Thomas Reed


Spelled and referred to variously (but most often as Reed) "Major" Thomas Reed was in Albany during some of the Revolutionary war era. A number of similarly named contemporaries are at risk in the region. This sketch focuses on the Albany householder and army officer who was in Albany during the war years. At the same time, we seek defining information on his origins and path to Albany.

In October 1779, The property of "Thomas Reed" (probably in the first ward) was valued on the Albany assessment roll. However, he was not found among those residents taxed in March of that year.

In January 1780, Continental Paymaster John Pierce identified "Thomas Reed, Esq." as Deputy Paymaster General who reputedly handled large sums of money and was sent by Pierce to Morristown from Albany. During that time, Thomas Reed also was identified as "Major", "Gentleman," and "of Albany." During 1780 and 81, he had extensive dealings with the Albany Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies chiefly related to his role as bailsman for suspected loyalists. That source provides several potential windows on his life perhaps connecting him to residence at the farm near Albany formerly occupied by Mr. Tunnicliff - and also to a plot to kidnap General Schuyler. Reed subsequently was released after posting bail. At that time, he was identified as a "yeoman" of the West Manor.

Within a few days, the issue of his liberty was again before the Commissioners who permitted him to remain with his family "on account of the illness of his wife." No further discussion of this topic has been encountered.

Perhaps he had married the young Albany resident Hannah Edgar at the Albany Dutch church in October 1780. However, no subsequent christenings were recorded in the church register.

In January 1781, a "Thomas Reed" made a payment of £150 for unspecified forfeited lands.

After the early 1780s, potential scenarios for Thomas Reed run in divergent historical directions. However, in 1790, one Thomas Reed was listed on the census for Ballstown. His household then included himself and two unspecified women.

Unable to distinguish our subject from perhaps a number of same-named contemporaries, we move on for now still puzzled by the life of one-time Albany resident Thomas Reed.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Thomas Reed has no CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. CDDC.

Thomas Read/Reed/Reide: A number of contemporary resources have identified an individual known as Thomas Reed as a British officer, as "Major," as a surgeon in the First Canadian Regiment, as an officer and paymaster in the revolutionary army, and as a resident and land holder in the area north of Albany both before and after the war. We are not certain that our subject was not any or all of them. Here, we will focus on the references that tie him to the Albany community. Moving forward, we seek first to do no harm!

first posted 1/10/17; updated 5/20/17