Brave Men Follow Me, The Life of Patriot Samuel Meeker (Part 9 of 10)

IX. The Legacy of Samuel Meeker

What is the legacy of Samuel Meeker?

The vast majority of references to him are for his quote in the Battle of Minisink. And we’ve seen that the blame for the failure of the battle shouldn’t fall on him; at least not solely on him.

His actual legacy in his day was as a respected, patriotic man. One of the few descriptions that come down to us is that “He [Major Meeker] was a large portly man & a great patriot & full of fire in the Revolution war.” (William Wickham, June 28, 1878, Draper Manuscripts, F8, 72.)

We can’t be sure whether Meeker had much influence on the meeting house which was built on his land. (See my other article on “Finding Meeker’s Meeting House.”) If he indeed was its builder or patron, then he is a notable figure in the history of the church in his area. His meeting house was the first in the are and contributed to the history of the Clove Church, the Westtown Church, and the Unionville Church. But in all of these places he was forgotten as was his meeting house.

Samuel Meeker was also known for the debt that he was in and his consequent time in jail. But it seems that these are likely due to his patriotism; for he was in debt because he used all his resources to support the American cause. Ultimately he fulfilled that age-old challenge, “put your money where your mouth is.” So we should remember his, above all, as a patriot and perhaps envision his later days as a respected and retired old soldier enjoying the land that he fought for.