Martin Adams was born 5 Feb 1764 in Stillwater, Saratoga co., New York. It is said that there is a birth certificate proving his place of birth was Canaan, Litchfield co., Connecticut, but I have not seen it. The Stillwater location was from his Revolutionary War Pension file, and was stated by him personally in an affidavit.
He enlisted in the Vermont militia in Apr 1781 at Tinmouth, and re-enlisted in November 1781 at Castleton Fort. He served as a drummer in Captain James Brookin's company, Colonel Samuel Flether's regiment, and also in Captain William Hutchins' independent Vermont militia. In May, 1782, he was at the Castleton and Pittsford Forts. While in the service, he was sent with a flag to the British while they "lay upon Lake Champlain near Crown Point", and he was one of the drummers who "whipped a soldier by the name of Lee" 200 lashes for desertion
About 1778, he relocated from Stillwater, NY to Tinmouth, Rutland co., VT. After this time he went with his father's family to Springfield, Massachusetts, and from there, abpit 1783-84, they removed to St. Johnsbury, Caledonia co., Vermont. They were the first settlers of St. Johnsbury (see his father's entry for a more detailed accounting).
St. Johnsbury area
St. Johnsbury was a rather secluded area, at that time, so the younger men would make trips to Barnet to get meal and make social calls. Martin Adams was a frequent caller at the home of Mercy Ryder. On 28 Oct 1785, in Barnet, Caledonia co., Vermont, they were married. Mercy was the daughter of Rev. S. B. and Betsey Ryder, and was born 22 Oct 1768.
Martin was named Selectman in St. Johnsbury at the first town meeting in 1790.
Martin built a new home in Jun 1791 in St. Johnsbury, selling his old home to Dr. Lord, and building a new one on Right 48, 3 miles up the river. He did not remain long, however, moving to Duncansborough (Newport), Orleans co., in 1793. He has his brother James left St. Johnsbury with their families, hiked through forests to Barton Landing (now Orleans), then came down the Barton River via canoe and raft, to Lake Memphremagog. They settled on Adams Bay on the present Lake Road. They were the first settlers in the area, and decided to settle there because they were impressed that the frost had not killed the vegetation in the area, while plants in surrounding areas had succumbed. They used the power of the Clyde River to power their saw and grain mills, and lived in log houses.
Lake Memphremagog, at Duncansborough (Newport)
By 1793, a total of 11 families were living in Duncansborough. Martin was selectman at various times from 1802 to 1820, and was a representative to the general court in 1814.
Sometime between 1794 and 1800, Martin relocated to Stanstead, Canada for a "few years"; he was farming on Province Island in Canada in 1800, but back in Newport later that same year, where he had the notoriety of building the first frame house on his land on Lake Road. This house stood for many years, and was later known as the "Himes Place". After the death of Martin Adams, his son-in-law, Arnold Prouty, purchased the home and lived there with his wife, and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Mercy Ryder Adams, and Mercy's mother, Mrs. Betsey Ryder. For it's day, the house was considered a mansion. It had three large rooms, three bedrooms, a pantry, and a "dark bedroom" in the center of the house, on the main floor. There was also a basement in the home.
By 1803 Martin owned 17 acres of cleared land, had a 1 year old horse, and 10 sheep. In 1804 he was on the "Grand (tax) List" with 2 oxen, 3 cattle, 1 horse, and 17 sheep, plus his cleared land.
He died 8 Aug 1839 in Newport, Orleans co., Vermont at the age of 78. After his death, Mercy obtained a an extension of Martin's military pension as a widow after jos death. Mercy died 14 Oct 1847, at the age of 78.
Martin and Mercy (Ryder) Adams had eleven children: Lydia, Thirza T., Hallett, Roderick, Allen, Sarah "Sally", Abial Abbott, Hannah, James C., Mercy, and Charles Calendar, and possibly one other child.