Latham, Robert

Variant last names: Lathem
Other namesCaptain
Birth: August 19, 1756 in New London, CT
Nationality:

Anglo-American

Occupation:

ferryman

Residence:

Groton

Marital status:

Married, but his wife's name is unknown; they had no children.

Biography:

Captain Robert Latham was part of the large, ferry-man and ship-building Latham families of Groton and New London, Connecticut, several of whom Occom mentions in his journals. Robert's father was Daniel Latham, born April 16, 1719 in New London and his mother was Elizabeth. He was the youngest of five. After that, there is no more information about Captain Robert Latham except what we learn from Occom's journals for 1784-89. In his itinerant preaching in the area, Occom held meetings at Captain Latham's house, lodged, dined with and called on Latham and his wife several times, and used his Christian cards for exercises with them, describing them as a "very agreeable and discreet couple." The Captain must have been fond of Occom, because he sent a present of tea to Occom's wife in 1784. Going back and forth between Groton and New London in southern Connecticut required a ferry across the Thames River. Robert was likely a descendant of the first ferryman in this area, Cary Latham, who appears in the record during the 1680s. His successors, William and Thomas Latham, operated a shipyard in Groton where they built and launched ships. In 1807, this became the Latham Brothers company. It is not clear if Robert's title refers to his seafaring or military service. Although there is no mention of a Robert Latham in the records, members of the extended Latham family from Groton served with distinction and were captured, wounded, or killed in the Revolutionary War, participating in the Battle of Groton Heights and the storming of Fort Griswold.

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Sources:

Charles Rathbone Stark, Groton, Conn, 1705-1905. http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/charles-rathbone-stark/groton-conn-1705-1905-744/page-9-groton-conn-1705-1905-744.shtml; The Record of Connecticut Men in the Military and Naval Service during the Revolution, 1775-1783. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009. https://books.google.com/books?id=2c4wvMNji00C&pg=PA578&lpg=PA578&dq=Captain+Robert+Latham+Groton&source=bl&ots=u3OuKIxfmC&sig=7xjDO9j9p-_W-bqThghBcb_Shok&hl=en&sa=X&ei=cJIiVa6IDefLsASWxoGYDw&ved=0CEkQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=Captain%20Robert%20Latham%20Groton&f=false; http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=shoober1&id=I64390.