Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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DURKEE, John, soldier, born in Windham, Connecticut, in 1728; died in Norwich, 29 May 1782. He served in the French and Indian war, becoming a Major of militia, and, from the place of his residence, was known as the "bold bean hiller." In 1766, at the time of the passage of the stamp act, the County of New London appointed him to correspond with the Sons of Liberty in the adjoining provinces, He was among those who settled in Wyoming valley under the name of the Susquehanna company in 1769, and was the leader of the Connecticut forces, commanding the fort that bore his name. Subsequently the force sent out by Governor John Penn, and taken to Philadelphia, where for a time He was closely confined, captured him. In 1770 he was released, and again took command, but afterward returned to Connecticut. At the beginning of the Revolutionary war he raised "one hundred choice men," who were annexed to Putnam's brigade, of which he was major, He distinguished himself at Bunker Hill, and commanded a regiment in the battles of Long Island, Germantown, Harlem, White Plains, Trenton, and Monmouth, and was in General John Sullivan's expedition against the Six Nations in 1779. A year later he resigned from the army.
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