Church, Benjamin, 1734-1778

Alternative names
Birth 1734-08-24
Death 1776

Biographical notes:

Physician, poet, author, and traitor; b. Newport, R.I.; graduate of Harvard, 1754; lived in Boston and Raynham, Mass.; after correspondence with British was intercepted in 1775, he was tried by court martial. Continental Congress resolved on Nov. 6, that he should be imprisoned at Norwich, Conn., but because of illness was removed to Massachusetts and put on parole; allowed to sail from Boston in May 1776 for London but ship never heard from again; family was pensioned by the Crown.

From the description of Letter from B. Church to Major B. Lane, 1775 July 22. (New London County Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 154690579

Physician, poet, and author; member Boston Committee of Correspondence and Massachusetts Provincial Congress; court-martialed for criminal correspondence with British officers.

From the description of ALS, 1773 Dec. 13, Boston, to Elbridge Gerry, Marblehead, Mass. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122442723

Born in Newport, Rhode Island. Physician and political essayist supporting Loyalist cause. Graduated Harvard 1754. Chief of 1st Continental Army Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Later found guilty by Court Martial (presided over by George Washington) of having sent secret letter to British officer. After parole in 1776 left Boston for West Indies. His ship was lost at sea.

From the description of The Choice: A Poem. After the manner Mr. Pomfret. By a Young Gentleman in Boston. [ca. 1750-1776]. (Brown University). WorldCat record id: 122692038

Church was a Boston physician and "Chief Physician & Director General" of the Medical Service of the Continental Army from July 27, 1775 to October 17, 1775.

From the description of [Document, between 1760 and 1765 / Benjamin Church] (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 184954792


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  • Military prisons
  • American loyalists
  • Spies--History--18th century
  • Tea tax (American colonies)
  • Prisoners
  • Trials (treason)
  • Prisoners of war--Personal narratives
  • Militia
  • Espionage


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  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Massachusetts--Boston (as recorded)
  • Massachusetts (as recorded)
  • Massachusetts--Cambridge (as recorded)
  • Newport (R.I.) (as recorded)