SILAS BUNKER, SR. (1746-1829)
From Bunker Geneology by Edward C. Moran, Jr. Aug. 1, 1961
Silas was born 1746. He married 21 Nov. 1771 Scargboro, Me., the widow MARY (FOSS) SMITH (Rec. 2nd Congregational Church, Scarboro, Me.: Maine Hist. and Gen. Recorder 4:87; Sedgwick T.R. 1:422), Mary was born 16 Oct. 1743 (Me. Hist. Gen. Rec. 1:169) and married for the first time 17 Dec. 1759 to Lemuel Smith (Me. Hist. Gen. Rec. 4:31) who died 17 June 1768 at age 32 (Sedgwick T.R.). After marrying Silas Mary lived to be 92 and died 8 June 1831 at Sedgwick (Portland, Maine, Press Herald, "100 Years Ago" column in issue 8 June 1931).
At Cranberry Isle, Me., when "Silas bunker of Canberry Isle, County of Lincoln, Province of Massachusettts Bay," was sued by John Williams of Lee, N. H., on a note signed at Dover, N.H., 21 Oct. 1773, case setted 10 May 1775 (Strafford County, N.H., Superior Court 1:146), and when he was sued by Thomas Bunker of Durham, N.H., on a note signed at Durham, N.H., same day, case setteled 10 May 1775 (Strafford County, N.H., Superior Court 1:147). At Mr. Desert, Me., 1776 when he contributed one shilling for a Town Book (Street's Mt. Desert 178).
During the American Revolution, Maine found herself sandwiched between two warring parties. With Montgomery and Arnold's failure to capture Quebec, new America found that it would be unable to carry Canada along with it to independence from Britain. Less settled, less established and perhaps less civilized, Maine was in a precarious position at the edge of a new nation. The British took advantage of the opportunity to invade eastern Maine in June 1779 with 750 troops under Francis McLean and a small squadron of three sloops under Capt. Henry Mowat. The purpose of this invasion was to build a fort at Castine on the Majabagaduce Peninsular and lay the ground work to establish a new colony for their loyalist supporters. It would be called New Ireland, sandwiched as it was between New England and New Scotland (Nova Scotia).
Massachusetts saw this as a whittling away of its territory. Without so much as a by your leave from the Continental Congress, Massachusetts raised an army of 1000 militiamen, as well as 20 transports and 19 armed ships, many privately owned and not a few manned by sailors impressed for this duty. The ill-fated attack on the new British Fort George in July 1779 known as the Penobscot or Bagaduce Expedition was masterfully bungled. In the end the militia was abandoned, the ships and transports were sunk or run aground, and Massachusetts was all but bankrupt.
Maine residents from Sedgwick and surrounding areas enlisted in Captain Nathaniel Fales's company, August 3, 1779. This company marched on an expedition to Majabigwaduce by order of General Lovell. After harassing the British they were discharged August 15, 1779.
After Bagaduce, the reputation of almost every American officer or ship's captain involved was impugned. Commodore of the fleet Dudley Saltonstall was court martialled and dismissed from Continental service. Lt. Col. Paul Revere, commander of the artillery, was court martialled and acquitted but not before his reputation was ruined. Perhaps the only bright spot in the American leadership was Brig. General Peleg Wadsworth who returned to eastern Maine as commander of the militia. The British held Bagaduce until the end of the war, but were occasionally harassed. General Wadsworth leading one successful challenge in 1780.
The "List of Settlers at No. 4 (now Sedgwick) district of Maine, taken 16 Nov. 1865" lists "Silas Bunker, 10 souls" and states he had ten (1785) been settled there "18 years" (Maine Hist. Mag. 9:158), which if true would mean he came to Sedgwick in 1767 which does not appear from foregoing items to be correct.
Listed 1790 census Sedgwick, Me. Sworn in as surveyor of highways at Sedgwick 6 Apr. 1792 (Sedgwick T.R. 1:40). As of Sedgwick, "Taylor," deeded the 100 acres of land "on which I now live" in Sedgwick, to his son Benjamin Bunker, in consideration of agreement by grantee for support of grantor Silas Bunker "and his wife Mary" in event of "disability, sickness or old age" (Hancock Deed 2:31). The church of Christ in Sedgwick, wiht 22 original members including Silas Bunker and his wife Mary Bunker, constituted 8 July 1793 (Centennial 1st Baptist Church of Sedgwick---June 1905---pp 29-30). As of Sedgwick, sued Sylvester Pierce, case running from April 1793 to 21 April 1, 1795 (Hancock County court common Pleas 2:100). Listed on 1798 Sedgwick tax list (Sedgwick T.R.). Listed (also Silas Bunker Jr.) on 1799 Sedgwick tax list (Sedgwick T.R.).
Listed 1800 census Sedgwick. Was deeded back 50 acres plus money consideration by his son Benjamin Bunker in consideration of release of maintenance obligation, 12 Aug. 1800 (Hancock Deed 24:392). On Sedgwick tax lists 1802-1805 (Sedgwick T.R.). Deeded land in Sedgwick by and mortgaged it to Isaac Smith Bunker 1 April 1807 (Hancock Deeds 24:393, 394). Both he and Silas Bunker Jr. on 1807 Sedgwick tax list (Sedgwick T.R.). Listed 1810 Census Sedgwick. Probably he and wife are the older individuals shown living with Isaac Smith Bunker 22 Sep. 1827 (Hancock Deeds 51:134, 135). On his way home from Williamsburg, Me., he stopped at David (or Daniel) Osgood's at Bluehill; in the morning, opening the wrong door by mistake he fell into the cellar and died about 10 days later. Died 15 Feb. 1829 at 83 years, at Bluehill, Maine. (Fisher's Bluehill Church Rec. 1:217).
Benjamin Bunker born 18 Sep. 1772
Thomas Bunker born 3 Jul. 1774
William Bunker born 22 Oct. 1776
Silas Bunker, Jr. born 26 Oct. 1778
Abigail Bunker born 28 May 1782
Isaac Smith Bunker born 10 Apr 1785
Jennie Bunker (adopted) born 13 Mar. 1789