Adams' Rangers

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Adams' Rangers
Active 1777-1780
Allegiance Britain
Type Infantry
Size <70 soldiers and officers
Engagements American Revolutionary War
Dr. Samuel Adams

Adams' Rangers was a Loyalist independent company raised for the British Army during the American Revolutionary war. Led by Dr. Samuel Adams of Arlington the unit's most significant contribution in the conflict was serving as part of the ill-fated Burgoyne Expedition of 1777.


The men of the unit were recruited primarily from the New Hampshire Grants area (now Vermont), with the largest number coming from Arlington. Adams later stated that he had raised 70 men for the company. Either late in the Burgoyne campaign or early 1778, Adams' Company absorbed a body of men that served in the Bateaux service under Jeptha Hawley of Arlington.

Burgoyne Expedition[edit]

Adams' Rangers was part of the scouting service during the campaign. Very little has been recorded concerning the activities of the unit during the campaign, but Loyalist claims made by men of the company describe piloting the army, running dispatches between commanders, raiding cattle from rebel farms and defending loyalist farms from Patriot foraging parties.

After Burgoyne Expedition[edit]

After the British Army's defeat and surrender at Saratoga, Adams' Rangers and other Loyalist units were allowed to retreat to the Province of Quebec. For the next three years Adams' men, like most other Loyalist troops in Canada, were occupied serving garrison duty and being employed in work parties improving the defences of the Province. Several of the men of the unit and their families lived at the Machiche refugee camp near Trois-Rivières, Quebec. In early 1778, the company numbered 37 all-ranks — by mid-1780 their number had reduced to 27.

Frustrated by lack of prospects and dispersement of his men around the Province, Captain Adams demanded to be allowed to join his Company to Roger's Rangers (2nd Battalion King's Rangers) or go to New York to serve in the Central department. When his demands were refused, Adams disbanded his men in late October 1780.

After disbandment[edit]

Following the dissolution of the company, a few men from the company joined Roger's Rangers, but a majority were absorbed into McAlpin's Corps, a collection of under-strength Loyalist units. In November 1781 these units were consolidated into a new Provincial Regiment, the Loyal Rangers, commanded by Major Edward Jessup.


Following the war, a few of Adam's men returned to the United States, some settled in Quebec around Sorel, but most were granted land in South-Eastern Ontario along the St Lawrence River. The largest concentration of former Adam's Company men settled in Ernestown and Edwardsburg Townships.

Company Officers[edit]

Dr. Samuel Adams of Arlington, Vermont
Jeptha Hawley of Arlington, Vermont

Simpson Jenne of Clarendon, Vermont

Gideon Adams of Arlington, Vermont


Muster Roll of Captain Samuel ADAMS’s Company Raised by Order of Genl. BURGOYNE the 9th August 1777 for the Purpose of Rangers. Busherville 23d January 1778
Great Britain, British Library, Additional Manuscripts, No. 21827, folio 14.

A Return of Men, Women and Children Belonging to Capt. ADAMS Corps of Loyalists at Machiche Augt. 10, 1780.
Great Britain, Public Record Office, War Office, Class 28, Volume 10, folio 95.

A Return of Captain Adam’s Corps of Loyalists. Mashish 6 March 1780.
Great Britain, British Library, Additional Manuscripts, No. 21827, folio 193.

Loyalist Settlements 1783-1789, New Evidence of Canadian Loyalist Claims.
W. Bruce Antliff, The Archives of Ontario, Bicentennial Publication from the Ministry of Citizenship and Culture Susan Fish, Minister

United Empire Loyalists. Evidence in Canadian Claims.
Second Report of the Bureau of Archives for the Province of Ontario. B. Alexander Fraser. Parts 1 and 2. Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc.

The Old United Empire Loyalist List, 1784-1884,
Centennial, Rose Publishing Company, Toronto, Canada, 1885.

Biographical sketches of Loyalists in the American Revolution
Gregory Palmer, Meckler Publishing, Westport Connecticut,1984,

American Loyalist claims Volume 1,
Peter Wilson Coldham, National Genealogical Society, Washington DC 1980

External links[edit]

The On-line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies:

United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada Directory of Loyalists:

The Old United Empire Loyalist List: