- A man, reportedly from Salem, who got married in Seabrook, New Hampshire, on the same day.
- The Woburn blacksmith and farmer who accompanied Porter into Lexington on that morning in 1775.
In that year the blacksmith wooed a Woburn widow named Sarah Richardson. (Richardson was a very common surname in Woburn because a lot of people from one English family had settled there; I previously wrote about Ebenezer Richardson marrying Rebecca Richardson.)
Sarah Wyman had married Ichabod Richardson in June 1770, and their son Ichabod arrived in January 1771. When the war began, the grown-up Ichabod Richardson enlisted in the provincial army for eight months during the siege of Boston, then signed onto a privateer named Warren. The Royal Navy captured that ship on 18 Nov 1776.
In 1879 the New England Historical and Genealogical Register published a table of American prisoners at Forton Prison in England that included “Icho’d Richardson” as one of five men captured while serving under “John Hammon / P. Master”; they were “Committed to Prison the 26th of June, 1777.”
Another column in the same table lists the fates of various prisoners: “Dead,” “Shot,” and “Enter’d”—which I believe means enlisted in the British military. Next to Hammon and Richardson’s names is “Run.” Apparently those two men escaped, at least for a while. But that’s the last trace of Ichabod Richardson from the 1770s, and even that news may not have made it back to Massachusetts.
In 1782, Sarah Richardson had been raising her son without a father for more than six years. I have no idea how she supported herself, but she was probably pleased to receive a proposal of marriage from an established craftsman. Josiah Richardson and Sarah Richardson married in Woburn on 19 Mar 1782.
And then Ichabod Richardson came back.
TOMORROW: Can this marriage be saved?