After the British General Burgoyne’s surrender at Saratoga in 1777, his captured troops were marched across Massachusetts to Cambridge, about three hundred of them escaped with some ending up in Princeton.
One of them, James Ellis by name, married in Sterling and moved to Princeton where he established an iron-making shop on Town Farm Road, not far from the farm owned by Guernsey Clough (20 Town Farm Road). Part of the foundation may still be seen, and here by hand he fashioned among other things, door latches stamped with the initials I.E. (Often in those days the letter “I” was used for the letter “J”). One of these latches was presented to the library by Mr. Gamaliel Beaman. Another may be seen in actual use in the home of Mrs. Harry Mirick (68 Hubbardston Road).
James Ellis was one of the seven escapees who petitioned the Council for the right to take the oath of the allegiances and fidelity of these States and be made naturalized Subjects thereof.” This petition was endorsed by the Selectmen of the Princeton in 1780 and granted by the Council.
Miss Ethel Mirick
This was copied from the Princeton News, Vol. I, No. 9, dated November 1, 1952, and updated/clarified in August 2015 by the PHS.