John Aldington

c1750 – 1825

I was an English immigrant who provided special services to the British army.

I arrived from England at Bergen County in 1768, hoping to establish the first brewery in the county. Within two years of my arrival, I married Hannah Banta. And by the time of the Revolution, I owned a house, farm, and about 20 acres of grazing land, while my brewery was almost complete.

I decided to help the Loyalist side. During the summer and fall of 1776, during the battles in New York City, I provided intelligence to the Royal Navy on the North River. After the Battle of White Plains in late October, the rebel army crossed the North River into Bergen, with General Cornwallis and his British troops chasing them. I volunteered to be one of three guides to lead him to a place where he could climb the New Jersey Palisades, so he could attack the rebels at Fort Lee.

I was rewarded in May 1777 with a captain’s commission in the Corps of Guides and Pioneers. We provided the army with armed military laborers, as well as officers skilled in gathering intelligence, drawing maps, and engineering and building things. I served with the unit for the rest of the war.

In 1783 I sailed back to England and made my claims to Parliament for compensation for my service. I lived there for the rest of my life.



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