Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PAULDING, John, patriot, born in New York city in 1758; died in Staatsburg, Dutchess County, New York, 18 February, 1818. He served throughout the war of the Revolution, and was three times taken prisoner by the British. A few days after his escape from his second imprisonment he assisted in capturing John Andre Paulding, Isaac Van Wart, and David Williams were, on 23 September, 1780, patrolling the east bank of the Hudson river, in search of the Tory depredators, known as cow-boys, and when Andre, who was on his way back to the British lines after his interview with Benedict. Arnold, had reached a point within half a mile of Tarrytown, Paulding sprang out of a thicket, where he had been secreted with his companions, presented a firelock at Andre's breast, and asked which way he was going. Supposing the men to be cow-boys, Andre replied" '" Gentlemen, I hope you belong to our party?" "Which party?" asked Paulding. "The lower party," said Andre. Paulding replied that he did. "Then," said Andre, "I am a British officer, out on particular business, and I hope you will not detain me a minute." Upon this Paulding ordered him to dismount. Seeing that he had made a mistake, And then produced a pass that had been given to him by Arnold, adding" "By stopping me you will detain the general's business." Paulding then apologized for his action, and said that they did not mean to take anything from him. He, however, added that there were "many bad people going along the road" perhaps you may be one of them." On being further questioned, Andre declared that he carried no letters. He was, however, taken among the bushes and searched, when three parcels were discovered under each stocking. Among these were a plan of the fortifications of West Point, a memorial from the engineer on the attack and de-fence of that place, and returns of the garrison, cannon, and stores, in Arnold's handwriting. He was then asked by Williams whether he would give his horse, saddle, bridle, watch, and 100 guineas to be released. He eagerly promised these, and any sum of money, or quantity of dry-goods, his captors might name, when Paulding interfered, saying: "No, by God, if you would give us 10,000 guineas you should not stir a step." The three men took their prisoner to the nearest military post at North Castle, and delivered him to the officer in command. They then went away without claiming any reward, or even leaving their names. On being asked subsequently during the trial of Joshua Hett Smith, who had rowed Andre from the "Vulture" to meet Arnold and had left him just previous to his capture, why he did not release his prisoner when the pass was shown, he replied'" Because he said before he was a British officer. Had he pulled out. General Arnold's pass first, I should have let him go." Washington sought out the three men who, "leaning only on their virtue and an honest sense of their duty," could not be tempted by gold. On his recommendation congress presented to each a silver medal, bearing on one side the word "Fidelity" and on the other the legend " Vincit amor patriae," and ordered that in each case an annuity of $200 be paid. Paulding lies buried in St. Peter's churchyard, near Peekskill, New York In 1827 a marble monument was erected over his grave by the corporation of the city of New York, and an address was made by William Paulding, who was then mayor.--John's son, Hiram, naval officer, born in New York city, 11 December, 1797 ; died in Huntington, L. I., 20 October, 1878, entered the navy as midshipman, 1 September, 1811, and participated in the victory oil Lake Champlain under Commander McDonough on 11 September, 1814, for which he, with others, received a vote of thanks from congress on 20 October, 1814. He served in the frigate "Constellation" during the Algerine war, was commissioned lieutenant, 27 April, 1816, cruised in the frigate "Macedonian" in 1820-'2, suppressing piracy m the West Indies, and commanded the schooner "Shark" in the Mediterranean in 1834-'7. He was promoted to commander, 9 February, 1837, and had charge of the sloop "Levant" in the Mediterranean in 1839-'41. After becoming a captain on 29 February, 1844, he was on the sloop " Vincennes" in the East Indies in 1846-'7 and the frigate "St. Lawrence" in 1849-'50. He was in charge of the navy-yard at Washington, D. C., in 1853-'5, and of the home squadron in 1856-'8. On 21 December, 1861, he was retired by law, being over sixty-two years of age, and on 16 July, 1862, he was promoted to rear-admiral on the retired list. During the civil war he rendered valuable service in command of the navy-yard at New York until May, 1865, when he was placed on waiting orders until his death, at which time he was the senior officer on the retired list of the navy. The navy department published an obituary order to commemorate his long, faithful, and distinguished service.--John's nephew, William, lawyer, born in Tarrytown, New York, in 1769; died there, 11 February, 1854. His father, William, a brother of John, represented Suffolk county in the 1st Provincial congress, which met in New York city, 23 May, 1775. The son received a classical education, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and began to practise in New York city. He was elected to congress as a Democrat, serving from 4 November, 1811, till 3 March, 1813, but was absent from his seat during the last session on account of having taken the field as brigadier-general of volunteer militia. In 1821 he was a delegate to the State constitutional convention, and from 6 March, 1824, till 5 March, 1826, he served as mayor of the city of New York. On Sunday, 15 August, 1824, at the head of a deputation of citizens, he welcomed Lafayette back to this country on the deck of the "Cadmus." On the following day the distinguished guest was taken to the city-hall, and welcomed by Mayor Paulding in an appropriate address. While still a resident of New York city, and after retiring from the mayoralty, Paulding lived in one of the finest blocks in the neighborhood, known as Paulding's row, in Jay street, on the corner of Greenwich. He subsequently built a country-seat at Tarrytown, New York, where he resided until his death.--John's grandson, Leonard, born in New York city, 16 February, 1826; died in the Bay of Panama, 29 April, 1867, entered the navy as midshipman, 19 December, 1840, and was promoted master, 1 March, 1855, lieutenant the following September, lieutenant-commander, 16 July, 1862, and commander, 24 December, 1865. Out of twenty-four years in the navy, he was only two years unemployed, seeing service on the survey, off the coast of Africa, in the Mediterranean, on the lakes, in the naval observatory, on the Paraguay expedition, and on the Pacific. At the beginning of the civil war he was ordered to St. Louis to superintend the construction of iron-clads, and commanded the "St. Louis," the first vessel of that kind that was built in the United States, doing valuable service at Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Island No. 10, Fort Pillow, and in many skirmishes with Confederate gun-boats. While thus employed he was attacked by acute dysentery, but still continued at his post. He was wounded at Fort Donelson, and again at Island No. 10, by the explosion of a 100-pound rifle-gun, which threw him in the air, and killed and maimed more than a dozen others. After a few months' absence on sick-leave he reported for duty, and after being stationed a short time at the Brooklyn navy-yard he was ordered to command the " Galena," of the James river squadron. After the war he was successively in command of the " Monocacy," " Eutaw," "Cyane," on the Pacific squadron, and the "Wateree," on board of which he died.
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