Richard Douglass is my paternal 6th Great Grandfather. He was born on July 19, 1682, in New London, Connecticut, the youngest son of William Douglass Jr. and Abiah Hough. He was baptized on August 27, 1682, in New London. He grew up on a very large farm that had been originally purchased Richard’s Grandfather William Sr. after he emigrated to Connecticut from Scotland. The farm was left to his father William.
He married Margaret Abell (1685-1752) on December 7, 1704, and they had 8 children, 4 sons and 4 daughters. He bought a house lot on Bank Street, and he raised his house there. Richard was a sea-captain, and he accumulated a large amount of money in this field. He was also occasionally chosen to be the surveyor of highways by the town.
The first provincial forces in British North America were organized in the 1670s, when several colonial governments raised ranger companies for one-years paid service to protect their borders. The beginning of the United States military lies in local governments which created militias that enrolled nearly all free white men. The militia was not employed as a fighting force in major operations outside the local jurisdiction. Instead, the colony asked for (and paid) volunteers serving in ranger and other provincial troops. Many of whom were also militia members. The local Indian threat ended by 1725 in most places, after which the militia system was little used except for local ceremonial roles. Richard was one of these militia members.
New London is a seaport city and a port of entry on the northeast coast of the United States. Richard not only sailed to and from other seaport cities located in the Northeast, but he also patrolled the coastline of Connecticut and the rivers that emptied into it.
On February 26, 1734, he fell dead as he was steering a scow up to Mr. Richards’s wharf. He is buried in the old Ancient Cemetery that was donated to the city by his Grandfather.
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