William Barton (1748 - 1831) MP

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Birthplace: Warren, Bristol County, Rhode Island
Death: Died in Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States
Managed by: Shelley Chrystal Mactyre
Last Updated:

About William Barton

William Barton (1748–1831) was an officer in the Continental Army during the American War of Independence who retired with the rank of colonel. He later served as adjutant general of the Rhode Island militia.

DAR Ancestor #: A007137

Barton was born in Warren, Rhode Island on May 26, 1748. He worked as a hatter in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1771, he married Rhoda Carver. In 1775, he enlisted in the Continental Army as a corporal. He fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill. On August 2, 1775 he was appointed the adjutant of Richmond's Rhode Island Regiment. He was promoted to captain on November 1, 1775.

"In July of 1777, Barton chose thirty eight elite soldiers, some from the 1st Rhode Island, the all-black regiment which was also under his command and went on an amazing adventure which produced one of the most daring captures of the war."

As as a major in the Rhode Island state troops, he planned and led a raid on British headquarters, capturing Major General Richard Prescott. On the night of 10 July, with 38 men in four whaleboats, Barton crossed Narragansett Bay, passed unobserved by three British frigates, and, landing about half way between Newport and Bristol Ferry, went to the farm house where Prescott had his headquarters. The guards were surprised, the door of Prescott's room was broken in, and the general was hurried away half dressed and taken to Warwick Point, and afterward to Providence. For this exploit, the Continental Congress gave Barton a sword and passed a resolution honoring his service.

Barton was promoted to lieutenant colonel on November 10, 1777 and was made colonel of Stanton's regiment of the Rhode Island Militia with "rank and pay of colonel in the Continental Army" upon the resignation of Colonel Joseph Stanton, Jr.. He served until the end of the war.[1]

Freemason: Became a member of St. John's Lodge, Providence, Rhode Island in 1779.[1]

In 1783 Barton became an original member of the Rhode Island Society of the Cincinnati.

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Col. William Barton's Timeline

1748
May 26, 1748
Warren, Bristol County, Rhode Island
1771
April 26, 1771
Age 22
Providence RI
December 16, 1771
Age 23
Providence RI
1773
December 20, 1773
Age 25
1776
July 20, 1776
Age 28
1778
July 20, 1778
Age 30
1780
November 18, 1780
Age 32
1782
December 19, 1782
Age 34
1785
April 3, 1785
Age 36
1788
March 5, 1788
Age 39