Benjamin Franklin Butler was born on November 5, 1818 at Deerfield, New Hampshire. His family was largely of Scotch-Irish stock, settled on the New England frontier before the Revolution. His father, John, was captain of dragoons under Jackson at New Orleans, traded in the West Indies, and held a privateer's commission from Bolivar. His mother was Charlotte Ellison, of the Londonderry (New Hampshire) Cilleys, or Seelyes. After Captain Butler's death she ultimately settled, in 1828, at Lowell, Massachussets, running one of the famous factory boarding houses there.