About Paul Dudley Sargent
Paul Dudley Sargent (Baptized 23 June 1745 Salem, Massachusetts – died 28 September 1828 Sullivan, Maine) was a privateer and soldier in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.
Revolutionary War Service
Paul Dudley Sargent commanded a regiment at the Siege of Boston, was wounded at Bunker Hill, commanded a brigade in the summer of 1776, and fought at Harlem, White Plains, Trenton, and Princeton. See the List of Continental Army units (1776) for information on Col. Sargent's regiment, the 16th Continental, (later designated the 8th Massachusetts), and the Massachusetts Line article for his earlier command of the 27th Massachusetts, disbanded after the Siege of Boston. For a time during the campaign in New York in '76 he was brevetted Brigadier General, having taken command of the regiments of Col.s Selden, Talcott & Ward in addition to his own.
Sargent also had interests as owner or bonder in numerous privateer vessels, on his own behalf and in partnership with James Swan, Mungo Mackay, Joseph Barrell and others. Among these was one of the largest privateers ever commissioned, the 300-ton three-decker Boston, formerly the British merchant ship Zachariah Bayley, captured by Sargent's much smaller privateer Yankee in 1776. Laden with supplies intended for the British Army, the prize was significant enough to be the subject of congratulatory correspondence between Gen. Washington and John Hancock.
After the war, ruined by shipping losses, Sargent withdrew to the hinterlands, serving as chief justice of the court of common pleas of Hancock County, Maine, its first judge of probate, first representative of the (pre-statehood) district to the Massachusetts General Court, postmaster, and as one of the founding overseers of Bowdoin College.
Unlike many of his business partners and other family members, Sargent left no monument of domestic architecture by Charles Bulfinch or oil portrait by John Singleton Copley, but he did manage to raise a large family of educated and accomplished young men and women despite the remoteness and comparative poverty of his retirement. A well-stocked library, frequent extended stays with relatives in Boston and Salem, and much visiting back and forth with French revolutionary expatriates at nearby Fontaine Leval contributed to the cultivated atmosphere of the Sargent household, where Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord was a guest on at least one occasion.
Sargent's ancestor, William, came to America from Gloucester, England, before 1678, and his father, Epes, one of the largest landholders in Gloucester, Massachusetts, was a colonel of militia before the Revolution and a justice of the general session court for more than thirty years. Epes died in Gloucester in 1762, two years after Copley painted the iconic portrait which hangs in the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Paul Dudley's brother John Sargent was an exiled loyalist who became a lieutenant in the King's American Regiment. His half-brother Winthrop was the father of Winthrop Sargent, a major in the Continental Army who was appointed the first governor of the Mississippi Territory by president Adams. A first cousin, Dudley Saltonstall, was a (notorious) revolutionary war naval commander. Another nephew, Henry Sargent, was an artist and father of a famous horticulturist, Henry Winthrop Sargent. Still another nephew, Daniel Sargent of Boston, paid the elderly Colonel Sargent's respects to his former comrade-in-arms the Marquis de la Fayette during the latter's visit to the United States in 1824. The painter John Singer Sargent was descended from the first Winthrop Sargent's youngest son Fitzwilliam.
As a first name, 'Winthrop' occurs frequently among descendants of Epes Sargent's first wife, Esther McCarty, though it was Colonel Sargent's mother Katharine Winthrop Browne, Epes's second wife, who was descended from Governor John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony (and, through her mother Ann Dudley, from Governors Thomas and Joseph Dudley). Col. Sargent's own wife was Lucy Smith Sanders (often spelled 'Saunders') of the Salem mercantile family which gave its name to Sanders Theater in Harvard's Memorial Hall and whose members were among the first mansion-builders in Salem's Chestnut Street District. Like other branches of the family, the Sargents of Sullivan have many descendants.