Nedson, James, 1757 - 1826
On November 25, 1780 a young James Nedson or Ned enlisted in Webb’s 3rd Connecticut Regiment, Captain Timothy Allen’s 8th Company for a three-year period during the Revolutionary War. Records indicate he served with Captain Allen’s Company as well as with Captain Dorrance’s 6th Company for a little over two years.
According to Lt. Col. Ebenezer Huntington, Nedson was in service in 1781 at West Point, New York, having wintered at Connecticut Village near Constitution Island, opposite the Point. It is possible that Nedson fought with the Connecticut Line under Lafayette in Virginia and saw the surrender of British troops at Yorktown.
Shortly after returning home, James Nedson married Tyra Apes in Stonington on April 1, 1787. His name appears a year later on a 1788 tribal petition to the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut requesting new overseers. During 1783-1788 James Nedson received services from the Town of Stonington as indicated by entries in the town receipt books. In May of 1815 a state-appointed commission was inquiring into the condition of children on Connecticut Indian reservations and the James Nedson household was listed as having four school-aged children.
Five years later, James, age 63 of North Stonington, Connecticut wrote a deposition for a pension June 26, 1820, stating that he had served in Captain Timothy Allen’s Company, 3rd Regiment. According to Nedson, he and his wife Tyra, age 66, had eleven children, two of whom depended on their father’s support: Anna, age 30, and Thomas, age 20. He also supported two grandchildren: Jane Nedson, age 7, and Sally Nedson, age 3. He owned one old house, worth 20 dollars, some household furniture, dishes, tools, two pigs, but no land, it being held in common by the Tribe. Nedson, a laborer by occupation, was infirm suffering from rheumatism.
It was around this time in 1820 that Jedediah Morse in his travels through the region noted James Nedson, along with Samuel Shelly, Cyrus Shelly, Sr., and Samuel Shantup, as being one of the principal men in the tribe. James Nedson was enumerated in the records of the overseer for the Eastern Pequot Tribe for the years 1822 until 1824 credited with his part of the rental of Indian land to neighboring non-natives. The estate of James of North Stonington was probated April 4, 1826. The widow Tyra Nedson received an allowance of $28.14 for her support. His probate inventory consisted of $48 in banknotes and one gun or small arms worth $4.
Bates, List and Returns, 281, 325, 329; Johnston, CT Military Records, 333; An Indian Soldier at West Point, Colonial & Revolutionary War, Americana, Cohasco, Inc., Auction Catalogue. William Williams, Justice Records, Memorial of the Pequot Indians at Stonington, 1788.05.00.00, IP 1.2.252; Town of Stonington Receipt Books, CSL, RG 7, Boxes 122, 128, 130; NARA M804. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, Pension # S. 36188; Deforest, History of the Indians of CT, 442-3; NLCC:PbS, Indians, Eastern Pequot; North Stonington/Stonington Probate 1826: 2292.