John Fellows (1735 - 1808) MP

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Brig. Gen. John Fellows's Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Plainfield, New London County, Connecticut Colony
Death: Died in Sheffield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States
Managed by: Michelle Lee Mannion
Last Updated:

About John Fellows

Brigadier General John Fellows served as an aide-de-camp to George Washington and commanded Fellows' Brigade at the Battle of Long Island (27 August 1776).

General John Fellows settled in Sheffield, Mass around 1750. He fought in the French and Indian Wars, the siege at Boston under George Washington, the Battle of Bunker Hill and Battle of Long Island covering Washington's retreat after the loss.

On Sep 15, 1776 the British General Howe landed a large force of troops at Kips Bay on the East River near what is now 34th street in NYC. Feeble defense by the American militia of General Parsons and General Fellows soon ended in a rout of American forces. The failure to stop and oppose the enemy was a great disappointment to Washington. General Washington was said to be so distraught at seeing the rout, that he drew his sword and charged down the hill towards the advancing British forces, only to be restrained by an aide at the last moment. His army narrowly escaped annihilation.

John Fellows also lead troops at the battles of White Plains, Berkshire and Saratoga.

General Fellows was a member of the Provincial Congress of Mass. He was interested in developing the settlement at Canandaiga, Ontario County, NY and was the first to erect a saw mill at Mud Creek, East Bloomfield, Ontario County, NY in 1790. The 1790 census shows him living in Ontario County, NY. He was also the High Sheriff of Berkshire.

John was named as a proprietor of the town of Wolcott, VT. (Ref; Vermont Historical Gazetteer, Vol 2, page 778.)

There is an elaborate gravestone for John in Sheffield, MA Cemetery.

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His son-in-law, Daniel Penfield, is described below.

From Wikipedia: Daniel Penfield: Born on April 25, 1759 to Isaac and Esther Hurlburt Penfield in Guilford, Connecticut, Penfield served as a clerk in the commissary department under Oliver Phelps during the War of Independence. The family moved to Hartland, Connecticut before the war and Granville, Massachusetts afterward.

About 1784, Penfield married Mary Fellows (born September 10, 1762), daughter of John and Mary Ashley Fellows. General Fellows served as an aide-de-camp to George Washington. The couple bore five children: Henry (born July 18, 1785), Harriet (born May 12, 1787), Charlotte (born May 22, 1791), Mary Jane (born 1794), and George (born November, 1797). Shortly after marrying, the couple moved to Hillsdale, New York and opened a general store. The store was burnt by an angry mob during Shay's Rebellion, so the couple moved to New York City sometime around 1789. Penfield became owner of a "lucrative commission business" and began making speculative land purchases of tracts in present-day Wayne County, New York in 1790 and present-day Perinton, New York in 1792. Penfield bought his first parcel in the present-day Town of Penfield on February 4, 1795. Penfield opened another general store in Claverack, New York and maintained homes in Hudson, New York and New York City. He kept these properties until Embargo Act of 1807 severely curtailed his commission business, prompting his decision move to his Western New York lands in 1809. Penfield contracted with carpenters from Albany, New York to build his homestead in 1811. The house still stands today at 1784 Penfield Road. Over the years, he built or controlled several mills on Irondequoit Creek, including a sawmill, grist mill, distillery, ashery, oil mill, soap mill, clothing mill, and tannery. Penfield owned several African-American houseservants until slavery was abolished in New York State in 1827. Penfield spoke at the ceremonies welcoming the Marquis de Lafayette during his visit of June, 1825. His last commercial undertaking, a five-story flour mill, built in 1835, failed in part due to the Panic of 1837. Penfield died on August 24, 1840 and was interred next to his wife (who died August 18, 1828) in Oakwood Cemetery in Penfield.



      
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Brig. Gen. John Fellows's Timeline

1735
July 7, 1735
Plainfield, New London County, Connecticut Colony
1762
March 19, 1762
Age 26
Date noted by Pat (McCune) Hanna's research
September 10, 1762
Age 27
of Sheffield, Massachusetts
1765
July 5, 1765
Age 29
Sheffield, MA
1767
February 4, 1767
Age 31
Sheffield, MA
1769
July 4, 1769
Age 33
Sheffield, MA
1771
September 26, 1771
Age 36
Sheffield, MA
1775
January 25, 1775
Age 39
Sheffield, MA
1775
Age 39
Member of Mass. Provincial Congress
1779
May 17, 1779
Age 43