Capt Joseph Parker - Parker-31119

+6 votes

I've been looking into him - his story is interesting:

There are several references to his death ""...Col. Joseph Parker, had perished, with his whole command, in a terrible battle with the Oneidas."". A few problems with this. Joseph was a Lieutenant; a Captain at his death, The Oneida were an Indian nation from New York - not exactly neighbours, there is no other reference to such a battle, aside from repetition almost word for word of the event in multiple sources, and no reference to an Indian war at about the time of his death. Furthermore, why would his body be buried in Chelmsford if he had died along with everyone else in a battle elsewhere?

Joseph's commission and Snowshoe company came about in 1724, during Dummer's war. The reference may be to "Lovewell's Fight" a battle with the Abenaki during Dummer's war (May 8 1725), in which about 16 militiamen died. However, neither Joseph nor any of his command were at that fight.  A week after the fight Col Tyng requested reinforcements from Capt Richardsons company (in which Lt Joseph served).  There is also a new Lt John Spalding of this same snow-shoe company.  I'm still looking into this, but would welcome other eyes.

I've been looking at the 40 men in the snowshoe company, I can find probable, peaceful deaths in MVR for 29 of them, 7 of them with some certainty.

WikiTree profile: Joseph Parker
in The Tree House by Jack Parker G2G2 (2.8k points)
Interesting. What's the earliest iteration of the "terrible battle" and does that writer give any hints as to his source for the tale?
A good question that I should look into.  All of the references look like secondary references at best, none, that I noted, referenced an original source.  I suspect that somehow "Lovewell's fight" got woven into this, that seems to be the only contemporaneous battle that might apply.  I should go back over my tracks and look for footnotes.

Going back over my footsteps.  Joseph is mentioned 3 times in "Parker in America" (1911), the second mention appears to be a direct lift from William Thornton's "Gleanings from Colonial and American records of Parker and Morse families" (1915).  Yes the dates are reversed, but the soaring rhetoric is pretty unmistakable - Augustus P must have scored an advanced narrative, he credits it to "Gleanings", but doesn't give the full title.  Those two references (really one) are all I could find to his command being wiped out, I would not put it past William Thornton to embellish a tale.  I'm surprised to only find 2, I thought I had found more copies of it - perhaps Google books showed me the same one multiple times.

Joseph also has a simple entry in MVR for his death, there is no mention of conflict in it.
(Oops - deleted. Carry on)
Alas, I don't have a lot of dedicated time to go through this, so it's haphazard a bit.  Lieut Joseph shows up as a selectman in 1734 and 1736, then as Capt. Josep in 1737 and moderator in 1738 - the year of his death.

There was a (previous?) Lt. of Richardson's snow-shoe company - Lt. John Spalding in 1724 "one of the years of Lovell's war", that is the same year as Joseph's commission.  Lt. John Spalding lived until 1791.  He also was of Chelmsford.  He is buried as "Lieut John Spalding".

There is a mention of Chelmsford men who died in provincial wars, however it does not include Josiah Farwell - of Chelmsford - who died at Lovewell's fight, so that cannot be a definitive list.

I'm not going to chase this any further.  The lack of further mention of a battlefield death - when just about every violent death is mentioned - leads me to believe that the story is hogwash.

2 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer

This link on WIkipedia talks about Lovewell's fight.

I checked on Fold 3, and was unable to find anything about Col. Joseph Parker there.


by Cheryl Hess G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
selected by Susan Laursen
Thank you Susan, for selecting my answer, and giving me The Star!
Thanks for checking.
0 votes
Here are a couple of links to the "other side's" view:

scroll down to the paragraphs after the one that starts In 1722


about the reason for Dummer's War
by Navarro Mariott G2G6 Pilot (145k points)
Thank you for sharing that. (Now that I've had a chance to read all of it).  It's an important perspective and I'd like to see more of it.  I wish there were better records on all "sides".

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