Azel Woodworth (1765 - 1817)

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Nicknames: "Asahel"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Norwich, New London, CT, USA
Death: Died
Occupation: Indentured as an Apprentice Blacksmith in Lebanon, Connecticut. He was bound to Charles West of Windham.
Managed by: Steven Kelley
Last Updated:
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About Azel Woodworth

Defender of Fort Griswold, September 6, 1781, wounded in battle.

"The following account is from the manuscript of Azel (or Asahel) Woodworth. Though without date it is evident this was written about 1809. It is treasured by his grand daughter as a precious relic. At the time of the battle (Fort Griswold) he was fifteen years and eleven months old.

"Honored Sir. I would herein state that I was born in Norwich, in the County of New London, & state of Connecticut, in October, 1765. In July '80 inlisted in the recruiting service. Served a tour of six months under the auspices of the illustrious Washington, retired from the grand army in the winter & inlisted in the Matross company commanded by Capt. Wm Latham stationed at Fort Griswold in Groton in the said Connecticut. On the 6th of Sept 1781, said fort being taken by storm by a detachment of British troops under command of General Arnold, in defending said fort I received a wound by a musket ball passing into my neck under the right ear & out along by the spine which cut away the tendon & caused my head to recline on my left shoulder. For a short interval I became insensible but being partially recovered & continuing in some degree of mental action until about noon the next day when my faculties retired & as I was told returned not for 24 hours. When my wound had healed & the term of my inlistment expired I applied myself to manual labor to obtain support. My head being deranged by my wound so as to render me incapable of progressing by study in the knowledge of useful arts which my father was very desirous to further in me, he deeming it not likely I should be able to endure the toils of common labor. Youthful ambition and the considerations of the expenses of the war suffered me not to burden my country with claims for support for a number of years, but being eventually exhausted with pains and frequent suspensions of mental faculties even in the field of labor, about the year 1795 or 96, I applied for & obtained a pension of forty five dollars per annum and having a family was enabled thereby to keep them together until 1806, when embarrassed with debt and unable to labor, constantly irritated with nervous pain to the privation of sleep and necessary repose, and unable either to answer the demands of my creditors or the necessities of my family, retired in confusion & despair from all I held dear on earth. After a year's interval returned home to find from the Honorable Pierpont Edwards a commission for Dr John Turner & John Scott to examine my condition as affected by my wound, which I think took place two years ago last July, the result of which to the best of my remembrance was that they had examined my case & found that I had received a formidable wound in my neck which cut away some ligaments, from whence proceeded a train of nervous spasmodic affections which rendered me almost unable to perform manual labor, and at times partially deranged in my mentals, that at present I was a wandering person dependent in part upon the bounty of my country for support & in part upon the charity of fortuitous friends."

He died June 8th 1817. Mr. Woodworth had two children, Phoebe and Joseph Ellery Woodworth, who was one of the best known citizens of New London. Zibe Woodworth, born April 24, 1763, a brother of Azel was wounded in the knee, became a preacher, and settled at Montpelier, Vermont, where he died. Thomas Woodworth, who was also wounded seems from allusions in family letters which I have been allowed to read to have been an uncle of Azel and Zibe"

source: The Battle of Groton Heights: A Collection of Narratives, Official Reports .. By William Wallace Harris, p. 219-21

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Azel Woodworth's Timeline

1765
August 6, 1765
Norwich, New London, CT, USA
1799
December 9, 1799
Age 34
1817
June 8, 1817
Age 51
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