1777: What To Do?

On this day in 1777, Middletown residents conducted a town meeting to determine their course of action with regards to former New Jersey Governor and steadfast Loyalist to the British Crown William Franklin, who was being quartered in Middletown. The illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin, William Franklin had come to stay in Middletown for its reputation for loyalty and its interior location.

By this night in 1777 however, his vociferous support and dispersion of Loyalist propaganda had made residents weary. Captain Samuel Russell, Colonel Comfort Sage, and Seth Wetmore Jr. of Middletown were voted to be a committee to present a petition to Governor Trumbull to “remove Said Governor Franklin…. for Safety of this Town & State.”

Story contributed by Deborah Shapiro.

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