Gen. Josiah Whitney

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Josiah Whitney

Birthdate: (74)
Birthplace: Stow, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Death: January 24, 1806 (74)
Ashby, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Place of Burial: Ashby, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Whitney, III and Hannah Whitney
Husband of Sarah Whitney and Sarah Whitney
Father of Josiah Whitney, Jr.; Elizabeth Whitney; Stephen Whitney; Sarah Burgess; Oliver Whitney and 7 others
Brother of Mary Gates; Sgt. Daniel Whitney; Richard Whitney, IV; Sarah Whitney; Jonathan Whitney and 3 others

Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Gen. Josiah Whitney

Josiah Whitney DAR Ancestor #: A125185

  • Birth: Oct 12 1731 - Stow, Middlesex, Massachusetts
  • Death: Jan 24 1806 - Ashby, Middlesex, Massachusetts
  • Parents: Richard Whitney, Hannah Whitcomb
  • Married: Sarah Farr, Sarah Dwelly

From Frederick C. Pierce, The Descendants of John Whitney,] Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635 (Chicago, IL: The Author, 1895), pp. 85-87.:

The citizen of Harvard who held the highest military rank during the Revolutionary war was Col. Josiah WHITNEY. He was at that time the town's most noted and influential citizen and the leader of the majority in town, politics.

He was born in Stow, the youngest son of Richard and Hannah (WHITCOMB) WHITNEY, his mother being a near relative of the veteran military leaders Col. Asa and Gen. John WHITCOMB. Sept. 2, 1746, his parents deeded to him land in Harvard, which he occupied soon after marriage. His dwelling stood nearly opposite the present almshouse until torn down in 1869, after it had served the town for forty-five years as a home for its paupers.

He inherited a fondness for military affairs, and when about his majority he entered upon what later proved a most brilliant military record. In the spring of 1755 he was a member of the company commanded by Capt. William PIERCE, that marched in Col. WHITCOMB's regiment against the French and Indians at Crown Point. He was in the bloody battle at Lake George, Sept. 8, 1755, where the gallant Dieskau, leading a large force of French and Indians, was signally defeated by the undisciplined valor of the New England yeomanry led by Gen. Phineas LYMAN.


In July, 1777, the Massachusetts Council of War, suddenly aware of New England's peril if the victorious progress of BURGOYNE was not stayed, hurriedly sent heavy reinforcements of militia to aid Gen. Benj. LINCOLN, who was then harass- ing the rear of the invading army. Col. Josiah WHITNEY, on July 27 ordered a draft of one-sixth of the training bands and alarm lists in his regiment to march at once to Bennington with six days rations, and on Aug. 2 ordered one-half of the militia to follow with eight days rations. Jan. 13, 1778, he was chairman of a committee which had been appointed by the town "to take into consideration the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union of the United States of America Concerted on by Congress." The report urged the representative to use his best efforts to support our independency. In Aug. and Sept., 1778, a more determined attempt was made by the Continental forces to wrest Rhode Island from the enemy, an attack by the combined forces of the French and Americans, on land and water, being agreed upon. Again a tempest disarranged well-laid plans by driving the French fleet to sea, and the battle of Quaker's Hill closed with honor an unsuccessful campaign. ...


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Gen. Josiah Whitney's Timeline

October 12, 1731
Stow, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Age 21
Harvard, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
May 7, 1755
Age 23
Harvard, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
May 1, 1757
Age 25
Harvard, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
Age 43
Harvard, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
January 9, 1776
Age 44
Harvard, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
November 17, 1778
Age 47
Harvard, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
October 2, 1780
Age 48
Harvard, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States