52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: Independence

After the French and Indian War, many citizens of the colony of New Hampshire yearned for a different relationship with the Crown. Why not play by their own rules? Ideas, discussions, and debates took place among those citizens… the winds of revolution in Boston blew in their direction. By 1774, they were ready to prepare themselves to pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. A year later, gunpowder would ignite as the King’s Army faced the Minute Men. Joseph and Rachel Story would receive word that their nephew Jesse Story had been killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

The Joseph Story family lived in Hopkinton, Merrimack, New Hampshire in 1776. He and Rachel had been married for three years; he was 25 years old with two small children. They farmed the land. In that year, the colony requested that those who sided with the Patriot cause sign an association test. Joseph along with his family members Jeremiah and Zechariah signed the test. The pledge reads as follows: “WE, the Subscribers, do hereby solemnly engage, and promise, that we will, to the utmost of our Power, at the Risque of our Lives and Fortunes, with ARMS, oppose the Hostile Proceedings of the British Fleets, and Armies, against the United American COLONIES.”

Joseph wanted to do more than sign the test. How could he pledge his sacred honor? He joined the fight by enlisting in Captain Benjamin Sias’ troops who were under Stickney’s Regiment of Militia. He enlisted in April 1777 and stayed with the troops until they disbanded in that October. What all he faced in battle and on the field was not been recorded by him…perhaps, he told those tales when he returned to his family.

His tale of standing with the Patriots as his wife took care of family and farm was a common one from those revolutionary times. “Independence!” was their cry and creed. Thank you, Joseph and Rachel.

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