Deerfield — Men Of Note Born In Deerfield
Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.
Col. David Field, son of Samuel, was born in 1712, and married, about 1740, Thankful, daughter of Thomas Taylor. He was a soldier in the French-and-Indian wars. In the Revolution he was an ardent Whig; was chairman of the committee of correspondence and safety, 1776-78; was a representative in 1770; was a delegate to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress in May, 1775, and on the committee of safety for the colony appointed by that body. This commit-tee of thirteen, with Gen. Joseph Warren as its chairman, had the control of the civil and military power of the province, and were on intimate relations with Washington. Col. Field was a delegate to the constitutional convention of 1779, and was a selectman for twenty-five years. In the Revolutionary army he was active and useful as a commissary, and was under Gen. Stark at Bennington in 1777. He is said to have commanded a regiment toward the close of the war. He died in 1792.
Samuel Field, Esq., son of David, was born in 1743, graduated from Yale College in 1762, and married, in 1769, Sarah, daughter of Samuel Childs. He studied divinity with his pastor, Mr. Ashley; later, he read law with Daniel Jones, at Hinsdale, N. H., and engaged in law-practice and trade in Deerfield and Greenfield. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1788 for the ratification of the United States Constitution, and a representative to the General Court in 1773-74. In 1794 he removed to Conway, where he practiced law and preached to a society of Sandemanians.1 He was a political writer and poet. A volume of his miscellaneous writings was edited and published by Rodolphus Dickinson in 1818, with a sketch of the author and creed of the Sandemanians. Mr. Field died Sept. 17, 1800.
Col. John Hawks, son of Eleazer, was born in 1707; he married, in 1730, Elizabeth, daughter of John Nims, an original proprietor of Keene, N. H., in 1734. If he settled then, he returned before 1740. He entered the military service on the opening of the old French war, and was stationed at Fort Massachusetts, near which he was wounded by Indians, May 9, 1746. In August of that year he was sergeant in command of the garrison, when the fort was attacked by De Vaudreuil with 800 French and Indians. After a spirited defense of thirty-six hours, in which his ammunition was nearly exhausted, one man killed, and two wounded, the brave sergeant was obliged to surrender, the odds against him being a hundred to one; for, of a garrison of 22 men, but 8 were able to do duty, 11 being sick with "bloody flux." Three women and five children in the fort shared the captivity. All were taken to Canada. Sergt. Hawks was redeemed in about a year. In 1748 he was sent to Canada with John Taylor and Mathew Clesson as escort to Sieur Raimbault, a French officer, to negotiate an exchange; returned in April with Nathan Blake, of Keene, and Samuel Allen, of Deerfield. In May he led a scout of 13 men as far as the Dutch settlements, on an alarm of invasion. In the last French war Hawks took an active part; he was lieutenant in command of the Coleraine fort in 1754, which was his headquarters for three or four years; in 1756 his command included Northfield; he was under Abercrombie at the attack on Ticonderoga in 1758, and was a captain under Amherst in 1759. After the fall of "Old Ti," Amherst sent him to cut a military road from Lake Champlain to Charlestown, N. H.2 In 1760 he was a major and lieutenant-colonel in the army of conquest. He removed from the Street in 1753 to Wisdom, where he built a house. At the close of the war he returned there, where he died in 1784.
1 A Scottish religious sect.
2 Then called "Number Four."
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