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Children of Liberty
~   Rhymes,  Poetry  &  Bios   ~
Children Patriots of the American Revolution
Children of Liberty  -  American Child Patriots  -  Children of the Revolution

The children whose fates were often decided by others. In honoring these few we honor them all.

Children Patriots of the American Revolution - in verse
Tribute Poems
Playing, Training American Family Affair Young Heroes Three Patriot Boys
Male - Boys -  Young Men American Patriots  - Black - White
John Quincy Adams Charles Bowles James Potter Collins Paul Cuffee
James Durham James Forten John Greenwood William H. Harrison
Andrew Jackson Henry Knox Samuel Maverick Jordan B. Noble
  Andrew Sherburne  
Female - Girls -  Young Lady American Patriots  - White - Black
Sibyl Ludington Elizabeth (Phoebe) Fraunces Elizabeth (Betty) Zane
Tribute Poems
 Children Patriots of the Revolution

Children of the American Revolution lived amidst the rumors, reports and results of war.
Many of the children became children of liberty having served in some capacity in the war effort.
Some of Liberty's children grew to become the civil servants of a new nation, the United States of America.

Playing, Training
by Roger W Hancock

Young boys, seven years and older, too young,
would form companies with toy rifles of wood.
Young boys, liberty imagined, marched formation,
accompanying militia with as much regularity.
Though too young, yet some, went off to war,
shooting, being shot, becoming men too young.
Though when just play, their marched formation,
early training for when the time, they go off to war,
Worth of all the children, with the women and men,
who played a part, helped win our American liberty.

© 11-20-2011 Roger W Hancock,

American Family Affair
           by Roger W Hancock

The American Revolution,
was fought by everyone.
Even younger and older children,
worked the camps with women.
Boys fetched wood and water,
camp dispatches to deliver.
Yankee children diligently,
worked as hard for liberty.
Girls with mothers cooked,
washed clothes and mended.
Some older boys joined the men,
in battle, playing fifes and drums.
Revolution for Independence,
a family affair of diligence.

© 11-12-11 Roger W Hancock

Young Heroes
by Roger W Hancock

Young little known heroes of Liberty’s rebellion,
Young men, young boys, who fought the battles brave.
Remember the daughters who cooked, washed clothes,
mending uniforms for brother’s fellow soldiers.
Few stories remain today of liberty’s children,
Those who died young, who bravely fought as men.
We remember the many young who served for youth today,
service of the very young, gave us our liberty.

© 11-20-2011 Roger W Hancock,
Three Patriot Boys
by Roger W Hancock

Three young boys
in three different colonies,
grew up during the Revolution.

John Quincy Adams,
would grow to be sixth president.

Three young boys,
saw the birth of liberty,
the signing of Declaration.

Young Andrew Jackson,
became our seventh president.

Three young boys
each served a capacity
service for liberation.

William Harrison,
grew up to be ninth president

Three young boys,
living the plight for liberty,
destiny led our nation.

© 11-20-2011 Roger W Hancock,

Children . . . listen, learn, dream,
reach out beyond your perceived limitations.

Aspire to be more than you imagine.
President, Patriot, or even . . . Poet.
Boys - Young Men of the American Revolution

John Quincy Adams

John Q. Adams

by Roger W Hancock

John Quincy Adams,
becoming a young man,
learned the affairs of Europe,
preparing him for foreign affairs,
in the service of his country.
Continued service to our nation,
elected John, sixth President.

© 11-20-2011 Roger W Hancock,


See Also Founding Fathers

John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams from age ten to eighteen spent time in Europe with his father, John Adams. John’s father was a special envoy in Europe. Those experiences prepared the young John Quincy Adams for future foreign service of a new country.
J. Q. Adams was appointed minister to the Netherlands by President George Washington. His father, President John Adams, appointed him minister to Prussia. John Quincy Adams was elected to the Massachusetts state senate and later appointed by the state legislature to the U.S. Senate in 1803. President Madison appointed him to be the first U.S. minister to Russia. John Quincy Adams lead a delegation in negotiating peace in the War of 1812. John became Secretary of State for President James Monroe in 1817. John Quincy Adams became president of the United States of America in 1824.
© 11-20-2011 Roger W Hancock,

See President John Quincy Adams @ TimeLines of Liberty

Charles Bowles
A Tory's Slave
   by Roger W Hancock

Charles Bowles was slave to a Tory,
ran away at fourteen, to the Army of liberty.
Sixteen years old, became a regular soldier,
faithfully served 'till America was free.
 © 03-30-2010 Roger W Hancock


See Also Black Patriots of the Revolution
And Founding Fathers

Charles Bowles

Of mixed race, Charles Bowles' father was Black and his mother White. Charles was a slave to a Tory. Perhaps since his mother was white, he was instead a servant. He enlisted in the Continental Army at the age of fourteen to serve the entire war. His first two years he served as a servant to an officer. He would re-enlist with condition; that he would serve in a fighting capacity.
After the war Charles Bowles became a farmer in New Hampshire.
 © 11-22-2011 Roger W Hancock


James Potter Collins

Teenage Spy

by Roger W Hancock

Just a boy, James Potter Collins,
one of many, twenty children.
Two years a tailors’ apprentice,
apprentice of shoes then a weaver.
James as weaver was always about,
spied on Tories, ‘till they found out.
Local militia, joined James Collins,
rebel’s victory, Battle of Cowpens.

© 11-22-2011 Roger W Hancock,


See Also
Founding Fathers

James Potter Collins

James Potter Collins’ father and mother had 6 children. His mother died giving birth to the seventh that was stillborn. His father remarried a woman who had one child. The couple would eventually have 13 children together, making James just one of twenty children. Children of large families were often “farmed out” to help support the family. James was to be a taylor’s apprentice but that ended after two years when his master fled further inland to avoid the British attacks. His father then set him up as a shoe apprentice but James had a distinct dislike for that vocation. Mr. Collins then arranged for James to be a weaver’s assistant. It became a tradition that men did the weaving and women the spinning. James, as tailor then as weaver became quite familiar with the routes for twenty miles around.  Captain John Moffet of the South Carolina Militia recruited James to be a spy. James paid attention to the public speeches, chatter and other gossip around town. As the Tories became wise to his spying it became too dangerous to continue. James and his father joined Captain Moffet’s militia to continue efforts to liberty’s cause. Several battles fought were lost until the tide turned to favor the rebels. James fought in the Battle of Cowpens, one turning point towards independence.
James turned twenty as the war ended and he tried work as a tailor, teacher, and horse trader. James Potter Collins later worked with peacekeeping efforts between settlers and Indians on the wilderness front.

© 11-22-2011 Roger W Hancock,

Paul Cuffee
Paul Cuffee

Born free, Paul Cuffee was half Black and half Indian whose father was a freed slave.  When very young Paul Cuffee was intrigued by boat building, ship navigation and the shipping trade. Paul would hang around the docks watching and learning, often talking with sailors and ship builders to learn whatever he could from them. When a teenager he would sign aboard whaling ships and in 1776 he was captured by the British and imprisoned in New York for three months.
During the Revolutionary War he would captain several vessels navigating around the British privateer ships. He would found a ship building business that built at least seven ships. His ship yard at the Westport, Massachusetts docks launched the schooner Ranger, the bark Hero, the brig Traveler as well as others.  He manned his own ship, the Traveler, with distant relatives of African dissent.

© 11-23-2011 Roger W Hancock,

Paul Cuffee
   by Roger W Hancock

Paul Cuffee was a freeman,
who loved the sea and sailing.
In Cuffee's free time roaming docks,
learned all he could 'bout merchant shipping.
While still a boy, Paul Cuffee became a sailor,
was captured by British, to be a war prisoner.
  © March 31, 2010
Revised © February 13, 2015 Roger W Hancock


See Also
Black Patriots of the Revolution
And Founding Fathers


James Durham

James Durham

Young James Durham was a slave boy to Doctor John Kearsley, a prominent Philadelphia physician and a Tory. After Kearsley died James was sold a few times to become the slave to Dr. West a British surgeon. James a fifteen year old slave-boy was in a position to learn more of medicine tending to the British wounded under Dr. West.
James Durham, would again be sold at the end of the Revolutionary War,. Nineteen year old James was sold to Dr. Robert Dow of New Orleans. Over the next two years James would learn more as a slave-apprentice to Dr. Dow. The doctor would allow twenty-one year old James to buy his own freedom for 500 pesos, with ‘easy terms’ for the payments. Dr. Dow helped James set up a small medical practice. Most doctors of the time were trained under apprenticeships rather than at universities. Dr. Durham became America’s first Black Doctor. James Durham had met Dr. Benjamin Rush (Signer of the Declaration of Independence) who became quite impressed with James skill and knowledge of medicine. Over the following twelve years they would pass correspondence between them containing medical advice. James may not have served the cause of liberty as a child but had hoped that liberty for the colonies would mean liberty for American slaves.

© 11-21-2011 Roger W Hancock,

Doctor Slave

by Roger W Hancock

Young slave James Durham
was a fortunate black man.
Slave to two Tory masters,
bandaged the British wounded.
Three masters, apprentice doctor,
Master Dow sold James his freedom.
James befriended Benjamin Rush,
becoming first Black American Doctor.

© 11-21-2011 Roger W Hancock,


See Also
Black Patriots of the Revolution
And Founding Fathers


James Forten
James Fortune
   by Roger W Hancock

James Fortune had no fortune,
but supported independence.
James enlisted as a powder boy,
on a ship at sea for liberty.
James joined at age fourteen,
to be captured by the British.

© 11-22-2011 Roger W Hancock,


James Forten
   by Roger W Hancock

Freeman, James Forten
became a self-educated man.

Fourteen year old powder boy,
befriended his captor, Sir John.
After the war he began to build ships,
building a business, becoming rich.

  © 04-01-2010 Roger W Hancock

James Forten (Fortune)

James Forten was son of a sail maker. (When James was a child his name was James Fortune) Just before his fifteenth birthday James enlisted to serve as a powder boy on the American privateer, the “Royal Louis.” During battle James was to pass gun powder and cannonballs to the gunners who manned the cannons. Between battles he would perform whatever duties that needed attending. In his leisure he would teach and play the game of marbles with his shipmates. Before his sixteenth birthday he was paid and received one-half of a share of the bounty winnings. Most of that he gave to his mother. James signed up again for duty, for even at half share he earned more than he could as a shopkeeper. James Forten had re-enlisted to again serve at sea where the crew would be captured by the British. He gave up his place in a plan to escape allowing another younger boy in poor health to escape instead. James would be released in a prisoner exchange a few weeks later. James Forten would reunite with his mother who had thought him dead.
As an adult James would change his name to 'Forten' from 'Fortune,' a name more common among black freemen. He would work as a sail maker where his father had worked. The owner Robert Bridges later retired giving James control of the company. James Forten became a prominent businessman of Philadelphia.

© 11-22-2011 Roger W Hancock,

 See Also
Black Patriots of the Revolution
And Founding Fathers


John Greenwood

John Greenwood

John Greenwood at age seven was a friend and roommate of  Samuel Maverick, who died at the Boston Massacre.
John would learn the fife and begin playing for the local militia. He joined the army at fifteen as a fifer. Greenwood fought at Breed’s Hill in the Battle of Bunker Hill. He also fought in the Battle of Trenton, an American victory. He had served nearly two, one year terms. A young sixteen John Greenwood, returned home to recuperate from illness. He was paid only six months pay for the twenty months he served. John never asked for the balance owed him.
When nineteen, just a young man, Greenwood would again serve, this time on an American Privateer; a private ship commissioned by the government.  Captured three times, he would later escape from his British captors. After the war John worked as a repairman of watches and other mechanical devices. He worked as a wood turner for a time. John Greenwood became New York’s leading dentist and dentist of President, George Washington.  It was John Greenwood who invented the first dental drill powered by adapting his mother’s spinning wheel.

© 11-19-2011 Roger W Hancock,

Young John

by Roger W Hancock
Teenage John Greenwood,
fifing tunes he would,
for a local rebel militia.
Later colonial military
Playing tunes on fife of wood,
would John for liberty’s army.

© 11-19-2011 Roger W Hancock,


See Founding Fathers

William Henry Harrison

William H. Harrison
by Roger W Hancock


William Henry Harrison,
heard the guns from Yorktown,
as his father marched to war.

Listened to George Washington,
at dinner table of the Harrisons,
discussing our nation’s future.

Made an officer by Washington,
then was governor after congressman.
then again to war, Henry marched.
William Henry Harrison,

First in office, when life passed on,
after election as ninth president.

© 11-20-2011 Roger W Hancock,

See Founding Fathers

William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison was about ten years old when he waved ‘good bye’ as his father rode off to join a militia to reinforce the Continental Army led by Washington. George Washington had been a guest at the Harrison family table, where William would listen intently.  The guns at Yorktown could be heard at the Harrison home.
When eighteen years old William joined the regular army with a commission as ensign, approved personally by President Washington. Harrison led the campaigns against the Indians in the Northwest Territory.  He served in congress of the territory then became governor of the Indian Territory. He was brigadier general, commander of the Army in the Northwest in the War of 1812. William Henry Harrison would be elected President of the United States in 1840. President Harrison served the shortest term of any president having contracted pneumonia and died on April 4, 1841.
© 11-20-2011 Roger W Hancock,   

See President William Henry Harrison @ TimeLines of Liberty
Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson joined a regiment of the Continental Army at thirteen. Andrew was captured and later released after contracting smallpox. He lost two brothers in the Revolutionary War.
Jackson would become the first U.S Representative of Tennessee then a U.S. Senator. Andrew Jackson would serve on the Tennessee Supreme Court for five years. He was a Major General in the War of 1812. Andrew Jackson would be made the military governor of Florida then again becoming a U.S. Senator. In 1828 Andrew Jackson would be elected President of the United States of America.

© 11-21-2011 Roger W Hancock,

Andrew Jackson
by Roger W Hancock

Young Andrew Jackson,
joined the army at age 13.
British captured young Andrew,
who grew to be a President.
© 02-16-2008 Roger W Hancock

See Founding Fathers

See President Andrew Jackson @ TimeLines of Liberty

Henry Knox

Henry Knox
by Roger W Hancock

Henry Knox at just eighteen,
joined a local artillery company.
Witness of the Boston Massacre,
was a guard at the Boston Tea Party.

© 11-20-2011 Roger W Hancock,

See Founding Fathers

Henry Knox

Henry Knox joined a local artillery company called the Train at eighteen years old.
At nineteen he witnessed the Boston Massacre testifying he was trying to defuse the situation. Two years later he would guard the docks to prevent the unloading of tea from the Dartmouth, one of the ships on which the Boston Tea Party would take place the next day.

© 11-20-2011 Roger W Hancock,


Samuel Maverick

Samuel Maverick

John Quincy Adams from age ten to eighteen spent time in Europe with his father, John Adams. John’s father was a special envoy in Europe. Those experiences prepared the young John Quincy Adams for future foreign service of a new country.
J.Q. Adams was appointed minister to the Netherlands by President George Washington. His father, President John Adams, appointed him minister to Prussia. John Quincy Adams was elected to the Massachusetts state senate and later appointed by the state legislature to the U.S. Senate in 1803. President Madison appointed him to be the first U.S. minister to Russia. John Quincy Adams lead a delegation in negotiating peace in the War of 1812. John became Secretary of State for President James Monroe in 1817. John Quincy Adams became president of the United States of America in 1824.

© 11-20-2011 Roger W Hancock,

Samuel Maverick
by Roger W Hancock
Samuel Maverick,
young teen, stout and lean.
Samuel was a wrangler,
at the Boston Massacre.
Liberty’s teenage maverick,
shot by British, at seventeen.

© 11-19-2011 Roger W Hancock,

See Founding Fathers

Jordan B. Noble

(War of 1812)

Noble, Drummer Boy
   by Roger W Hancock

Jordan B. Noble, drummer boy,
volunteer soldier at thirteen years;
War of 1812, a young black boy.
Under General Andrew Jackson,
drumming many famous battles,
Jordan nobily, beat his drum.
 © March 30, 2010 Roger W Hancock


See Also
Black Patriots of the Revolution
And Founding Fathers

Jordan B. Noble

Jordan B. Noble was born after the Revolutionary War but was a Child of Liberty serving under General Jackson in the War of 1812 at thirteen years old.  Jordan served as a Drummer Boy in the Seventh Regiment.
Jordan would grow to excell as a musician and soldier.  He would serve in the Seminole War in 1836 (Florida). In the Mexican War, 1846, he served as a principal musician, which was unusual for a Black to hold that position. As a private citizen he became very well respected. Noble would perform for special events and would receive various awards as a musician. He would again serve for liberty in 1884 to play for the troups in the Civil War.

© 11-26-2011 Roger W Hancock,


Andrew Sherburne


Andrew Sherburne

Andrew Sherburne yearned of the excitement the stories of war promised. His brother served on a ship and such was the desire of Andrew. His parents learned of his plans to run away to enlist and decided to help arrange his service to minimize the danger. Andrew’s Uncles Timothy and James, Weymouth served upon the Ranger and promised to look after him. The crew was later forced to abandon ship. Andrew later signed aboard the Greyhound.  Language was rather colorful among the sailors and Andrew would often be the brunt of ridicule for his aversion to swearing. He eventually gave in to minimize the cajoling, although he would more fervently tend to his prayers in atonement. The Greyhound lost itself in the fog eluding a British ship. Andrew and other crew members changed ships and would be captured by the British and sent to prison.
Andrew would be transferred and nearly die in a storm, then later become deliriously sick and released. After recovering he would again take to the sea for a livelihood and then again be captured by the British.  He gained release at age twenty and took up teaching and surveying. He later with a greater interest in religion became a minister. He would serve as a Chaplain in the War of 1812.

© 11-21-2011 Roger W Hancock,

To Sea, To Man 
by Roger W Hancock

Andrew Sherburne,
fourteen years of age,
rebel battles yearn.
Andrew had his way,
to sea might run away,
father arranged his way.
Sea waves and storms churn,
rebellion battles wage,
Andrew became a man.

© 11-21-2011 Roger W Hancock,


See Founding Fathers


Girls - Young Women of the Revolution
Elizabeth (Phoebe) Fraunces
Phoebe Fraunces
   by Roger W Hancock

Phoebe, black girl free,
truly a child of liberty.
General Washington's housekeeper,
overheard a would-be killer.
Thomas Hickey executed,
tried to poison the General.
 © 11-22-2011 Roger W Hancock


See also Women Patriots of the Revolution
Black Patriots of the Revolution
And Founding Fathers

Elizabeth (Phoebe) Fraunces
Elizabeth Fraunces was called Phoebe, as her mother's name also was Elizabeth. Phoebe's father "Black Sam," owned a tavern in New York, that was frequented by patriots including General George Washington. Serving the patrons at the tavern Phoebe would often overhear the conversations. One day she overheard a plot to poison Washington. Ten year old Phoebe became a housekeeper at the Mortier House where General Washington was staying. It is unclear whether she was already a housekeeper or was hired to possibly identify any one on the house staff or General's aids as being involved in the attack. It was Phoebe Fraunces who is also credited with removing the poison peas that had been intended for Washington's dinner. Thomas Hickey, one of the General Washington's body guards, was excuted in June, 1776 for his part in the conspiracy.
 © 11-22-2011 Roger W Hancock


Sybil Ludington

Sybil Ludington
   by Roger W Hancock

Young Sybil Ludington
rough ride on horseback, all through the night.
Enduring hardships to save her town,
warned militia of British architect.
British plans to burn the town down;
Sybil's town, Danbury Connecticut.
© 04-02-2010 Roger W Hancock

Sybil's Ride
by Roger W Hancock

Sybil Ludington just sixteen
joined the liberty team.
Dispatch rider very tired,
So Sybil took up the ride.
forty miles with little light.
through the forest night,
To each farm warning men,
of battle to be, at Danbury.

© 11-20-2011 Roger W Hancock,

Sybil’s Midnight Ride

Colonel Ludington’s colonial regiment was granted leave to tend to their crops. The farms were scattered about the county, miles apart. Dispatchers were sent out around the county to muster the Colonial Armies. The dispatcher sent to Colonel Ludington arrives with news that the British were burning Danbury. The messenger was exhausted from his ride and could not continue much further. The Colonel needed to be present to rally the men that came to defend Danbury. Colonel Ludington took to recruiting his sixteen year old daughter, Sybil as dispatcher. Sybil rode her horse farm to farm to roust the farmer/soldiers. She would make a longer ride than did Paul Revere, traveling 40 miles spreading the call to arms. Riding all night she managed to muster nearly the whole regiment that eventually assembled near daybreak to begin their march to defend Danbury.
Sybil a very capable young lady was an active participant in the cause of liberty. She also had helped the spy Enoch Crosby.

© 11-21-2011 Roger W Hancock, 

See also Women Patriots of the Revolution
And Founding Fathers

Elizabeth "Betty" Zane (Betsy)

Elizabeth "Betty" Zane (Betsy)

Betsy was the youngest with five older brothers, born to Quakers. Betsy's father William Andrew Zane had moved to Wheeling, Virginia. Betsy was a rather rough and tough beauty, admired by many of the single men. One of the men had spotted British and Indian scouts along the river and ran to warn the settlers. There was not time to transfer the gun powder to the fort. The Indians and British laid siege to Fort Henry. A few men were discussing who would be most expendable to run for the powder. Betsy offered the case that she was more expendable and the most logical to make the run. The British and Indians were surprised and amused when Betsy stepped outside the fort. The enemy began to besiege Betsy with laughing and catcalls. The Indians called her just a squaw. Betsy ran to her brother’s cabin and emerged with her apron full of gun powder. The enemy sobered upon the realization that Betsy was getting powder and began to fire upon her as she raced up and into the fort.

© 11-21-2011 Roger W Hancock,

Betsy's Gun Powder Run
   by Roger W Hancock

Betsy Zane gained little fame,
in a battle on the wilderness front.
In a cabin nearby was hidden gun-powder,
location known by Zane's brave dame.
Surprising the enemy of the Indian front,
stepped out of gate, safe passage allowed her.
Powder wraped for victory reclaim,
ran to the fort to finish her stunt.
Eyebrows raised, raised bows and arrows,
Betsy brought victory, to Fort Henry gate.
© 04-03-2010 Roger W Hancock


See also Women Patriots of the Revolution
And Founding Fathers


Names of American Children Patriots
The names of the Children Patriots are among those listed on the pages of the:
Founding Fathers   -   Black American Patriots   -   Women American Patriots
There were few lists kept that specifically stated the ages of the children who served.
Though many served and in various capacities for the cause of liberty,
we have only those stories that survived the rebellion of the time.
A few of those are listed above to honor the Children of the American Revolution.



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-  Rhymes & Bio's of American Child Patriots  -

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