Dr. John Connelly, Jr., "The Loyalist"
m. abt 1742
- Dr. John Connelly, Jr., "The Loyalist"abt 1742 - 1813
- H. Dr. John Connelly, Jr., "The Loyalist"abt 1742 - 1813
- W. Susanna Samplesabt 1741 -
Facts and Events
||Dr. John Connelly, Jr., "The Loyalist"
||Dr. John Connolly, Jr.
||Captain John Connolly
||Major John Connolly
||Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
||York, Pennsylvania, United StatesWright's Ferry
||Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United StatesChief Hokoleskwa Cornstalk gave a speech directed to ALEXANDER MCKEE, Esq., GEORGE CROGHAN, Esq., and the Commandant at PITTSBURG, Captain JOHN CONOLLY
||30 Jan 1813
||Montreal, Île-de-Montréal, Québec, Canada
Records in Augusta County, VA
From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:
- Vol. 1 - MARCH 15, 1774. - Page (302) New Commission of Justices, viz: Silas Hart, John Dickison, Danl. Smith, John Poage, Abram Smith, George Moffett,* James Lockhart, John Christian, Archibald Alexander, Felix Gilbert, Samuel McDowel,* Sampn. Mathews, Alexr. McClenachan,* Mathew Harrison, George Mathews. Alexr. Robertson,* John Hays, James Craig, John Frogg,* William Tees, George Croghan, John Connelly,* Thos. Smallman, Wm. Bowyer,* John McClenachan,* Michael Bowyer, John Gratton,* Thos. Huggart, Elijah McClenachan, Josiah Davidson, John Skidmore, John Campbell, Edward Ward, Dawsey Penticost, John Gibson. (Those marked (*) qualified.)
- Vol. 1 - MARCH 15, 1774. - (308) John Connelly qualified Captain Commandant of the Militia of Pittsburg and its dependencies.
Dr. John Connolly
- I have been researching Dr. John Connolly, Jr.'s history with the objective of writing his biography for some four years now. John Connolly, Jr. was born at Wright's Ferry, York County, Pennsylvania in 1743 or 1744. His mother was Susannah Howard who was married three times: first to James Patterson, second to Thomas Ewing, and third to John Connolly, Sr., a retired surgeon in the British Army.
- John Connally Sr., died in 1747, and Susannah died in 1755. Susannah named James Wright of Columbia, Pennsylvania, guardian of John Connolly, Jr. in her will. John Connolley, Jr., was apprenticed to Dr. Cadwaller Evans of Philadelphia to study "physics". At some point in his studies he prevailed on his guardian to buy out the unexpired term of his apprenticehip so he could pursue a carreer as a soldier. He served in Martinque, and later with Boquet in Pontiac's rebellion. After this war, he became a trader in the Illinois Company and married Susan Sample (often spelled "Semple"), sister of Samuel Sample an inn-keeper in Pittsburg.
- John Connolly failed as a trader, moved back to Pittsburg and developed properties there. He may have continued in British service, perhaps as an employee of British Indian Agent George Croghan, for he traveled extensively through the Ohio & Illinois regions often accompaning British military officers in what appear to have been reconissance missions of some kind. George Washington wrote that Croghan was Connolly's uncle, but this remains unproved. In 1773, Connolly was appointed Commandant of the Pittsburgh Militia by Virginia Governor Lord Dunmore, although Pittsburgh was at the time being governed by Pennsylvania. There ensued a prolonged border dispute between the Virginia and Pennsylvania Colonies, interrupted by an Indian War (i.e., Lord Dunmore's War) which was instigated by Connolly and Dunmore. The Revolutionary War broke out shortly thereafter and Connolly conspired with Dunmore and General Gates to originate and Indian uprising against the Patriots and attack Pittsburgh with British regulars stationed at Detroit and the Illinois country. Connally was captured in Fredericksburg, Maryland,in November, 1775, while in route to Detroit. He was kept in prison in Baltimore and Philadelphia until October, 1780.
- Sometime during this imprisonment he ended his relationship with Susan Sample. A will, filed in Philadelphia, January 3, 1800, indicates that he probally married Sarah Francis (maiden name Sarah Mifflin) while imprisoned.
- Upon release he violated parole, eventually entered service with Cornwallis in Virginia and was recaptured in the vicinity of Yorktown in the summer of 1781. He was imprisoned again, but released in March, 1782, whereupon he went to London.
- In London, he published a biography, presumedly to support his claims against the British government for property lost as a result of his service to the Crown. Included in this was a claim for 2000 acres at the present site of downtown Louisville. The Crown paid him a fraction of what he requested.
- He returned to the New World, settling in Detroit, where he continued intermittant espionage work in behalf of the British. Later he moved to Montreal. Here he married for a third time. He died January 30, 1813, in Montreal.
- Patrick Hogue. The Samples / Semples Family.
- Hanna, Charles Augustus. The Wilderness Trail, or, The ventures and adventures of the Pennsylvania traders on the Allegheny Path: with some new annals of the Old West, and the records of some strong men and some bad ones. (Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: Wennawoods Publishing, c1995), Page 84.
It has sometimes been stated that George Croghan and William Trent were brothers-in-law. How they became so is not clear. William Trent's only sister, Mary, married Nathaniel French, of Philadelphia. Trent himself married Sarah Wilkins, possibly a daughter of one of the Indian Traders of that name. Croghan 's nephew, it will be remembered, was Doctor John Connelly, the Loyalist. Connolly was the son of John Connelly, Sr., a native of Ireland, and of Susanna Howard, sister of Gordon Howard, one of the early Indian Traders of Lancaster County. She first married James Patterson, the Trader, and after his death. Dr. Thomas Ewing, of Lancaster. John Connolly, Sr., was her third husband. Doctor Connolly, their son, married Susanna Semple, daughter of Samuel Semple, the innkeeper of Fort Pitt, who furnished Washington such good entertainment in 1770. If Croghan's wife was a Wilkins, and sister to William Trent's wife, it is possible she also may have been a sister to Samuel Semple's wife, the mother of Susanna Connolly; and this would have made Connolly Croghan's nephew, by marriage. The name of Croghan's own daughter, as shown by his will, was Susanna; which was also the Christian name of Connolly's mother, as well as that of his wife. But it is difficult to see how Croghan could have been a brother-in-law to Trent, who married Sarah Wilkins, and also to John Connolly, Sr., who married Susanna Howard, the widow of Doctor Ewing, unless, indeed, Sarah Wilkins and Susanna Howard may have been half-sisters, and one of them Croghan's wife's sister.
- Peter Force. American Archives: Origin, Settlement, and Progress of the Colonies in North America, Series 4, Volume 5, Page 0734, 02 Apr 1776.
Orders for the arrest of Samuel Sample, of Pittsburgh, suspected of a connection with Connolly, a prisoner in Jail, dangerous to the liberty of America, Committee to procure a Vessel proper to fit out as a cruiser in Delaware Bay, against the Ministerial Armed Tenders now obstructing the commerce of this Province. [1776-04-02] Pennsylvania, Committee of Safety. [S4-V5-p0734] [Document Details][Complete Volume]
- ↑ Peter Force. American Archives: Origin, Settlement, and Progress of the Colonies in North America, Series 4, Volume 1, Page 0288.
A Speech of the SHAWANESE, directed to ALEXANDER MCKEE, Esq., GEORGE CROGHAN, Esq., and the Commandant at PITTSBURG, Captain JOHN CONOLLY.
BROTHERS: We are sorry to see so much ill doing between you and us. First you killed our brother Othawakeesquo (or Ben,) next our elder brothers the Mingoes; then the Delaware’s. All which mischief’s, so close to each other, aggravated our people very much; yet we all determined to be quiet till we knew what you meant; our people were all getting ready to go to their hunting as usual, but these troubles have stopped them. The traders that were amongst us were very much endangered by such doings from the persons injured, but as we are convinced of their innocence, we are determined to protect them, and sent them safe to their relations and other friends, and it will, we hope, be looked upon as a proof of our good intentions.
I, Cornstalk, do send my brother [ Silverheels ] to be along with the traders in case any of the parties injured should be in their way, and in revenge for the loss of their friends, fall on them; therefore, we request that you will present our good intentions to the Governors of Virginia and Pennsylvania, and request that a stop may be put to such doings for the future. We likewise request that the Commandant, Captain Connolly, of Pittsburg, will do his endeavor to stop such foolish people from the like doings for the future. And I have with great trouble and pains prevailed on the foolish people amongst us to sit still and do no harm till we see whether it is the intention of the white people in general to fall on us, and shall still continue so to do in hopes that matters may be settled. I did intend to go myself, not to talk, but to carry home the traders, but in my stead I send my brother, and expect that Mr. McKee, Mr. Croghan, and Mr. Connolly, and each other of our brothers will, show him the same regard that they would me, as in seeing him they see me all the same as if personally present. This is all that I have to say now to you.
N. B. what concerned the traders I have said to themselves, as the wampum we have given them will testify.
- Margaret Pearson Bothwell. The Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine: Edward Ward Trail Blazing Pioneer. (Pennsylvania, June 1960), Vol. 43. No. 2., June 1960.
Pages 114, 115
The blow dealt both the Sample family and the Wards by Connolly's treachery must have stunned them. Samuel Sample, in 1776, felt constrained to visit John Connolly in jail in Philadelphia and, by so doing, had a web of suspicion woven around him (68)
His sister, Susannah, Connolly's wife, probably had pleaded with him to make the visit and to pave the way for her to visit her husband (69)
Any compassionate brother would have done the same thing. Susannah visited her husband in jail in July, and her plea to Congress in that month told of the plight in which she found herself.
Her petition (70) to Congress was dated July 8, 1776. She signed it Susanna Connolly - Part of her petition follows "I must say I think it very cruel if I must be detained here from an only Child; and without any allowance for my subsistence, which is not deny'd even to those that have acted quite different from me who, from the natural ties of Affection came to see a Husband in Confinement, dangerously ill. If you imagine, Gentlemen, it is in my power to prejudice you in the Country, I am willing to be confined to Pittsburgh where my child is." She also pointed out that such a course would save the "unnecessary Expence" of supporting her in Philadelphia and would afford her the "Satisfaction of seeing" her child. The clouds of disgrace were darkening over the Ward and Sample families.
Susannah's letter was referred to the Committee of Safety with the request that it "make proper provision for her till further order of Congress." (71)
(68) Pa. Archives (First Series), IV, pp. 728-29.
Colonial Records, X, p. 533. This relates to the action taken by the "Committee of Safety Philada 2nd April 1776" as a result of Samuel Sample's visit to Conolly.
(69) Journals of Congress —Minutes of Monday, May 13, 1776. It was "Resolved, That Mrs. Connolly, wife of John Connolly, have leave to visit her husband in jail."
(70) Pa. Archives, IV,pp. 782-83.
- Hazard, Samuel. Pennsylvania Archive. First Series. (Philadelphia: Printed by Joseph Severns & Co., 1853).
Pages 728,729 - Original Documents in the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Commencing 1760
Intelligence Received By Congress, 1776.
Mr. Samuel Sample, an Inhabitant of Pittsburgh, and nearly Related to Mr. John Connolly, came to this City about a week ago. The day he arrived he went to the Jail, and was permitted to see and Converse with Mr. Connolly freely as well as with others in the like Situation, and was in several of their Appartments. A plan for a general escape of the State or Tory prisoners, It now appears, had been in contemplation among these prisoners sometime before. It happened, the day after Mr. Samples admission, that their whole scheme of escape was discovered; Upon this such Orders were given, that tho’ he applied to different members of Congress for leave, he cou’d not be allowed a second interview, which seemed to vex him a good deal. These circumstances, and his connection with Mr. Connolly, being known to several gentlemen now in Town, some of them from a regard of their Country’s safety, could not refrain from observing as follows.
That a Stout full faced boy, about 14 or 15 years of age, has frequently, every day since an Intercourse was denied, waited on Mr. Sample, at his Lodgings, with letters or messages from the Jail. Mr. Sample has several times been questioned about the boy and his business with him, and has as often declared that he knew nothing about the boy, but that he is going up to Carlisle with him; notwithstanding his professed ignorance of the boy, it is known that he has engaged a horse to carry him, and to deliver the horse safe at Carlisle. The boy being asked if he was going along with Mr. Sample, said he was going to Carlisle with him; being asked if he wou’d go any farther, he answered with some hesitation, he believed he would go to Pittsburgh with him.
It is well known that Mr. Connolly's great hopes of strength & support in his Designs are on the River and waters of the Ohio. It is humbley submitted to superior Judgment, whether letters from him to that country might not yet have a bad effect; wheter it might not be safer to send letters by a boy travelling with, or some distance before or behind a particular friend, than by the friend; whether upon some farther enquirey into the matter, It might not be proper to direct that both friend and boy should be very narrowly searched at some proper distance from the City. If these hints should tend in the smallest degree to promote the safety of the country, the writter of them gains his only aim.
Mr. Sample setts off this day, April 2nd.
In Congress, April 2, 1776.
Resolved, that the enclosed be delivered by Mr. Wilson to the Com’ee of Safety of Pennsylvania, & request them to take such steps as they think best for the public Service.
Chas. Thomson, Sec’y.
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Historical Society of Pennsylvania), Vol. 12; No. 4; Pages 407 to 420, Jan 1889.
A Narrative of the Transactions, Imprisonment, and Sufferings of John Connolly, an American Loyalist and Lieut.-Col. in His Majesty's Service (continued)