Nathaniel Wade house, Ipswich MA

The Col. Nathaniel Wade house, 88 County Rd. (1727)

The house at 88 County Road in Ipswich was built in 1727 by Captain Thomas Wade. His son, Nathaniel Wade, at 26 years of age was a member of the militia and drilled the “Ipswich Minute Men” on the South Green across from this house. On Dec 24, 1774, his company signed on “as Minute Men, to be ready for Military operation, upon the shortest notice.” After hostilities began in 1775, they pursued British soldiers retreating from the battles of Concord and Lexington, and fought in the battle of Bunker Hill. As Captain, and later Colonel, he commanded troops throughout the campaign in Rhode Island and at Long Island, Harlem, and White Plains. His second in command was Joseph Hodgkins, who sent letters home from the battlefronts to his wife, Sarah describing the desperate conditions of the troops.

Gen. George Washington’s Letter from Headquarters to Col. Nathaniel Wade at West Point is displayed in the Nathaniel Wade house

On September 25, 1780, Wade received an urgent correspondence from General George Washington, that he take command at West Point: “Sir, “General Arnold is gone to the enemy…From this circumstance, and Colonel Lamb’s being detached on some business, the command of the garrison, for the present, devolves on you. I request you will be as vigilant as possible; and, as the enemy may have it in contemplation to attempt some enterprise, even to-night, against these posts, I wish you to make, immediately after the receipt of this, the best disposition you can of your force, so as to have a proportion of men in each work on the west side of the river. You will see or hear from me further tomorrow. I am, Sir, your most observant servant George Washington.”

In 1787 Col. Wade led the Essex Regiment in the fight against Shay’s Rebellion in western Massachusetts. In 1789 newly-elected President George Washington visited New England where he was greeted by Colonel Wade, and in 1824, Wade received Marquis de Lafayette at the same spot, during Lafayette’s valedictory tour of the United States.

Tombstone of Nathaniel Wade
Col. Nathaniel Wade died on October 26, 1826, at 76 years of age, and is buried at the Old North Burying Ground.

The Col Nathaniel Wade house is protected by a Preservation Agreement with the Ipswich Historical Commission. Read more at the Historic Ipswich site.

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