Cadwallader Colden, II

Is your surname Colden?

Research the Colden family

Cadwallader Colden, II's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Related Projects

Cadwallader Colden, II

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Col. Gov. Cadwallader Colden and Alice Colden
Husband of Elizabeth Colden
Father of Cadwallader Colden; Thomas Colden; Margaret Fell and David Colden
Brother of Elizabeth Alice DeLancey; Alexander Colden; Jane Farquhar; Thomas Colden; Alice Willet and 4 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Cadwallader Colden, II

Cadwallader II was born May 26, 1722 and died February 18, 1797 at Coldengham – Cadwallader II would technically be the third son of Cadwallader and Alice since a younger brother, David, died as an infant so there were actually two David’s. He married Elizabeth Ellison (born 1725, died July 10, 1815, aged 89) in 1745. Elizabeth’s father was Thomas Ellison, very prominent person who was one of the first settlers in Orange County. In 1847, Samuel Eager (Orange County’s first historian) wrote that Thomas Ellison had sloops that sailed to New York and beyond. Thomas Ellison allowed George Washington to use his stone mansion house (Knox’s Headquarters today).Later Generals Horatio Yates and Henry Knox would stay at the Ellison home. During this period, Thomas Ellison stayed with his daughter, Elizabeth and Cadwallader II at Coldengham in the stone castle. Cadwallader II served at the first Supervisor of the Town of Montgomery along with his father in law. He held several judicial positions on the Ulster Court of Common Pleas and he was very prominent as a vestryman in the church at St. Andrew’s. Cad also served as an officer in the local militia for twenty years and he was instrumental in building block houses along the Shawangunk Ridge for the protection of local farmers from Indian attack during the French and Indian War. This strategy proved to be a success and it resulted in saving the lives of many farmers in the remote region to the west of the Wallkill River. Cad’s militia service ended in 1775 when he held the rank of colonel. During the Revolutionary War, Cadwallader II claimed neutrality and he was arrested by the New Windsor Militia, suspected of being a Loyalist, since his home militia in Hanover (Montgomery today) refused to arrest their former commander. The New Windsor folks were stirred to action by the Reverend Robert Annan who formed a church (Seceder Presbyterians) in Little Britain based on total intolerance of other religions. Rev. Annan saw Cadwallader II as the prefect target since he was from a prominent family linked to the British government and he was also an active member in the churches of St. George’s and St. Andrews, viewed as Anglican and tied to the Church of England. Cadwallader II was instructed to report to several Safety Committees over a period of several years. He was often sent home since it was apparent that he was no threat. He was finally banished to New York City for the duration of the war for his own safety.

He sought and received an appointment to the position of Commissary of Prisoners for the British*. Shortly after his appointment, he was able to negotiate a prisoner exchange that freed hundreds of men on both sides of the conflict. He was instrumental in caring for prisoners on both sides of the conflict, often providing his wife, Elizabeth, with information about their neighboring patriots held in British prisons, including some New Windsor militia who had been instrumental in his arrest. He also interceded on behalf of Loyalist neighbors like William Bull, of the Hill Hold Estate, who was being held by the Continental Army in Fishkill. Elizabeth was able to freely travel between Coldengham and New York City to see her husband. This privilege was rare and it is a testament to the high regard she had with notables on both sides of the conflict. His role as Commissary was a non-combatant and humanitarian position, which earned him the right to return to his farm and family after the war. Elizabeth and Cadwallader II cared for many members of the Colden family, after the war, including the children of his siblings, as if they were their own. They split the estate such that the children and grandchildren could care for their own families through farming and hard work. In 1795, Cadwallader II said to his wife, Elizabeth: “We have now lived together above fifty years, and I believe, no fifty years were spent happier by any other pair”. He died February 18, 1797.

Note: It should be recognized that inasmuch at Cadwallader Colden II was involved with the Commissary of Prisoners for the British during the War, there were great cruelties and deplorable conditions in the jails and prison ships.

More died in the prison ships ALONE than in all armed conflict. Funds were diverted from feeding prisoners to enrich the captors. { See: Father Knickerbocker Rebels - New York City During the Revolution Thomas Jefferson Weterbacker (1948) }

view all

Cadwallader Colden, II's Timeline

May 26, 1722
Age 22
New York
Age 31
New York
Age 34
Age 39
February 18, 1797
Age 74