Barzillai Lew Musician

Barzillai lew

Barzillai Lew (November 5, 1743 - January 18, 1822) was an African American soldier who served with distinction during the American Revolution. Barzillai Lew's story began with Primus Lew of Groton, Massachusetts ( a former servant of Captain Jonathan Boyden), and Margret Lew (a former servant of Samuel Scripture). As free-blacks, Primus and Margret Lew married in 1742 and they had two sons and two daughters. Primus served as a musician in the French and Indian War in 1747. In 1752, Primus married again to Rose Canterbury and bought a farm on the west side of Nashua River in the Pepperell section of Groton, Massachusetts and they had two children. Primus and Margret Lew's oldest son Barzillai (pronounced BAR-zeal-ya) often called "Zeal" or "Zelah," was born a free-black in Groton, Massachusetts November 5, 1743,. Following in his father’s footsteps, Barzillai Lew was a fifer in Captain Thomas Farrington’s Company from Groton, which marched northward for “the total reduction of Canada." From March 10, 1760 to December 1, 1760, he served with the English forces against the French and Indians and was probably present at the capture of Montreal, Canada by the British.

Personal details

Date of birth
November 5th, 1743
Place of birth
United States of America
Date of death
January 18th, 1822 at age of 78
Place of death
Massachusetts, United States of America
African American



Military conflicts participated

American Revolutionary War


April 19th, 1775


September 3rd, 1783

Wikipedia article

The American Revolutionary War, the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War in the United States, was the revolt against Great Britain by the thirteen American colonies which founded the United States of America. Originally limited to the colonies, French and Spanish intervention would spread the fighting to Europe, the Caribbean, and the East Indies as well. The war had its origins in the resistance of many Americans to taxes imposed by the British parliament, which they held to be unlawful. Formal acts of rebellion against British authority began in 1774 when the Patriot Suffolk Resolves ousted the royal government of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The tensions caused by this would lead to the outbreak of fighting between Patriot militia and British regulars at Lexington and Concord in April 1775. By spring 1776 the Patriots had full control in all thirteen colonies and on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress declared their independence. The British were meanwhile mustering large forces to put down the revolt.


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