JAMES PECKER was born in Haverhill, Essex, MA, about 1717 (family records also report 1720). He first married Susannah Cogswell on Dec. 13, 1744. They had 9 children. Susannah died Mar. 15, 1761, age 39.
His second wife was RUTH BRADLEY. She was the eighth of fifteen children born to DANIEL BRADLEY and ELIZABETH AYER. She was born June 19, 1739, in Haverhill, Essex, MA, and baptized on June 24, 1739. She married JAMES PECKER on Nov. 12, 1761 , in Haverhill.
JAMES PECKER is thought to have obtained his medical degree from Harvard University. He was a member of the 11th Massachusetts Regiment in the Revolutionary war. According to orders dated Oct. 21, 1776, he was ordered to the "Old fort" in case of an unexpected action He died, Sep. 22, 1778, returning from Valley Forge, PA, from wounds suffered in the War.
A small publication at the Haverhill Library says, "Ruth Pecker, wife of Doct. James Pecker, who died Sept. 6, 1806 ae 67 is buried at Pentucket Cemetery." The Haverhill Vital Records give the cause of death as Lethargy.
This was the last generation that went by the surname, Pecker. As the children moved west, they
adopted the name Packer.
The 11th Massachusetts Regiment (Francis's Regiment, later Tupper's Regiment) was an entirely new unit,
raised under the Eighty-Eight Battalion Resolve of September 16, 1776. The regiment's first commander,
Colonel Ebenezer Francis, had been a captain of Mansfield's Regiment in 1775. Colonel Francis was killed
in the Batlle of Hubbardton, Vermont, on July 7, 1777, and was succeeded by Benjamin Tupper. In 1775
Colonel Tupper had been the major of Fellows' Regiment and later its lieutenant colonel. In 1776 he had
been lieutenant colonel of the 21st Continental Regiment.
The 11th Massachusetts Infantry was one of four regiments (along with the 10th, 12th and 14th Massachusetts)
in the brigade commanded by Brig. Gen. John Paterson in Maj. Gen. Johann de Kalb's division (December 19,
1777 - June 19, 1778). A granite Brigade Marker stands at Valley Forge National Historic Park (between the Muhlenberg Brigade
huts and the Arch, along the right side of Outer Line Drive).
The British Commander, Lt. Gen. John Burgoyne put together a plan whereby his troops would head south from Quebec, across Lake Champlain and down the Hudson River. His goal was to split the colonial forces and then capture the city of Albany. The first encounter was the Battle of Ticonderoga, July 5-6, 1777. With little resistance, Burgoyne captured the fort and burned it.
The following day, July 7, the British forces caught the retreating Colonial Army at Hubbardton, VT. Col. Ebenezar Francis, regiment commander of the 11th Massachusetts was killed that day in the Battle of Hubbardton. He was replaced by Col. Benjamin Tupper.
Both armies continued down the Hudson. On Sep. 9, 1777, the first battle of the Saratoga Campaign was fought at Freeman's Farm. Because of their field position, the 11th Massachusetts played but a small role in that battle. On Oct. 7, 1777, a second battle was fought at Bemis Heights. Burgoyne was badly beaten and surrendered his army on Oct. 17. That decisive victory, by the colonists, was the turning point of the war. The victory encouraged France to enter the war against the British.
The 11th Massachusetts was encamped at Valley Forge during the infamous winter of 1777-78 when the
Continental Army, under Gen. George Washington, suffered so from lack of provisions. In June 1778, the
11th Massachusetts marched east from Valley Forge, and on June 28 was engaged in the Battle of Monmouth
Courthouse, NJ. This was the last battle of the Revolutionary War fought in the north.
Pecker, James, Haverhill. General order dated Headquarters, Ticonderoga, Oct. 21, 1776, taken from Col. Ephraim Wheelock's Orderly Book; said Pecker, Surgeon, with other surgeons and surgeons' mates ordered to attend at the Old fort in case of an expected action; also, Surgeon's Mate, Col. Edward Wigglesworth's regt.; pay abstract of field and staff officers for travel allowance, etc., from Albany home; 220 miles travel allowed said Pecker; service in Northern department on the late Campaign; warrant allowed in Council Jan. 28, 1777; also, Surgeon, Col. Ebenezer Francis's regt.; list of field, staff, and commissioned officers; commissioned Feb. 3, 1777; also, certificate dated Boston, Feb. 20, 1777, signed by Joseph Gardner, certifying that he had examined said Pecker with respect to his knowledge in Physick & Surgery and found him qualified to take charge of a regiment as Surgeon and Physician; also, Surgeon, Col. Tupper's regt.; Continental Army pay accounts for service from Jan. 1, 1777, to Sept. 22, 1778; reported deceased; also, account of the seven years half pay allowed, agreeable to resolve of Aug. 24, 1780, to widows and orphans of officers who were killed or died in service; [Col.] Tupper's regt.; rank, Surgeon; reported died Sept. 22, 1778; half pay allowed from Sept. 22, 1778, to Sept. 22, 1785.
|children by first wife, Susannah Cogswell|
wife Hannah Dalton
wife Hannah Sawyer
|children by second wife, RUTH BRADLEY|
wife Rebecca Osgood
wife Mary Eastman
DAVID BRADLEY PACKER
wife REBECCA NICHOLS