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Independence Day Celebration

July 4, 1777


The Rhode Island Militia Regiment encamped around Tiverton spent their holiday racing five whale boats up and down the Sakonet River under the watching eyes of local residents and possible spies. By the end of the day, their officers selected crews of six oarsmen and one steersman for each of the five whale boats. Among those selected were brothers Pardon and Samuel Cory of Portsmouth (John, Thomas, William, William, Colonial ancester). Lt. Col. William Barton reported to his superior officer Col. Stanton and received his orders to "proceed to the island of Newport, attack the Enimy where you think proper and report to me your proceeding."

A refugee from Newport had come to see Col. Barton to report that the British Major General Robert Prescott was not quartered in Newport but five miles north and about a mile inland from Coddington’s Cove in the comfortable home of John Overing, a well-to-do Tory. A troop of Dragoons and a company of infantry were camped nearby, but only one sentry patrolled at night. Lt. Col. Parton proposed to lead a small band of men to capture General Prescott.

On July 5, 1777 the five boats whose crews included Col. Barton, two lieutenants, two non-commissioned officers and thirty-three privates secretly left on a dark moonless night. A severe thunderstorm developed and they spent the next twenty-six hours battling the storm to row the ten miles to Bristol.

The storm continued for four days and the men continued on south along the western shore of Prudence Island. Thru the British fleet of eleven ships of war and many transports, the silent men rowed single file with their oars muffled. Arriving at Coddington’s cove, they pulled their boats onto the beach leaving one man in charge of each boat while the remainder set off overland through a blackberry patch, a field of rye and up a shallow dry creek bed until they were close to their target. Climbing out of the creek bed they found the dragoons camped about a hundred yards on one side and the infantry camped on the other. Silently they made their way to the house capturing a surprised Redcoat sentry, then entering the house they quickly captured the sleepy General Prescott in his night shirt. Allowing the General time to pull his pants and grab his jacket they hurried him barefoot back the same way they had come. By daybreak they had succeeded in rowing to Warwick. The prisoner asked for some shoes as his feet were sore and swollen. Barton obtained a pair and gave them to Samuel Cory to put on the General’s feet. Samuel Cory, having many friends and neighbors who had suffered from Prescott’s harsh treatment, wasted no sympathy on him as he crammed his feet into the ill-fitting shoes. When General Prescott complained, Samuel replied "He had been ordered to put on the shoes not to see if they fit, and that’s what he intended to do."

Gen. Prescott was taken to General Washington’s headquarters where he was exchanged the following year. As the story was repeated throughout the colonies, the men involved became regarded as heros and provided a much needed lift to the spirits of the weary Patriots. This daring exploit came to a successful conclusion with no bullets fired and no injuries to Col. Barton’s men.

From "Patchwork History of Tiverton, R.I. 1976 Bicentennial Edition.

Bay of Tiverton, Newport, Rhode Island

Descendants of John Cory


Generation No. 1

1. JOHN6 CORY (THOMAS5, WILLIAM4, WILLIAM3 CORRY, JOHN2 CORIE, JOHN1) was born 08 December 1720 in Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island (Source: James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, (Published under the Auspices of the General Assembly), Vol. 4 Part 1 Page 58.). He married PATIENCE HASKELL Abt. 13 January 1739/40 in Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island (Source: James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, (Published under the Auspices of the General Assembly), Volume 4 Part 1 (Portsmouth) Page 17.), daughter of JOHN HASKELL and MARY SQUIRE. She was born 04 October 1714 in Middleborough, Massachusetts (Source: Gary Boyd Roberts, Mayflower Source Records, (The New England Historical and Genealogical Register).).

More About JOHN CORY and PATIENCE HASKELL:
Marriage: Abt. 13 January 1739/40, Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island (Source: James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, (Published under the Auspices of the General Assembly), Volume 4 Part 1 (Portsmouth) Page 17.)

Children of JOHN CORY and PATIENCE HASKELL are:
i. SARAH7 CORY, d. Abt. 1798; m. ELISHA SPRAGUE, 23 June 1768, Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island (Source: James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, (Published under the Auspices of the General Assembly), Vol. 4 Part 1 Pg. 17.); b. 1748; d. 1798.

More About ELISHA SPRAGUE and SARAH CORY:
Marriage: 23 June 1768, Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island (Source: James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, (Published under the Auspices of the General Assembly), Vol. 4 Part 1 Pg. 17.)

ii. PARDON CORY, d. May 1780; m. JEMIMA WALDEN, 14 February 1779, Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island (Source: James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, (Published under the Auspices of the General Assembly), Vol. 4 Part 6 Page 22.); b. 1761; d. 1843.

Notes for PARDON CORY:
Abstracts of Rev. War Pension Files
Pardon Cory, Jemima, W26636, RI Line, after sol died, widow married soldier's brother Samuel Cory who also served in the Revolutionary War (also see her application # W20893 for his services), Pardon Cory died in May 1780. Soldier was a son of John and Patience Corey or Cory. Soldier enlisted at Portsmouth, RI in the same Company with his brother Samuel Cory. Soldier married Jemima daughter of John and Priscilla Walden on 19 Feb 1779 at Little Compton, RI. Widow applied 15 Aug 1843 Newport City, RI aged 82 a resident of Portsmouth, RI. Widows son by her second husband Samuel Cory, Sr., towit; Samuel Cory, Jr. lived at Portsmouth, RI in 1843 and called Pardon Corey his uncle. The following were mentioned but no relationship to soldier was stated, towit; in 1843 Thomas Cory was aged 74 a resident of Portsmouth, RI. In 1843 Lydia Cory aged 78 also of Portsmouth, RI & stated she lived in family of Pardon Cory when he died and was at his funeral at Tiverton, RI. One John Cory was a JP of Newport City, RI in 1843.

More About PARDON CORY and JEMIMA WALDEN:
Marriage: 14 February 1779, Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island (Source: James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, (Published under the Auspices of the General Assembly), Vol. 4 Part 6 Page 22.)

iii. MARY CORY, d. Abt. 1809; m. CHRISTOPHER SHEARMAN; b. 1730; d. 1809.
iv. THOMAS CORY, b. Abt. 1742; d. 1837; m. HANNAH LAKE, 17 February 1765, Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island (Source: James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, (Published under the Auspices of the General Assembly), Vol. 4 Part 1 Pg. 17.); d. Abt. 1826.

More About THOMAS CORY and HANNAH LAKE:
Marriage: 17 February 1765, Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island (Source: James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, (Published under the Auspices of the General Assembly), Vol. 4 Part 1 Pg. 17.)

2. v. SAMUEL CORY, b. 18 January 1758; d. 21 August 1841.


Generation No. 2

2. SAMUEL7 CORY (JOHN6, THOMAS5, WILLIAM4, WILLIAM3 CORRY, JOHN2 CORIE, JOHN1) was born 18 January 1758 (Source: National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR Patriot Index Centennial Edition, (Washington 1990), Part 1 Page 667.), and died 21 August 1841 (Source: National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR Patriot Index Centennial Edition, (Washington 1990), Part 1 Page 667.). He married JEMIMA WALDEN 02 August 1781 in Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island (Source: James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, (Published under the Auspices of the General Assembly), Vol. 4 Part 1 Pg. 17.), daughter of JOHN WALDEN and PRISCILLA LAWTON. She was born 1761, and died 1843.

More About SAMUEL CORY and JEMIMA WALDEN:
Marriage: 02 August 1781, Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island (Source: James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, (Published under the Auspices of the General Assembly), Vol. 4 Part 1 Pg. 17.)

Children of SAMUEL CORY and JEMIMA WALDEN are:
i. PRISCILLA8 CORY, b. 10 February 1782, Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island (Source: James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, (Published under the Auspices of the General Assembly), Vol. 4 Part I Pg. 69.).
ii. BENJAMIN CORY, b. 25 July 1788, Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island (Source: James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, (Published under the Auspices of the General Assembly), Vol. 4 Part I Pg. 69.).
iii. ABIGAIL CORY, b. 11 December 1789, Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island (Source: James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, (Published under the Auspices of the General Assembly), Vol. 4 Part I Pg. 69.).
iv. PARDON CORY, b. 06 March 1792, Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island (Source: James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, (Published under the Auspices of the General Assembly), Vol. 4 Part I Pg. 69.).
v. SAMUEL CORY, b. 22 June 1797, Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island (Source: James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, (Published under the Auspices of the General Assembly), Vol. 4 Part I Pg. 69.).