Wemyss   Thompson   Fort Golgotha  

Grave of James Wemyss / Fort Golgotha.

Other names: Old Burial Ground, Fort Golgotha, Old Burial Hill, Old Huntington Cemetery

Burial site of Lt.Col. James Wemyss, Old Burial Hill Cemetery
Old Presbyterian Church, dismantled to build fort 1782, rebuilt 1784
Fort Golgotha, 1782-1783

40.871252 -73.42347 Grave of James Wemyss, 1748-1833
40.87446, -73.41973 Old Presbyterian Church, dismantled to build fort 1782, rebuilt 1784
40.87155 -73.42325 Fort Golgotha, 1782-1783

Maps: [map notes]


  • Wemyss, James (1748-16 Dec 1833)
    • Bio
    • Grave
      • Per bio from BanastreTarleton.org, Wemyss is believed to have moved to Huntington (Long Island) NY area after 1790 and to have been buried in the vicinity of Huntington in 1833.

        He requested that his gravestone inscription read [dd/mm inserted]:

        To the Memory of
        Lieut. Col James Wemyss
        a native of Edinburgh.
        Formerly a distinguished Officer
        in the service of his Country
        Died at Huntington Long island
        the 16th day of December 1833
        in the 85th Year of his Age

  • "Old Huntington Cemetery (Old Burying Ground)", provided by Robert C. Hughes, Huntington Town Historian. Wemyss is listed as the 4th name from the bottom on the last page (page 32). Date of death is shown as 16 Dec 1833. This is identified as Sec. #5. Section V (page 3) is shown as the long narrow section to the south of the SAR Liberty Pole. Note that the N-S-E-W direction markers do not agree with that of either of the maps when superimposed.

  • Section V, identified on map of the above.

    Old Burying Ground

  • Section V (shown in blue), superimposed over modern aerial map. Since the cemetery map is essentially a schematic (note: "No scale"), strenuous graphical distortion was required to make its limits approximate those of the aerial map. Red dot is approximate center of Section V.

    Section V

  • Section V (shown in blue), superimposed over modern topo map. Red dot is approximate center of Section V. No significant difference was obtained from those of the above superimposed maps. Both must be considered as "the general area" in which to search for a possible gravestone.

    Section V

  • Coordinates are provided for the approximate center of Section V. It has yet to be ascertained exactly where Wemyss was buried in the section.

  • ArchiveOld Burying Ground (17th Century) & Fort Golgotha (1782). Fort Golgotha is a significant Revolutionary War site in its own right.. There is a remarkable irony that Wemyss, himself a Presbyterian, a former Queens Ranger, apparently accepted as a respected member of the community, but notorious in South Carolina for allegedly waging total war during 1780, should be buried 1833 in a cemetery desecrated by Col. Benjamin Thompson (King's American Dragoons, absorbing remaining Queen's Rangers) in 1782 by building a fort of questioned military necessity using materials taken from the Presbyterian church including the use of gravestones from the cemetery. Thompson had also served in South Carolina in 1782, with some credit, but without acquiring notoriety. See Benjamin Thompson's grave.

  • New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History Fort Golgotha

  • ArchiveThe History Of Old First Church, including Fort Golgotha.

  • Archive Ellis, George Edward, Memoir of Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, with Notices of His Daughter, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Boston, Cambridge, University Press, 1871. The Fort Golgotha events are covered in p.137ff.

  • Google William S. Barnes, The Life of Count Rumford:..., 1873, lecture, 34 pages, J.L. Parker. No mention of Fort Golgotha.

  • Google Benjamin Franklin Thompson, The History of Long Island, from Its Discovery to the Present Time:..., p.477-478, Account of Fort Golgotha and later life and accomplishments of Benjamin Thompson. 1843, Gould, Banks & Co.

  • Google Martha Bockée Flint, Early Long Island: A Colonial Study, p.437, An account more favorable to Benjamin Thompson, 1896, G.P. Putnam's Sons.

  • Old Burial Hill photography

  • Several pictures of "Old Burial Hill" (not Wemyss' grave).

  • SCAR n/l and pensions search for "wemyss"

  • SCAR n/l and pensions search for "benjamin thompson".

  • SCAR n/l Vol.4, 1-3, p.5, John Milton Hutchins, "Lt. Col. Benjamin Thompson [Count Rumford], Loyalist Cavalry Commander, King’s American Dragoons"

  • NBBAS:Vol. Two (1780): James Wemyss 54, 296, 308, 309, 317, 351, 354, 356, 357, 358, 359, 386.

  • NBBAS:Vol. Four (1982): Benjamin Thompson 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 144.

  • Sherman, "Calendar..." . Search for wemyss. 87 returns, all relevant.
    To avoid long downloads, use option to "Save and view this PDF in Reader".

Related sites: [Maj. James Wemyss] Adam Cusack,   Black Mingo,   Cheraw,   Fishdam Ford,   Indiantown,   Kingstree  

Related sites: [Lt.Col. Benjamin Thompson] Benjamin Thompson's grave   Durant's Plantation,   Tydiman Plantation

Confidence level: See above