Perrin Batchelder by Robert Eager NSSAR# 179422

Perrin Batchelder answered the alarm on the 20th of April 1775, the day after the “Shot Heard Around the World” on Lexington Green. He, along with other members of Captain Stephen Sadler’s Company, marched from his home in Upton, Massachusetts 40 miles to Roxbury. He served there as a corporal for five days as minutemen from all over Massachusetts converged on Boston to surround the city.

The following year, he was listed as an ensign in Captain Samuel Baldwin’s Company. His two young sons, Jeremiah – 16 and Joseph – 14, signed up with him. Years later, in Joseph’s pension application, he states that he served as a waiter to his father. They worked on the fortifications on Dorchester Heights. Over the next several years he served several more enlistments with various Massachusetts units.

Perrin was a farmer near Upton. His birth was recorded in nearby Grafton on Nov. 1st, 1737. He married Martha Fisk in Upton on April 24th, 1760. Both he and Martha were from families that had been in New England since the 1630’s.

Details of Perrin’s day to day life have long been forgotten but one incident was alarming enough that it must have been retold many times. It was eventually documented in a 1913 manuscript written by a great-grandson, and Civil War Veteran, Benjamin F. Batchelor.

Perrin was coming home one evening and was confronted by a bear with two cubs. The cubs climbed trees a short distance apart and Perrin began traveling between them to keep the cubs from coming down, all the time calling, “A bear! A bear! Bring the gun!” His wife, hearing him, knew he was in trouble, grabbed the gun, loaded it, and started for the scene. As soon as she came in sight, the old bear met her and refused to let her come near the trees. She called to her husband, “Shall I shoot her?” He said, “Don’t shoot. If you wound her, she will tear you to pieces.” She said she could put the muzzle of the gun in the bear’s mouth! He still told her not to shoot. Eventually, they let one of the cubs come down. The mother left with that cub and they shot the other one.

It is believed that Martha died in 1773, shortly after their sixth child was born. Perrin likely remarried. Neither the SAR nor DAR have an accepted date for either death. However, Perrin’s son, Joseph, was living in Lebanon, NY when he filed for a pension in 1832. He describes serving with his father, Perrin Batchelor, when they enlisted from Upton, MA. He moved several times before settling in Lebanon. Joseph is buried in the nearby Earlville Cemetery. Next to him is a Perrin Batchelor who is likely his father. According to the gravestone, he died Feb. 11th, 1809, aged 71 years and 3 months. Next to him is his consort, Mercy Batchelor. The inscription says she died December 19th, 1807, aged 36 years and 5 months.

References and Notes

MA Soldiers and Sailors of the Rev War Vol 1, p. 402.

Frederick Clifton Peirce, Batchelder, Batcheller Genealogy (Chicago, Ill, Press of W. B. Conkey Company, 1898), pg. 394.

Batchelor Family, Unpublished manuscript, ca 1915 by Benjamin Batchelor.

Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, Pension Number: W. 17254, Joseph Batchelor.

Earlville Cemetery Record, From Cemeteries of Madison County, NY Web Site,

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