by Ken Raymond
Eleazer Blake was born in Wrentham, MA on April 1, 1757, the son of Ebenezer and Tamar (Thompson) Blake. Eleazer was apprenticed to Capt. Samuel Cowell a wheelwright of his native town in 1773. He continued as an apprentice wheelwright until April 19 1775 when the alarm came of the British marching on Concord and Lexington. With the Minutemen of Wrentham under the command of Capt. Samuel Cowell Eleazer marched towards Boston and arrived in Roxbury on the morning of April 20. From this date Eleazer continued with the Army during the entirety of the Revolutionary War. He was with the Army fortifying positions on Prospect Hill on June 17, 1775 where he witnessed the Battle of Bunker Hill, the British Naval artillery assault, the burning of Charlestown and the exodus of refugees. He served in the Patriot Army during the siege of Boston until February of 1776.
Eleazer served with the Bay State Line including several months in Rhode Island. In 1777 he enlisted in the Continental Army on May 19th for three years or during the war. His regiment was sent to New York where they joined the army of General Gates where he participated in the battles and events leading to the victory over and the surrender of General Burgoyne at Saratoga, NY. The following winter he experienced the hardship and the freezing cold of Valley Forge then in the following spring and summer under the command of George Washington suffered the blistering heat of the Battle of Monmouth, NJ. Subsequent to this he was with the Army during the Rhode Island campaign and soon after rejoined with the Army in New York where he remained almost continuously until his discharge from the service. During this time with the Army in New York he was witness to the escape of the traitor Gen Benedict Arnold. After the capture of Arnold’s co-conspirator Major Andre, Eleazer was a member of the guard during his trial as a British Spy and was an eye witness to his execution by hanging. On June 12, 1783 Eleazer was discharged from the Army at Camp New Windsor in New York and then traveled 220 miles on foot to his home in Wrentham Ma.
In the autumn of 1783 he accompanied his brother Ebenezer, also a veteran of the Revolution, to Northern New Hampshire and upstate New York. After a brief residence in New York he married in Wrentham on November 29, 1785, Jerusha Gerould the daughter of Gamaliel and Jerusha (Mann) Gerould of Wrentham. Eleazer and Jerusha settled in Stoddard, NH, also the home of his brother Ebenezer. In 1792 they moved from Stoddard to Rindge, NH where they remained for the rest of their lives. In Rindge Eleazer was occupied as a farmer and wheelwright. He was chosen under the ministry of Rev. Payson as a Deacon of the Congregational Church, he continued in this capacity until the age of 80 years.
Eleazer and Jerusha had five children, they raised their family in the house he built, standing to this day on Woodbound Rd. Jerusha died on May 20, 1849 at the age of 89 years. Eleazer died on September 27, 1852 at the age of 95 years. Many personal items of Eleazer’s life and military service have been left by his descendants and remain in the care of the Rindge Historical Society. Some of the items on display include the musket and powder horn carried by Eleazer during the Revolution, his journals written during the Revolution, his discharge paper signed by Gen George Washington and his photograph taken when he was an elderly man. Many other Blake family items are also part of the RHS collection.