Brig. Gen. Gold Silliman (Colonial Militia)

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Brig. Gen. Gold Silliman (Colonial Militia)'s Geni Profile

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Gold Selleck Silliman

Birthplace: Fairfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut Colony
Death: Died in Connecticut, United States
Place of Burial: Fairfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Ebenezer Silliman and Abigail Silliman
Husband of Martha Silliman and Mary Silliman
Father of Benjamin Silliman
Brother of Ebenezer Silliman; Amelia Gold Silliman; Hezekiah Silliman; Jonathan Silliman; Abigail Silliman and 2 others

Occupation: Brigadier General
Managed by: Wayne Matthew Jauss
Last Updated:

About Brig. Gen. Gold Silliman (Colonial Militia)

Birth: May 7, 1732 Wallingford New Haven County Connecticut, USA Death: Jul. 21, 1790 Fairfield Fairfield County Connecticut, USA

From "Connecticut Trilogy" by Marguerite Allis, 1934, p. 298, "... for in May of 1776 a scouting party of British came along this road (King's Highway). General Silliman was at home with his wife who was in delicate health and, even when some of the redcoats entered the house, he stood his ground by her bedside. Quickly he snatched a blanket and threw it over a basket standing near by so that the British, although they carried off the American officer, failed to notice the sacred chalices and tankards which Gold Selleck, who also a deacon,had taken home for safe keeping. This communion service is today the most prized prossession of Fairfield Congregational Church. The General was taken to Long Island and later exchanged; meanwhile, Mrs. Silliman remained on Holland Hill, where she succored many refugees from the July disaster. However, when her son Benjamin was born she had departed for a safer place. This (Benjamin) was that illustrious Professor Silliman who for forty years instructed the youth of Yale and who was called by Edward Everett the Nestor of American Science."

The son of Ebenezer & Abigail (Selleck) Silliman, he married (1) Martha Davenport on Jan. 21, 1754 and (2) Mary (Fish) Noyes, daughter of Rev. Joseph & Rebecca Fish and widow of Rev. John Noyes, on May 21, 1775. A graduate of Yale College, he was made General in 1776, and was one of Washington's top Generals in the Rev. War being in charge of protecting the southwestern frontier of Conn. from the British who occupied New York City, Westchester Co. and Long Island. He took part in the battle of White Plains, N. Y. He was a scholar, patriot and Christian.

Gen. Data from Colonial New Haven Newspapers, Scott & Convers, Baltimore: Gen. Pub. Co., 1979, "Mr.'s Ebenezer Wakeman, G. Selleck Silliman, & David Burr, Jr., were appointed managers of a lottery for the purpose of raising money to compensate a widow & her partners for loss of a dwelling house in Fairfield."

According to a FAG visitor, he is a distant cousin of the actor, Tom Selleck.

Family links:

 Ebenezer Silliman (1707 - 1775)
 Abigail Selleck Silliman (1707 - 1772)

 Martha Davenport Silliman (1733 - 1774)*
 Mary Fish Dickinson (1735 - 1818)*

 William Silliman (1756 - 1816)*
 Priscilla Silliman (1772 - 1773)*
 Gold Selleck Silliman (1777 - 1868)*
 Benjamin Silliman (1779 - 1864)*

 Gold Seleck Silliman (1732 - 1790)
 Amelia Silliman Gold (1736 - 1794)*
  • Calculated relationship

Inscription: GOLD SELLECK SILLIMAN Esq'r. Attorney at Law. Justice of the Peace and during the late War Colonel of Horse & Brigadier Gen of Militia died July 21st 1790. Aged 58 Years: Having discharged these and other public Offices, with Reputation and dignity: and in private life shone The affectinate Husband tender Parent exemplary Christian and Man of fervent Piety "Ye OLD BURYING GROUND OF FAIRFIELD, CONN." by Mrs. Kate Perry

Burial: Old Burying Ground Fairfield Fairfield County Connecticut, USA

Created by: Nareen, et al Record added: Jul 09, 2004 Find A Grave Memorial# 9072740 ________________________________

A Patriot of the American Revolution for CONNECTICUT with the rank of BRIGADIER GENERAL. DAR Ancestor # A103648

Gold Selleck was an Attorney, Justice of the Peach, Colonel of House and Brigadier General of the Militia. He was a member of the Congregational Church and he graduated from Yale in 1753

Gold Selleck Silliman (1732–1790) was born in Fairfield, Connecticut, graduated from Yale University and practiced law and served as a crown attorney before the American Revolution. He became a militia General during the American War for Independence.


Silliman was appointed as a Colonel of the Fourth Regiment Connecticut militia in May, 1775 and became Brigadier General in 1776. He patrolled the southwestern border of Connecticut, where the loyalists of Westchester County, New York caused constant irritation and concern for patriot towns and farms along the Connecticut coast. He also fought with the main army during the New York Campaign of 1776 and opposed the British raid on Danbury in 1777. At the beginning of Tryon’s raid on Danbury, Connecticut, the General was at his home in Fairfield. As soon as he heard word of the British landing on the coast, he sent out expresses to alarm the nearby towns and to collect the militia. By Noon the next day he arrived in Redding, Connecticut with five hundred men and was joined by Major General David Wooster and Brigadier General Benedict Arnold in the Battle of Ridgefield.

One night in May 1779, nine tories crossed the sound in a whale boat from Lloyd’s Neck. One of the tories had been previously employed by Silliman as a carpenter, so he knew the house well. Eight of the men forced their way into the house at midnight and took the general and his son. They were taken to Oyster Bay, New York and finally to Flatbush.

The Americans had no prisoner of equal rank to exchange for General Silliman, so they captured one. The Honorable Thomas Jones, a highly reputed loyalist, was captured in November 1779 by U.S. Naval Captain David Hawley and brought back to Connecticut. Silliman and Jones were exchanged in May 1780, with the General’s son being exchanged as well. These heroic events were accurately depicted in the 1994 TV movie Mary Silliman's War by Heritage Films based on the 1984 biography by Richard & Joy Buel. General Silliman died in 1790.


The General's son Benjamin Silliman was born in a tavern, originally the home of Ebenezer Hawley in Trumbull, Connecticut, after his mother fled Fairfield ahead of the invading British troops. Benjamin Silliman was the first professor of science at Yale University and the first to distill petroleum.

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Brig. Gen. Gold Silliman (Colonial Militia)'s Timeline

May 7, 1732
Fairfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut Colony
August 8, 1779
Age 47
North Stratford, Trumbull, CT
July 21, 1790
Age 58
Connecticut, United States
Fairfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States