John S. Stacy

Date of Birth

June 15, 1757

Date of Death


Letters Authored


Letters Received


John S. Stacy was born 265 years ago.

Letters Authored in Collection


John Stacy was seventeen years old when he volunteered in his hometown of Framingham, Massachusetts to fight in the American Revolution. His exact enlistment date is not known, but according to Massachusetts records of soldiers of the American Revolution, his name appears in a petition on 5 Jun 1775 written by soldiers in Captain Thomas Drury's Company and addressed to General Ward. The petition requested that since the men of Drury's Company had enlisted to serve in Colonel John Nixon's Regiment, that they be allowed to do so as opposed to an apparent plan to shift them to Colonel Thomas Gardner's Company. The request was apparently successful as Captain Drury's Company was engaged at Bunker Hill under Nixon's command. Both Nixon's and Gardner's regiments fought at Bunker Hill on 17 June 1775; indeed, Nixon was injured and Gardner was killed, and John Stacy received his baptism of fire. The following is an account of the action the Framingham enlistees were involved in at Bunker Hill:

“Colonel Nixon's regiment was sent to the support of Prescott about the same time as Colonel Brewer's. His men helped to build the hay breastwork, took position behind it next to Colonel Brewer, and held their ground until the British got possession of the gap. Swett states that Colonel Nixon marched upon the field with three hundred men; and this is believed to be substantially correct. The two Framingham Companies, Captain Drury's and Captain Gleason's, had respectively sixty-three and fifty men. A part of Captain Drury's Company was sent to the redoubt, to support Colonel Prescott, just before the British charge. One of them, Peter Salem, is said to have killed Major Pitcairn. A part of the same company was with Colonel Brewer's men at the head of the rail-fence. Sergeant Ebenezer Eaton, who was near General Warren, started to leave the defences with him, was close to him when he received the fatal shot, and, with some comrades, attempted to carry him off the field; but the British onset forced them to leave the body. Colonel Nixon was severely wounded during the third attack, and had to be carried off the field. His regiment deserves honorable mention among those that were the last to leave the line of battle. Three were reported killed, and ten wounded,--all during the last attack or while on retreat. As one of Captain Drury's men stated, “The British fired over our heads; the tops of the young apple-trees where we stood were all cut to pieces by their bullets.” [1]

While the record is rich with documentation of Stacy's service and leaving no doubt that he served for the full eight years of the Revolution, it also indicates that he was at different times a member of several different companies and even different regiments, making it difficult to conclude what engagements if any he was involved in after his initial experience at Bunker Hill. For instance, it is documented that he was a member of Colonel Ichabod Alden's 7th Massachusetts regiment during 1778 and that it is documented that he was present at Cherry Valley during December 1778, the site of the infamous Cherry Valley Massacre on 10 Nov 1778 in which Col. Alden was killed, but it would only be conjecture to say that Stacy was. It is documented that he reenlisted 10 Apr 1777 for three years and again in December 1779, which must be the reenlistment he speaks of in this March 1780 letter. He was described in the military records as of dark complexion, dark hair, 5 ft. 9 1/2 ins. in stature, and his residence given was noted as Framingham, Massachusetts; his occupation listed as farmer. He was discharged 8 Jun 1783 by General Washington, term of enlistment having expired, and he is also included in a list of men entitled to honorary badges, for faithful service.[2]

John Stacy was born 15 June 1757. His parents were Nathaniel Stacy (b. 15 Jun 1728, d. 28 Dec 1760) and Mary Witherby (alternate spellings: Wetherbee, Witherbee), b. 31 Oct 1729, d. 14. Dec 1818. Nathaniel and Mary were married 10 Jan 1751 in Southborough, Worcester County, Massachusetts. [3]

Anne Stacy born 27 Dec 1751; Mary Stacy born 13 Apr 1753; Joanna Stacy born 13 Apr 1753; Caleb Stacy born 19 Oct 1758; Huldah Stacy born 27 Sep 1760. [4]

Anne Stacy married Samuel Stone (b. 27 Dec 1751, d. 1 Jan 1834)[4]

Caleb Stacy married Submit Hemenway (Hemmenway, also Hemingway) September 1788. [4]

Hulda Stacy married Joseph Howe 15 Jun 1780 in Sudbury, Ma.[4]

John Stacy married Hannah Frost June 1, 1787 in Framingham, Massachusetts. [3] Hannah was born 20 Jan 1762. [4]

Nathaniel Bigelow (Biglow), one of the names added to the end of the letter and written in another hand than John Stacy's, was the second husband of Mary Witherby Stacy and therefore John Satcy's step-father. Nathaniel's first wife was Hannah Robinson Bigelow. Hannah died 23 Feb 1773. Nathaniel Stacy had died in 1760, leaving Mary a widow. [5]

[1] Drake, Samuel Adams, “History of Middlesex County,” Vol. 1, p 444, Estes and Laureate Publishers, Boston, 1880.

[2] Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution, 17 Vols. [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1998. Original data: Secretary of the Commonwealth. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution. Vol. I-XVII. Boston, MA, USA: Wright and Potter Printing Co., 1896.

[3] Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, comp.. Massachusetts Marriages, 1633-1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. (