Colonel Mark BIRD (1739-1812) Revolutionary War Patriot

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Welcome to the BIRD Chronicles

Colonel Marcus "Mark" Huling BIRD (1739-1812)

Revolutionary War Patriot

3rd great-grandfather of  Jeff Augustus "Gus" BIRD (1893-1954)

4th great-grandfather of Evelyn Virginia BIRD Linton (1922-2012)


page established December 2007 laughing 


(extracts from) The Direct Ancestral Lineage of Evelyn Virginia Bird Linton, The Daughter of Jeff August Bird (1893-1954) And Clara Myrtle Gray (1900-1988) (Book, Terry L. Linton © 1987, Linton Research Fund Inc., Publication © 1987, printed in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, USA.) (First Revision, January, ©1989)

Terry Louis Linton © 1989

Linton Research Fund Inc., Publication © 1989

LINTON & BIRD Chronicles Volume II, Issue 4, Winter © 2007, ISSN 1941-3521 


Colonel Marcus Mark Huling BIRD (1739-1812)

Revolutionary War Patriot


Marcus Mark Huling BIRD (1739-1812) was a prominent ironmaster, politician, miller, planter and Revolutionary War Colonel.

Mark was the son of Ironmaster, William BIRD ( 1706-1761) &  Brigitte HULING (1710-1792). Mark was born on January 2, 1739 , at Union Forge, Amity Township, Philadelphia County, (now Berks) Pennsylvania. Mark was christened on Febuary 4, 1739, in the Morlatton Dutch Reformed Church, Morlatton, Amity Township. Mark died in 1812, in Rutherford, Rutherford County, North Carolina, at age 73. Mark was buried in the Concord Baptist Church Cemetery, in Bostic, Rutherford County.


On April 6, 1765 Mark was elected a Vestryman of the St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Mark build Hopewell Furnace in Berks County, Pennsylvania on the headwaters of French Creek in 1771. Mark was appointed the Commissioner of Roads of Berks County. On April 28, 1773, Mark was appointed the Commissioner of the Schuylkill River Improvement Commission. Mark took a leading part in patriot politics.


Mark took a leading part in patriot politics. On December 5, 1774, Mark was elected a member of the Committee on Observation. The function of the committees was to alert the residents of a given colony of the actions taken by the British Crown, and to disseminate information from cities to the countryside. The news was typically spread via hand-written letters or printed pamphlets, which would be carried by couriers on horseback or aboard ships. The committees were responsible for ensuring that this news accurately reflected the views, and was dispatched to the proper receiving groups


On January 2, 1775, Mark was elected a Delegate to the Pennsylvania Provincial Conference and served as a member of the Pennsylvania Committee of Correspondence. All of these radical patriot groups were very active in the movement for independence from England.

On April 30, 1775,   Ironmaster Mark BIRD (1739-1812) was elected the Lieutenant Colonel of the Second Battalion of the Berks County Militia. He provided uniforms, tents and provisions for 300 militia men, who were recruited in the vicinity of his iron works at Hopewell and Birdsboro. He was promoted to Colonel when the battalion was made part of the Continental Army and served as commander until the end of December 1776


In 1776, Mark was elected a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly and elected a member of the Provincial Convention of 1776. 

The Pennsylvania Provincial Conference, officially the Provincial Conference of Committees of the Province of Pennsylvania, was a Provincial Congress held June 18–25, 1776 at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia. The 97 delegates in attendance (out of 103 appointed) involved themselves in issues relating to declaring Pennsylvania's support for independence and to planning for a subsequent gathering that would develop Pennsylvania's new Frame of Government. They achieved these objectives by formally: Declaring Pennsylvania's independence from the British Empire, thus birthing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Mobilizing the Pennsylvania militia for the American Revolutionary War, organizing elections to select delegates to a constitutional convention – which framed the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776.

As the last holdout among the Thirteen Colonies to declare independence, the conference's actions had a profound impact on American public opinion and facilitated the issuing of the Declaration of Independence shortly afterward by the Continental Congress.

Delegates from Berks County, Pennsylvania: From Berks County: Mark Bird, Valentine Eckerd, Henry Haller, Joseph Hiester, David Hunter, Nicholas Lutz, Jacob Morgan, Bodo Otto, Charles Shoemaker, Benjamin Spiker.

Also in 1776, Mark was appointed a Judge of the Berks County Court.

Early in 1776, Mark became the Deputy Quartermaster General of the Continental Army. 

December 24, 1776, Washington's Crossing of the Delaware River & Battle of Trenton

Most of the boats used in the crossing were Durham boats. These boats were designed to carry heavy loads from the Durham Iron Works. They featured high sides and a shallow draft and could be poled across the river.   These Durham boats were sub quested by  Colonel Mark BIRD (1739-1812), now the Deputy Quarter Master General of the Continental Army, and were supplied by Colonel George TAYLOR (1716–1781), commander of the Third Battalion of the Pennsylvania Militia, from his Durham Iron Works.  Colonel Taylor was the ironmaster of Durham Iron Works located in Durham Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania and a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a representative of Pennsylvania Colony.   Ironmaster, Colonel Mark BIRD (1739-1812), was a close friend and longtime business associate of ironmaster George Taylor.  Their partnership began in 1751 with the leasing of Durham Iron Works and again in 1774. On August 2, 1775,  Bird and Taylor secured a contract with Pennsylvania’s Committee of Safety for cannon shot.   On August 25, 1775, with a shipment of 258 round balls weighing from 18 to 32 pounds each, from Durham Furnace became the first ironworks in Pennsylvania to supply munitions to the Continental Army.  These two ironmasters had numerous business deals during and after the war ended.

On December 27, 1776, General George WASHINGTON ordered Colonel Mark BIRD (1739-1812)  to take charge of the captured Hessian forces taken at the Battle of Trenton. The captured Hessians were marched to Philadelphia and paraded through the streets of Philadelphia to raise American morale. The anger at their presence helped the Continental Army recruit new soldiers.  Later, most of the prisoners were sent to work as farm hands. Colonel Bird sent some to his Hopewell and Birdsboro ironworks as indenture servants in Berks County. Pennsylvania.  Some of the Hessians were sent to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and in 1777 the remaining were moved to Virginia.   The Second Continental Congress authorized the offer of 50 acres of land to individual Hessian soldiers to encourage them to desert and the British soldiers were offered 50 to 800 acres, depending on rank.


On January 24, 1776, the Board of War, also known as the Board of War and Ordnance, was created by the Second Continental Congress as a special standing committee to oversee the American Continental Army's administration and to make recommendations regarding the army to Congress. 

Mark was elected to the committee of the Board of War and on May 6, 1777,  Mark was one of the signers of the Appeal to the Supreme Executive Council and Board Of War. The Board of War assumed the prescribed responsibilities for compiling a master roster of all Continental Army officers; monitoring returns of all troops, arms, and equipment; maintaining correspondence files; and securing prisoners of war. The Board of War began functioning on June 21, 1776.



In February 1778, as Deputy Quarter Master General under General Mifflin, Colonel Mark Bird was given the "impossible" order of getting food to General Washington's starving troops at Valley Forge. This task General Mifflin had failed to do earlier. Colonel Bird managed to float 1,000 barrels of flour from his own water grist mills in Birdsboro which were stored in Reading down the Schuylkill River in the dead of winter. On February 19, 1778 the Executive Council of the Continental Congress shows the shipment of these barrels.

Mark also supplied armaments and munitions, including cannon, shell and shot to the Continental Army from his furnaces and forges in Hopewell and Birdsboro for the American Revolutionary War. The Continental Congress recommended orders to be issued in 1778 and 1780 in Mark's favor for $50,000 and another for $125,691. Mark Bird, however, never collected these amounts owed him by the Congress.


On October 4, 1779, Mark was deeply involved in the Fort Wilson Riot. Which took place at his brother-in-law, James Wilson's house located on Third and Walnut Streets in Philadelphia, where 4 militiamen and a Negro boy were killed and 14 militia men were wounded. At the legal trial of the defenders of Wilson's home, Colonel Mark Bird was fined the most. All of the concerned men were officially pardoned in March of 1780. Today a brass plaque on a brick wall marks the site of the Fort Wilson Riot".


On September 18, 1783, Mark in a letter to the Continental Congress requested the "Great Chain" which he had supplied and was stretched across the Hudson River at West Point to obstruct British navigation be delivered to him as payment for his war efforts, but his request was denied on September 29, 1783. 


On March 22, 1784, the maiden voyage of the merchant ship United States to the sea port of Canton China. Although it wound up instead in the French colony of Pondicerry, India. Philadelphia Merchant Phillip MOORE, owned one haft interest in the vessel with Colonel Mark Huling BIRD (1739-1812) and his brother-in-law Judge James WILSON (1742-1798) owning a quarter interest each. On December 18, 1783, they had applied to the Continental Congress for a sea letter with hopes of being the first American registered merchant vessel to reach China.”