Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum
   You are in: Museum of History >> Hall of North and South Americans >> William Ledyard





American’s Four United Republics: Discovery-Based Curriculum

For more information go to Historic.us

 

Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





Virtual American Biographies

Over 30,000 personalities with thousands of 19th Century illustrations, signatures, and exceptional life stories. Virtualology.com welcomes editing and additions to the biographies. To become this site's editor or a contributor Click Here or e-mail Virtualology here.



A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 



William Ledyard

LEDYARD, William, soldier, born in Groton, Connecticut, about 1750; died there, 7 September, 1781. He held the commission of colonel in the militia of Connecticut, and during the expedition of Benedict Arnold Mong the coast of that state in September, 1781, was in command of Fort Trumbull and Fort Griswold, which protected New London. In the latter work, with 157 hastily collected and poorly armed militia, he resisted for nearly an hour the attack of a British force of 800 men led by Lieutenant-Colonel Eyre. This attack was made on three sides, and, although there was a battery between the fort and the river, the Americans could spare no men to work it. The enemy made their way into the fosse and scaled the works in the face of a severe fire from the little garrison. Lieutenant-Colonel Eyre was wounded, and died twelve hours afterward on shipboard, and his successor, Major Montgomery, having been killed while mounting the parapet, the command devolved upon Major Bromfield, a Tory, who effected an entrance into the fort after nearly 200 of his men had been disabled, including 48 killed, the Americans having lost only about twelve men. Colonel Ledvard ordered his men to cease firing and to lay down their arms. "Who commands this garrison?" shouted Bromneld, as he entered. "I did, sir, but you do now," replied Ledyard, handing him his sword. According to the generally received tradition, Bromfield immediately plunged the weapon to the hilt in the body of Ledyard, killing him instantly. The waistcoat that was worn by Ledyard on this occasion is still (1887) preserved by the Connecticut historical society. A massacre of the Americans then ensued, in which nearly 100 were killed or wounded. A monument has been erected near the spot to commemorate this event. Arnold, in a despatch to Sir Henry Clinton, two days afterward, gave the impression that the killed were victims of honorable strife. "I have inclosed a return of the killed and wounded, by which your excellency will observe that our loss, though very considerable, is short of the enemy's, who lost most of their officers, among whom was their commander, Colonel Ledyard. Eighty-five men were found dead in Port Griswold, and sixty wounded, most of them mortally. Their loss on the opposite side (New London) must have been considerable, but cannot be ascertained." On the following morning at dawn Colonel Ledyard's niece, Fanny, visited the prisoners, who had been conveyed across the river, to alleviate their sufferings.--His nephew, John, traveller, born in Groton, Connecticut, in 1751; died in Cairo, Egypt, 17 January, 1789, lost his father at an early age, and after an ineffectual attempt to study law, entered Dartmouth in 1772, with a view toward fitting himself for missionary duty among the Indians. The restraints of this mode of life proving irksome, he absented himself from college for several months, during which he visited the Indians of the Six Nations, and finally abandoned the idea of becoming a missionary, and, embarking on the Connecticut river in a canoe of his own fashioning, floated to Hartford. After a brief experience as a theological student, he shipped at New London as a common sailor in a vessel that was bound for the Mediterranean, and at Gibraltar enlisted in a British regiment, from which he was discharged at the request of his captain. Returning to New London by way of the West Indies at the end of a year, he soon embarked from New York for England, and arrived in London when Captain Cook was about to sail on his third and last voyage around the world. Having procured an introduction to Cook, he was engaged for the expedition, and made corporal of marines. He kept a private journal of this voyage, which, in accordance with a general order of the government, was taken from him on the return of the expedition to England. Subsequently he wrote from recollection, assisted by a brief sketch that was issued under the sanction of the admiralty, an account of the expedition, which was published (Hartford, 1783). During the two years succeeding his return to England he remained in the service of the British navy, but refused to take arms against his native country. In December, 1782, being in a British man-of-war off Long Island, he escaped and revisited his friends after an absence of eight years. After spending many months in fruitless endeavors to fit out an expedition to the northwestern coast of North America, which he was the first of his countrymen to propose, he embarked for Europe in June, 1784, in the hope of finding there the means for carrying out this project. He remained several months in Lorient, where hopes of receiving command of a ship for an exploring expedition were held out to him. Upon the failure of these negotiations he went in 1785 to Paris, where he was received by Thomas Jefferson, then minister to France, Lafayette, and others, and found in Paul Jones a ready co-operator in his plans of maritime exploration. After these had failed he determined to carry out his original design by a journey through northern Europe and Asia, and across Bering straits to the western hemisphere. An application to Catherine II. of Russia for permission to pass through her dominions, which was made by Mr. Jefferson, remained unanswered for five months, during which time Mr. Ledyard went to London, where the influence of Sir James Hall obtained him free passage to the Pacific, but the vessel was brought back by order of the government, and the voyage abandoned. He was finally supplied with a sum of money by Sir Joseph Banks and others, and departed on his long overland journey in 1786. On his arrival at Stockholm, he attempted to cross the Gulf of Bothnia on the ice to Abo in Finland, but was met by open water, which caused him to alter his course, and in the depth of winter he walked around the whole coast of the gulf, arriving in St. Petersburg in the latter part of March, without money, shoes, or stockings. This journey of about 1,400 miles was accomplished in less than seven weeks. After a delay of several weeks, he procured his passport from the empress and received permission to accompany Dr. Brown, a Scotchman in the Russian service, as far as Barnaul, in southern Siberia, a distance of about 3,000 miles. He then travelled with a Swedish officer, Lieutenant Laxman, to Irkutsk, whence he sailed in a small boat down the Lena to Yakutsk. Permission being refused to go to Okhotsk, he accompanied Captain Billings, in the Russian service, back to Irkutsk, where, on 24 February, 1788, he was arrested by order of the empress. Accompanied by two guards, he was conducted with speed to the frontiers of Poland, and there dismissed with an intimation that he would be hanged if he entered Russia. The reason for this summary expulsion of Ledyard has never been satisfactorily explained. He returned to London in the spring, to use his own words," disappointed, ragged, and penniless, but with a whole heart," and was cordially received by Sir Joseph Banks and others who had befriended him. Undaunted by adversity, he eagerly accepted an offer from the Association for promoting the discovery of the inland parts of Africa to undertake an expedition into the interior of that continent; and when asked how soon he would be ready to start, replied: "Tomorrow morning." He departed from England in June, intending to cross Africa in a westerly direction from Sennaar, and had reached Cairo, when he became ill. His death was considered a great loss to the society. For capacity of endurance, resolution, and physical vigor he was one of the most remarkable of modern travellers. Thomas Jefferson says of him: "In 1786, while at Paris, I became acquainted with John Ledyard, of Connecticut, a man of genius, of some science, and of fearless tonrage and enterprise.. . . I suggested to him the enterprise of exploring the western part of our continent by passing through St. Petersburg to Kamtchatka and procuring a passage thence in some of the Russian vessels to Nootka sound, whence he might make his way across the continent to the United States; and I undertook to have the permission of the empress of Russia solicited." Many extracts from Ledyard's journals and private correspondence with Jefferson and others are given in his "Life," by Jared Sparks (Cambridge, 1828; London, 1828 and 1834), which is also included in Sparks's "American Biography."

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

Start your search on William Ledyard.


 

 


 


Unauthorized Site: This site and its contents are not affiliated, connected, associated with or authorized by the individual, family, friends, or trademarked entities utilizing any part or the subject's entire name. Any official or affiliated sites that are related to this subject will be hyper linked below upon submission and Evisum, Inc. review.

Copyright© 2000 by Evisum Inc.TM. All rights reserved.
Evisum Inc.TM Privacy Policy

Search:

About Us

 

 

Image Use

Please join us in our mission to incorporate America's Four United Republics discovery-based curriculum into the classroom of every primary and secondary school in the United States of America by July 2, 2026, the nation’s 250th birthday. , the United States of America: We The People Click Here

 

Childhood & Family

Click Here

 

Historic Documents

Articles of Association

Articles of Confederation 1775

Articles of Confederation

Article the First

Coin Act

Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence

Emancipation Proclamation

Gettysburg Address

Monroe Doctrine

Northwest Ordinance

No Taxation Without Representation

Thanksgiving Proclamations

Mayflower Compact

Treaty of Paris 1763

Treaty of Paris 1783

Treaty of Versailles

United Nations Charter

United States In Congress Assembled

US Bill of Rights

United States Constitution

US Continental Congress

US Constitution of 1777

US Constitution of 1787

Virginia Declaration of Rights

 

Historic Events

Battle of New Orleans

Battle of Yorktown

Cabinet Room

Civil Rights Movement

Federalist Papers

Fort Duquesne

Fort Necessity

Fort Pitt

French and Indian War

Jumonville Glen

Manhattan Project

Stamp Act Congress

Underground Railroad

US Hospitality

US Presidency

Vietnam War

War of 1812

West Virginia Statehood

Woman Suffrage

World War I

World War II

 

Is it Real?



Declaration of
Independence

Digital Authentication
Click Here

 

America’s Four Republics
The More or Less United States

 
Continental Congress
U.C. Presidents

Peyton Randolph

Henry Middleton

Peyton Randolph

John Hancock

  

Continental Congress
U.S. Presidents

John Hancock

Henry Laurens

John Jay

Samuel Huntington

  

Constitution of 1777
U.S. Presidents

Samuel Huntington

Samuel Johnston
Elected but declined the office

Thomas McKean

John Hanson

Elias Boudinot

Thomas Mifflin

Richard Henry Lee

John Hancock
[
Chairman David Ramsay]

Nathaniel Gorham

Arthur St. Clair

Cyrus Griffin

  

Constitution of 1787
U.S. Presidents

George Washington 

John Adams
Federalist Party


Thomas Jefferson
Republican* Party

James Madison 
Republican* Party

James Monroe
Republican* Party

John Quincy Adams
Republican* Party
Whig Party

Andrew Jackson
Republican* Party
Democratic Party


Martin Van Buren
Democratic Party

William H. Harrison
Whig Party

John Tyler
Whig Party

James K. Polk
Democratic Party

David Atchison**
Democratic Party

Zachary Taylor
Whig Party

Millard Fillmore
Whig Party

Franklin Pierce
Democratic Party

James Buchanan
Democratic Party


Abraham Lincoln 
Republican Party

Jefferson Davis***
Democratic Party

Andrew Johnson
Republican Party

Ulysses S. Grant 
Republican Party

Rutherford B. Hayes
Republican Party

James A. Garfield
Republican Party

Chester Arthur 
Republican Party

Grover Cleveland
Democratic Party

Benjamin Harrison
Republican Party

Grover Cleveland 
Democratic Party

William McKinley
Republican Party

Theodore Roosevelt
Republican Party

William H. Taft 
Republican Party

Woodrow Wilson
Democratic Party

Warren G. Harding 
Republican Party

Calvin Coolidge
Republican Party

Herbert C. Hoover
Republican Party

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic Party

Harry S. Truman
Democratic Party

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Republican Party

John F. Kennedy
Democratic Party

Lyndon B. Johnson 
Democratic Party 

Richard M. Nixon 
Republican Party

Gerald R. Ford 
Republican Party

James Earl Carter, Jr. 
Democratic Party

Ronald Wilson Reagan 
Republican Party

George H. W. Bush
Republican Party 

William Jefferson Clinton
Democratic Party

George W. Bush 
Republican Party

Barack H. Obama
Democratic Party

Please Visit

Forgotten Founders
Norwich, CT

Annapolis Continental
Congress Society


U.S. Presidency
& Hospitality

© Stan Klos

 

 

 

 


Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum