Search:
Join Our Community:
Watch for these Programs:
  • Astronomy Series
  • Birding Series
  • More 'Ghosts' in October
  • Snowshoe events when it snows!
  • Animal Encounter Series
  • 'CT Trail Day' Hike in June

Joshua King

Nov. 24, 1758 – Aug. 13, 1839

Born in Bridgewater, MA Joshua King was a dedicated patriot who at the age of 17 came to Connecticut to enlist in Sheldon’s Dragoons, a newly formed Patriot calvary unit. By 1779 he had risen to the rank of Lieutenant. In September of 1780, he was assigned to guard a “John Anderson” who just had been captured carrying suspicious papers. King suspected the prisoner was a man of “no ordinary personage” and won his confidence. The prisoner confessed to King he was really British Major John Andre. Andre had been carrying Benedict Arnold’s plans for the capture of West Point. Throughout Andre’s imprisonment, trial and execution as a British spy, King was in charge of his safekeeping. They became so close that King remorsefully escorted Andre to the gallows. In 1817 King wrote a letter describing his time with Andre which is now considered one of the most accurate accounts of the event.

Sheldon’s Dragoons impressed Gen. Washington’s so much that he assigned them to his command. Subsequently King was present at the Battle and surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, VA. After the war, King continued to stay connected with the Dragoons becoming its Quartermaster and eventually rising to the rank of General in 1796.

It was his infatuation with Anne Ingersoll (sister to Mrs. David Olmsted) that brought him back to Ridgefield after the war. In 1783 he married her and opened King & Dole, a store on Main Street where the Aldrich Museum is today. His abilities & intelligent brought him a great deal of wealth and prominence. He served as First Selectman 9 times, was Ridgefield’s representative to the State Legislature ten times and was a Delegate from Ridgefield to the CT Constitutional Convention in 1818. King began a dedicated follower of Jeffersonian Democracy becoming the head of the Jeffersonian-Republican Party in Ridgefield. This caused a major political rivalry with Federalist Col. Bradley and brought the country’s political division directly to Ridgefield.

His successful business included mortgage lending & land investments, which according to legend, allowed him have his portrait painted by Gilbert Stuart. He did managed to build an elegant home. Upon his death, the street where it stood was renamed King’s Lane – the same King’s Lane of today.

Search:
Join Our Community:
Watch for these Programs:
  • Astronomy Series
  • Birding Series
  • More 'Ghosts' in October
  • Snowshoe events when it snows!
  • Animal Encounter Series
  • 'CT Trail Day' Hike in June