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John Willard Arms
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Birth: May 6, 1759
Franklin County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Jan. 21, 1783

John was the 6th and last child (3rd son) born of John Arms (1722-1770) and his wife Susannah Willard (1720-1793). John's siblings were: Willard (1744-1751); Susannah (1747-1775); Josiah (1750-1803); Hannah (b. 1753); and Lucinda (b. 1757).

On February 26, 1779, The General Assemby of the State of Vermont passed an act to prevent the return to Vermont of certain persons therein named, who had left the State, or either of the United States, and joined the enemy. John Arms of Brattleborough was one of those named in the said act. This act was repealed November 8, 1780.

About a year later (October 17, 1781), John filed a petition with the Vermont General Assembly requesting to be granted "a free pardon or otherwise" "adopt some measure for his admission into those rights and security of Person & property, the glorious privelege of every freeman of Vermont". In the said petition John states that "some time about the latter end of the year 1775 being then about 15 or 16 years of age (sic. he) went to New York - after some time living in the City he was detached with many others upon a destination in the Fleet that then sailed to Nova Scotia." John went on saying that "being young and imprudent in this leaving his Country without advice or friends and relatives (sic. he) endured the most severe and cruel hardships while with the British Troops till about the month of August in the year 1779 he deserted from them sensible he was not acting either a discretionary part or even agreeable to his own feelings." He deserted at Port Royal Island 70 miles from Chartlestown, South Carolina obtained a Pass from General Lincoln who at that time had issued a proclamation of free pardon to all who would apply for protection under these assurances and in consequence of the General's pass he returned home and had ever since continued a quiet and peaceable Subject of Vermont.

On June 15, 1782, the Vermont General Assembly granted the pardon and restored to John all the Priviledges of other Subjects of the State upon taking the Oath of Allegiance to the State, before a Justice of the Peace within the same.


(1) "Vital Records of Deerfield Massachusetts, To The Year 1850." by Thomas W. Baldwin, 1920, page 17

(2) "State Papers of Vermont - Volume Six - Sequestration, Confiscation and Sale of Estates" by Mary Greene Nye, 1941, pages 38, 77 and 78

(3) "A Genealogical Record of the Arms Family in this Country, embracing all the known descendants of WILLIAM FIRST, who have retained the family name, and the first generation of the descendants of other names." by Edward W. Arms, 1877, page 8

(4) "Cemetery Records - 1785-1896 - Brattleboro" page 3, No. 34
Family links: 
  John Arms (1722 - 1770)
  Susannah Williard Arms (1720 - 1793)
  Susanna Arms Willard (1747 - 1775)*
  Josiah Arms (1750 - 1803)*
  Lucinda Arms Dickerman (1757 - 1813)*
  John Willard Arms (1759 - 1783)
*Calculated relationship

In Memory of
Mr John Williard Arms
who Decd Jany 21
1783 Aged 23
years 8 Months 15 Days
Meeting House Hill Cemetery
Windham County
Vermont, USA
Created by: Chazmanbsr
Record added: Dec 23, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 32372487
John Willard Arms
Added by: Denise Crawford
John Willard Arms
Added by: Denise Crawford
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John Willard Arms
- Jonathan Robert De Mallie, Historian
 Added: Apr. 22, 2015

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