Posted by on February 8, 2013 in Site

You’ve heard of Benedict Arnold, but what about Jack Peterson?


From U.S., African American Newspapers, 1829-1947


According to the October 9, 1859, Weekly Anglo-African, if Jack Peterson and Moses Sherwood hadn’t decided to take on a landing party from the British sloop of war Vulture by themselves, thereby frustrating Major Andre’s escape, Arnold might have given away West Point after all. And this came after Jack had already joined the Revolutionary army, buried the friend he went to war with, and escaped from a ship after being taken prisoner.

Learn how to find your own war heroes at



Interesting! I checked the DAR Patriot records and Jack is not listed. Maybe a descendant should apply for membership.

February 10, 2013 at 7:48 am


I don’t know for sure whether Jack had family, but it would certainly be worth a look.

February 11, 2013 at 9:00 am

I believe people called him “Rifle Jack Peterson”. He was granted a pension and bounty land “equal to others of the white race” and land ownership in Van Cortlandt Manor. And he did marry, wife not named, and had six children, including a daughter Harriet who married Harrison Moshier.
John Jacob “Rifle Jack” Peterson is buried in the Bethel Cemetery, Croton, Westchester County, New York.
A lengthy biography is found on google:

Source: Peekskill’s African American History: A Hudson Valley Community’s Untold Story

February 11, 2013 at 9:35 am

One must remember that the DAR for a long time did not admit daughters of revolutionary war veterans if the daughters could not pass the ‘one drop’ test. The DAR was a segregated institution well into the twentieth century.

The DAR denied membership to women who could prove their ancestry through a white war veteran and within my own lifetime I remember that they finally aquiesced and admitted them.

The fact that Jack Peterson does not appear in the DAR rolls may be due to no descendant applying for membership or the DAR rolls have not been updated to reflect his descendants applications.

February 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm