Francis Bacon Trowbridge.

The Trowbridge genealogy. History of the Trowbridge family in America (Volume 3) online

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t By "Bartholomew Genealogy." but New Haven Town Records spell it SJterrtj in the case
of the middle name of one of her sons.

t .Administration on his estate was granted Jan. 20. 1797. to his widow Hannah [Hamah
was probably intended] liy New Haven Probate Court Records.

S "Early Connecticut Marriages." vol. 2, p. 113, incorrectly makes her name Rebecca.
II Always so called, but baptized Jonathan.
*• Descendants tailed to answer the compiler's letters.


32. Capt. Joseph Trowbridue (llutherford^'^, DanieV, Thomas*, Thomas'^,
Thomas^), born April 23, 1709, in New Haven, Conn.; died March — , 1804, at
sea; married September 25, 1790, in New Haven, Lois Mix, daughter of
Nathaniel and Thankful* (Ailing) Mix, born August 22, 1776, in New Haven;
died June 29, 1842, in New Haven.

Joseph Trowbridge made his home in his native town and lived on Meadow
street. He was a sea captain and was lost at sea, the vessel which he commanded
never being heard of after it sailed from New Haven February 26, 1804. His
widow was admitted a member of the First Church in New Haven August 26,


i. .Tennette, b. June 30, 1800 ; m. Aug. 12, 1849, Lewis Lawrence of New Haven.

ii. Rutherford, b. Feb. 6, 1802 ; rt. Sept. 15, 180a.

iii. Joseph, b. Apr. 29, 3804; lived for a few years in Norfolk, Va., where he was
engaged in the clothing business and then returned to New Haven, continuing
in that business there for many years. He married in Norfolk and had one
child, a daughter, who died in childhood. He d. Aug. 14, 1870, in New Haven.

33. Henry Trowbridge (Ihithcrford}^, Daniel^, Thomas*, Thomas^. Thomas^),
born July 30, 1781, in New Haven, Conn. ; died October 7, 1849, in New Haven ;
married January 1, 1800, in New Haven, Harriet Hayes,t daughter of Ezekiel
and Mary (Hemingway) Hayes, born March 1, 1789, in New Haven; died
November 21, 1851, in New Haven.

Henry Trowbridge at the age of eighteen years, in common with a large num-
ber of New Haven lads at that time, turned his attention to the sea. Fabulous
accounts were current of the various customs of foreign countries, and there was
an almost universal desire on the part of the boys to visit those countries. To
become a seaman and command a vessel was a laudable ambition. Just at that
time a ship was fitting out for the Pacific on a sealing voyage. Having obtained
permission of his father for the voyage, he made application for a situation on
board the ship, and was successful ; but it was no easy thing to obtain a situa-
tion on one of those voyages. In due time the ship was ready. His father had
such confidence in his son, that he gave him what ready money he had (which was
scarce in the family at that time), about $1,000 in specie, to invest in China,
where the ship was eventually to proceed. Embarking on board, September 17,
1799, his career commenced in the ship Betsey, William Howell, master, for the
Pacific and China. Captain Howell was a man that felt responsibility for those
under his command, and immediately commenced a school on board of the ship.
The boys were all expected to attend to their studies as a part of their duties on
shipboard. Henry was acquainted with aritlmietic, and soon made such pro-
ficiency in navigation, that by the time the ship arrived off Capo Horn he could
work his lunar observation as speedily as the captain. In a few months he was
well instructed in all the duties on board and could take his regular trick at the

The crew was to seal at Massafuero, the ship lying off and on, there being no
anchorage at the island. On one of the boat's trips to the shore she capsized, and
of the four boys who manned her three were drowned. Toung Henry alone was
saved, by swimming nearly two miles to the island. After several months at the
island, 110,000 fur seal skins had been put on board, and the ship sailed for
Canton, where the skins were to be disposed of, visiting the Sandwich Islands
(where they dare not anchor for fear of the natives) for supplies. The vessel lay
off and on for several days. The king came on board, and supplied provisions in

* Second wife ot the father of her son-in-law.

t A sister of the wife of No. 27.

t Sketch prepared by his eldest son for "Trowbridge Family."


exchange for such articles as were required on the island. The king was so
unsophisticated that he sat flat on the deck and toolc his sea biscuit and cup of
molasses. This was about twenty years after tlie murder of Captain Cook at the
same island. After supplying the ship the voyage was continued to Canton.
Studies were continued on this passage again. On ajmving at the anchorage,
Captain Howell sent for Henry to come to the cabinr This was a place unlmown
and unvisited during the entire voyage. What was wanted of him he could not
imagine; but soon Captain Howell inquired, "How would you like to go up to
Canton with me ?" Captain Howell, as was customary at that time, was to take
a factoiy and dispose of his cargo, and buy a cargo of tea, etc., for a return
\oyage. Henry, not knowing what position he was to occupy, said he preferred
to remain in the ship. Said the captain, "I have noticed your good conduct and
sobriety on board, and your acquaintance with mathematics, and I want a clerk
to assist me in taking an account of the cargoes, and keeping the books." Henry
readily saw that this was such duty as would suit, and he eagerly accepted the
offer, as he saw the advantage it would give him for investing his father's money.
The captain told him to get readj' to go with him. He was shortly ready, and
was taking his usual place at the oar, when the captain addressed him, "Mr.
Trowbridge, come aft, you will let a sailor take the oar." This was done some
fifteen or twenty miles below Canton, at Macao, ships not being permitted to
approach nearer to the city. Arriving at Canton, he was installed as clerk of the
factory. This was the beginning of his life as a merchant, which he never lost
sight of in after years. The cargo was disposed of, and a return cargo procured
and sent with the ship.

During his residence at Canton he determined to get within the walls of the
city; foreigners had never been permitted there up to that time. Filling his
pockets with the small currency of the country, he went up to the gates, and at
the time they were opened, with another young man of his own age belonging to
another factory, he rushed in and up the principal street. Soon there was a great
out-cry in the unintelligible language of the country, and immense throngs of
Chinese blocked up the way, front and rear. They saw they could not progress
farther, nor could they get back, but by use of their money, throwing handsful
as far as possible, and, in the scramble for it, gradually retreating, they got out
safely. This was in ISOl, and about as early as any foreigners had got into the
city. After the ship was loaded the captain and Heni"y returned on board ; the
mate of the ship innnediately saluted Henry, by saying, "Off with those shore
duds and resume duty as a sailor." This was done; — to hear on board that ship
was to obey. Stowing his adventure in his berth in the forecastle, he slept on top
of his chest for the remainder of the voyage ; and that chest is now preserved
as an heir-loom in the family. On the passage home the ship struck a rock in
the Straits of Malacca and injured her rudder, so that it was necessary to remain
there to repair. During this time excursions were made to Malacca for water,
and, after several hair-breadth escapes from the natives, the water was procured,
and the ship sailed for New York; arriving safely, making a fine voyage, the
adventure of Henry resulting in the doubling of his money invested in Canton.

On the return of the ship his services were wanted as first officer of a West
Indiaman. Making several voyages, he accumulated snflicient in three years to
purchase a small sloop on the Connecticut river ; and fitting her up as a schooner,
with the assistance of John Morris, Jr., who was interested in the voyage, loaded
her for the West Indies. He took charge of her as captain, and sailed for Bar-
bados, as a market, with forty oxen on deck. Just before the vessel was ready
for sea he was taken sick ; but seeing ruin before him if the voyage was broken
up, he was carried on board on a mattrass, and the vessel sailed. After a some-
what lengthy passage, arriving at Barbados, he learned that Miranda's expedition
was fitting out at Trinidad for the Spanish Main, and thinl^ing that they would


require his cattle, he sailed at once, and, arriving just in time, sold them for a
large price for the expedition, and the rest of his cargo for a round sum. He
loaded a return cargo of sugar and molasses, and bringing more Spanish dollars
home than his outward cargo cost, he arrived safely, having made a fine voyage.
lie then established himself in business, employing the vessel in the West India

Mr. Trowbridge increased this West India business from time to time, and in
partnership with his nephew Timothy Dwight est.ablished the firm of Trowbridge
& Dwight. In 1831 his eldest son, Thomas, was admitted to partnership and
the firm's name was changed to Trowbridge, Son & Dwight; being changed to
Trowbridge, Sons & Dwight after the admission of his son Henry. Mr. Dwight
retired in 1847, and the firm then became H. Trowbridge & Sons, which was con-
tinued until his death. After his death the same business was continued by his
sons in the name of Henry Trowbridge's Sons.

The following notices of Mr. Trowbridge appeared in the New Haven Palla-
dium and New York Independent, at the time of his decease:

"We regret to be obliged to iumounce to-day the death of Henry Trowbridge, Esq., one
of our elderly and substantial citizens, — a lineal descendant of one of the proprietors of
the town — for a long period the head of one of the largest shipping houses in the state,
and widely known to commercial men throughout the country and, to a considerable
extent, abroad. He was a prudent and sagacious merchant, and by means of his talent
and his wealth exercised a great influence in our community. He was rather strong in
his prejudices, and when he had taken a stand, whether it happened to be a popular or
unpopular position, ho, believing it to be right, was immovable in it. For this reason he
was strongly opposed by a portion of his fellow citizens — but whether right or wrong in
his views, his opponents, we believe, never doubted the honesty of his intentions and the
integrity of his character. We have met with Mr. Trowbridge on many occasions during
the last twenty years, and have combatted some of his opinions and opposed some of his
mea.sures, but in all such differences we never experienced anything but kindness and
courtesy at his hands. We have always regarded him as our friend, and in this we are
sure we have not been mistaken : and we doubt not that there are hundreds who can
speak as confidently in the same way. Mr. Trowbridge was a member of the Center
Church, of which the Rev. Dr. Racon is pastor, and we have always understood that he
was among the most liberal in his gifts for the spread of the Gospel and other religious
and charitable causes. We understand that he has left several handsome bei|uests to the
different benevolent and religious societies of the day. Those who know with what
peculiar fondness he regarded his family, and how devoted he ever was to their welfare
and happiness, will appreciate the nature of the affliction that has fallen upon them, —
but here we may be trespassing beyond our province, and we venture no farther.

"The departure of so prominent and active a citizen and merchant will create a void
that will be noticed with sorrow for a long time to come. His sickness was of two
weeks' continuance, during which he suffered but little, and his mind, up to the hour of
death, retained that vigor which characterized him while in health. Through his sick-
ness he was sustained by the consolations of the religion of which he had long been a
professor, and his death was peaceful and happy." [Palladium.]

"Henry Trowbridge, Esq., who died on the 7th instant, aged G8, was widely known as
the senior partner of the first commercial house in his native city. For many years past
his firm — H. Trowbridge & Sons — has been frequently spoken of as the head of the West
India business in the United States. Two hundred years ago, when the settlers of New
Hiiven began to establish commercial relations with the West India Islands, his first
American ancestor was engaged in the same business. From his early youth Mr. Trow-
bridge was closely attached to the Church in which his ancestors worshipped and in which
he himself had been presented to God in baptism by parental piety. Forty years ago,
when he had never made any religious profession, his house was in affliction. His wife
was on the bed of sickness, and their first-born, and only child, was near to death. He
sent for his pastor (the now venerable Professor Stuart), and requested that the child
might be baptized. The request Avas declined. 'You.' said the pastor to the parents,
'make no profession, and exhibit no evidence of having given yourselves to God ; what
will it be then more than a solemn but empty form for you to offer your child in
baptism?' Some parents, in such circumstances, would immediately go to another
church ; but these parents took a different course. On that day they resolved, and
pledged themselves to each other, that they would seek the kingdom of God. On that day
the father, for the first time, by the mother's bed-side, lifted up his voice in prayer, and


from that day, to the day ot his death, prayer was habitually offered in their dwelling.
Though for more than thirty years afterwards he felt that his religious character was not
sufficiently clear to justify him in making a religious profession, his family was thence-
forward a religious family: and few families have been happier, or have shared more
largely in the blessings of the covenant. The sagacity and energy of Sir. Trowbridge as
a man of business, and the success of all his undertakings, were proverbial. It was
remarked that his ships always made prosperous voyages, and that seeming reverses
generally turned in his favor. In his family too he seemed to be exempted from those
calamities which come to all. But, during the last season, he has been made acquainted
with affliction. His only brother, who had been for more than thirty years his next door
neighbor, died at a moment's notice. Three of his grand-children were taken away, two
of them in circumstances peculiarly afflicting. At last sickness came nearer still, his
wife and his youngest daughter were brought simultaneously to the brink of death.
They were spared, but before they had begun to recover, the fatal disease had fastened
upon him. Doubtless these successive strokes of affliction were necessary to prepare him
for the closing scene. That they had that effect was obvious to all that saw him.
Having arranged all his secular affairs at the commencement of his sickness, he dismissed
the world entirely from his thoughts, and waited for the will of God. When it appeared
at last that he must die, he gave his parting farewells and counsels to his children and
grand-children, and then, calmly, cheerfully, and with an humble reliance on the Saviour,
yielded himself to death. For many years he had been a regular contributor to many of
our religions charities. In his last will he bequeathed to the American Board of Foreign
Missions $5,000 ; to the American Home Missionary Society $5,000 ; to the Bible
Society $2,000 ; to the Tract Society $2,000 ; to the Seamen's Friend Society $2,000 ; to
the First Church in New Haven, for the use of the poor, $2,000; with other charitable
bequests, amounting in all to more than $20,000." llndepcndcnt.'\


Emily, b. Oct. 6, ISOG ; d. Oct. 0, 180S.

Harriet Emily, b. Aug. 7, 180S; m., 1st, Oct. 11, 1830, William Rutherford

Hayes, Esq., of Brattleboro, Vt. ; m., 2d, Apr. 12, 1863, Rev. William Patton,

D.D., of New Haven.
Thomas Rutherford, b. July 17, 1810.
John, b. .July 1(3, 1812 ; d. .Tuly 28, 1812.
Jane Louisa, b. July 25, 1813; m. Sept. 6, 1843, John William Fitch of New

Henry, b. Apr. 22, 18J6.
EzEKiEL Hayes, b. 21, 1818.
Winston John, b. May 10, 1820.
Eliza Amelia, b. Aug. 3. 1822 ; m. Aug. 6, 1844, Frederick Hall of Portland,

X. Caroline Augusta, b. Jan. 27, 1825 ; m. Aug. 23, 1848,t Hon. Charles Durandt

of Ansonia, Conn,
xi. Julia Ann, b. Jan. 12, 1827 ; m. June 7. 1854. William Bancroft of Chester-
field, Mass.
xii. Cornelia Adeline, b. Feb. 5, 1820 ; d. Oct. 23, 1830.
xiii. Ellen Maria, b. Aug. 5, 1831 ; m. Sept. 20, 1853, Frederick Hall (above) of


34. Amos Trowbridge (Butherford^^, Daniel", Thomas'', Thomas^, Thomas^),
bom November 25, 1783, in New Haven, Conn. ; died July 11, 1849, in New
Haven; married February 1, 1808, in New Haven, Catharine Atwat«r, daughter
of Stephen and Rebecca (Gorham) Atwater, born May 14, 1787, in Derby, Conn. ;
died June 19, 1868, in Ansonia, Conn.

Amos Trowbridge resided all his life in New Haven, Conn., his home being on
Meadow street. He conducted a large and prosperous clothing business, his store
being on Fleet street, now the lower part of State street. On June 28, 1840, he
united with the First Congregational (Center) Church, of which his wife had
been a member since December 7, 1812. He was highly esteemed.

• See No. 50. 1.

t By New Haven Town Records, which also gives the year 1849.

t See No. 34, vili.
























i. Edwin, b. Jan. 25, 1810 ; d. Feb. 20, 1810.
Edwin Lucius, b. Mar. 15, 1812.
Amos Hitchcock, b. Feb. 11, 1814.
Elizabeth Atwatek, b. Apr. IC, 1810 ; m. May 12, 1841, Rev. George Palmer

Tyler of Lausingbnrgh, N. Y.
George Alfred, b. .Tune 28, 1818.

Stephen Atwater, b. July 2, 1820 ; d. Apr. 2, 1837, in New Haven.
Catharine, b. May 3, 1822 ; m. Aug. (5, 1844, Rev. William Ferdinand Morgan,
D.D., of New York City,
viii. Annie Beach, b. Oct. 15, 1824 ; m. June 15, 1854, Hon. Charles Durand* of

Ansonia, Conn.
ix. Rebecca Gorham, b. Feb. 14, 1827 ; d. Aug. 10, 1845, in New Haven ; nnm.
X. Rutherford, b. Mar. 27, 1830; wa,s graduated from Hopkins Grammar School,
New Haven, in 1849 ; d. Oct. 4, 1850, in New Haven ; unm.

36. Capt. John Todd Trowbridge (John^^, Daniel^, Thomas*, Thomas-,
Thomas'^), bom October 23, 1780, in New Haven, Conn.; died May 3, 1858, in

Dover, Wis. ; married , 1803, in New Haven, Polly Miles, daughter of

Capt. William and Elizabeth ? ( ) Miles, born September 1, 1780, in New

Haven ; died March 3, 1866, in Racine, Wis.

John T. Trowbridge at an early age entered on a seafaring life. He rose in
his profession, and while still a young man became a ship master, sailing out of
New Haven. He was elected a member of Hiram Lodge, No. 1, F. and A. M., in
1808, and later of Franklin Chapter, No. 2, R. A. M., of New Haven.

During the War of 1812, while captain of the ship Thomas of New Haven,
his vessel was captured off the Isle of France by a British squadron, which,
after taking from the ship all hands, except Captain Trowbridge, Mr. Charles
Peterson of New Haven, who was his brother-in-law and first officer, and Ben-
jamin Applewhite, the cook, put a prize crew of twenty-one men on board, and
ordered her to the Cape of Good Hope as a prize. On the passage. Captain
Trowbridge and Mr. Peterson planned her recapture, and succeeded in their
design, and proceeded to Madagascar, where they put the prize crew of English
on shore, having induced some Lascars, composing a portion of the prize crew,
to join them as seamen after the recapture of the ship. Here the ship was cap-
tured again by a French frigate, under the Berlin and Milan decrees, and sent
to the Isle of France. The French governor restored the ship and part of the
cargo to Captain Trowbridge. While lying there the island was taken by the

Captain Trowbridge succeeded in selling the ship and cargo, to avoid confisca-
tion, and made his escape to Batavia. After an eventful period of a year or two
there, and a most daring enterprise on the coast of New Holland, where he
recovered, " by the aid of divers, upwards of $250,000 in specie from a sunken
wreck, he was again captured, with all his specie, by his old enemies, the British,
being taken by a frigate and carried to Java, and afterwards to Calcutta, where
lie was imprisoned in the famous Black Hole of that city. Finally he was taken
to England, as a prisoner of war, and confined in Dartmoor prison, where he was
at the time of the massacre of April 6_. 1815. On the news of peace, Captain
Trowbridge was released, on the 10th of April, and arrived at New York June 5,
1815, after having been absent five and a half years.

Fond of enterprise, he removed to the West, and settled at Rochester, N. Y.,
in 1816, where he was for many years at the head of the well-known commercial
house of John T. Trowbridge & Co. While engaged in business in Rochester,
he established a branch in Oswego. He also had an interest in the Erie canal,
and owned or controlled about eighteen vessels on the Lakes, and was called the
"Commodore of the Lakes."

• See No. 33, x.


After accumulating an ample fortune, the vicissitudes of life again followed
him in the loss of property, and in 1836 he removed with his two youngest sons to
Eacine county, Wis., and took up land in Dover, twen ty miles west of Racine, on
the shore of Lake Michigan, and six miles east of Burlington, now a thriving
town, on Fox river, which crossed the west end of the county. The main traveled
road between these two places ran across all three of their farms, which were
located side by side. In the winter of 1836-7 they built on the captain's farm a
log house, about 20 s 50 feet and one and one-half stories in height. For many
years it was the largest house in the vicinity and became a favorite "stopping-
place," or inn, for the iiioneer farmers living further west, who hauled wheat to
market at Eacine. "Some conception of the conditions under which the pioneers
of that region did business may be gained when it is understood that there were
men who started from Eock river, sixty miles from the lake shore, with a load of
wheat to market, and, if they chanced to be detained on the road a day or two,
it sometimes was the case that the proceeds of the load did not pay the expenses
of the trip. I have known men in my time in Minnesota who hauled wheat 150
miles to market."*

Captain Trowbridge served as a member of the Wisconsin territorial legislative
body, and helped to prepare the way for statehood. He kept post office in the
comer of his log house for several years. He resided in Eacine county the
remainder of his life, surrounded by his family and many friends, enjoying the
veneration and respect of all. It is doubtful if a more eventful history could be
written of any person than of Captain Trowbridge. He was a brave, generous
and honest man, in faith and practice a Christian. During all the trials and
vicissitudes of life, he maintained a good profession. On his removal to the
West, ahnost a wilderness, and the country, where he was, being destitute of the
means of worship in the sanctuary, it was his practice to hold religious services
at his own house, to which the people for miles distant resorted for worship, until
the counti-y became settled. He was a man whose influence was felt and appre-
ciated in the community. He died, peaceful and happy, in assurance of a blessed


i. HEKEnsTTA Maky, b. Jan. 11, 1804; m. .July 22, 1833, Milton Jloore of Racine,
5G. ii. John William, b. Apr. 12. 1807.

iii. Grace Ann, b. Aug. 12, 1800 : m. Oct. 7, 1S28, Dr. Daniel Marble of Newark,

57. iv. Elihu Frederick, b. Mar. 1, 1810.

58. V. Stewart Hudson, b. Nov. 14, 1817.

59. vi. Henry Wardell, b. Oct. 14, 1819.

36. Charles Edwin Trowbridge (John^^, Daniel^, Thomas*, Thomas-,
Thomas^), bom February 27, 1784, in New Haven, Conn.; died September 3,
1825, in Eochester, IST. T. ; married October 27, 1807, in Middletown, Conn.,
Mary Ann Bailey, daughter of Capt. Loudon and Mary (Griswold) Bailey, born

Online LibraryFrancis Bacon TrowbridgeThe Trowbridge genealogy. History of the Trowbridge family in America (Volume 3) → online text (page 11 of 115)