Ensign Caleb Olin

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Caleb Olin

Birthdate: (84)
Birthplace: Warwick, Kent County, Rhode Island, United States
Death: August 07, 1838 (84)
Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York, United States
Place of Burial: Canton, St. Lawrence County, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Henry Olin and Martha Olin
Husband of Freelove Olin (Mitchell)
Father of Naomi Smith; Caleb Olin, Jr.; Deacon Thomas Dickens Olin; Rebecca Day; Joseph Mitchell Olin and 6 others
Brother of Justin S. Olin; Mary Tiffany (Olin); Peleg Olin; Henry Olin; Susanna Ester Dwinnell and 1 other
Half brother of Mary Richardson and Rebecca Olin

Managed by: Private User
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About Ensign Caleb Olin


[from "The John Olin Family History 1678-1893", by C.C. Olin pages 126-127]

Caleb Olin was born in Warwick, R. I., December 8, 1751. To him who feels a lively interest in the welfare of his country, the death of a revolutionary patriot is an event that makes emotions of thrilling interest. Caleb Olin came from a hardy race of distinguished men, whose spirit failed not in a trying time that was to give birth to a nation of freemen or bind the yoke of despotism with a perpetual bondage on their necks and that of posterity. These men are fast passing away. In his boyhood he was the playmate of General Green(1) , and often boasted that he could lift a larger anchor than the General, he being about six feet two inches in height and as straight as an arrow. His physical strength was almost unbounded. But very few men in the State could stand before him, on account of his superior strength and daring in personal encounters. When the spirit of freedom had pervaded the colonies, and had reached the thinly settled parts of our country, it found him poor in the things of this world, but never selfish, and always ready at his country's call to resist oppression, let it come from where it would. To a strong mind and generous feeling towards his fellow men was united great endurance and agility surpassed by no one in the State. And thus you have a sample of the "Green Mountain Boy."

He was an ensign in the company commanded by Captain Galusha, who was subsequently Governor of Vermont. He was chiefly employed in hunting Tories on the Green Mountains, under orders from the Military Committee of Safety, and it is said that Caleb Olin knew the country so well from valley to hilltop that no Tory escaped his vigilant eye. The result was that every Tory in the Green Mountains had fled to Canada. He was present at the evacuation of Ticonderoga by the Americans, and watched the movements of the British, and was at the Battle of Bennington. Here an incident occurred worthy of notice. A British officer presented his sword and sued for mercy, complaining that he had been stabbed with a bayonet. Mr. Olin gave him water from his canteen and helped him to a place of safety until proper arrangements were made for the removal of the prisoners. The British officer complained that he was barbarously treated after he had ceased to defend himself, but became satisfied before his death that from an undisciplined soldiery in defense of their wives and children, he was not to look for European tactics of war.

After the war, Mr. Olin was engaged in cultivating his farm in Shaftsbury, Vermont, for upwards of twenty years, he having married Freelove Mitchell, a lady from Block Island, Rhode Island, who bad moved to Shaftsbury from Rhode Island with her father's family. From there he moved to Addison, Vermont, with a family of seven children, where he lived until 1814, his family having increased to eleven, eight sons and three daughters, his youngest being ten years old. After that time he lived in Canton, N. Y. All of his children with one exception had preceded him, his oldest daughter, Mrs. Naomi Olin Smith, having married and settled in Addison, and lived and died there.

Throughout his life he carried out the principles of republicanism. His door was always open to the honest man, and the stranger found at his house a home. The cold and hungry traveler never left his dwelling without being warmed and fed.

Many years have elapsed since his sons and daughters passed away, and he and his good wife have long since paid the debt of nature, he having died August 7, 1838. His remains were deposited in the cemetery at the Olin settlement at Canton, New York, beside the partner of his joys and sorrows, she having preceded him only a few years, having died in 1834.

[from "The John Olin Family History 1678-1893", by C.C. Olin pages 131-132]

Grandfather emigrated from Vermont in the latter part of 1814 to Canton, St. Lawrence county, New York, bringing with him his whole family, consisting of ten children, having left one daughter in Vermont. He took up a farm in the then wilderness, and settled his family around him so that they could hear his dinner-horn, and thence commenced the struggle of making a home--an undertaking of some magnitude. It required a large amount of pluck and force of character to succeed, which he happily possessed in a very large degree. He was a Hercules in size and strength, weighing about three hundred pounds, and having the courage to make it all act in an emergency. One of the incidents which he used to relate to us boys may suffice at this time. He was resting a few minutes after dinner, and hearing his pigs cry out, stepped to the door and saw that a bear had taken one of them and was walking off with it. He started in pursuit, and coming up to it, kicked it. The bear turned on him, and he caught him by the hair and kicked him so severely that the bear tried to get away from him. He threw himself on to the bear and forced him down and riddled him from end to end.

Grandfather served entirely through the Revolutionary War, and was well stored with incidents of the struggle. There was nothing, perhaps, that he so cordially hated as a Tory, and would always use cuss words when speaking of them. He used to tell us many things about Washington and General Greene, who was his hero, and would say that General Greene was the only man in the army that could lift as much as he could. Grandfather always dressed in the old colonial style and would tolerate no other.

Respectfully yours, L. D. Olin

We will corroborate all that L. D. Olin has said in regard to the prowess and bravery of our grandfather, Calib Olin. He had a hand like the "Hand of Providence". His feet were thirteen inches in length inside of his shoes. His limbs were like the walking beams of a steam engine, and I do not wonder that a common black bear should stand in awe before such a formidable foe. Just one kick of that right limb no doubt doubled up that bear like an opossum when he is about to be attacked by an invisible foe. That left hand caught in the hair of that bear no doubt made him cry out in terror, and instead of feeding on pig meat he met the fate of all intruders where they take the chances of helping themselves. Mr. Olin not only saved his pig meat, but he laid in a good supply of bear meat for a change.

C.C. Olin, Historian from "The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution"

"He was placed on the pension roll of St.Lawrence County, NY, 1832, for service of ensign, Vermont Militia."

The FHC info states he was born in 1753 as well as his place of death in Potsdam. The 1753 date is also recorded in the DAR records book. He served in the American Revolution as an Ensign of VT and was a Pensioner. He grew up playing with Nathanael Green (General in future years) and well into being one of the Green Mountain Boys according to the Olins in America.


Service: Listing at D.A.R. Revolutionary War

Fold3.com Ancestry Operations National Archives Son of Henry Olin and his first wife Martha. Inscription: Caleb Olin Vermont Ensign Vermont Militia Revolutionary War In memory of Caleb Olin who departed life August 7, 1838 aged 84 years

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Ensign Caleb Olin's Timeline

December 8, 1753
Warwick, Kent County, Rhode Island, United States
September 15, 1777
Age 23
Shaftsbury, Bennington County, Vermont, United States
October 30, 1778
Age 24
Shaftsbury, Bennington County, Vermont, United States
August 25, 1779
Age 25
Shaftsbury, Bennington County, Vermont, United States
July 9, 1782
Age 28
Shaftsbury, Bennington County, Vermont, United States
March 29, 1784
Age 30
Shaftsbury, Bennington County, Vermont, United States