On Memorial Day, think of Joshua Treat

By Roxanne Moore Saucier, BDN Columnist
Posted May 23, 2009, at 5:11 p.m.

I have no idea how many men named Joshua Treat there have been in this area, but Memorial Day is certainly a good time to think about them.

Revolutionary War soldier Lt. Joshua Treat, the first white settler on the Penobscot River, got a new gravestone last July off Devereaux Cove in Sandy Point. Seventh-generation descendant Fran Grant of Orono was one of the primary organizers of the project.

A great-grandson of Gov. Robert Treat of Connecticut, Joshua Treat was one of 32 people witnessing a treaty with the Eastern Indians at Fort Georges in Warren. He also used his knowledge of native languages to serve as an interpreter many times.

Though I haven’t connected them all up, I know that another Joshua Treat actually was the third of at least six generations of men named Joshua Treat in the Belfast-Searsport area in our time.

Joshua Treat III died at 88 on April 30 in Belfast, born in Winterport to Joshua and Clara Treat.

Like my dad, Gayland Moore Jr., Joshua III was a Navy man who served in the Pacific during World War II.

Joshua was a chief warrant officer on Manus in the Admiralty Islands.

It’s a small ocean.

I remember my dad, a motor machinist’s mate 2nd class, telling me about stopping at Manus to pick up a spare 225-horsepower engine to replace one that had quit on his Landing Craft Infantry 565, just 157 feet long.

I remember being quite entertained when he told me about the crew maneuvering the 2,600-pound engine “out of a small boat, up over the fantail, through the passageway, down the ladder and into the engine room. We had what we call chainfalls, but it was a lot of work.”

This conversation was actually part of a Bangor Daily News interview I did with my dad in 1994 for a story on the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines.

Now I learn from Joshua Treat’s obituary that during World War II, Manus was the largest naval base outside the continental United States.

Maybe the chief warrant officer and the motor mac were on Manus at the same time.

Joshua Treat III’s granddaughter, Emily Burnham, is one of my colleagues and friends here at the Bangor Daily News.

For me, her Joshua Treat is now linked to Gayland “Dinty” Moore and the other veterans I remember today who have gone to their rest.

As the saying goes, “Fair winds and following seas.”

—ä—

I’m not usually one for all kinds of extra days being proclaimed for this and that and various groups. But here’s a good one:

Gov. John Baldacci has signed LD 30, An Act to Establish Native American Veterans Day each June 21.

World War II veteran Charles Norman Shay, a Penobscot from Indian Island, was there for the signing and has pointed out that American Indians have served in every war since the American Revolution.

That they have.

In 1912, the Maine Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated a bronze plaque on a boulder to honor Maine Indians who served in the Revolutionary War. The boulder is not far from St. Ann’s Church on Indian Island.

In the 1980s, the Maine DAR rededicated that plaque, I’m pleased to say.

As I wrote a few months ago, the National Society DAR has published “Forgotten Patriots: African American and American Indian Patriots in the Revolutionary War,” edited by Eric Grundset, NSDAR librarian, with researchers Briana L. Diaz, Hollis L. Gentry and Jean D. Strahan.

The lists in the book are organized by state, making the information easy to use. When the person listed was Indian, the information often includes the tribe or nation.

Several Maine libraries have “Forgotten Patriots,” including Bangor Public Library. Bibliography is included for each state chapter.

You also can purchase a copy of “Forgotten Patriots” for $35 plus shipping at the NSDAR Web site, www.dar.org.

Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or e-mail queries to familyti@bangordailynews.net.

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/05/23/living/on-memorial-day-think-of-joshua-treat/ printed on December 25, 2014