Who Were Lt. Thomas Boyd
and Michael Parker?

Timohty Murphy

Wayside Shrine at Boyd & Parker Park
Route 20A, Cuylerville, Town of Leicester
Thomas Boyd, a native of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, was born in 1757 the youngest of three sons. Boyd's military service began in 1775 when he marched with Benedict Arnold and 1100 other soldiers through the treacherous terrain of Maine and participated in an active assault upon the British. Here Boyd was wounded, taken prisoner but soon afterwards released. He headed back to Pennsylvania where within a few months Boyd enlisted as a Sergeant in Captain Stephen Bayard's Company, then transferred to Captain Matthew Smith's Company. Boyd was at the surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga, made Lieutenant in the First Pennsylvania Regiment and participated at the battle of Monmouth in New Jersey in 1778, before joining Sullivan's Campaign.

He went to Schoharie in the autumn of 1778, under Major Posey, whose command consisted of three companies of Morgan's celebrated rifle corps, under Captains Long, Pear and Simpson. Boyd belonged to the latter company. He was described by Rev. Craft as "Of fine physique, engaging manners, brave almost to recklessness," and "endowed with the qualities which would command attention, without the cool judgment or firmness which would fit him for a leader." Lockwood R. Doty described Lt. Boyd as "of ordinary height strongly built, fine looking and very sociable and agreeable in his manners, qualities which gained him many friends in Schoharie." He was only 22 years of age at his death.

Boyd's father and only sister died before the Revolution. His mother sent her three sons into the field, with the parting injunction, says Major Van Campen, "never to disgrace their swords by an act of cowardice, or by a moment's fear of reluctance when called to the defense of home and freedom." His older brother Lt. William Boyd, the second son, died at Brandywine in 1777.

As for Michael Parker, all that can be ascertained from the history books is that he was a corporal in the First Pennsylvania Regiment, from which he was promoted to Sergeant in Captain Simpson's company. His life prior to this event remains a mystery.

Details were taken from Rev. Craft's research; the History of Livingston County, Lockwood R. Doty, ed. (F.A. Own, Dansville 1905), 173; and an address by W.P. Boyd on the life of Lt. Thomas Boyd, to the Livingston County Historical Society's 13th Annual meeting, (January 1889), 5-13.

(Sullivan Campaign of the Revolutionary War: The Impact on Livingston County, page 20)