Brig. Gen. PIKE Zebulon Montgomery

Brig. Gen. PIKE Zebulon Montgomery[1, 2]

Male 1779 - 1813  (34 years)

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  • Name PIKE Zebulon Montgomery 
    Prefix Brig. Gen. 
    Born 5 Jan 1779  Lamberton, Mercer, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    • Lamberton is now a part of Trenton, New Jersey.
    Gender Male 
    _UID 61A10D38EB9ED5118A064445535400007679 
    Died 27 Apr 1813  Toronto, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    • (An account of his death and obituary from the Boston Whig:-
      "On Tuesday last, the twentieth, at sunrise, Com. Chauncy with a squadron of ten or twelve vessels appeared before York with General Dearborn and three thousand men. The infantry under Brig. Gen. Pike landed and attacked the town and batteries in the rear while the squadron attacked them by water. Gen. Pike with about two hundred men were killed by the blowing up of a magazine in one of their battries, and in which they had laid a train for that purpose. It made considerable havoc in our column, and what is to be more especially lamented is the death of Brigadier General Pike occasioned by a severe contusion by a stone, he survived the wounds but a few hours.
      Obituary:-Probably the loss of no man in the American Army could excite more unfeigned ande universal regret than the death of this brave and gentlemanly officer. His skill, intrepidlity and sound judgement were equalled by few, perhaps excelled by none. Anxious to retrieve the losses and disgraces we have sustained by treachery, incompetency, and precipitancy, he hastened to obtain a foothold in the enemy's country, but alas' in the accomplishment of this object he has sacrificed his invaluable life. His tob in in the hearts of his countrymen."
      From the Boston Patriot:-"The death of General Pike, as that of Gen. Wolf, Wolf died almost instantly. When Pike recovered enough to speak after the tremendous explosion which deafened and stunned for a moment everyone, he encouraged his men to pass on. They gave three cheers, and advancing to the charge, overcame all before them at the point of bayonet. When they brought the British colors to Gen. Pike, they were folded up and placed under his head; upon which he said - "I die content," then laid his hand upon his brave heart and expired."
      A soul of honor, breath'd in every word.
      No act of the life of General Pike will better display his exalted sense of true honor, than his last General Order, issued on the morning of the embarkation of the American troops from Sackett's Harbor, April 25, 1713, and from which the following are extracts:
      "It is expected that every corps will be mindful of the honor of the American arms, and the disgraces which have recently tarnished our arms; and endeavor by a cool and determined discharge of their duty to support the one, and wipe off the other."
      "Courage and bravery in the field, do not distinguish the soldier, than humanity after victory; and whatever examples the savage allies of our enemy may have given us, the general confidently hopes that the blood of an unresisting or yieldinhg enemy, will never stain the weapons of the soldiers of his column."
      "A distinguished officer, who was in the battle at York, states, that as he passed the general, after he was wounded, he cried, "Push on, my brave fellows, and avenge your general."-Niles' Register.
      "When the surgeons were carrying the wounded general and his aids from the field, our troops who had just formed, gave a tremendous huzza! The general turned his head, anxiously, to enquire what that was for; a sergeant who accompanied him said - "The Britis union jack is coming down, general, the Stars are going up." - He heaved a heavy sigh of ecstacy, and smiled, amidst the anguish which must have been inseparable from the state of his wounds."
      As the general was "breathing his last, the British standard was brought to him - he made a sign to have it placed under his head, and died without a groan. His body was embalmed at York and conveyed to Sacket's Harbor, where it was interned in the magazine at Fort Tompkins with all the stately pomp of military honor, amidst the regrets of every good man." -Niles' Register.)
    Buried Aft 27 Apr 1813  Sacketts Harbor, Chenango, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Military Cemetary (Rte. 75). 
    BG Zebulon Pike memorial
    BG Zebulon Pike memorial
    BG Zebulon M. Pike memorial
    BG Zebulon M. Pike memorial
    Sacred to the memory of Gen. Z.M. Pike of the United States Army, who fell in defence of his Country, on the 27th of April A.D., 1813 at York, Upper Canada.

    ** His body does not lie in the Saint Michael's Episcopal Churchyard in Trenton, NJ. This tablet is merely a tribute erected by his friend and associate, General Zachariah Rossell.**
    • American explorer and soldier. He was born in Lamberton, New Jersey, and entered the United States Army about 1793. Pike was a lieutenant when in 1805 he was chosen by General James Wilkinson to find the headwaters of the Mississippi River. In the winter of 1805 and 1806 he reached Red Cedar Lake (now Cass Lake) and Leech Lake in Minnesota, erroneously believing them to be the Mississippi's source. The actual source, Lake Itasca, was determined in 1832. He also bought land from the Sioux people for the future site of Fort Snelling, which grew into the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

      In July 1806 Wilkinson sent Pike to explore the headwaters of the Arkansas and Red rivers. Pike traveled up the Arkansas River into South Park, a tableland in the Southern Rocky Mountains in Colorado. He also explored the region south of what is now Leadville, Colorado, and sighted and attempted to climb Pikes Peak. From the Arkansas River he turned south, crossing the Sangre de Cristo Mountains into the Spanish territory of New Mexico. The Spanish arrested Pike and imprisoned him at Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Chihuahua, Mexico. He was released in 1807 and returned to the United States with valuable information about the geography of the Southwest. His report stimulated great interest in the settlement and trade of that region.

      Pike was commissioned a brigadier general at the beginning of the War of 1812. He was killed by the explosion of a powder magazine, April 27, 1813, while leading American forces in an assault on the capital of Upper Canada, York (now Toronto, Ontario).

      During his trips supplying the forts on the Ohio River, Zebulon had time to visit some of the planters whose estates lay on the river's banks. He never failed to stop at one plantation - Sugar Grove - which was fifteen miles below Cincinnati and owned by Captain John Brown. There was a good social reason for the stops here, for Captain Brown was the brother of Zebulon's mother (Isabella Brown Pike). But another reason presented itself in Captain Brown's dark-haired and pretty daughter Clarissa. She was his partner at dances held in the plantation house. Sometimes they walked by the river together, slipping away from the rest of the party. It was not long before they were deeply in love, but Captain Brown opposed the match.

      "A soldier for my daughter's husband, sir?" he said when Zeb asked for Clarissa's hand. "I cannot agree to it. What is your future? Garrison duty on the frontier, small pay and a few promotions. I want more than that for my daughter."

      Clarissa had anticipated her father's reaction. Now she showed that she had just as much spirit as he. She and Zebulon eloped to Cincinnati and were married over her father's protests. The marriage brought about a breach between the Brown and Pike families and Zebulon was not welcome at his father-in-law's or uncle's estate afterward. Although there may have been a breach in the relationship: Clarissa "Clara" is buried in the Sugar Grove Cemetery next to her father, Capt. John Brown, along with her daughter Clarissa Brown Pike Harrison and her husband John C.S. Harrison. Clarissa Brown Pike's husband, General Zebulon M. Pike, killed at the Battle of York (Toronto) Canada, is buried in the Military Cemetery, Sacketts Harbor, New York.

      Was commissioned at age 20 a first lieutenant and served for several years with the frontier army. The young lieutenant was then dispatched on a long and important expedition, setting out from St. Louis on July 15, 1806. He was instructed to explore the headwaters of the Arkansas and Red Rivers and to reconnoitre the Spanish settlements of New Mexico, being warned to "move with great circumspection...and to prevent any alarm or offence". After visiting the Pawnee villages on the Republican River, Pike (whose promotion to a captaincy occurred by routine on Aug. 12, 1806) moved up the Arkansas to the site of the present Pueblo, Colorado. Here, on a side trip, he made an unsuccessful attempt to reach the summit of the peak that bears his name.

      When the attack on York (now Toronto), Canada, was launched in April 1813, the immediate command of the troops was entrusted to then Brigadier General Pike. He led his men to victory, but was killed in the assault (April 27) when the enemy's powder magazine exploded. A distinguished officer who was at the Battle of York states that as he passed the general, after he was wounded, he cried, "Push on, my brave fellows, and avenge your general."

      As the general was breathing his last and the British standard was brought to him and placed under his head, he replied, "I die content."

      None of his sons survived to manhood. Several children were born to he and his wife but only one Clarissa reached maturity. In later years, Zebulon wrote to a relative that he had been the father of five children, but that all had died except Clarissa.
    Person ID I18362  Noyes Family Genealogy
    Last Modified 7 Jul 2013 

    Father Col. PIKE Zebulon,   b. 18 Sep 1751, Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Jul 1834, , , Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years) 
    Mother BROWN Isabella,   b. 20 Jul 1753, Southhold, Long Island, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Dec 1809, Lawrenceburg, Dearborn, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years) 
    Married 17 Apr 1775  New York City, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Family ID F7077  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family BROWN Clarissa Harlow,   b. Abt 1783, Stringtown, Boone, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Apr 1847, Sugar Grove, Boone, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 64 years) 
    Married 1801  Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
     1. PIKE Clarissa,   b. 24 Feb 1803, , , Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Feb 1837, Sugar Grove, Boone, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 33 years)
     2. PIKE,   b. Abt 1804,   d. 23 Nov 1806  (Age ~ 2 years)
    Last Modified 8 Jan 2019 
    Family ID F7090  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 5 Jan 1779 - Lamberton, Mercer, New Jersey Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1801 - Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 27 Apr 1813 - Toronto, York, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - Address:
    Military Cemetary (Rte. 75). - Aft 27 Apr 1813 - Sacketts Harbor, Chenango, New York
    Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Zebulon Montgomery Pike
    Zebulon Montgomery Pike
    Olman Brothers Engravers & Printers, Courtesy of the Old Colorado Historical Society.
    Veteran & Patriot of the War of 1812
    Veteran & Patriot of the War of 1812

  • Sources 
    1. [S68] Book-John Pike of Newbury, Mass., p.143-144.

    2. [S1276] Internet-Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia, Pike, Zebulon Montgomery.

    3. [S68] Book-John Pike of Newbury, Mass., p.142.

    4. [S68] Book-John Pike of Newbury, Mass., p.96.