Isaac Johnson, Captain (1615 - 1675) MP

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Birthplace: Ware, Hertfordshire, UK
Death: Died in South Kingstown, Washington, RI
Occupation: Died in the Great Swamp Fight, Sailed from England to Mass, died in Jamaica, Military Captain. Died in swamp fight by Indians., Killed in Great Swamp Fight, Captain
Managed by: Christopher Lee Empey
Last Updated:

About Isaac Johnson, Captain

Vital Statistics

  • baptized February 11, 1615, St. John the Baptist Church, Great Amwell, Herfordshire, England. He died December 19, 1675 during the famous Fort Narragansett Indian fight in Rhode Island. He married Elizabeth Porter, baptized February 10, 1610, Ware, Hertfordshire, England. She died June 15, 1683, Roxbury, MA. Elizabeth Porter was the daughter of Adrian Porter and Elisabeth (Allott) Porter and the granddaughter of Robert Porter and Margaret (Plomer) Porter of Landham, Essex and Watton-at-Stone, Ware, Hertfordshire, England in 1624.

Sources and Notes

The Biography and Genealogy of Captain John Johnson from Roxbury, Massachusetts by Gerald Garth Johnson, Heritage Books, 2000. p. 102

Capt. of the Roxbury Company 1663, the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company 1667, and in the Narragansett Expedition 1675. Killed at head of his company in the 'Great Swamp Fight' of King Philip's War. His military career is detailed in Soldiers in King Philip's War, by George M. Bodge (Leominster, MA: 1896), pages 159-163. Married Jan. 20, 1636/7, Roxbury, MA.

  • *

CAPTAIN ISAAC JOHNSON was born in 1617 in Herne, East County, England; and sailed to New England, settling in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1630 with his father's family, probably in the company of Governor Winthrop. Isaac Johnson was a freeman on March 4, 1685 (CD504 Early New England Settlers, 1600s-1800s in King Philip's War 1675-1677, Beginning of Hostilities in King Philip's War. Broderbund Software, Inc, Banner Blue Division). Isaac was the son of John Johnson of Roxbury. John Johnson came to New England with the Wintrop Fleet in 1630(?). John was chosen by the General Court as Constable of Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1630. John was born in Emgland, and married (1) Margery ? in England. John died in Roxbury, Massachusetts; on September 30, 1659. Captain Isaac Johnson married ELIZABETH PORTER. on January 20, 1636/37 in Roxbury, MA. Isaac died on December 19, 1675 in the Great Swamp Fight fight with the Narragansett Indians in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. Elizabeth died August 13, 1683 in Roxbury, Suffolk, MA.(Bowen, Clarence Wintrop, PhD. LL.D. The History of Woodstock Families (8 vols). Norwood, MA.: Plimpton Press, 1962. Schultz, E.B. and M/J/ Tougias. King Phillip's War. Woodstock, VT.: Countryman Press, 262)

Will of Isaac Johnson - June 28, 1675

  The Last Will and testament of Captain Isaac Johnson of Roxbury this 8

of March 1673 I haveing my perfect memory and understanding first I committ

my Soule to God in Jesus Christ, Secondly I committ my body to my beloved

wife and children to be decently buried. Thirdly I doe dispose of my worldy

goods as followeth -- my debts and funerall charges being discharged my will

is that Elizabeth my beloved wife Shall have all my moveable goods except my

apparrell at her owne dispose and the houseing and Land during the time of

her Naturall life and after her decease my will is the houseing and Land bee

divided betweene my fower children my son Isaac or his heires to have double

portion and Soe the portion of the rest to goe to theire heires that is in

case my immediate Children any of them be dead before they come to Injoy

there portion.

  Also my will is that my Beloved wife bee Sole Executrix of this my last

will and I request my Brother Edward Porter and Cozen John Weld to bee

Overseers of this my Last will, my will is that all my weareing apparell be

divided betweene my sonne Isaac and my sonne Nathaniell my sonne Isaac to

have two shares or a double portion of my sd apparrell. Witness my hand this

28th of June One Thousand Six hundred Seaventy five.

Isaac Johnson Senior
  Mr. Jno. Weld and Sammuell Craft appeared before Symon Bradstreet

Sammuell Danforth and Edw. Tyng Esqrs. this 10th of febr. 1676 made oath

that being will acquainted with the alte Captain Isaac Johnson and his hand

writing that verrily believe and Judge that the above sd whereto his name

is Subscribed is all his owns handwriting this thus deposed as attests.

ffreegrace Bendall, Recorder

           Thomas Davenport and Edw. Tyng   )Esqrs. Boston 10th
           Presnt     Symon Bradstreet      )of febro. 1676

Great Swamp Fight (Wikipedia):

The Great Swamp Fight was a crucial battle fought during King Philip's War between the combined colonial militia in New England and the Narragansett tribe.

On November 2 1675, Josiah Winslow led a combined force of over 1000 colonial militia including about 150 Pequot and Mohegan Indians against the Narragansett tribe living around Narragansett Bay. Most of the Narragansett tribe had not yet been directly involved in the war, but they had sheltered many of King Philip's men, women and children and several of their warriors had reportedly been seen in several Indian raiding parties. The whole tribe was not trusted by the colonists. Several abandoned Narragansett Indian villages were found and burned as the militia marched through the cold winter around Narragansett Bay. The tribe had retreated to a large fort in the center of a swamp near Kingston, Rhode Island.

Led by an Indian guide, on December 16, 1675 on a bitterly cold storm-filled day, the main Narragansett fort near modern South Kingstown, Rhode Island was found and attacked by the colonial militia from Plymouth Colony, Connecticut Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony. The massive fort occupying about five acres of land and was initially occupied by over a thousand Indians was eventually overrun after a fierce fight. The Indian fort was burned, its inhabitants killed or evicted and most of the tribe's winter stores destroyed. It is believed that about 300 Indians were killed (exact figures are unknown) in the fighting. Many of the warriors and their families escaped into the frozen swamp. Facing a winter with little food and shelter, the whole surviving Narragansett tribe was forced out of quasi-neutrality some had tried to maintain in the on-going war and joined the fight alongside Philip. The colonists lost many of their officers in this assault and about 70 of their men were killed and nearly 150 more wounded. The dead and wounded colonial militiamen were evacuated to the settlements on Aquidneck Island in Narragansett Bay where they were buried or cared for by many of the Rhode Island colonists until they could return to their homes.

The Great Swamp Fight was a critical blow to the Narragansett tribe from which they never fully recovered.[1] In April 1676, the Narragansett were completely defeated and their sachem, Metacom, was shot in the heart.

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To New England 1630.

Baptized 11 Feb. 1615/6

Married (1) 20 Jan. 1637/6 Mary (Heath?) Scudder

Married (2) Grace Tower

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19 DEC 1675 in Ct. Swamp Fight, Old Village of Wickford near North Kingston, Washington Co., RI

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Isaac Johnson came to America with his parents in 1630

He was in the artillery company in 1645 and made its Captain in 1653, Lieutenant of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Co. in 1665 and made its Captain in 1667. He was a town Deputy in 1671 and an original donor of the free school. Isaac Johnson was killed by the Indians while commanding his company at the taking of Fort Narragansett 19 Dec. 1675

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Isaac Johnson was born on December 15, 1615 in Herne Hill, London, Middlesex, England, the son of John Johnson and Margaret Scudder. Isaac was christened on February 11, 1616 in Ware End, Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England. Isaac lived in England for 15 years before immigrating to Salem, Massachusetts on June 22, 1630 with the Winthrop fleet. Isaac then settled down in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Isaac later fought in King Phillip's War against the Indians in 1675. Captain Isaac Johnson was killed in action in The Great Swamp Fight on December 19, 1675 in Wickford, Rhode Island during the Narragansett Campaign. Isaac was buried near Four Corners, Sakonnet River, Ft. Narragansett, Rhode Island.

Second Letter of Joseph Dudley

Mr Smith's, 21, 10, 1675

May it please your honour

The comming of the Connecticut force to Petaquamscott, and surprisal of six and slaughter of five on Friday night, Saturday we marched towards Petaquamscott, though in snow, and in conjunction about midnight or later, we advanced: Capt. Mosley led the van, after him Massachusetts, and Plimouth and Connecticut in the rear; a tedious march in the snow, without intermission, brought us about two of the clock afternoon, to the entrance of the swamp, by the help of Indian Peter, who dealt faithfully with us; our men, with great courage, entered the swamp about twenty rods; within the cedar swamp we found some hundreds of wigwams, forted in with a breastwork and flankered, and many small blockhouses up and down, round about; they entertained us with a fierce fight, and many thousand shot, for about an hour, when our men valiantly scaled the fort, beat them thence, and from the blockhouses. In which action we lost Capt. Johnson, Capt. Danforth, and Capt. Gardiner, and their lieutenants disabled, Capt. Marshall also slain; Capt Seely, Capt. Mason, disabled, and many other officers, insomuch that, by a fresh assault and recruit powder from their store, the Indians fell on again, recarried and beat us out of, the fort, but by the great resolution and courage of the General and Major, we reinforced, and very hardly entered the fort again, and fired the wigwams, with many living and dead persons in them, great piles of meat and heaps of corn, the ground not permitting burial of their store, were consumed; the number of their dead, we generally suppose the enemy lost at least two hundred men; Capt. Mosely counted in one corner of the fort sixty four men; Capt. Goram reckoned 150 at least; But, O! Sir, mine heart bleeds to give your honor an account of our lost men, but especially our resolute Captains, as by account inclosed, and yet not so many, but we admire there remained any to return, a captive women, well known to Mr. Smith, informing that there were three thousand five hundred men engaging us and about a mile distant a thousand in reserve, to whom if God had so pleased, we had but been a morsel, after so much disablement: she informeth, that one of their sagamores was slain and their powder spent, causing their retreat, and that they are in a distressed condition for food and houses, that one Joshua Tift, an Englishman, is their encourager and conducter. Philip was seen by one, credilbly informing us, under a strong guard.

After our wounds were dressed, we drew up for a march, not able to abide the field in the storm, and weary, about two of the clock, obtained our quarters, with our dead and wounded, only the General, Ministers, and some other persons of the guard, going to head a small swamp, lost our way, and returned again to the evening quarters, a wonder we were not prey to them, and, after at least thirty miles marching up and down, in the morning, recovered our quarters, and had it not been for the arrival of Goodale next morning, the whole camp had perished; The whole army, especially Connecticut, is much disabled and unwilling to march, with tedious storms, and no lodgings, and frozen and swollen limbs, Major Treat importunate to return to at least Stonington; Our dead and wounded are about two hundred, disabled as many; the want of officers, the consideration whereof the Genreal commends to your honer, forbids any action at present, and we fear whether Connecticut will comply, at last, to any action. We are endeavoring, by good keeping and billetting our men at several quarters, and, if possible removel of our wounded to Rhode Isalnd, to recover the spirit of our soldiers, and shall be diligent to find and understand the removals on other action of the enemy, if God please to give us advantage against them.

As we compleat the account of dead, now in doing, The Council is of the mind, without recruit of men we shall not be able to engage themain body. I give your honor hearty thanks for your kind lines, of which

I am not worthy

I am Sir, your honors

humble servant

Joseph Dudley

The Last Will and testament of Captain Isaac Johnson of Roxbury

this 8 of March 1673 I haveing my perfect memory and understanding first I committ my Soule to God in Jesus Christ, Secondly I committ my body to my beloved wife and children to be decently buried. Thirdly I doe dispose of my worldy goods as followeth -- my debts and funerall charges being discharged my will is that Elizabeth my beloved wife Shall have all my moveable goods except my apparrell at her owne dispose and the houseing and Land during the time of her Naturall life and after her decease my will is the houseing and Land bee divided betweene my fower children my son Isaac or his heires to have double portion and Soe the portion of the rest to goe to theire heires that is in case my immediate Children any of them be dead before they come to Injoy here portion.

Also my will is that my Beloved wife bee Sole Executrix of this my last will and I request my Brother Edward Porter and Cozen John Weld to bee Overseers of this my Last will, my will is that all my weareing apparell be divided betweene my sonne Isaac and my sonne Nathaniell my sonne Isaac to have two shares or a double portion of my sd apparrell. Witness my hand this 28th of June One Thousand Six hundred Seaventy five.

Isaac Johnson Senior

Mr. Jno. Weld and Sammuell Craft appeared before Symon Bradstreet Sammuell Danforth and Edw. Tyng Esqrs. this 10th of febr. 1676 made oath that being will acquainted with the alte Captain Isaac Johnson and his hand writing that verrily believe and Judge that the above sd whereto his name is Subscribed is all his owns handwriting this thus deposed as attests.

ffreegrace Bendall, Recorder

ID: I31714

Name: Isaac JOHNSON

Sex: M

Title: Capt.

Birth: 15 DEC 1615 in Herne Hill, London, Middlesex, England 1 2

Death: 19 DEC 1675 in Wickford, Washington Co., Rhode Island 1

Burial: Near Four Corners, Sakonnet River, Ft. Narragansett, Rhode Island

Christening: 11 FEB 1615/16 Ware End, Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England 2

Note:

Father: John JOHNSON b: 1590 in Herne Hill, London, Middlesex, England

Mother: Margaret SCUDDER b: 19 JUN 1600 in Darenth, Kent, England c: 4 NOV 1607

Marriage 1 Elizabeth PORTER b: 23 DEC 1610 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England c: 10 FEB 1609/10 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England

Married: 20 JAN 1636/37 in Roxbury, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts 1

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From http://worldroots.com/brigitte/famous/a/appletonstory.htm

Isaac Johnson was the son of John of Roxbury. He was born in England and came to Massachusetts with his father's family, probably in the company with Gov. Winthrop. He was admitted freeman March 4, 1635.

He was of the Artillery Company in 1645, and was its captain in 1667. He was ensign of the "Rocksberry" military company previous to 1653, and on June 13th of that year was elected captain. He was representitive 1671.

He married Elizabeth Porter, of Roxbury, January 20, 1637, and had Elizabeth, born Dec. 24, 1637; John born Nov. 3, 1639, died 1661; Mary born Apr. 24, 1642; Isaac baptized Jan'y 7, 1644; Joseph baptized Nov. 9, 1645, died soon; Nathaniel born May 1, 1647. The daughter Elizabeth married Henry Bowen, who became lieutenant of his company and was in the Swamp Fight. The Bowens, with many other Roxbury people, removed sometime after 1686 to the township of New Roxbury, granted them by Massachusetts Colony, but afterwards found to be within the Connecticut bounds and was renamed Woodstock. The eldest son Isaac married Mary Harris and removed to Middletown, Conn. Isaac's son Joseph inherited his grandfather's Naragansett claim, being then of Woodstock. The captain's daughter Mary married in 1663, William Batholomew, and removed to Branford, Conn. The youngest son Nathaniel, married Mary Smith in 1667, and sometime after 1683 removed, probably to Marlborough. His widow died August 13, 1683

On July 6, 1675, Capt. Johnson was sent with a small escort to conduct 52 friendly Indians to the army at Mount Hope. On July 15, 1675, on news of the attack upon Mendon, he was sent out there to relieve the town and was ordered back on July 26th. Upon mustering at Dedham Plain for the Naragansett campaign, Capt. Johnson was placed in command of a company made up of men from Roxbury, Dorchester, Milton, Braintree, Weymouth, Hingham, and Hull, numbering 75 all told. At the battle of the Great Swamp fight Capt. Johnson was killed when leading his men against the barrier at the entrance to the fort. After his death and the mortal wound of Lt. Upham, the command of the company passed to Ensign Henry Bowen, later promoted to lieutenant. Some of the men below are credited with serving under Capt. Johnson and Captain Jacob, the latter is probably Captain John Jacob of Hingham who assumed command of the company.

view all 48

Captain Isaac Johnson's Timeline

1615
February 11, 1615
Ware, Hertfordshire, UK
February 11, 1615
Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England
February 11, 1615
Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England
February 11, 1615
Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England
February 11, 1615
Great Amwell, Hertford, England
February 11, 1615
Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England
1616
February 11, 1616
Age 1
Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England
1635
1635
Age 19
New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
1637
January 20, 1637
Age 21
Roxbury,Suffolk,Massachusetts,USA
December 24, 1637
Age 22
Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA