Richard Sill


According to traditional sources, Richard Sill was born in July 1755. He was the sixth son of John Sill of Silltown, Lyme, Connecticut and his second wife Hepzibah Lee. He was raised in a very large combined family on the farm of a father who lived until 1796.

Richard was able to attend college and graduated from Yale in 1775. Then he served as an officer in the Continental army in the Commissary Department. He was a lieutenant at the battles on Long Island and at Kings Bridge in 1776. He spent the winter at Valley Forge. He was aide-de-camp to Lord Stirling and was known as major.

He is said to have clerked in the Albany law office of Aaron Burr. Later, he would establish his own legal practice in Albany where his clerks would include fellow Yale graduate John Lovett.

In May 1785, he married Elizabeth Nicoll at the Albany Dutch church. The marriage produced two sons.

In 1786, the city records showed he rented rooms on the second floor of the Store house in Albany.

In 1788, his house and personal property in the second ward were accorded substantial assessments.

In 1789 and '90, he was a trustee of the Albany Presbyterian church.

For a number of years, his health had been in decline and he moved his family into the large Bethlehem home of his father-in-law.

Richard Sill died in June 1790 shy of his thrity-fifth birthday. His obituary appeared in the Albany Gazette. His widow re-married two times and died in Bethlehem in 1821.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Richard Sill has not been assigned a CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Book on "Old Silltown." This individual should not be confused with the Richard Sill family of Saybrook, Long Island.

Obituary: June 7th, 1790: "On Friday afternoon at 3 o'clock, departed this life, at Bethlehem, the seat of Col. Francis Nicoll, in the 34th year of his age, Richard Sill, Esquire, counsellor at law and representative to the general assembly of this state for the county of Albany, and yesterday his remains were interred in the family burying ground at that place, attended by a number of his connection and friends from this city.

However customary it may have become to bestow flattering appellations on the character of the deceased, it would be a piece of injustice not to observe on this occasion, that independent of the services of this gentleman in the army of the United States, during the late war, his good sense, affable manners and amiable disposition, added to the strictest integrity in public as well as private life, render his character in the highest degree respectable and his death a public misfortune as well as a most distressing loss to an amiable, disconsolate wife, and two lovely infants."

first posted: 2/10/10