of the same period.

Daniel Sargent

Daniel Sargent Jr. (January 15, 1764 – April 2, 1842) was a successful American merchant and politician in Boston, Massachusetts.

Daniel Sargent Sr.

Daniel Sargent Sr. (March 18, 1730 – February 18, 1806) was an American merchant in Gloucester, Massachusetts and then Boston.

Epes Sargent (soldier)

Epes Sargent (July 12, 1690 – December 6, 1762) was an American soldier and landowner from Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Harrison Tweed

Harrison Tweed (October 18, 1885 – June 16, 1969) was an American lawyer and civic leader.

Henry Sargent

Henry Sargent (baptized November 25, 1770 – February 21, 1845), American painter and military man, was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Henry Winthrop Sargent

Henry Winthrop Sargent (November 26, 1810 – November 11, 1882), American horticulturist and landscape gardener.

Hepzibah Swan

Hepzibah Swan née Clarke (died August 14, 1825) was an American socialite of Boston, Massachusetts. She was a wealthy and well connected heiress who was among the most cosmopolitan, intelligent, and erudite of ladies in Federal Boston. Madame Swan was said to be charismatic, not least because of her wealth but also in good measure because of her effusive personal charm. Lifelong friends included revolutionary war heroes Henry Knox, Henry Jackson, Charles Bulfinch, Sarah Wentworth Apthorp Morton, and Harrison Otis.

James Swan (financier)

James Swan (1754 – 31 July 1830) was a colorful personality based in Boston in the 18th and 19th centuries. He was a member of the Sons of Liberty and participated in the Boston Tea Party. Swan was twice wounded at the Battle of Bunker Hill, he next became secretary of the Massachusetts Board of War and the legislature. During the time he held that office, he drew heavily on his private funds to aid the Continental Army, which was then in dire need of funds to arm and equip the soldiers who were arriving in Boston from all parts of New England. After the American Revolution Swan privately assumed the entire United States French debts at a slightly higher interest rate. Swan then resold these debts at a profit on domestic U.S. markets. The United States no longer owed money to foreign governments, although it continued to owe money to private investors both in the United States and in Europe. This allowed the young United States to place itself on a sound financial footing. On principles of loyalty, he spent 22 years—more than a quarter of his life—in the Paris Sainte-Pélagie Prison.

John Sargent (Loyalist)

John Sargent (24 December 1750 – 24 January 1824) was an American Loyalist during American Revolution who was exiled to Canada where he became a politician.

John Winthrop the Younger

John Winthrop the Younger (February 12, 1606 – April 6, 1676) was an early governor of the Connecticut Colony, and he played a large role in the merger of several separate settlements into the unified colony.

List of Continental Army units (1776)

The Continental Army was the army raised by the Second Continental Congress to oppose the British Army during the American Revolutionary War. The army went through three major establishments: the first in 1775, the second in 1776, and the third from 1777 until after the end of the war. The 1776 differed in some significant ways from both the 1775 establishment and the 1777 establishment.

Lucius Manlius Sargent

Lucius Manlius Sargent (June 25, 1786 – June 2, 1867) was an American author, antiquarian, and temperance advocate who was a member of the prominent Sargent family.

Massachusetts Line

The Massachusetts Line was the name given to those units within the Continental Army that were assigned to Massachusetts at various times by the Continental Congress during the American Revolutionary War. These, together with similar contingents from the other twelve states, formed the Continental Line. Line regiments were assigned to a particular state, which was then financially responsible for the maintenance (staffing and supplying) of the regiment. The concept of the line was also particularly important in relation to the promotion of commissioned officers. Officers of the Continental Army below the rank of brigadier general were ordinarily ineligible for promotion except in the line of their own state.The size of the Massachusetts Line varied from as many as 27 active regiments (at the outset of the war) to four (at its end). For most of the war after the Siege of Boston (April 1775 to March 1776) almost all of these units were deployed outside Massachusetts, serving as far north as Quebec City, as far west as present-day central Upstate New York, and as far south as Yorktown, Virginia. Massachusetts line troops were involved in most of the war's major battles north of Chesapeake Bay, and were present at the decisive Siege of Yorktown in 1781. General officers of the line included Major Generals Artemas Ward, William Heath, and Benjamin Lincoln, and Brigadier Generals John Glover and John Nixon.

Paul Sargent

Paul Sargent may refer to:

Paul Dudley Sargent (1745–1828), privateer and soldier

Paul Turner Sargent (1880–1946), Illinois artist

Queen's Rangers

The Queen's Rangers, also known as the Queen's American Rangers, and later Simcoe's Rangers, were a military unit that fought in the Seven Years' War and on the Loyalist side during the American Revolutionary War. They were named for Queen Charlotte, consort of George III.

A small number of Black Loyalists, who had served in the Black Brigade and Butler's Rangers, were later merged into the Queen's Rangers. After the war, they moved to Nova Scotia colony, British Canada, now Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, and disbanded, but were formed again in Upper Canada before disbanding again in 1802, a decade prior to the War of 1812. The Queen's Rangers also filled the role of partisan hunters.

Winthrop Sargent

Winthrop Sargent (May 1, 1753 – June 3, 1820) was a United States patriot, politician, and writer; and a member of the Federalist party.

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