This is the history of James Carr given by Jean Lanning, Village Historian, at 1pm on June 11, 2023 at the Old Quaker Cemetery in Union Springs, New York.
On this pleasant summer afternoon we are offering a fitting tribute to James Carr, Revolutionary War soldier and prisoner of war. Resting under the trees in this peaceful graveyard on a side street in this lakeside village, we are not far from a road just south of Union Springs, off Route 90, leading to the lake, named appropriately, Carr's Cove.
It is written that James Carr was born in Londonderry, NH. At about the last of July, 1780, seventeen year old Carr, at the time residing in the Town of Hoosack, Rensselaer County, entered the service of the United States as a substitute for Jacob Williamson. Carr joined a detachment of about thirty men and marched to Fort Edward, about five miles from present day Glens Falls in Washington County. He was then ordered to march to Fort Ann, in the mountains of Washington County, about ten miles from Glens Falls. He joined the company of Captain Sherwood.
It was the tenth day of October, 1780, when Fort Ann was taken by the enemy, the British. Carr marched as a prisoner of war to Fort George, near the present day village of Lake George, then to Fort Ticonderoga near the southern end of Lake Champlain. This fort had become British in 1777.
From there Carr was taken by water to St. Johns, Quebec. From St. Johns he marched to Montreal. He was detained in Montreal as a prisoner of war until November of 1782 when he was exchanged with other captured Americans. The exchange took place in Castleton, VT near the southern end of Lake Champlain, about 5 miles from the New York border. Carr was then dismissed and returned home.
He married Margaret Morrell from Cambridge, New York. They lived several years in Johnstown, NY in the Adirondacks in Fulton County. It is there that the first six of their ten children were born. After the war, Carr was given a land grant of approximately 1,600 acres and the family eventually moved 148 miles to this area south of Union Springs where an additional four children completed their family. The stately brick home residence that can be seen on the Carr's Cove Road today is the site of the log cabin which James Carr built for his family. The kitchen of this house was built around the log cabin.
In addition to the land grant, Carr purchased from the Native Americans the small area surrounding Carr's Cove. He was a great friend of the Native Americans. In 1797 he returned here, cleared some of the land and built a log cabin, returning home to Johnstown for the winter. He walked each way every spring and fall until in 1800 he returned with his wife and six children. On this final trip, they came through the wilderness by ox team with their household goods, seeds, and plant cuttings. The 148 miles took seventeen days to complete. The strength and stamina of James Carr is to be admired.
I wonder how James Carr would feel to see and hear this presentation. Proud? Humbled? Many wars have come and gone since the Revolutionary War, and conflicts continue in our world. Would that every veteran have the respect of a grateful nation.