John Vought


I was an influential farmer who fought for the Loyalist cause.

I was born in 1750 into a family of German immigrants and by 1759 my family lived on a farm along the Raritan River near the Union Iron Works. In November 1772 I married Mary Grandin. My father Christoffel and I were both prominent men in Lebanon Township, and held public offices in the years of protest leading up to the Revolution.

In 1774, after Parliament’s taxes, I signed the Articles of Association which protested against them. But then, when the Patriot militia was called out in 1776, I refused to serve. I was ordered to appear before the Provincial Congress on June 25 but the day before, I got into a violent tavern fight with some Patriots, was arrested and imprisoned for two weeks, and fined one hundred pounds.

In December 1776, when the rebel army was retreating through New Jersey from New York City, my father and I helped lead 75 Hunterdon County Loyalists to join the British forces at New Brunswick. I then enlisted in the New Jersey Volunteers, the largest group of provincial troops raised to help put down the rebellion. For the rest of the war, we fought in green coats as legitimate military soldiers, not as Loyalist refugees or mercenaries.

When England lost the war, we spent eight years in exile in Nova Scotia, before returning to New York State in 1792. I died in 1803 and was buried on my family farm in Schenectady County.


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