Wicket, Obediah, 1754 - 1819
Obediah Wicket was born circa 1758. As a young man, his intention to marry Bathsheba Hannet was recorded in Plymouth, Massachusetts on December 10, 1777. Approximately six months later, on June 8, 1778, he and Bathsheba were married. Within two days of his marriage, in the neighboring Town of Sandwich, Obediah enlisted in the army, serving, off and on, over a period of two and a half years. His first six month enlistment was with Captain Joseph Griffith’s Company within Colonel John Jacob’s Massachusetts Regiment.
Shortly after his enlistment, Wicket was confined to the hospital in nearby Freetown, MA, for the entire month of September into early October 1778, suffering from a debilitating bout of dysentery. While in this weakened state, Wicket contracted bilious fever and was once again confined to the hospital from October 13 until November 27, 1778. Records indicate that Wicket re-enlisted Jan 19, 1780, in the 9th Regiment and, later, as a private under Captain Abner Howard in Major Trescott’s Company, 16th Massachusetts Regiment commanded by Colonel Henry Jackson, in the early summer of 1780 when he marched to camp as part of the men from Sandwich raised for the Continental Army. His military record at that time indicated that he was 26 years old and 5 ft. 9 ins. in stature.
Muster rolls from that time period indicate he was stationed, among other places, at Springfield, York Hutts in Pompton, New Jersey, and finally mustered out at New Windsor, New York. Wicket, himself, indicated that he was present at the execution of the British spy Major John Andre in Tappan, New York in the fall of 1780. Wicket claimed he was discharged on January 26, 1781 at West Point. A pension application filed decades later indicates only nine months of service, while enlistment records and muster rolls suggest a longer period of service, albeit punctuated by his extended hospitalization.
Upon returning home to Herring Pond, Obediah Wicket worked as a servant for the Gibbs family in Sandwich, MA, a job he held prior to his military service. Obediah and his wife, Bathsheba, had several children over the years. Presumably the Bathsheba Wicket, Jr. that married Simon Valentine in 1804 was one of these children. Within the Herring Pond community, Wicket was involved in a number of political matters, signing his name, together with others from Herring Pond and the nearby Mashpee community, to petitions to the Massachusetts Legislature in 1783, 1789, 1801, 1804, 1807, and 1811. Chief among the tribe’s concerns were the diminution of their land base and regulations regarding their governance.
At some point during these post war years, tragedy struck the household of Obediah and Bathsheba Wicket, when a fire broke out, consuming the couple’s home and killing two of their children. According to Wicket this event “destroyed” him and soon after he sought support from the County of Plymouth. From 1802 to 1815, the Wicket family were provided supplies by the Guardians of the Herring Pond community. The same records indicate that Obediah Wicket was compensated for services rendered to the Tribe including, for the period of 1801-1803, caring for the child of Hannah Cowett and removing Rosanna Mingo Sepit from tribal lands. In April of 1818, Obediah and Bathsheba were still living on tribal lands and at age 60, he applied for a pension based on his service in the Revolutionary War. His application was successful and at the time of his death, a year later on June 13, 1819, he had received $110.40.
He died and was buried in the Quaker Cemetery in the Town of Leeds in Androscoggin County, Maine. Whether he was living there or merely visiting is unknown. One source suggests that it was his friendship with local resident Abiather Richmond that brought Wicket to Maine. Richmond was born and raised in Taunton, Massachusetts not far from Plymouth and the two men served in the war. In June of 1933, some 115 years after his death, Albert S. Bryant of North Leeds, Maine, applied to the War Department for a headstone for Obediah Wicket, as his grave in Quaker Cemetery there in Leeds was unmarked. A Christian headstone was delivered and erected to mark his grave and commemorate his military service.
Mass. Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, Plymouth, Births, Marriages and Deaths, Ancestry.com; U.S, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, Massachusetts, Ancestry.com; U.S. Compiled Revolutionary War Military Service Records, 1775-1783, Ancestry.com; U.S., Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900, Ancestry.com; 1783 Petition of Indians in Plymouth and Sandwich (Senate Unpassed Legislation #353), as transcribed by Dan Mandell;1789 Petition of the Herring Pond Indians, as transcribed by Andrew Pierce; Resolve on the Petition of the Herring Pond Indians, MA. Resolves, Chapter 23; Petition of Herring Pond Indians, March 9, 1801, as transcribed by Andrew Pierce; Pierce and Segal, Wampanoag Families of Martha's Vineyard, 323; Pilgrim Hall Museum, Archives, Spooner Collection, Box M, Accounts of E. Spooner and Indian Plantation,1796-1803; Petition of the Herring Pond Tribe of Indians, January 20, 1804, MA. Senate Unpassed Legislation #3208, as transcribed by Andrew Pierce; Petition of Moses Pocknet and Other Mashpee and Herring Pond Indians to the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1807.12.00.00; Petition of Moses Pocknet and Other Mashpee Indians to the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1811.01.28.00; U.S. Pension Roll of 1835, Ancestry.com; http://www.nedoba.org/bio_wicket01.html
This was part of the National Grave Registration Plan adopted by the American Legion that same year. It went on to become the Grave Registration Project as part of the Works Progress Administration under Roosevelt’s New Deal.
Died:June 13, 1819