Captain John Linton – by Linton Brown


I have tried and tried to ingrain a love of genealogy into my two children.  They visited the Kentucky Historical Society with me when 4 and 6 – coloring books in tow!  As teenagers they didn’t want to have anything to do with it at all!  Now Linton will ask if I want to visit a cemetery when we visit him in Indianapolis, or if we meet for the day in Louisville, and patiently wait until I take my photos.  Kate will guide me to antique stores for old photos and listen to the highs and lows of a genealogy hunt.  But still no true love abides in them – just love for their mom.  I can live with that!  But hope springs eternal that one day they will be able to discuss their ancestors with me just as they would a present day cousin or aunt!

Linton has always loved his name – and being named after the captain!  The other day I came across this story of Captain John Linton written in 1991 – Linton was ten years old.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!  The first paragraph and last two are based on facts.  I will leave it at that!

Captain John Linton was my ancestor.  He was my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather.  I’m named after him.  He was born in Virginia in 1750.  He married Ann Nancy Mason in 1771, and had eleven children.  He lived in Leesburg, Virginia.

John Hancock (who was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence) was a good friend of Captain John Linton, and he named one of his sons John Hancock Linton.

Captain John Linton was a captain under General George Washington in the Revolutionary War.  And this is the story passed down through the years.  One day in the late 1700’s Captain John Linton got a letter from George Washington. It said:  Dear John, We need you to help with the revolution.  Sincerely, George Washington.

After a long ride on his horse, Captain John Linton arrived at the army headquarters.  “You’re just in time!” George Washington said.  “The British are just on the other side of the Potomac River!”

Captain John Linton went into the room with the uniforms.  He put on his blue coat with brass buttons, white pants and black hat.  When he went outside he saw the British coming.  “The British are coming!” he yelled.  Captain John Linton thought he might surprise some of the British if he hid behind a tree close to the river.  “Attack!” a captain of the British yelled.  Captain John Linton turned around and shot the captain, even though he was a mile away.

“Where did that musket ball come from?” one of the British said.  Confusion was everywhere.  Captain John Linton had killed the captain.  Then one of the British came up to him.  They started to fight.  Captain John Linton kicked the British in the stomach and hit him on the head with the barrel of his rifle.  Then he put the British in a cell.  “Maybe that will teach you a lesson,” Captain John Linton said.

He went outside to find another British leader trying to choke a soldier.  Captain John Linton went over and kicked him in the side.  The British leader tumbled over.  He kicked the British in the face.  Then he carried him into the cell.

Later on, what was left of the British were going.  “John Linton,” George Washington said.  “I want to tell you that you are the captain under me for capturing a captain and one of the British.  There are only ten more soldiers to capture, two captains, and the boss.  Do you think you can handle it?”  “Yes, sir!” answered Captain John Linton.  “And I won’t need a boat!”  Captain John Linton went to the river and jumped in.  He swam for one day until he got to the other side.  He started to walk but then he saw the fort.

“Too bad I lost my rifle in the river!”  Captain John Linton said.  Then he came up to a guard.  “Who goes there?” the guard asked.  “None of your beeswax!” Captain John Linton said.  He kicked the guard in the stomach and pushed him down the hill.  When he got back up he noticed the fort door was locked.  He went back a few steps, ran up to the fort, and rammed into the fort door.  SMASH!!  The fort door fell down.  He looked around the fort and saw a two story building.  He picked up a rock and threw it at the window.  It hit the British boss in the head.  “Try that on for size!” Captain John Linton yelled.  Then soldiers came out and started to attack.  When every single soldier was killed Captain John Linton went to the first floor of the building.  There was the first captain.  He shot cannon balls from a cannon at Captain John Linton.  Captain John Linton threw the cannon balls back at the first captain.  Finally the captain was killed.  Then Captain John Linton started to climb the stairs.  The second captain came down the stairs with a battle axe.  He swung it at Captain John Linton, but he ducked and the battle axe got stuck in the wall.  The second captain kept pulling on the battle axe and kept pulling.  The the battle axe came out and hit the second captain.  Captain John Linton went into the room, but he couldn’t find the boss.  Then he heard some shouting.  He turned around and saw the boss.  He was reloading his rifle.  Captain John Linton took his chance and jumped for the boss, but he missed.  Then the boss got him cornered next to the window.  He pointed the rifle right at Captain John Linton.  Then Captain John Linton grabbed the rifle and body slammed the boss right out the window!  Then he searched the room and found a bomb.  He lit it and threw it out the broken window.  Captain John Linton jumped out the other window and into the river.  He swam to the other side to tell George Washington.

After the war Captain John Linton was given two thousand acres of land in Kentucky.  He came to Kentucky with his children and grandchildren in covered wagons.  They had to sleep in tents until they built their houses.  Captain John Linton died on December 4, 1836, of old age.  He’s buried on his property.

We have a sugar chest that Captain John Linton brought with him from Virginia.  The heroic story of my ancestor was hidden in that sugar chest and was handed down from generation to generation.

The End – Linton Brown

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