Samuel Taylor, great great grandson of Richard Taylor, is the most celebrated of the Taylor’s who lived on the farm. He was born in 1755 probably in the original Taylor house located on the knoll near the present day road. He married Lucretia in 1783 at the age of 28. The relatively late age of marriage may have been the result of his military service during the American Revolution. He built the extant house about the time he married.
A lengthy obituary was published in the May 5, 1841 edition of the Barnstable Patriot (image below). The text to the right is the obituary as published May 13, 1841 in the Yarmouth Register with additions to the Patriot obituary.
The obituaries are unusual for the many details they contain about Samuel’s life. The tributes convey a good “big picture” description of Samuel as a person respected by his fellow townsmen. But we need to point out that 19th century editors were not always meticulous fact-checkers. The editor of The Register in particular was known to embellish narratives so that they were in accord with his own image of Yarmouth’s patriotic past and this seems to be the case when it comes to making certain claims about Samuel’s Revolutionary service that have not been corroborated by recent, in-depth research in military records. There is, for instance, no record reflecting that Samuel was present at the battles of Bunker Hill and Yorktown. In his veteran’s pension application depositions, Samuel testified under oath to about five years of service almost all of it in the Continental Army but never once does he mention Bunker Hill, Yorktown or LaFayette. (See “Revolutionary War Taylors” for documented details of Samuel’s notable military service.)
“The life of the deceased patriot has been spent in useful activity and enterprise; and a considerable portion of it was devoted to the service of his country. At the early age of 17 years he was enrolled in a volunteer corps at Yarmouth, and marched under Lieutenant Brimhorn to Boston, very soon after the first armed resistance was offered to British outrage by the Colonists. Capt, Taylor was one of the many sons of Cape Cod who were fired with patriotism as the news reached them of the encounter of the Provisionals with the British troops at Lexington and Concord, and who determined with stout hearts and willing hands to devote themselves to the cause of Liberty. Soon after his arrival in Boston, the battle of Bunker Hill took place in which he fought, and was near General WARREN when he fell. He subsequently enlisted into Colonel Shepherd’s Regiment for four years and a half — at what period we are not informed — but he remained in the Continental army until the close of the war, and fought in several of its most important battles. He was in General Glover’s Division in Washington’s retreat through New Jersey; as was one of that brave band who fought and took the Hessian troops. He was one of that forlorn Hope, who crossed and re-crossed the Delaware with its immortal leader, and achieved a victory that gave new life to the almost expiring hopes of the Colonists. During the succeeding winter he was quartered at Valley Forge and suffered in common with his fellow soldiers, the severities of the season and the extreme destitution of the army. For half the winter he was without shoes or a coat. He was also at the defeat of Burguoyne, and at the taking of Yorktown. In the latter conflict he was in Gen. LaFayette’s detachment, and fought bravely in the entrenchment of that Fort, which LaFayette was the first to enter. After the victory at Yorktown he returned, destitute of money, to Yarmouth, his native town, and entered upon a seafaring business for a subsistence, and rose from an uneducated sailor to the command of a ship. During his seafaring life he made twenty-eight voyages to the Mediterranean — two to Russia — four to England, and one to Africa. The deceased sustained through his life an exemplary character; always kind-hearted and benevolent; and was respected and beloved as an excellent citizen, friend, neighbor and Christian.– He leaves a widow and three children to lament the exit of so good a man
Capt. Taylor, as of yore, was an ardent Whig, and rarely missed going to the polls on the day of election, and depositing his vote for the cause of what he deemed correct principles. He frequently walked the whole distance from his residence to the Town House, something more than two miles. He was at Boston on the 10th of September last, and rode in the procession in company with several of his fellow patriots. The Funeral of the departed hero took place on Monday the 3rd inst. and was attended by a large number of those who had known and respected him when living. Rev. Mr. Cogswell made a prayer on the occasion; and Rev. Mr. Hastings preached an appropriate discourse from Job 14th ch.
In earthe we make thy bed;
And tho’ we may thy loss deplore,
Unto that better, brighter shore
We think thy spirit fled.
Rest, Sailor, rest! on the deep wave
Again thou shalt not ride;
We give thy body to the grave–
Thy spirit to the God who gave
thee strength to stem life’s tide.
Rest, Christian, rest! to thee tis given
To know thy joy of those,
Who, having all their sins forgiven,
Cast anchor in the port of Heaven,
Like thee, at long life’s close.
Taylor-Bray Farm Preservation Association
P.O. Box 66 – 108 Bray Farm Road North, Yarmouth Port, MA 02675