Thomas Fitch, V

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Thomas Fitch, V
Member of the
Connecticut House of Representatives
from Norwalk
In office
October 1761 – May 1762
Serving with Peter Lockwood
Preceded by Joseph Platt, Jr.,
Samuel Fitch
Succeeded by Joseph Platt, Jr.
In office
May 1763 – October 1767
Serving with Peter Lockwood,
Joseph Platt, Jr.,
Joseph Hall
Preceded by Peter Lockwood,
Nathaniel Benedict
Succeeded by Joseph Platt, Jr.
In office
October 1768 – May 1770
Serving with Thomas Belden
Preceded by Asa Spalding
Succeeded by Joseph Platt, Jr.,
Thomas Belden
In office
October 1770 – May 1771
Serving with Thomas Belden
Preceded by Joseph Platt, Jr.,
Thomas Belden
Succeeded by Thomas Belden
In office
October 1771 – May 1772
Serving with Thomas Belden
Preceded by Thomas Belden
Succeeded by Thomas Belden,
Uriah Rogers
In office
October 1772 – May 1773
Serving with Thomas Belden
Preceded by Thomas Belden,
Uriah Rogers
Succeeded by Thomas Belden
In office
October 1773 – May 1774
Serving with Thomas Belden
Preceded by Thomas Belden
Succeeded by Thomas Belden
In office
October 1775 – October 1776
Serving with Thaddeus Betts
Preceded by Thomas Belden
Succeeded by Thaddeus Betts
Personal details
Born 1725[1]
Norwalk, Connecticut Colony
Died January 16, 1795(1795-01-16)[1]
Norwalk, Connecticut
Resting place East Norwalk Historical Cemetery, Norwalk, Connecticut
Spouse(s) Sarah[1]
Children Sarah Fitch St. John (1766 – 1825), Thaddeus Hill Fitch (1775 – 1776)
Military service
Allegiance Kingdom of Great Britain Great Britain
Rank Senior Colonel
Battles/wars French and Indian Wars
 • Battle of Ticonderoga
 • Capture of Fort Ticonderoga

Thomas Fitch, V (1725 – January 16, 1795) was a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives from Norwalk in the sessions of October 1761, May and October 1763, May and October 1764, May and October 1765, May and October 1766, May 1767, October 1768, May and October 1769, October 1770, October 1771, October 1772, October 1773, October 1775, and May 1776.

He was the son of Governor Thomas Fitch, IV and Hannah Hall Fitch. He served as an officer in the French and Indian War, primarily in upstate New York, near Fort Crailo. Although he and his troops are widely believed to be the inspiration for the song Yankee Doodle, contemporary scholars now believe that its origins are at least twelve years earlier.[2]

Yankee Doodle[edit]

During the French and Indian War, Fitch was the commander of four New England Regiments.[3] Tradition states that in 1755, Captain Fitch received the song as a joke from a British surgeon, Dr. Richard Shuckburgh, making Fitch the original "Yankee Doodle".[1][3][4][5]

Fitch's grave marker states that he is the inspiration for the song "Yankee Doodle." The marker claims that Captain Fitch had assembled his company of recruits at the Fitch homestead in Norwalk at the beginning of the French and Indian War. Concerned about the recruits' appearance and lack of uniforms, Fitch's sister Elizabeth presented each man with a chicken feather for their hats that would present the image of uniformity. When entering West Albany with feathers in their hats and unpolished clothing, their appearance caused Dr Shuckburgh, a British surgeon, to write verses mocking Fitch and his men as "Yankee Doodles and Macaronies".[1] However, after the successful campaigns at Ticonderoga and Crown Point in 1759, the sentiment had changed to become more favorable.[1]

By the time Fitch had left the service three years later, he had the rank of Senior Colonel, and was in command of sixteen regiments.[1]

Life after military service[edit]

After that conflict, Thomas, V returned to Norwalk. He was a prominent resident during and after the American Revolution. He served as a town councilman. He was, along with Thaddeus Betts, in the first delegation from Norwalk to the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1776. He helped with the reconstruction efforts after the burning of Norwalk in 1779.[6]

He died on January 16, 1795 and was buried in the East Norwalk Historical Cemetery.[1]

Historical dispute[edit]

Norwalk historian, Gloria Stewart claims that eighteenth century documents available from the Connecticut state archives dispute the Yankee Doodle identity.[7] One document is a bill for work copying and sending letters for the Connecticut General Assembly. The other is a 1775 document written by Fitch stating that he resigned his commission because of rheumatism that he had for twenty years.[7]

References[edit]

Preceded by
Joseph Platt, Jr.
Samuel Fitch
Member of the
House of Representatives
of the Connecticut Colony from Norwalk

October 1761 – May 1762
With: Peter Lockwood
Succeeded by
Joseph Platt, Jr.
Preceded by
Peter Lockwood
Nathaniel Benedict
Member of the
House of Representatives
of the Connecticut Colony from Norwalk

May 1763 – October 1767
With: Peter Lockwood
Joseph Platt, Jr.
Joseph Hall
Succeeded by
Joseph Platt, Jr.
Preceded by
Asa Spalding
Member of the
House of Representatives
of the Connecticut Colony from Norwalk

October 1768 – May 1770
With: Thomas Belden
Succeeded by
Joseph Platt, Jr.
Thomas Belden
Preceded by
Joseph Platt, Jr.
Thomas Belden
Member of the
House of Representatives
of the Connecticut Colony from Norwalk

October 1770 – May 1771
With: Thomas Belden
Succeeded by
Thomas Belden
Preceded by
Thomas Belden
Member of the
House of Representatives
of the Connecticut Colony from Norwalk

October 1771 – May 1772
With: Thomas Belden
Succeeded by
Thomas Belden
Uriah Rogers
Preceded by
Thomas Belden
Uriah Rogers
Member of the
House of Representatives
of the Connecticut Colony from Norwalk

October 1772 – May 1773
With: Thomas Belden
Succeeded by
Thomas Belden
Preceded by
Thomas Belden
Member of the
House of Representatives
of the Connecticut Colony from Norwalk

October 1773 – May 1774
With: Thomas Belden
Succeeded by
Thomas Belden
Preceded by
Thomas Belden
Member of the
House of Representatives
of the Connecticut from Norwalk

October 1775 – October 1776
With: Thaddeus Betts
Succeeded by
Thaddeus Betts