The Drown Newsletter

Issue 3 July 1994



We are all familiar with the poem "Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Did you know that a Drowne plays a role in that poem? A section reads:

"It was one by the village clock,

When he galloped into Lexington.

He saw the gilded weathercock

Swim in the moonlight as he passed"

This gilded copper weathervane in the form of a rooster topped the steeple of the Meeting House on Lexington Green when the first battle of the Revolution was fought there on April 19, 1775. Experts are quite sure the weathervane was made by Deacon Shem Drowne (1683-1774).



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Information on the offspring of Micajah Drown and Sukey Tucker who m. in Eaton, NH, 17 Nov 1814. Elizabeth Drown Exner, 5122 N. Pal Mal, Temple City, CA 91780.



Your Own Personal History

Everyone enjoys reading about the lives of their ancestors, especially if the narrative is in the ancestor's own words. Your own personal history will be just as valuable to your descendants. Here's a good way to start. Get a set of index cards and mark one for each year of your life. Carry them around with you and whenever you remember something from your past, note it on the appropriate card. Eventually, when you've 'got it all', write out your personal history. Who knows? Maybe it will become a best seller.



The Remarkable Story of James Drowne.

(Continued from the previous issue of the Drown Newsletter).

On returning to England, James was transferred to the Brig of War which was employed in convoying vessels to the West Indies so that in various voyages there he visited nearly every island in the West Indies. They carried dispatches to Spain during the war with France and were at Gibraltar several times. He was thus six or seven years in British service, sometimes cruising in the English Channel, off Ireland a number of times and all along the coast of Spain. They were sent with dispatches to the East Indies and in this work and in convoying transports with which they were employed three years, visiting Isle of France, Bourbon, Batavia, etc.

When the vessel was sent home to England with dispatches he found there was war with the United States and he refused to fight against his country, even to save his life. He was then sent to Dartmouth Prison until the war was over and remained there two years and would have suffered if he had not some money of his own to help himself and friends. In the seven prisons there were six thousand prisoners and he was present at the uprising of the prisoners.

After peace was declared, he was brought home by the U.S. Government and landed in Boston. It took about six months to remove all the prisoners, and there were 108 men on the ship he returned on. As soon as he landed, he went to find relations. Father had been dead seven years, and his Mother and brothers were the only ones he found, for the rest had scattered. He was to them like one risen from the dead.

Later he went to Philadelphia where he remained for sometime and joined a man in purchasing a wood sloop for $1500. He furnished all the money as he had saved it while in the British Service and also by trading while in Dartmouth Prison. He made a few successful trips after wood but when near the mouth of the bay a violent snow storm came on and the vessel was lost and they were only able to save about $60 worth of wood.

Subsequently, he went to Athens, Pennsylvania, pretty high up on the Susquehanna River and engaged in rafting, married at the age of about 36, and raised a large family of children, now scattered in various parts of the West, so that he knew of the residence of only one or two of them. His wife died about four years before I saw him and he had been living with a daughter in Indiana and had had a fever which brought him near the grave and almost destroyed his mental faculties. This was his first sickness.

(This story comes from a journal written by William Drowne, 1793-1874.)


Maxwell Drown of Fenton, Missouri and Nora Wetzger of Oakville, Missouri; married Feb. 18, 1994 in Chicago.

Carrie Drown of Kannapolis, North Carolina and Jason Ange of Charlotte, North Carolina; married June 24, 1994 in Atlanta.

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