The Last Will and Testament of Edward Sinclair

As a sergeant in the Fifth Company during the Battle of Brooklyn, Edward Sinclair was among those men who heroically covered the retreat of the Continental Army, thus saving the American forces from destruction.[1]


Edward Sinclair’s will. Click to view the entire image.

Little is known about the life or service of Sinclair following his participation at the Battle of Brooklyn, but he did leave behind a will which provides some insight. In early October of 1776, Sinclair was moved to write his will in light of “the uncertainty of human life.”[2] The timing of his will was significant, coming after the disaster in Brooklyn, and the ever looming presence of the British Army.

Sinclair’s ominous outlook however, did not prevent him from reenlisting in late 1776 or early 1777. It is likely that Sinclair died while serving at the Continental Army’s Middlebrook encampment in New Jersey in early January of 1779.

To read more about Edward Sinclair, check out his biography here.


[1] To read more about the experience of the Fifth Company at the Battle of Brooklyn see “The Fate of the Fifth Company,” on the Finding the Maryland 400 blog.

[2] BALTIMORE COUNTY REGISTER OF WILLS (Wills, Original) 1778-1780, MdHR 8892-16-1 [MSA C437-19, 2/33/08/015].

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