James Callender Adams was born
14 April 1737 in Sheffield, Massachusetts. He served in the
Vermont militia, under Capt. John Spafford's company in Col.
Ebenezer Allen's regiment during an "alarm", serving for just
two days. He married Submit Purchase, daughter of Jonathan
and Margaret (Worthington) Purchase on 27 Jan 1762 in
Springfield, MA. As part of the Vermont Militia, Sgt. James
Adams fought in the Revolutionary War under Capt. Ebenezer
Allen's company in Capt. Gideon Bronson's detachment, a group
raised for the immediate defense of the state. His military
services were again requested from 1780-1782 in Capt. John
Spafford's Co., Col. Ebenezer Allen's Regiment.
Above: St. Johnsbury area river and
Between 1783 and 1786, James and Submit moved their family to
St. Johnsbury, Caledonia co., Vermont, being the first settlers
in that area. They loaded their boats at Springfield,
Massachusetts. These boats had rafters covered with canvas and
blankets to protect their belongings, which included their
furniture, a large clock, a spinning wheel and loom, chests of
their bedding, clothing, and provisions for the trip. They rowed
upstream on the Connecticut River, to the Passumpsic River, then
to the West Branch, where they stopped, thinking they were at
Littleton, New Hampshire, their intended destination. They
decided to stay, settling on "Benton's Meadow". His father
James, and brothers Jonathan and Martin also were granted land
They were going to Littleton because James won land in Littleton
in a singing contest. The song he sang was "Brave Wolfe",
written by his son Jonathan. A descendant is said to own a copy
of this song in it's original handwriting.
Another descendant states that the family went from
Massachusetts to Tinmouth, Vermont about 1774, when sons James,
Martin and Jonathan were in the Revolutionary War, and
afterwards were granted land rights in Littleton township. While
Martin's Revolutionary War pension file does not mention and
land grants, it should be noted that he entered the service from
Tinmouth and mentions his father's home there.
They built the first home, made of logs, using a
mud/twig mixture for caulk, and a pine bough roof.
Oiled paper covered the windows. They slept on beds
of pine and spruce boughs, and bear skins provided
rugs for the floor.
Not surprisingly, they also were responsible for
holding the first religious services, which was
their evening worship around the fire,
Bible-reading, praying, and singing hymns.
Submit Adams was noted as being the first woman to
keep house within the bounds of that township.
James' house in St. Johnsbury burned at some point,
destroying son Martin's Revolutionary War discharge
early view of St. Johnsbury
Submit died on 13 Nov 1797 at St. Johnsbury, at the
age of 62. She was buried at Adams-Babcock cemetery
in Waterford, Vermont. James then married Mrs.
Trescott. James died in 1813 in Newport, Orleans
co., Vermont, at the age of 78. He was buried on his
farm in St. Johnsbury, Caledonia co., Vermont.
The children of James and Submit Adams were:
1) *Martin Adams, 1764-1839
2) Jonathan Adams, 1765-1828
3) Thirza Adams, 1767-?
4) Clarissa "Polly" Adams, 1769-1843
5) James Callender Adams, 1771-?
6) Charles Adams, 1773-1845