Revolutionary Veterans III: Leonard Watkins, gearmaker

Leonard Watkins decided to permanently return to his home in Montgomery County, Maryland, after the Revolution ended. Being a craftsman, Watkins did not face the same struggles that many of his fellow soldiers dealt with in acquiring land or growing crops. Instead, he lived by modest means on a small piece of land and started a family. His income was supplied by his gear-making and the pension he received, and he was successful enough to care for an orphan girl along with his own family. Watkins did not undergo a drastic social or financial change, but he improved his condition and was able to live comfortably in the years after the Revolution.

Watkins achieved some social and economic improvement, but not to a great extent. Like many others, he did not have any valuable property before the war. His community was still very rural at the outbreak of the Revolution, and there likely was not much economic opportunity for craftsmen there at the time. During his service, however, things changed and a new county was developed, centralizing his home. Watkins could return to somewhat improved conditions as a result. More opportunities developed in the years following the war, and he was able to improve his status by a modest amount.

Read Leonard Watkins’ full biography here.

Next: James Marle

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