Judge Hodijah Baylies (1756 - 1843)

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Birthplace: Uxbridge, Massachusetts, Ma
Death: Died
Occupation: H. Baylies, Judge of Probate
Managed by: Walter G. Ashworth
Last Updated:

About Judge Hodijah Baylies

The Grave Of Judge (Major) Hodijah Baylies remains a mystery. Many Baylies are interred at Prospect Hill Cemetery including his father. But no listing for Hodijah. Walter G. Ashworth 5th Great Nephew.

In 1785, he took his family to Dighton, Massachusetts and took up various civil positions of prominence and became a member of multiple patriotic societies . Major Baylies held the title of collector of customs from 1789 to 1809. In 1810, he was appointed the Judge of Probate in Bristol County until 1834. Thereafter, he was known as Judge Baylies. The house he owned was once a tavern that he, himself, remodeled and added onto to make it a home. He and his wife raised their four children on a farm of nearly two hundred acres

He was a reputable man known for his looks, grace, and manners. His intellect and conversation skills were held in high regard and he was noted as an interesting and lively person . He was one of the most esteemed men in Bristol County.

Walter G. Ashworth 5th Great Nephew.

Baylies Patriots

In 1777 he Graduated from Harvard College and almost immediately entered the army as a lieutenant. He was an Aid-de-Camp to General Benjamin Lincoln and General George Washington

Hodijah was a Freemason and took his first degree at the Lodge of Saint An­drew, Boston, in 1777. Major Hodijah Baylies, Patriot, Aide de camp to Gen. George Washington, 1782 to 1783. Aide-de-Camp (from 1777 to 1782) to Major General Benjamin Lincoln and was at Yorktown.

Lt. Frederick Baylies, Hodijah Baylies brother marched on the Rhode Island Alarm, 1776, in Capt. Edward C. Blake's company, Col. George Williams' Bristol County regiment. In 1777 he served on a secret expedition. He was born in Uxbridge; died in Sturbridge, Mass.

After the British seized control of New York City in autumn 1776, Washington directed the activities of numerous spies there. Of particular note was the Culper spy ring, which comprised about 20 people. This network, established in the summer of 1778, was managed by Major Benjamin Tallmadge of the 2nd Connecticut Light Dragoons, who operated from an outpost on the Hudson River above the city. The Culper ring was the most professional of Washington's agent networks. It used code names, secret writing, enciphered communications, couriers, dead drops, signal sites, and specific collection requirements.

Judge Hodijah Baylies

In 1777 he Graduated from Harvard College and almost immediately entered the army as a lieutenant. He was an Aid to General Benjamin Lincoln.

Hodijah was a Freemason and took his first degree at the Lodge of Saint An­drew, Boston, in 1777.

During the Rev. War he was Maj. Hodijah Baylies, aide-de-camp to General George Washington 1782-1783. He was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.

from a book titled "People & Events of the American Revolution" by Dupuy/Hammerman. R.R. Bowker Company, 1974. pg.288.

Major Hodijah Baylies, Patriot, Aide de camp to Gen. George Washington, 1782 to 1783. Aide-de-Camp to Major General Benjamin Lincoln at Yorktown.

General Cornwallis did not attend the surrender ceremony (Oct 19,1781). Saying that he did not feel well (he basically just lost the war for all intents and purposes), Cornwallis sent a subordinate, General O'Hara. O'Hara tried to surrender to the commander of the French forces, Comte de Rochambeau. De Rochambeau directed the British officer to General Washington, who in turn directed O'Hara to surrender to Washington's subordinate, Major General Benjamin Lincoln. General Lincoln directed O'Hara to hand the sword to Major Hodijah Baylies then to Gen. Lincoln. A painting of this event still hangs in the North Dighton Church in Mass. Later he became Judge Baylies and married Gen. Lincoln's daughter.'''

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Note, George Washington went through 36 Aide de Camps in five years. That is over seven a year perod. Hodijah Baylies, the 37th, was his Aide for the final two years and after the war he lived at Mount Vernon for over year helping George Washington with documenting all the personal who served in the War. Every soldier that served in the Army received a pension. As an expression of gratitude President Washington appointed Major Baylies to a judgeship in Mass.

George Washington's Military Family

In the 18th century the expression used to describe the staff of a general officer was "his family". By examining his choice of family members is one of the best methods of judging a general's administrative ability. The men chosen by General George Washington is a study in excellence.

From surviving accounts, being a member of George Washington's family was exhausting. It required the Aides-de-Camp to get up before sunrise and work until the late hours of the night. Army exists because of paperwork! In the 18th century, that meant quill and paper.

There were two means of communication available to Washington, person-to-person conversation and handwritten letters, laboriously prepared, always by quill, and often by the inadequate light of a flickering candle.

The method of preparing and preserving written communications is a story in itself. Generally a subject was discussed between the General and his Aide de-Camp, a draft letter or order was prepared, corrected and approved by the General, then rewritten in final form for his signature. A copy was then written in the "Letter Book", along with the letter it referred to, or the answer to the General's letter was inserted. If the letter was important enough, it was personally delivered by one of the Aides-de-Camp. These duties were constant, whether the army was encamped, or on the march.

In the campaigns that

followed he took part in much hard fighting at Savannah, Charleston, and elsewhere, acquitting himself creditably in whatever situation he was placed. He was in the city of Charleston during the memorable siege by the British, and when Lincoln finally surrendered to Clinton on the 12th of May, 1780, he was included among the prisoners of war. He rejoined the army as soon as his exchange was effected ; was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, and having been selected by Washington as one of his aids, remained in this position until the end of the war. He stayed for some time (over a year) with Washington at Mount Vernon after peace was concluded, receiving a brevet as major in the army. He returned to the North in 1784, and married Elizabeth Lincoln, daughter of Gen. Lincoln, who resided in Hingham, in this State. After residing for a time in Hingham he removed to Taunton, and engaged in business as a manufacturer of iron, the works being at Westville. The anchor for the frigate "Constitution" were made at the Baylies Forge

The duties of the Aides-de-Camp were often dangerous. On the field of battle, they galloped about the battlefield delivering the General’s orders or observing the action for him. At the Battle of Monmouth, in 1778, three Aides-de-Camp, Alexander Hamilton, John Fitzgerald, and John Laurens were all wounded. On more than one occasion the Aides-de-Camp had to gallop through a hail of musket balls to force the utterly fearless Washington to retire to safety.

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After the end of the American Revolution, Hodijah, youngest son of Nicholas and a distinguished veteran of the war, took over control of the iron works. During this time, among other large contracts, he made the anchor for the frigate USS Constitution in 1797. This was considered a great event in iron manufacture at the time. It required ten yoke of oxen to transport the anchor to tidewater at Dighton, to be taken on board Old Ironsides at Boston.[11] Hodijah continued in the iron business until 1810, when he received the appointment of judge of probate, which office he held twenty four years. He disposed of the privilege and old mills to John West in 1809, who built the paper mill on the opposite side of the river. West, who had been a merchant in Boston, was the first paper manufacturer in the Old Colony. In 1823-24, West associated with Crocker & Richmond built a cotton mill on the site of the old iron works. He continued as agent of the cotton and paper mills until the time of his death in 1827. The cotton mill was then managed by Crocker & Richmond until the time of their suspension in 1837. It later became part of Whittenton Mills, operating as Westville Spinning Mill. In 1930, a bronze plaque was placed near the spot once occupied by the Baylies Iron Works

Hartford Convention

Delegates to the Hartford Convention:

Hodijah Baylies was an officer in the Continental army, in which he served efficiently. He was for many years judge of probate in his county, and was distinguished for sound understanding, fine talents, and unimpeachable integrity.

His ancestors resided in the parish of Alvechurch, county of Worcester,England.

Maj. Baylies was said to have been one of the handsomest men in the army. His deportment, while showing his military training,

was yet easy and graceful, and his manners were polished and engaging. While he was in the army, Robert Treat Paine, the jurist

and statesman, who knew him well, said to his mother, "Your son, madame, has all the elegance of the British officers, without any

of their vices." The vigor of his mental faculties was sustained to the last. " His perceptions," says a writer in an obituary notice in a

New Bedford paper, " were clear and acute. His conversation, marked by strong sense, abounding with anecdotes and interesting

reminiscences of the Revolution, exhibited, almost to the last days of his life, the liveliness of youth, without any of the garrulity of

age, always tasteful, animated, and correct."

Son of Maj. Nicholas Baylies, Nathaniel E. Smith's mother was Hannah Baylies.

On the Gravestone of Hannah Baylies Smith, Hodijah Baylies being her great uncle Her Grand father Lt. Fredrick Baylies. It reads:

"HANNAH E. BAYLIES

wife of Nathaniel M. Smth"

She is buried in Southbridge Ma. in the Oak Ridge Cemetery. She was an incredible woman.

Walter G. Ashworth, Judge Hodijah Baylies, Patriot, is my fifth Great Uncle. His brother, Lt. Fredrick Baylies is my 4th Great Grand Father. -------------------- Judge Hodijah Baylies, son of Nicholas and Elizabeth (Parks) Baylies, was born at Taunton, Massachusetts, September 17, 1756, died at Dighton, April 26, 1843.

He was graduated from Harvard College with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1777, and in the same year enlisted in a company. Then he was appointed aide-de-camp to General Benjamin Lincoln, one of the most famous soldiers of the Revolutionary War, and served with him at the siege of Charleston and the capture of Yorktown.

He was appointed aide-de-camp to General George Washington, May 3, 1782. He settled at Dighton about the year 1785.

He occupied various civil positions of prominence, including that of collector of the port of Dighton, to which he was appointed August 4, 1789, and from February 20, 1810, to December 20, 1834, was judge of probate in Bristol County. He was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati and several other patriotic societies.

Judge Baylies married, in 1784, Elizabeth, daughter of General Benjamin Lincoln, of Hingham, who was delegated to receive the sword of Cornwallis at the battle of Yorktown. General Lincoln's family were among the earliest settlers of new England.

The anchor on the USS Constitution, now in Boston Harbor was manufactured by the "Baylies Iron Works".

Dighton Community Church Its reputation as one of the most beautiful colonial churches in New England is due to the generosity of Mrs. Walter C. Baylies who in 1930 renovated it in honor of her husband’s ancestors who had worshiped there. As far as possible, the features of the original building were restored.


The plaque in the church vestibule reads:


“Restored in A.D. 1930 by Charlotte Upham Baylies Wife of Walter Cabot Baylies Great grandson of Major Hodijah Baylies Who was a member of this Church and Aid-de-camp to General Washington during the Revolution.”

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Judge Hodijah Baylies's Timeline

1756
September 17, 1756
Ma
1786
1786
Age 29
1787
September 22, 1787
Age 31
Hingham, Massachusetts, United States
1789
1789
Age 32
1792
1792
Age 35
1843
April 26, 1843
Age 86
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