The following is part two of four excerpts from the book ” The Last Men of the Revolution” written in 1864 by the Reverend Elias Hillard
When Adam was hundred and two years old. He made the statement that “his part in the war was unimportant”
Adam Link was born in Washington County, Maryland on November 14, 1761 to parents Jacob and Anna Link.. His mother, a distant relative of Jacob’s, was from Switzerland and died when Adam was six years old. After Anna’s death, Jacob remarried and move to Wheeling Creek, near present day Wheeling West Virginia.
At the age of 16, Adam enlisted and began his frontier service, serving in the area around Wheeling. His father had been scalped by Indians and his stepmother returned to Baltimore to live. Adam would later become friends with in Indian fighter by the name of Adam Poe.
At the age of 28 he married a distant relative, Elizabeth Link, she being 17 years old. Hillard noted that after his marriage, Adam, being fond of change, roamed about from place to place living but a short time in each, and so spent the earlier part of his life. According to Hillard, Adam” roughed it” throughout his life and he imagined that his Constitution must have been made of iron to live as long as he had. He paid no attention to his manner of eating, either in quantity, quality, or time, and he was addicted to strong drink. He laboured severely and constantly.
At the age of 60 Adam walked from his home in Pennsylvania to Ohio, about 141 miles, averaging 47 miles a day. At age 70 he began clearing a farm, and while working there lived in a house where the main wall was formed by the flat root of an upturned tree.
Hillard noted that while Adam was a hard worker, he was always poor, pointing to his irregular and bad habits. After clearing the farm, Adam lived there for several years before moving to Crawford County, Ohio to live with one of his children. His health despite his habits remained good until the end of his life.
A few years before the interview, Adam’s vision became distorted either during or as a result of a severe thunderstorm. For a long time, everything appeared distorted and askew, men had bent legs and bodies, chickens were twisted out of shape, and the keyhole of his trunk tormented him by the figures which it assumed. He later recovered but never well enough to read again. Not long before his death he suffered a stroke, lost some of the use of his limbs and found speech difficult. His hearing and intellect however, remained intact.
Adam had steadfastly refused to have his picture taken, so the picture which accompanied the article may have been secured without his permission. At the time of the interview, the Civil War was in progress, although Adam had little to say about it. Hillard noted that Adam frequently forgot that there was even a war going on at the time, even though one of his great grandsons was serving in the Army. He called himself “a” Jeffersonian Democrat” but had voted for Lincoln.
According to his daughter, Nancy Link Markley Adam died at her home at Sulphur Springs, Ohio on August 15, 1864 just three months short of his hundred and third birthday. He was buried in the Union Cemetery, the only revolutionary war veteran to be in turn there.
Interestingly, Adam Link’s grandfather, John Jacob Link, was the fourth great grandfather of Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
See also “Hot Chocolate In The 19th Century”