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About Thomas Gage
Thomas GAGE was born 1700 in Yarmouth, Barnstable Co., MA., and died BEF. 1790 in Dutchess Co., NY.. He married Thankful UNKNOWN. She died BEF. OCT 1726. He married Rebecca RYDER 13 OCT 1726 in Yarmouth, Barnstable Co., MA., daughter of John RYDER and Patience ELDREDGE. She was born 5 DEC 1706 in Yarmouth, Barnstable Co., MA., and died 19 DEC 1759 in Dutchess Co., NY.. She was buried in Sears Burying Ground, aka Old Southeast, Church of East Philippi, Brewster, NY..
“He lived at Yarmouth and Harwich and possibly other places on Cape Cod where he undoubtedly made his living from the sea as did his father, grandfather, uncles and cousins but at some time about 1740 he and his family moved westward to Southeast Precinct in Dutchess County, New York. We can be reasonably sure that the reason for the move was economic…On October 13, 1726 he married Rebecca Rider, a daughter of Zachariah and Abigail (Vincent) Rider, an old Cape Cod family. Rebecca was born on Cape Cod in 1706, and died 12/19/1759 at Southeast.” (Clint Voorhees Document, p. 2)
THE MOVE TO NEW YORK
The Gage family would spend the next three generations in Southeast Precinct, through the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, where their house still stands.
THE RENT WARS
“Much has been written about the Colonial rent wars and we do not pretend to be able to add much to the existing literature, but perhaps can throw a little light on the events…Our research indicates that one of the primary causes of the rebellions of 1766 in Dutchess was not the Beekman-Livingston landlords but the dispute over the ‘Gore’ area of Pawling. We discuss the Gore in our chapter on the Beekman Patent and explain how this land was claimed by both the heirs of Philips and the heirs of Beekman and was finally ceded to the heirs of Philips on 18 Jan. 1758. There were other lands known as the Hove-out lands which also were smaller ‘gores’.
“The heirs of Philips, notably Beverly Robinson [a local wealthy loyalist], were more interested in selling the land, than in renting it. They seemed to have made unreasonable demands on the tenants living on the farms in the former Beekman lots 1, 2, and 3, [thereafter known as ‘the Undivided’ and part of the ‘Philips Highland Patent’ or ‘Upper Patent’], and the residents sought various means to assist themselves so that they would not lose their land. One tactic was to complain to the King that since the land title was in dispute it probably was never properly patented and therefore they did not have to be tenants to either Beekman or Philips.” (The Settlers of the Beekman Patent, Dutchess County, New York: an Historical and Genealogical Study, by Frank J. Doherty, Volume I, pages 384-386)
The following petition was sent on Feb. 27th,1764:
“We the Subscribers Subjects and Humble petitioners to his Majesty our sovereign Lord George the Third by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King Defender of our Christian and Protestant Faith under whom we enjoy our Christian privileges by favor of his fatherly protection we the subjects above said finding possession and living on a tract of vacant land and unpatented or not granted to any by the Kings letters patent, though claimed by several, and the civil inhabitants put to great Damage and Difficulty being disinherited and thrown out of possession at the same time the claimers refusing to give their obedient tenants a good or warrantable title by lease, deed or any other title, for their leases was for 3 lives or 21 years. Ther’s only to suit their Claims their Resolution, Especially Capt. Robinson [who] in November [became] intolerable for he would not lease the land to the inhabitants who had lived on it for near 30 years past and had manured and cultivated the same but would oblige them to buy their farm paying money down for it or else to remove immediately and lose their living without any reward but be turned out of doors; whereas if he had gave us the same privileges of tenants on reasonable terms we should have been his tenants at his will but since the matter is such and we are assured that the land belongs to the King we have hereby and Do by our appointed Committee ask and Beg the Power of Justice according [to the] Laws of our Soverign Lord the King in whose name and behalf we humbly entreat, and beg to the honourable Commissioners the Most Noble Governor and Attorney General for his Majesty that they would for the sake of our Lord the King and us his true and faithful subjects Consider and in some measure undertake for our most Noble prince and for us his true and faithful subjects who stand waiting to give account to the King and any of his most worthy officers of the Contents of the Lands and profits of the Same. And also to pay and render all which favours of Justice we importunely ask hoping for the aid and approbation of our Gracious and Noble Soverign Lord the King and his Excellency our honourable Governor & his honour the Attorney Genreal for our Lords the King for then we your Humble Servents shall forever be Bound to pray for the Happiness and Tranquility and true Felicity of Cause and Interest who remembered us in this case and condition. Dated in Dutchess County February the 27 1764.”
Thirty-nine residents of the Gore area signed this petition, the first of them being Thomas Gage. As his signature appears first, he may have been the author. (Ibid., pages 387-388)
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
“All six sons of Thomas Gage saw service in the American Revolution in various units of the Dutchess County Militia, as did two sons of Anthony, and Justus, a son of Ebenezer.” (Clint Voorhees Document, p. 2) The following list has been compiled from various sources, but primarily New York in the Revolution as Colony and State, by James A. Roberts, Comptroller, New York State:
NAME RANK SERVED UNDER
Elihu Gage Private Cols. Humphrey, Field, Vanderburgh
Anthony Gage Sergeant Col. John Field
Moses Gage Private Cols. Humphrey, Field, Ludington, Vanderburgh
Ebenezer Gage Lieut., Pvt. Cols. John Field, Henry Ludington
George Gage Private Col. Allen, Warner
Mark Gage Pvt., Sgt. Cols. Field, Graham,Hopkins
Justus Gage Private Col. John Field
The service for Ebenezer and his son Justus are given in their following individual listings.
Rebecca Ryder, Thomas’s wife, is buried in the “Sears Burying Ground,” which is located on Route 22 near “Gage Road,” in what is today Putnam County. Her cemetery inscription reads, “Rebecca, wife of Thomas Gage, died Dec. 5th, 1759, age 53.” (Pelletreau, History of Putnam County, p. 442)