The Champion Story

General George Washington and The Champion Family of Colchester


Colonel Henry Champion born in East Haddam in 1723 was the grandson of Henry Champion; an original settler of Saybrook.   In 1775, Colonel Champion was selected to be a Commissary for the war effort, his duties were to procure goods and supply the Continental Army with provisions.  Colonel Champion worked closely with the top colonial leaders, including General George Washington and Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull.

During the winter of 1777-1778, Champion was summoned by General George Washington to command a wagon train needed to feed starving troops at Valley Forge.  A herd of beef cattle, purchased at great expense, was driven over 300 miles under the personal direction of Colonel Henry Champion and his son, Epaphroditus.  The beef was eaten by the starving troops in only five days.

In 1789 Colonel Champion married and settled in Colchester raising two prominent sons, Epaphroditus and Henry, who also served in the Revolutionary War.  Epaphroditus worked with his father in the Commissary of the Army and eventually reached the rank of Commissary General.  Henry became an outstanding military leader and also reached the rank of General.

Learn More About Col. Henry Champion >>
Learn More About Gen. Henry Champion >>

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Ghoulchester: A Graveyard Tour into the Past
Location: tour begins at Hayward Fire Company Museum on South Main Street
Friday, October 13, 6 pm to 7:30 pm
*(Rain Date: Sunday, October 15, 4 pm to 5:30 pm)*
$10 CHS members / $15 non-members / $25 families
Fortune-teller cost: $10 for 10-minute reading (optional; pay at Colchester History Museum)

Formerly known as the “Spooky Cemetery Tour,” the Colchester Historical Society’s newly-named “Ghoulchester” is still the same great popular program! During this tour of the Colchester Burying Ground, visitors will meet notable characters from Colchester’s past–as if they’ve just risen from their graves to share their stories!

Tours are guided and recommended for both adults and families with children. All children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Please wear comfortable footwear, dress for the weather, and bring a flashlight to enhance your experience. Tour space is limited and advanced reservations are strongly recommended.

After your tour, meet a fortune-teller (extra cost; purchase tickets in advance of your tour, as tickets are limited) and enjoy free baked goods and apple cider refreshments at the nearby Colchester History Museum.

*If rain date is necessary, decision will be made by 12 noon on 10/13. Check Facebook and/or CHS E-Blast for notification. Event will be cancelled in event of heavy rains; light percipitation will not cause event to be cancelled; dress appropriately.*

The historic Colchester Burying Ground, located behind the Old Bacon Academy, is one of the finest graveyards in eastern Connecticut housing the remains of many prominent citizens, and featuring exquisitely carved historic headstones. For more information, email: mail@colchesterhistory.org.

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