A Brief Sail With Washington - Samuel Blachley Webb's Revolution

A Brief Sail With Washington - Samuel Blachley Webb's Revolution

Samuel Blachley Webb was an aide-de-camp to General Washington during the Revolutionary War.

Perhaps his most significant moment was riding in the same boat as the General during the crossing of the Delaware.

Webb also acted as Master of Ceremonies at Washington’s inauguration.


Samuel Blachley Webb

At just 21 years old, Samuel Blachley Webb went to the First Continental Congress.

He was not a Delegate to this convention, but a personal secretary.

Webb was working for his stepfather, Silas Deane, who had become one of Connecticut’s leading opponents to Parliament’s taxation policies.

Webb’s mother had married Deane when his father passed away, but she too died several years before the Continental Congress.

Webb was fortunate that Deane considered him a son, educated him, and brought him to Philadelphia to hear men from twelve different colonies discussing their liberties.


Soldier

The following year, Deane was sent by the Secret Committee to France where he would go on to play an important role in securing their friendship.

Webb remained in Connecticut, but not for long.

When the Battle of Lexington and Concord sent militia flooding toward Boston, Samuel joined the fight. He signed on as an Ensign with his friend Captain John Chester’s outfit.

This group was best known for their fine dress and, soon thereafter, heroics at the Battle of Bunker Hill.


Aide-de-Camp

Webb was quickly brought in as an aide-de-camp for Major General Israel Putnam.

Samuel served with Putnam for about a year before being moved to the staff of General Washington himself (whom he had first met at the Continental Congress).

Webb became one of Washington’s most important aides, and even crossed the Delaware River in the same boat as the Commander-in-Chief.

Unfortunately, just days later, Webb was shot off his horse during the Battle of Trenton.


Captivity

After recovering his health, Samuel Webb was promoted to Colonel and charged with raising his own regiment.

Webb led his men for a year before being captured by the Redcoats.

He would spend almost four years in captivity.

Luckily, due to his high rank, Webb was given a decent amount of freedom. He returned home on several occasions, was married and even wrote a poem to Alexander Hamilton (which can be read here) all while a prisoner.


Post-War

Samuel Blachley Webb was released in time to rejoin Washington for the Victory at Yorktown. 

Webb spent several years establishing a successful merchant house in New York City before having the honor to act as Master of Ceremonies for George Washington’s inauguration as President of the United States.

Though he desired a position in the Washington Administration, this never worked out and he soon removed to Upstate New York with his family.


Read about some other Founding from Connecticut here:

Jonathan Trumbull’s Choice

The First American Adventurer - John Ledyard

Pierpont Edwards Organizes the Toleration Party

Webb was one of 32 men who served as an aide-de-camp to General Washington.

‘Indispensable Men’ discusses these Officers. Webb is among them and they are all important to know.

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