Saturday, February 25, 2012


My recent post about cousin Benedict Arnold Barker brought  few responses,
one of which provided an answer to the mystery of his name and another
gave more information about his life.

I post a link to my blogposts both on Facebook and on Google+. The G+
link caused Pam Beveridge to send this comment:

"Benedict Arnold lived for a time, post Rev, in New Brunswick, including 
at Campobello where he traded with Col. John Allan, friend of George 
Washington. Did you have any ancestors in the area who might have formed 
a favorable impression of Arnold? Or perhaps an ancestor went on the 1775
trek to Quebec? A British historian was making a movie about Benedict 
Arnold, focusing on the Gates/Wilkinson affair, and how things could have 
turned out differently. We saw snippets at a public event at UMaine, and 
producer asked for our input. Would LOVE to see the completed product."

Benedict Barker's mother Rosanna Murphy had been in New Brunswick in 1827!
So, it's possible her family had known General Arnold and had an entirely
different view of him than Americans would have. It seems a reasonable
explanation for the origin of Benjamin Barker's name.

Then I was contacted on by Phyllis U.(I don't like to use folks'
full names unless I have their permission first.) She told me that Ben Barker
was a highly respected citizen and farmer in Snohomish, Washington, She 
kindly sent me a biographical piece she'd written on Benjamin and his family.
I don't want to post the whole thing here unless I have her permission first. I
will say that, city boy that I am, I was fascinated in the description of the two
story hen house that was part of the farm.

After Benjamin's death hard times fell on the family, as it did on so many 
during the Great Depression and the Barker farm went bankrupt. Phyllis U.'s  
husband's family bought it and she's writing a history of it which is how 
she came to know about Benjamin Barker and his family.

Benjamin Arnold Barker, his wife Lily (Plaisted) Barker  and their son Frank
are all interred in the G.A.R. Mausoleum in Snohomish, Washington.

Thanks to Pam and Phyllis again for their help!

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