In 1976, the Daughters of the American Revolution installed a marker at Spring Grove listing 35 Revolutionary veterans known to have been buried there. However, further research has added 25 more names. Some were interred there but not recognized as veterans before. Others were buried at another cemetery in the city before it was turned into a park in the 1850s; their descendants were invited to move their remains, if any, to Spring Grove, but not every family had relatives or resources to do so.
Among the Cincinnati veterans to be added to the marker is Cambridge native Joshua Wyeth (1758-1829). In his case, it’s just a guess that he was even in the first cemetery since there’s no record or description of his burial.
However, Cincinnati’s newspapers recorded Wyeth’s passing in 1829 because he was the city’s link to the Boston Tea Party. (His Find-a-Grave page shows one obituary, along with the wrong year for his death.) In fact, Wyeth was the first participant in the destruction of the tea to recount the event for public consumption and one of the first people quoted in print using the term “Tea Party” to describe it.
In 1773, Joshua Wyeth was working in Boston as an apprentice of blacksmith Obadiah Whiston, a fervent Son of Liberty. Four years earlier, Whiston had charged into the ranks of a British army squad and slugged a soldier for accidentally firing a musket ball into the doorway of his forge. In 1770, Whiston was on the scene of the Boston Massacre. In 1774, Whiston hid two brass cannon stolen from a militia armory inside his shop for several weeks.
But in early 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren began to suspect Whiston was ready to switch over to the Crown and reveal what he knew about those cannon. The Patriots quickly moved the guns to Concord and cut Whiston out of their network. In March 1776 he left Massachusetts with the British military. Though his family was back in Boston within a few years, I’ve found no evidence of Obadiah Whiston’s return.
That shift was probably confusing to young Joshua Wyeth. He remembered it as, “Western, at the time [of the Tea Party], was neutral, but afterwards became a tory.” According to his pension application, Wyeth had left his master and was out of Boston in time for the Battle of Bunker Hill. Family genealogy says he also got married in 1775 to Pauline or Emaline Jones, when he was no more than seventeen. Later he married twice more, fathered twenty-one children, and moved to Ohio.
(Today is, of course, the anniversary of the first full-scale battle of America’s Revolutionary War. By coincidence, it also marks a smaller milestone: this is the 3,000th posting on Boston 1775.)