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Title: Colonel Henry Ludington - A Memoir
Author: Johnson, Willis Fletcher
Language: English
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[Illustration: Grist mill at Fredericksburgh, now Kent, built by Colonel
Henry Ludington about the time of the Revolution]

                         COLONEL HENRY LUDINGTON

                                A Memoir

                         WILLIS FLETCHER JOHNSON
                              A.M., L.H.D.

                         WITH PORTRAITS, VIEWS,
                            FACSIMILES, ETC.


                      PRINTED BY HIS GRANDCHILDREN
                         CHARLES HENRY LUDINGTON
                                NEW YORK

                           Copyright, 1907, by
                         CHARLES HENRY LUDINGTON


   CHAPTER                                  PAGE

         PREFACE                             vii

       I GENEALOGICAL                          3

      II BEFORE THE REVOLUTION                24


      IV THE REVOLUTION                       77

       V SECRET SERVICE                      114

      VI BETWEEN THE LINES                   133

     VII AFTER THE WAR                       191

    VIII SOME LATER GENERATIONS              215

         INDEX                               230


  Grist mill at Fredericksburgh, now Kent (Ludingtonville
    post-office), built by Col. Henry Ludington about the
    time of the Revolution                                   _Frontispiece_

  Old gun used by Henry Ludington in the French and Indian War          29

                                                               FACING PAGE

  Henry Ludington’s commission, from Governor Tryon, as captain
    in Col. Beverly Robinson’s regiment                                 30

  Old Phillipse Manor House at Carmel, N. Y., in 1846                   36

  View of Carmel, N. Y.                                                 38

  Map of Quaker Hill and vicinity, 1778-80, showing location of
    Colonel Ludington’s place at Fredericksburgh                        50

  Letter from Committee on Conspiracies to Colonel Ludington            56

  Order of arrest from Committee on Conspiracies to Colonel Ludington   58

  Maps of Phillipse patent, showing original divisions and territory
    covered by Colonel Ludington’s regiment                             60

  Henry Ludington’s commission as colonel from Provincial Congress,
    1776                                                                70

  Henry Ludington’s commission as colonel from State of New York, 1778  72

  Letter from Abraham B. Bancker to Colonel Ludington about militia     74

  View of highroad and plains from site of Colonel Ludington’s house    90

  Fac-simile of Colonel Ludington’s signature                          102

  Letter from Col. Nathaniel Sackett to Colonel Ludington on secret
    service                                                            114

  Home of the late George Ludington on site of Colonel Ludington’s
    house                                                              132

  Home of the late Frederick Ludington, son of Colonel Ludington,
    at Kent                                                            134

  Mahogany table used by Colonel Ludington, at which, according to
    family tradition, Washington and Rochambeau dined                  165

  Letter from Governor Clinton to Colonel Ludington about militia      170

  Pay certificate of a member of Colonel Ludington’s regiment          188

  Colonel Ludington’s tombstone at Patterson, formerly part of
    Fredericksburgh, N. Y.                                             208

  Portrait of Frederick Ludington, son of Colonel Ludington            216

  Portrait of Gov. Harrison Ludington, grandson of Col. Ludington      218

  Old store at Kent, built by Frederick and Lewis Ludington about
    1808                                                               220

  Home of the late Lewis Ludington, son of Colonel Ludington, at
    Carmel                                                             222

  Portrait of Lewis Ludington, son of Colonel Ludington                224

  Portrait of Charles Henry Ludington, grandson of Colonel Ludington   226


The part performed by the militia and militia officers in the War of
the Revolution does not seem always to have received the historical
recognition which it deserves. It was really of great importance,
especially in southern New England and the Middle States, at times
actually rivaling and often indispensably supplementing that of the
regular Continental Army. It will not be invidious to say that of all the
militia none was of more importance or rendered more valuable services
than those regiments which occupied the disputed border country between
the American and British lines, and which guarded the bases of supplies
and the routes of communication. There was probably no region in which
borderland friction was more severe and intrigues more sinister than
that which lay between the British in New York City and the Americans
at the Highlands of the Hudson, nor was there a highway of travel and
communication more important than that which led from Hartford in
Connecticut to Fishkill and West Point in New York.

It is the purpose of the present volume to present the salient features
of the public career of a militia colonel who was perhaps most of all
concerned in holding that troublous territory for the American cause, in
guarding that route of travel and supply, and in serving the government
of the State of New York, to whose seat his territorial command was so
immediately adjacent. It is intended to be merely a memoir of Henry
Ludington, together with such a historical setting as may seem desirable
for a just understanding of the circumstances of his life and its varied
activities. It makes no pretense of giving a complete genealogy of
the Ludington family in America, either before or after his time, but
confines itself to his own direct descent and a few of his immediate
descendants. The facts of his life, never before compiled, have been
gleaned from many sources, including Colonial, Revolutionary and State
records, newspaper files, histories and diaries, correspondence, various
miscellaneous manuscript collections, and some oral traditions of
whose authenticity there is substantial evidence. The most copious and
important data have been secured from the manuscript collections of two
of Henry Ludington’s descendants, Mr. Lewis S. Patrick, of Marinette,
Wisconsin, who has devoted much time and painstaking labor to the work
of searching for and securing authentic information of his distinguished
ancestor, and Mr. Charles Henry Ludington, of New York, who has received
many valuable papers and original documents and records from a descendant
of Sibyl Ludington Ogden, Henry Ludington’s first-born child. It is much
regretted that among all these data, no portrait of Henry Ludington
is in existence, and that therefore none can be given in this book. In
addition, the old records of Charlestown and Malden, Massachusetts, and
of Branford, East Haven and New Haven, Connecticut, the collections
of the Connecticut Historical Society, the early annals of New York,
especially in the French and Indian and the Revolutionary wars, and the
publications of the New England Genealogical Society, have also been
utilized, together with the Papers of Governor George Clinton, Lossing’s
“Field Book of the Revolution,” Blake’s and Pelletreau’s histories of
Putnam County, Smith’s “History of Dutchess County,” Bolton’s “History
of Westchester County,” and other works, credit to which is given in the
text of this volume. It is hoped that this brief and simple setting forth
of the public services of Henry Ludington during the formative period of
our country’s history will prove of sufficient interest to the members of
his family and to others to justify the printing of this memoir.


A Memoir



“This family of the Ludingtons,” says Gray in his genealogical work on
the nobility and gentry of England, “were of a great estate, of whom
there was one took a large travail to the seeing of many countries where
Our Saviour wrought His miracles, as is declared by his monument in the
College of Worcester, where he is interred.” The immediate reference
of the quaint old chronicler was to the Ludingtons of Shrawley and
Worcester, and the one member of that family whom he singled out for
special mention was Robert Ludington, gentleman, a merchant in the
Levantine trade. In the pursuit of business, and also probably for
curiosity and pleasure, he traveled extensively in Italy, Greece, Turkey,
Egypt and Syria, at a time when such journeyings were more arduous and
even perilous than those of to-day in equatorial or polar wildernesses.
In accord with the pious custom of the age he also made a pilgrimage to
Palestine, and visited the chief places made memorable in Holy Writ. He
died at Worcester at the age of 76 years, in 1625, a few years before the
first colonists of his name appeared in North America. The exact degree
of relationship between him and them is not now ascertainable, but it
is supposable that it was close, while there is no reason whatever for
doubting that the American Ludingtons were members of that same family
“of a great estate,” whether or not they came from the particular branch
of it which was identified with Shrawley and Worcester.

For the Ludington family in England antedated Robert Ludington of
Worcester by many generations, and was established elsewhere in the
Midlands than in Worcestershire. Its chief seat seems to have been in
the Eastern Midlands, though its name has long been implanted on all
the shires from Lincoln to Worcester, including Rutland, Leicester,
Huntingdon, Northampton, and Warwick. There is a credible tradition that
in the Third Crusade a Ludington was among the followers of Richard Cœur
de Lion, and that afterward, when that adventurous monarch was a prisoner
in Austria, he sought to visit him in the guise of a holy palmer, in
order to devise with him some plan for his escape. Because of these loyal
exploits, we are told, he was invested with a patent of nobility, and
with the coat of arms thereafter borne by the Ludington family, to wit
(according to Burke’s Heraldry): Pale of six argent and azure on a chief,
gules a lion passant and gardant. Crest, a palmer’s staff, erect. Motto,
_Probum non penitet_.

Authentic mention of other Ludingtons, honorable and often distinguished,
may be found from time to time in English history, especially in the
annals of Tudor and Stuart reigns. In the reign of Henry VIII a Sir John
Ludington was a man of mark in the north of England, and his daughter,
Elizabeth Ludington, married first an alderman of the City of London,
and second, after his death, Sir John Chamberlain. In the sixteenth
century, the Rev. Thomas Ludington, M.A., was a Fellow of Christ Church
College, Oxford, where his will, dated May 28, 1593, is still preserved.
In the next century another clergyman, the Rev. Stephen Ludington, D.D.,
was married about 1610 to Anne, daughter of Richard Streetfield, at
Chiddington, Kent. Afterward he was made prebendary of Langford, Lincoln,
on November 15, 1641, and in June, 1674, resigned that place to his son,
the Rev. Stephen Ludington, M.A. He was also rector of Carlton Scrope,
and archdeacon of Stow, filling the last-named place at the time of his
death in 1677. His grave is to be seen in Lincoln Cathedral. His son,
mentioned above, was married to Ann Dillingham in Westminster Abbey in

It will be hereafter observed in this narrative that the family name
of Ludington has been variously spelled in this country, as Ludington,
Luddington, Ludinton, Ludenton, etc. Some of these variations have
appeared also in England, together with the form Lydington, which has
not been used here. These same forms have also been applied to the
several towns and parishes which bear or have borne the family name, and
especially that one parish which is so ancient and which was formerly so
closely identified with the Ludingtons that question has risen whether
the parish was named for the family or the family derived its name from
the parish. This place, at one time called Lydington, was first mentioned
in the Domesday Book of William the Conqueror, where it was called
Ludington—whence we may properly regard that as the original and correct
form of the name. It was then a part of the Bishopric of Lincoln and of
the county of Northampton; Rutlandshire, in which the place now is, not
having been set off from Northampton until the time of King John. The
Bishop of Lincoln had a residential palace there, which was afterward
transformed into a charity hospital, and as such is still in existence.
In the chapel of the hospital is an ancient folio Bible bearing the
inscription “Ludington Hospital Bible,” and containing in manuscript a
special prayer for the hospital, which is regularly read as a part of the
service. The name of Loddington is borne by parishes in Leicestershire
and Northamptonshire, that of Luddington by parishes in Lincolnshire and
Warwickshire (the latter near Stratford-on-Avon and intimately associated
with Shakespeare), and that of Luddington-in-the-Brook by one which is
partly in Northamptonshire and partly in Huntingdonshire; all testifying
to the early extent of the Ludington family throughout the Midland
counties of England.

The earliest record of a Ludington in America occurs in 1635. On April 6
of that year the ship _Hopewell_, which had already made several voyages
to these shores, sailed from London for Massachusetts Bay, under the
command of William Bundock. Her Company of eleven passengers was notable
for the youthfulness of all its members, the youngest being twelve and
the oldest only twenty-two years of age. Seven of them were young men,
or boys, and four were girls. One of the latter, whose age was given
as eighteen years, was registered on the ship’s list as “Christiom”
Ludington, but other records, in London, show that the name, although
very distinctly written in that form, should have been “Christian.”
Concerning her origin and her subsequent fate, all records are silent. In
John Farmer’s “List of Ancient Names in Boston and Vicinity, 1630-1644,”
however, appears the name of “Ch. Luddington”; presumably that of this
same young woman. Again, in the Old Granary burying ground in Boston, on
Tomb No. 108, there appear the names of Joseph Tilden and C. Ludington;
and a plausible conjecture is that Christian Ludington became the wife
of Joseph Tilden and that thus they were both buried in the same grave.
But this is conjecture and nothing more. So far as ascertained facts are
concerned, Christian Ludington makes both her first and her last recorded
appearance in that passenger list of the _Hopewell_.

The next appearance of the name in American annals, however,—passing by
the mere undated mention of one Christopher Ludington in connection
with the Virginia colony,—places us upon assured ground and marks the
foundation of the family in America. William Ludington was born in
England—place not known—in 1608, and his wife Ellen—her family name not
known—was also born there in 1617. They were married in 1636, and a few
years later came to America and settled in the Massachusetts Bay colony,
in that part of Charlestown which was afterward set off into the separate
town of Malden. The date of their migration hither is not precisely
known. Savage’s “Genealogical Register” mentions William Ludington as
living in Charlestown in 1642; which is quite correct, though, as Mr.
Patrick aptly points out, the date is by no means conclusive as to the
time of his first settlement in that place. Indeed, it is certain that he
had settled in Charlestown some time before, for in the early records of
the colony, under date of May 13, 1640, appears the repeal of a former
order forbidding the erection of houses at a distance of more than half a
mile from the meeting house, and with the repeal is an order remitting to
William Ludington the penalty for having disobeyed the original decree.
That restriction of building was, of course, a prudent and probably a
necessary one, in the early days of the colony, for keeping the town
compact and thus affording to all its inhabitants greater security
against Indian attacks. It seems to have been disregarded, however, by
the actual building of some houses outside of the prescribed line, and
in such violation a heavy penalty was incurred. By 1640 the law became
obsolete. Boston had then been founded ten years. The colonies of New
Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut had been settled and organized.
And three years before the Pequods had been vanquished. It was therefore
fitting to rescind the order, and to let the borders of Charlestown be
enlarged. We may assume that it was with a realization that this would
speedily be done that William Ludington, either at the very beginning
of 1640 or previous to that year, built his house on the forbidden
ground, and thus incurred the penalty, which, however, was not imposed
upon him; and we may further assume that it was this act of his which
finally called official attention to the obsolete character of the law
and thus brought about its repeal. In the light thus thrown upon him,
William Ludington appears as probably a man of considerable standing in
the community, and of high general esteem, else his disregard of the law
would scarcely have been thus condoned.

Reckoning, then, that William Ludington was settled in his house in the
outskirts of Charlestown—on the north side of the Mystic River, in what
was later called Malden—before May 13, 1640, the date of his arrival in
America must probably be placed as early as 1639, if not even earlier.
He remained at Charlestown for a little more than twenty years, and was
a considerable landowner and an important member of the community.
Many references to him appear in the old colonial records, with some
apparent conflicts of date, which are doubtless due to the transition
stage through which the calendar was then passing. Most of the civilized
world adopted the present Gregorian calendar in the sixteenth century,
but it was not until 1751 that Great Britain and the British colonies
did so. Consequently during most of our colonial history, including the
times of William Ludington, the year began on March 25 instead of January
1, and all dates in the three months of January, February and March
(down to the 24th) were credited to a different year from that to which
we should now credit them. In many cases historians have endeavored to
indicate such dates with accuracy by giving the numbers of both years,
thus: March 1, 1660-61. But in many cases this has not been done and
only a single year number is given, thus causing much uncertainty and
doubt as to which year is meant. There were also other disturbances of
chronology, and other differences in the statement of dates, involving
other months of the year; especially that of two months’ difference at
what is now the end of the year. Thus the birth of William Ludington’s
daughter Mary is variously stated to have occurred on December 6, 1642,
December 6, 1642-43, February 6, 1643, and February 6, 1642-43. Also the
birth and death of his son Matthew are credited, respectively, to October
16, 1657, and November 12, 1657, and to December 16, 1657, and January
12, 1658. There is record of the purchase, on October 10, 1649, of a
tract of twenty acres of land at Malden, by William Ludington, described
in the deed as a weaver, from Ralph Hall, a pipe-stave maker, and also of
the sale of five acres by William Ludington to Joseph Carter, a currier.
The deed given by Ralph Hall is entitled “A Sale of Land by Ralph Hall
unto William Luddington, both of Charlestowne, the 10th day of the 10th
moneth, 1649,” and runs as follows:

    Know all men by these presents, That I, Ralph Hall, of
    Charletowne in New England, Pipe stave maker, for a certaine
    valluable consideration by mee in hand Received, by which I
    doe acknowledge myselfe to be fully satisfied, and payed, and
    contented; Have bargained, sould, given, and granted, and doe
    by these presents Bargaine, sell, give, and grant unto william
    Luddington of Charletowne aforesayd, Weaver, Twenty Achors of
    Land, more or less, scituate, Lying, and Beeing in Maulden,
    That is to say, fifteen Acres of Land, more or less which I,
    the sayd Ralph formerly purchased at the hand of Thomas Peirce,
    of Charltowne, senior, Bounded on the Northwest by the land of
    Mr. Palgrave, Phisition, on the Northeast by the Lands of John
    Sybly, on the South Easte by the Lands of James Hubbert, and
    on the South west by the Land of widdow Coale, And the other
    five Acres herein mencioned sould to the sayd William, Are five
    Acres, more, or less, bounded on the southeast by the Land of
    Widdow Coale aforesaid, on the southwest by Thomas Grover and
    Thomas Osborne, Northeast by the Ground of Thomas Molton, and
    Northwest by the forsayde fifeteen Acres: which five acres I
    formerly purchased of Mr. John Hodges, of Charltowne. To Have
    and to hould the sayd fifeteen acres, and five Acres of Lands,
    with all the Appurtenances and priviledges thereoff To Him, the
    sayd William Luddington his heigres and Assignees for ever: And
    by mee, the sayd Ralph Hall, and Mary my wife, to bee bargained
    sould, given, and confirmed unto him, the sayd william, and his
    heigres and assignes for him, and them peasable and quietly to
    possess, inioy, and improve to his and their owne proper use
    and usses for ever, and the same by us by vertue hereoff to bee
    warrantedtised (sic) mayntained, and defended from any other
    person or persons hereafter Laying clayme to the same by any
    former contract or agreement concerning the same: In witness
    whereof, I, the sayd Ralph Hall with Mary my wife, for our
    selves, our heires, executors and Administrators, have hereunto
    sett our hands and seales.

    Dated this Tenth day of December 1649.

    This is testified before the worshipfull Mr. Richard Bellingham.

On November 30, 1651, William Ludington was mentioned in the will of
Henry Sandyes, of Charlestown, as one of the creditors of his estate,
and in 1660 he was enrolled as a juror in Malden. Early in the latter
year, however, he removed from Malden or Charlestown to the New Haven,
Connecticut, colony, and there settled at East Haven, adjoining
Branford, on the east side of the Quinnipiac River. Five years before
there had been established at that place the first iron works in
Connecticut. The raw material used was the rich bog ore which was then
found in large quantities in the swamps of North Haven and elsewhere,
precisely like that which at a still later date was abundantly found and
worked in the swamps of southern New Jersey, where the name of “Furnace”
is still borne by more than one village on the site of a long-abandoned
foundry. This industry flourished at East Haven until about 1680, when
the supply of bog ore was exhausted and the works were closed. Although
William Ludington had been a weaver at Malden, he appears to have been
interested in these iron works, and indeed probably removed to East
Haven for the sake of connecting and identifying himself with them. But
his career there was short. On March 27, 1660, evidently soon after his
arrival there, he was complainant in a slander suit, and in either the
same year or the next year he died, at the East Haven iron works. The
manner of his death, whether from sickness or from accident, is unknown.
But it evidently produced some impression in the community, since it is
the only death specially recorded in the early annals of the place.

The precise date of his death, even the year in which it occurred, is a
matter of uncertainty. Mr. Patrick quotes a passage from the East Haven
records which says: “In 1662 John Porter obtained a piece of land to
set his blacksmith shop upon … and about the same time William Ludington
died.” Therefore he concludes that William Ludington died in 1662. But
was it 1662 according to the chronology of those times or according
to that of our time? Wyman’s records of Charlestown and Malden, which
mention William Ludington’s departure thence for East Haven, relate
that on October 1, 1661, John White made petition for the appointment
of an administrator of William Ludington’s estate in Middlesex County,
Massachusetts, and Pope’s “Pioneers of Massachusetts” confirms that
record, giving the name of the petitioner as Wayte or Waite, and adding
that the inventory of the estate was filed by James Barrat, or Barret, on
April 1, 1662. Mr. Patrick has the name Bariat and the date February 1,
1662. Here we have, then, the same discrepancy of exactly two months in
statement of date which was noticed in the case of Matthew Ludington’s
birth and death. Of course, if the petition for administration of William
Ludington’s estate was made on October 1, 1661, his death must have
occurred before that date, instead of in 1662 as the East Haven records
suggest. The explanation of the apparent conflict of dates is doubtless
to be found in the changes of calendar to which reference has been made,
one historian giving the date according to the chronology then prevailing
and another according to that of the present day. Concerning the date of
the probating of his estate at East Haven, however, there is apparently
no doubt, since in the records of it the dual year-dates are given.
That estate was inventoried and appraised by John Cooper and Matthew
Moulthrop, and their inventory, according to Hoadly’s “New Haven Colonial
Records,” was filed in court at New Haven on March 3, 1662, according to
the chronology of that time, or 1663 according to ours. This interesting
document was entitled “An Inventory of ye Estate of William Ludington,
late of New Haven, deceased, amounting to £183 and 10s., upon Oath
attested yt ye Aprizents was just to the best of their light, by John
Cooper, Sen., and Matthew Moulthrop in Court at New Haven, 1662-63.” It
ran in detail as follows:

                                            | lbs | sh | d.
  Inv’ty ⅌ bd’s, boulsters pillows,         |     |    |
           coverlits, rugs, curtains—value  |  20 | 07 | 02
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ sheets, pillow covers, table     |     |    |
           clothes and a blanket            |  05 | 16 | 00
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ five yards ¾ of krosin           |  02 | 00 | 00
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ four yards of red kersey         |  01 | 00 | 00
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ six yards of kersey              |  02 | 14 | 00
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ five yards of serze at 7s        |  01 | 15 | 00
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ eight yards blew kersey at 7s    |  02 | 16 | 00
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ twelve yards of serge at 6s      |  00 | 18 | 00
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ 1¾th of wosted yarns             |  00 | 12 | 00
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ 1¼th of woolen yarns             |  00 | 05 | 00
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ 4 guns, 2 swords and a piece of  |     |    |
           a sword                          |  05 | 16 | 00
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ 3 chests and three boxes         |  02 | 00 | 00
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ pewter, chamber pots, spoons and |     |    |
           2 sauce pans                     |  02 | 13 | 02
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ 2 dripping pans, 1 cup, 4 cream  |     |    |
           pots, some eartyn ware           |  00 | 08 | 02
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ 3 bottles and a tu mill          |  00 | 02 | 06
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ warming pan, 2 iron pots, kettle,|     |    |
           brass pot 2 skillets, frying pan |  03 | 15 | 00
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ iron dogs, tramell, share and    |     |    |
           coulter and an iron square       |  01 | 01 | 06
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ tooles, wedges, sithes & a payre |     |    |
           of still yards & a 7lb waight    |  05 | 04 | 00
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ a smoothing iron, a parcell of   |     |    |
           wayles, a hogshead & 2 chests    |  01 | 08 | 06
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ sheeps wooll and cotton wooll    |  02 | 10 | 09
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ Indyan corne, 7lb 10s; 10 bush   |     |    |
           turnips, 18s                     |  08 | 08 | 00
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ 2 loomes and furniture, 3 chayres|  05 | 09 | 00
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ wooden ware, a table & forme, a  |     |    |
           sieve, some trenches & bagges    |  01 | 09 | 04
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ house and land 60lbs             |  60 | 00 | 00
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ 3 cowes & two calves, 2 sowes &  |     |    |
           3 shoates                        |  16 | 06 | 08
                                            |     |    |
    ”    ⅌ 6 loads of hay, 50s, and some    |     |    |
           other thinges in all             |  30 | 07 | 00
                                            | 185 | 02 | 09
    The Estate Cr.                          |  00 | 15 | 00
    The Estate Dr.                          |  02 | 07 | 09
  Which being deducted there remains        | 183 | 10 | 00

  The marke, i. e. of
    John Cooper,      }
    Mathew Moulthrop, } Apprisers.

Again, in the “Records of the Proprietors of New Haven” we find that “At
a Court held at New Haven March 3, 1662-3 … an inventory of the Estate of
Willm. Luddington deceased whas presented.… The widdow upon oath attested
to the fulness of it to the best of her knowledge.… The widdow being
asked if her husband made noe will answered that she knew of none for
she was not at home when he died.… The matter respecting the childrens
portions was deferred till next court & the … widdow with him that shee
was to marry & all her children above fourteen years of age was ordered
then to appear.…” At this date, therefore, William Ludington’s widow was
engaged to be married again, and that engagement was publicly announced.
Moreover, she was actually married to her second husband, John Rose, a
few weeks later, for on May 5 following, in 1662-63, according to the
“Proprietors’ Records,” the court was again in session, and “John Rose
who married widdow Ludington was called to know what security he would
give for the childrens portions that was not yet of age to receive them.”
It is true that in those days the period of mourning before remarriage
was sometimes abbreviated, but it is scarcely conceivable that this
widow’s marriage took place within a few months of her husband’s death,
or sooner than a year thereafter. It may therefore be assumed that
William Ludington’s death, at the East Haven iron works, occurred at
least as early as March or April, 1661-62.

There is reason to believe that William Ludington was not only a man
of note in the East Haven community but that also he was a man of
considerable property—more than would be suggested by the item of “house
and land 60 lbs.” in the inventory. For the New Haven Land Records show
that in 1723 his son, William Ludington, 2nd, sold to Thomas Robinson
“part of that tract of land set out to my father, William Luddington,
which tract contains 100 acres.” This property was in East Haven, just
across the river from Branford.

The children of William and Ellen Ludington were seven in number. The
first was Thomas, who was born (probably in England) in 1637. He removed
to Newark, New Jersey, in 1666, and became a farmer—since when in
1689 he sold some land with a house and barn at New Haven he described
himself in the deed as a husbandman. He was an assessor and a surveyor
of highways at Newark, and left children whose descendants are now to
be found in the northern part of New Jersey. His oldest child, John,
remained at New Haven, married, and had issue, his first-born, James,
being a soldier in the French and Indian war and being killed in battle
on September 8, 1756. The second child of William and Ellen Ludington was
John Ludington, who was born (probably at Charlestown, Massachusetts)
in 1640. He was living at East Haven in 1664, and afterward, Mr.
Patrick thinks, removed to Vermont. The third child was Mary, of whose
birth various dates are given, as already noted. The fourth was Henry
Ludington, the date of whose birth is not known, but who was killed in
the war with King Philip, at the end of 1675 or beginning of 1676, as
appears in the “New Haven Probate Records,” where is found an inventory
of the estate of “Henry Luddington late of N. haven slayne in the warre
taken & apprised by Mathew Moulthrop & John Potter Janry. 3, 1676.” The
fifth child was Hannah, the dates of whose birth and death are unknown.
The sixth child was William Ludington, 2nd, who was born about 1655 and
died in February, 1737. His first wife was Martha Rose, daughter of his
stepfather, John Rose, and his second was Mercy Whitehead. According to
Dodd’s “East Haven Register” he was a man of means, of intelligence, of
ability, and of important standing in the community. He had two sons and
one daughter by his first wife, and two sons and six daughters by his
second. His first-born, the son of Martha Rose, was Henry Ludington, who
was born in 1679, was a carpenter, married Sarah, daughter of William
Collins, on August 20, 1700, had eight sons and four daughters, and died
in the summer of 1727—of whom, or of his descendants, we shall presently
hear much more. Finally, the seventh child of William and Ellen Ludington
was Matthew, who as already related was born at Malden and died in
infancy. Despite the removal of Thomas Ludington to Newark, and that of
John Ludington (probably) to Vermont, they appear to have retained much
interest in the New Haven colony, since in the “Colony Record of Deeds”
of Connecticut we find Thomas, John, and William Ludington enumerated
among the proprietors of New Haven in 1685, who were, presumably, the
above mentioned first, second, and sixth children of William and Ellen

Recurring for a moment to the family of William Ludington, 2nd, and
passing by for the time his first-born, Henry Ludington, it is to be
observed that his second child, Eleanor, married Nathaniel Bailey, of
Guilford, Connecticut, and had issue; his third, William Ludington, 3rd,
married Anna Hodge, lived at Waterbury and Plymouth, Connecticut, and
had issue, his sixth son, Samuel, serving in the French and Indian war,
and his grandson, Timothy, son of William 3rd’s first-born, Matthew,
also serving in that war and being killed in battle at East Haven in the
War of the Revolution; the fourth, Mercy, married Ebenezer Deanes or
Dains, of Norwich, Connecticut, and had issue; the fifth, Mary, married
John Dawson, of East Haven, and had issue; the sixth, Hannah, married
Isaac Penfield, of New Haven, and had issue; the seventh, John, married
Elizabeth Potter, and had issue, his son Jude serving in the French and
Indian war; the eighth, Eliphalet, married Abigail Collins, and had
issue, his third son, Amos, serving in the French and Indian war; the
ninth, Elizabeth, died in childhood; the tenth, Dorothy, married Benjamin
Mallory and had issue; and the eleventh, Dorcas, married James Way and
had issue.

Returning now to Henry Ludington, eldest son of William Ludington, 2nd,
who was the sixth child of the original William Ludington, it is to be
observed that his first child, Daniel, married first Hannah Payne, and
second Susannah Clark, and had issue, his second child, Ezra, serving
in the French and Indian war, and his ninth, Collins, in the War of the
Revolution; his second, William Ludington, married first Mary Knowles, of
Branford, and second Mary Wilkinson, of Branford, and had issue—of whom
we shall hereafter hear much more; his third, Sarah, died in childhood;
his fourth, Dinah, married Isaac Thorpe; his fifth, Lydia, married Moses
Thorpe; his sixth, Nathaniel, married first Mary Chidsey, and second
Eunice (Russell) Smith, and had issue; his seventh, Moses, married Eunice
Chidsey; his eighth, Aaron, died at sea; his ninth, Elisha, died in
infancy; his tenth, also named Elisha, settled in Phillipse Precinct,
Dutchess County, New York, married, and had a daughter, Abigail, of whom
more hereafter; his eleventh, Sarah, probably died unmarried, though
Dodd’s “East Haven Register” says she married Daniel Mead; and his
twelfth, Thomas, was drowned, unmarried.

Turning back, once more, to the William Ludington last mentioned, who was
the second son of Henry Ludington, we find that he was born at Branford,
Connecticut, on September 6, 1702. He married Mary Knowles, of Branford,
on November 5, 1730. She died on April 16, 1759, and on April 17,
1760,—just a day after the year of mourning had elapsed!—he married for
his second wife Mary Wilkinson, also of Branford. His eight children, all
of his first wife, were as follows: First, Submit, who married Stephen
Johnson, of Branford; second, Mary; third, Henry, of whom we shall hear
more, since he forms the chief subject of this book; fourth, Lydia, who
married William (or, according to Dodd, Aaron) Buckley, of Branford;
fifth, Samuel; sixth, Rebecca; seventh, Anne; and eighth, Stephen. On
the night of Monday, May 20, 1754, part of William Ludington’s house
at Branford was destroyed by fire, and his sixth and seventh children,
Rebecca and Anne, aged seven and four years, respectively, perished in
the flames.

Attention is thus finally centered upon the second Henry Ludington, who
was the third child of William Ludington, who was the second child of
the first Henry Ludington, who was the first child of the second William
Ludington, who was the sixth child of the first William Ludington, who
was the founder of the Ludington family in America. The sources of
information concerning him and his career, which have been mentioned in
the preface to this volume, are varied and numerous rather than copious
or comprehensive; but they are sufficient to indicate that he was a
man of more than ordinary force of character and of more than average
importance and influence in his time and place, and that he is entitled
to remembrance and to enrolment among those who contributed materially,
and with no little sacrifice of self, to the making of the State of New
York and of the United States of America.



Henry Ludington, the third child of William and Mary (Knowles) Ludington,
was born at Branford, Connecticut, on May 25, 1739. Some records give
the date as 1738, but the weight of authority indicates the later year.
Branford, originally called Totoket, was a part of the second purchase
at New Haven in 1638, but was not successfully settled until two
years later, when a dissatisfied company from Wethersfield, headed by
William Swayne, secured a grant of it. Together with Milford, Guilford,
Stamford, Southold (Long Island), and New Haven, it made up the separate
jurisdiction of New Haven, under an ecclesiastical government, until
1665, when all were merged into the greater Colony of Connecticut,
Branford being erected into an organized town with representation in
the General Court, in 1651. The place won lasting distinction in 1700,
when it was the scene of the practical founding of Yale College; ten
ministers, who had been named as trustees of “The School of the Church,”
each laying upon the table in their meeting-room a number of books,
with the words, “I give these books for the founding of a college in
this colony.” The next year the college was chartered and was formally
opened at Saybrook, and in 1716-17 it was permanently removed to New
Haven. At the time of Henry Ludington’s birth, therefore, New Haven had
become fully established as the metropolis of that part of the colony,
and Branford, which had at first been its peer and rival, had become
reconciled to the status of a suburban town. The educational facilities
of Branford were similar to those of other colonial towns; to wit,
primitive in character and chiefly under church control. To what extent
young Ludington availed himself of them does not appear, but so far as
may be judged from his letters and other papers in after years he was an
indifferent scholar, probably thinking more of action than of study.

Such as his schooling was, however, it was ended at an early date and
the school-boy became a man of action when only half-way through his
teens. The epoch-making struggle commonly known as the French and Indian
War, which was really a part of the Seven Years’ War in Europe, and
which secured for the English absolute dominance in North America and
transformed the maps of two continents, began when he was fifteen years
old, and made a strong appeal to his adventurous and daring disposition;
and at an early date, probably in 1755, though the meager records now in
existence are not conclusive on that point, he enlisted in those Colonial
levies which formed so invaluable an adjunct to the regular British Army
in all the campaigns of that war. No complete roster of the Connecticut
troops is now in existence, but the “East Haven Register” tells us
that many men from East Haven and Branford were enlisted for service
with the British Army near the Great Lakes, of whom the greater part
were lost through sickness and in battle. In these levies were several
members of the Ludington family, beside Henry Ludington. Our genealogical
review has already indicated the service in that war of James, Ezra,
Timothy, Samuel, Jude, and Amos Ludington, uncles and cousins of Henry
Ludington. As some of the Ludingtons had, years before the war, removed
from Connecticut to Dutchess County, New York, some members of the
family were also among the troops from the latter region. Old records
tell that in Captain Richard Rea’s Dutchess County regiment were two
young farmers, Comfort Loudinton and Asa Loudinton—obviously meaning
Ludington—respectively 19 and 17 years old; the former with brown eyes
and dark complexion, the latter with brown eyes and fresh complexion.

Henry Ludington enlisted in Captain Foote’s company of the Second
Connecticut Regiment, a notable body of troops which was put forward
to bear much of the brunt of the campaign. The regiment was at first
commanded by Colonel Elizur Goodrich, and later by Colonel Nathan
Whiting, one of the most distinguished Colonial officers of that war.
The regiment was assigned to duty under Major-General (afterward Sir)
William Johnson, who, with a Colonial army and numerous Indian allies
under the famous Mohawk chieftain Hendrick, was moving to meet the French
at Lake George. The march from New Haven was made by way of Amenia and
Dover, in Dutchess County, New York, to the Hudson River, and thence
northward to the “dark and bloody ground” of the North Woods. Young
Ludington was of a lively and venturesome disposition and, as family
traditions show, had a propensity to practical joking which more than
once put him in peril of not undeserved punishment, which, however, he
managed to avoid.

It was early in September, 1755, when he was in only his seventeenth
year, that the young soldier received his “baptism of fire” in the
desperate battle of Lake George, near the little sheet of water afterward
known as Bloody Pond because of the hue its water took from the gory
drainage of the battlefield. General Johnson, with his Colonial troops
and Indian allies, was moving northward. Baron Dieskau, with a French
and Indian army, moving southward, embarked at Fort Frederick, Crown
Point, came down the lake in a fleet of small boats, and landed at
Skenesborough, now Whitehall. On the night of Sunday, September 7, word
came to Johnson that the enemy was marching down from Fort Edward to
Lake George, and early the next morning plans were made to meet them. It
was at first suggested that only a few hundred men be sent forward to
hold the enemy in check until the main army could dispose and fortify
itself, but Hendrick, the shrewd Mohawk warrior, objected to sending
so small a force. “If they are to fight,” he said, “they are too few;
if they are to be killed, they are too many.” Accordingly the number
was increased to 1,200, comprising and, indeed, led by the Connecticut
troops. Colonel Ephraim Williams, a brave and skilful officer, was
in command, with Colonel Nathan Whiting, of New Haven, as his chief
lieutenant. They came upon the enemy at Rocky Brook, about four miles
from Lake George, and found the French and Indians arrayed in the form of
a crescent, the horns of which extended for some distance on both sides
of the road which there led through a dense forest. The devoted Colonial
detachment marched straight at the center of the crescent, and was
quickly attacked in front and on both flanks at the same time. Williams
and Hendrick were among the first to fall, and their followers were
cut down in great numbers. Thereupon Colonel Whiting succeeded to the
general command, and perceiving that the Colonials were outnumbered and
outflanked, ordered a retreat, which was skilfully conducted, with little
further loss. When the army was thus reunited, hasty preparations were
made to meet the onslaught of the foe, and at noon the conflict began in
deadly earnest. The forces were commanded, respectively, by Johnson and
Dieskau in person, until the former was disabled by a wound, when his
place was taken by General Lyman, who fulfilled his duties with singular
ability and success. After four hours of fighting on the defensive, the
English and Colonials leaped over their breastworks and charged the foe
with irresistible fury. The French and Indians were routed with great
slaughter, and Baron Dieskau himself, badly wounded, was taken prisoner.

[Illustration: Old gun used by Henry Ludington in the French and Indian
War. Now owned by Frederick Ludington, son of the late Governor Harrison
Ludington, of Wisconsin.

(From sketch made by Miss Alice Ludington, great-great-granddaughter of
Henry Ludington.)]

Henry Ludington was in the thickest of both parts of this battle, having
been in the detachment which was sent forward in advance. He came off
unscathed, but he had the heartrending experience of seeing both his
uncle and his cousin shot dead at his side. These were probably his uncle
Amos Ludington (called Asa in the “East Haven Register,” as already
noted), son of Eliphalet Ludington, and his cousin Ezra, son of Daniel
Ludington. The uncle fell first, pierced by a French bullet. The cousin
sprang to his side and stooped to lift him, and in the act was himself
shot, and a few moments later both died. Soon after this battle the term
of enlistment of the Connecticut militia expired, but reënlistments
were general. According to the French and Indian War Rolls, and the
Connecticut Historical Collections as searched by Mr. Patrick, Henry
Ludington again enlisted on April 19, 1756, served under Colonel Andrew
Ward at Crown Point, and was discharged at the expiration of his term
on November 13, 1756. Again, he was in Lieutenant Maltbie’s company,
under Colonel Newton, at the time of the “general alarm” for the relief
of Fort William Henry, in August, 1757, on which occasion his time of
service was only fifteen days. Finally, he was in the campaign of 1759,
in the Second Connecticut Regiment, under Colonel Nathan Whiting, being
a member of David Baldwin’s Third Company. In this year he enlisted on
April 14, and was duly discharged on December 21, 1759. During this
memorable period of service the young soldier marched with the British
and American troops to Canada, and participated in the crowning triumph
at Quebec, on September 13, 1759, and a little later was intrusted with
the charge of a company of sixty wounded or invalid soldiers, who were to
return to New England. The march was made across country, from Quebec to
Boston, in the dead of the very severe winter of 1759-60, and the labors
and perils of the journey were sufficient to tax to the utmost the skill
and resourcefulness of the youth of only twenty years. For many nights
their camp consisted of caves or burrows in the snowdrifts, where they
slept on beds of spruce boughs, wrapped in their blankets. Provisions
failed, too, and some meals were made of the bark and twigs of birch
trees and the berries of the juniper. Through all these hardships young
Ludington led his comrades safely to their destination. Then, in the
spring of 1760, he proceeded from Boston to Branford, and thus terminated
for the time his active military career. In recognition of his services
he received from King George II the commission of a lieutenant in the
British Colonial Army, which he held until, in the succeeding reign, news
came of the enactment of the Stamp Act, when he resigned it. Later, on
February 13, 1773, he accepted a captain’s commission from William Tryon,
the last British governor of New York, which he held until the beginning
of the Revolution. This commission was in the regiment commanded by
Beverly Robinson, that eminent British Loyalist who was the intermediary
between Sir Henry Clinton and Benedict Arnold. It was at Robinson’s
country mansion that much of Arnold’s plotting was done, and it was
there, while at dinner, that the traitor received the news of the failure
of his treason through the capture of his agent, Major André.

[Illustration: Reduced Fac-simile of the Commission of Henry Ludington as
Captain in Col. Beverly Robinson’s Regiment.

From William Tryon last British Governor of the Province of New York.

(Original in possession of Charles H. Ludington, New York City.)]

One other incident of Henry Ludington’s service demands passing
attention. In one of the returns of his regiment, in connection with the
fifteen days’ service in August, 1757, he is recorded as “Deserted.”
Generally speaking, no worse blot than that can well be put upon a
soldier’s record. But it is quite obvious that in this case it is
devoid of its usual serious significance. It is certain that he did
not actually desert in the ordinary present meaning of that term. This
we know, because there is no record nor intimation of any steps ever
being taken to punish him for what would have been regarded as a heinous
crime; because soon after that entry against him he was serving with
credit in the army and continued so to do; because thereafter he was
intrusted with the important march to Boston which has been described;
and because, after having honorably completed his service in the army,
he received a royal commission as an officer. In those early days, when
an army was campaigning in an almost trackless wilderness and warfare
was largely of the most irregular description, it was not difficult for
a soldier to become detached and practically lost from the rest of his
army, and perhaps not be able to rejoin it for some time. Such a mishap
might the more easily have befallen an impetuous and adventurous youth
such as Henry Ludington was. And of course the record “Deserted” might
naturally enough have been put against his name when he failed to respond
to roll-call and no explanation of his absence was forthcoming.

In the French and Indian War the Colonial troops were paid for their
services by the various Colonial governments, which latter were afterward
reimbursed for such expenditures by the British Government. It was,
however, with a view to compelling the Colonies to bear the cost of the
war, by levying taxes upon them at the will of Parliament, that the
British Government entered upon the fatal policy which a few years later
cost it the major part of its American possessions. Because of that
change of government, no pension system was ever created for the veterans
of that war. In 1815, however, near the close of Henry Ludington’s
life, such pensions were proposed, and with a view to establishing his
eligibility to receive one, in the absence of the authoritative records
of the Connecticut troops, he secured from two of his former comrades in
arms the following affidavits—here reproduced _verbatim et literatim_:

    State of New York
    Putnam County

    Jehoidah Wheton, of the town of Carmell in said county, being
    duly sworn doth depose and say that he is now personally
    acquainted with Henry Ludington, who lives in the Town of
    Fredericks in said county and that the deponent has known him
    for many years past. The deponent knows that the above named
    Henry Ludington was in the service in the years 1756 and 1757
    under the King’s pay, and belonged to the State troops of
    Connecticut, and that the deponent was personally acquainted
    with the said Henry Ludington during the service above stated,
    and the deponent was with him the two campaigns, and further
    the deponent saith that from certain information which he the
    deponent knows to be true from the above named Henry Ludington
    of certain transactions which took place in the year 1759 to
    me the deponent now told he verrily believes that the said
    Henry Ludington was in the service that year, and that the
    deponent places confidence in the truth and veracity of the
    said Henry Ludington, and the deponent saith that he together
    with the above named Henry Ludington was under Capt. Foot in
    Colonel Nathan Whiting’s Ridgement in the service aforesaid;
    and further this deponent saith not.


                         JEHOIDAH WHEATON

                             his mark

    Sworn and subscribed the 14th day of September 1815 before me
    John Phillips, one of the masters in the cort of Chy. in and
    for sd. State.

       *       *       *       *       *

    I, John Byington, of Redding in Fairfield County and State
    Connecticut, of lawful age depose and say

    that I am well acquainted with Henry Ludington of Fredericks,
    state of New York, that he enlisted under the King’s
    proclamation and served with the Connecticut troops in the war
    with France, three campaigns, in the company of Capt. Foot,
    under whom I also served; that he rendered the above service
    between the year 1756 & 1764, and further say not.

                                                     John Byington.

    State Connecticut, County Fairfield, Ss. Redding the 15th day
    of September 1815 personally apperd John Byington the above
    deponent & made oath to the truth of the above deposition.

                                   LEMUEL SANFORD, _Justice Peace_.

Both of the foregoing affidavits or depositions are taken from copies
of the originals, made by Lewis Ludington, son of Henry Ludington, on
September 19, 1815, and now in possession of Lewis Ludington’s son.

We have seen that Henry Ludington, at the age of twenty-one, escorted
a company of invalided soldiers from Quebec to Boston in the winter of
1759-60, and thereafter returned to civil life. One of his first acts
was to get married, his bride being his cousin, Abigail Ludington,
daughter of his father’s younger brother, Elisha Ludington. As already
noted, Elisha Ludington upon his marriage had removed from Connecticut
to Dutchess County, New York, and had settled in what was known as the
Phillipse Patent. The exact date of that migration is not recorded, but
it was probably some years before the French and Indian war. As the
Connecticut troops on their way to that war marched across Dutchess
County, through Dover and Amenia, it is to be presumed that Henry
Ludington on that momentous journey called at his uncle’s home, and saw
his cousin, afterward to be his wife, who had been born on May 8, 1745,
and was at that time consequently a child of about ten years. Whether
they met again until his return from Quebec is not surely known, but we
may easily imagine the boy soldier’s carrying with him into the northern
wilderness an affectionate memory of his little cousin, perhaps the last
of his kin to bid him good-by, and also her cherishing a romantic regard
for the lad whom she had seen march away with his comrades. At any rate,
their marriage followed close upon his return, taking place on May 1,
1760, when he was not yet quite twenty-one and she just under fifteen.
Soon afterward the young couple, apparently accompanied by the rest of
Henry Ludington’s immediate family, removed to Dutchess County, New York,
to be thereafter identified with that historic region.

[Illustration: Old Phillipse Manor House at Carmel, N. Y.

(From sketch made in 1846 by Charles Henry Ludington)]

Dutchess County was one of the twelve counties into which the Province
of New York was divided on November 1, 1683, the others being Albany,
Cornwall (now a part of the State of Maine), Duke’s (now a part of
Massachusetts), King’s, New York, Orange, Queen’s, Richmond, Suffolk,
Ulster, and Westchester. Dutchess then comprised what is now Putnam
County, which was set off as a separate county in 1812 and was named for
General Israel Putnam, who was in command of the forces there during much
of the Revolutionary War. In 1719 Dutchess County was divided into three
wards, known as Northern, Middle, and Southern, each extending from the
Hudson River to the Connecticut line. Again, in 1737, these wards were
subdivided into seven precincts, called Beekman, Charlotte, Crom Elbow,
North, Poughkeepsie, Rhinebeck, and Southeast; and at later dates other
precincts, or towns, were formed, to wit: North East in 1746; Amenia
in 1762; Pawlings in 1768; and Frederickstown in 1772. Fishkill and
Rombout were also constituted in colonial times. Frederickstown, where
the Ludingtons settled and with which we have most to do, was a part
of the Phillipse Patent, in the Southern Ward of Dutchess County, now
Putnam County. It derived its name from Frederick Phillipse, a kinsman of
Adolphe Phillipse, the patentee of Phillipse Manor or Patent. It has now
been divided and renamed, its old boundaries comprising the present towns
of Kent, Carmel, and Patterson, and a part of Southeast, the present
village of Patterson occupying the site of the former Fredericksburgh.
The name of Kent was taken from the family of that name, of which James
Kent, the illustrious jurist and chancellor of the State of New York,
was a member. It may be of interest to recall at this point, also, that
a certain strip of land at the eastern side of Dutchess County was in
dispute between New York and Connecticut. This was known as The Oblong,
or the Oblong Patent, from its configuration, and comprised 61,440 acres,
in a strip about two miles wide, now forming parts of Dutchess, Putnam,
and Westchester counties and including part of the Westchester town of
Bedford, and also Quaker Hill, near Pawling, in Dutchess County, which
was once suggested as the capital of the State, and which gets its name
from having been first settled by Quakers. The dispute over the New
York-Connecticut boundary and the consequent ownership of this land
arose before 1650, when the Dutch were still owners of New York, or New
Netherlands as the latter was then called, and it was continued between
the two Colonies when they were both under British rule. The settlement
was effected by confirming New York in possession of The Oblong, and
granting to Connecticut in return a tract of land on Long Island Sound,
eight miles by twelve in extent, which was long called the “Equivalent
Land,” and which is now occupied by Greenwich, Stamford, and other towns.
The final demarcation of the boundary was not, however, effected until as
late as 1880.


From a Painting by Jamee M. Hart, 1858.

(In possession of Charles H. Ludington, New York City.)]

The precise date of Henry Ludington’s settlement in Dutchess County is
not now known. Neither his nor his father’s name appears in the 1762
survey of Lot No. 6 of the Phillipse Patent, and it has been assumed that
therefore his arrival there must have been at a later date than that.
This reasoning must, however, be challenged on the ground that—as we
shall presently see—on March 12, 1763, he was officially recorded as a
sub-sheriff of Dutchess County. It is scarcely likely that he would have
been appointed to that office immediately upon his arrival in the county,
and we must therefore conclude that he settled there at least early in
1762, if not before that year. He made his home on a tract of 229 acres
of land in Frederickstown, at the north end of Lot No. 6 of the Phillipse
Patent, on the site of what was afterward appropriately, though with
awkward etymology, called Ludingtonville. This land he was not able to
purchase outright, but leased for many years from owners who clung to the
old feudal notions of tenure; but at last, on July 15, 1812, he effected
actual purchase and received title deeds from Samuel Gouverneur and his
wife. On that property he built the first grist- and saw-mills in that
region, there being no others nearer than the “Red Mills” at Lake Mahopac
and those built by John Jay on the Cross River, in the town of Bedford,
Westchester County—which latter, by the way, remained in continuous
operation, with much of the original framework and sheathing, until 1906,
when they were destroyed to make room for one of the Croton reservoirs.
Ludington’s mills were of course operated by water power, generated by a
huge “overshot” wheel, supplied with water conveyed from a neighboring
stream in a channel or mill-race made of timber.

Near-by stood the house, which was several times enlarged. The main
building was two stories in height, with an attic above. Through the
center ran a broad hall, with a stairway broken with a landing and turn.
At one side was a parlor and at the other a sitting or living room,
and back of each of these was a bedroom. The parlor was wainscoted and
ceiled with planks of the fragrant and beautiful red cedar. Beyond the
sitting room, at the side of this main building, was the “weaving room,”
an apartment unknown to our modern domestic economy, but essential in
colonial days. It was a large room, fitted with a hand-loom, and a
number of spinning wheels, reels, swifts, and the other paraphernalia
for the manufacture of homespun fabrics of different kinds. This room
also contained a huge stone fireplace. Beyond it, at the extreme east
of the house, was the kitchen, with its great fireplace and brick or
stone oven. The house fronted toward the south, and commanded a fine
outlook over one of the picturesque landscapes for which that region is
famed. Years ago the original house was demolished, and a new one was
built on the same site by a grandson, George Ludington. The location
was a somewhat isolated one, neighbors being few and not near, and the
nearest village, Fredericksburgh, on the present site of Patterson,
being some miles distant. The location was, however, important, being
on the principal route from Northern Connecticut to the lower Hudson
Valley, the road leading from Hartford and New Milford, Connecticut,
through Fredericksburgh, past Colonel Ludington’s, to Fishkill and
West Point—a circumstance which was of much interest and importance to
Colonel Ludington in the Revolution, as we shall see. The population of
the county at that time was small and scattered. In 1746, or about the
time when Elisha Ludington went thither and Abigail Ludington was born,
the census showed a population of 8,806, including 500 negro slaves.
By 1749 the numbers had actually diminished to 7,912, of whom only 421
were negroes. In 1756, however, there were 14,148 inhabitants, including
859 negroes, and Dutchess was the most populous county in the colony,
excepting Albany, which had 17,424 inhabitants. The county was at that
time able to contribute to the army about 2,500 men. It had enjoyed
exemption from the Indian wars which had ravaged other parts of the
colony, and its situation and natural resources gave it the advantages of
varied industries. It had the Hudson River at one side for commerce, it
was well watered and wooded, its open fields were exceptionally fertile,
it had abundant water-power for mills, and it had—though this was not
realized until after the colonial period—much mineral wealth.

Such was the community in which Henry Ludington established himself at
the beginning of his manhood and married life, and in which he quickly
rose to prominence. The extent of his holdings of land, and the fact
of his proprietorship of important mills, made him a leading factor
in business affairs, while his bent for public business soon led him
into both the civil and the military service. At that time, from 1761
to 1769, James Livingston was sheriff of Dutchess County, and early in
1763 Henry Ludington became one of his lieutenants, as sub-sheriff. The
Protestant dynasty in England was so newly established that elaborate
oaths of abjuration and fealty were still required of all office-holders,
of whatever rank or capacity, and on March 12, 1763, Henry Ludington, as
sub-sheriff, took and subscribed to them, as follows:

    I, Henry Ludington, Do Solemnly and Sincerely, in the Presence
    of God, Profess, Testify, and Declare, That I do Believe,
    that in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, there is not any
    Transubstantiation, of the Elements of Bread and Wine, in
    the Body and Blood of Christ at or after the Consecration
    Thereof, by any Person whatsoever. And that the Invocation,
    or Adoration, of the Virgin Mary, or Any other Saint, and the
    Sacrifice of the Mass, as they are now Used in the Church of
    Rome, are Superstitious and Idolatrous, and I do Solemnly in
    the presence of God, Profess, Testify, and Declare, that I make
    this Declaration, and Every Part thereof, in the plain and
    Ordinary Sence of the Words read to me, as they are Commonly
    Understood by English Protestants, Without any Evasion,
    Equivocation, or Mental Reservation whatsoever, and Without
    any Dispensation Already Granted to me for this purpose by the
    Pope, or any other Authority Whatsoever, or Without Thinking
    that I am Acquitted, before God or Man, or Absolved of this
    Declaration, or any Part thereof, Although the Pope, or any
    Person or Persons, or Power Whatsoever, Should Dispence with or
    Annul the same and Declare that it was Null or Void, from the

    I, Henry Ludington, do Sincerely Promise & Swear, that I will
    be faithful and bear true Allegiance to his Majesty King
    George the Third, and I do Swear that I do from my heart
    Abhor, Detest, and Abjure, as Impious and Heretical, that
    Damnable Doctrine and Position, that Princes Excommunicated
    and Deprived by the Pope, or Any Authority of the See of Rome,
    May Be Deposed by Their Subjects or any other Whatsoever,
    and I do Declare that no Foreign Prince, Person, Prelate,
    State or Potentate hath or ought to have, any Jurisdiction,
    Power, Superiority, Pre-eminence, or Authority Ecclesiastical
    or Spiritual, Within this Realm, and I do Truly and Sincerely
    acknowledge and profess, Testify and Declare, in my conscience
    before God and the World, That Our Sovereign Lord King George
    the Third of this Realm, and all other Dominions and Countrys
    Thereunto Belonging, and I do Solemnly and Sincerely Declare,
    that I do believe in my conscience that the person pretended to
    be Prince of Wales During the Life of the Late King James the
    Second, and since his Decease, Pretending to be and Taking upon
    himself the Stile and Title of King of England, by the Name
    of James the Third, or of Scotland by the name of James the
    Eighth, or Stile and Title of the King of Great Britain, hath
    not any right or Title whatsoever, to the Crown of this Realm,
    or any other Dominions Thereunto Belonging, and I do Renounce,
    Refuse, and Abjure, any Allegiance or Obedience to him, and
    I do Swear, that I will bear Faith, and True Allegiance to
    his Majesty King George the Third and him will defend, to the
    utmost of my Power, against all Traiterous Conspiracies and
    Attempts Whatsoever, which shall be made Against his Person,
    Crown or Dignity, and I will do my Utmost Endeavors to Disclose
    and Make Known to his Majesty and his Successors all Treasons
    and Traiterous Conspiracies which I shall know to be against
    him, or any of them, and I faithfully promise to the Utmost
    of my Power to Support, Maintain and Defend the Successors of
    the Crown against him the said James and all other Persons
    Whatsoever, Which Succession by an Act entitled An Act for the
    further Limitation of the Crown Limited to the Late Princess
    Sophia, Electress and Dowager of Hanover, and the Heirs of Her
    Body, being Protestants, and all these things I do plainly
    and Sincerely Acknowledge and Swear according to the Express
    words by me spoken and according to the Plain and Common Sence
    and Understanding of the same Words Without any Equivocation,
    Mental Evasion, or Sinister Reservation Whatsoever, and
    I do make this Recognition, Acknowledgement, Abjuration,
    Renunciation and Promise heartily, Willingly and Truly, upon
    the True Faith of a Christian. So help me, God!

Thus qualified by the taking of these oaths, Henry Ludington began
public services which lasted, in one capacity and another, for more
than a generation in the Colony and State of New York. The first entry
in his ledger bears date of “May, A.D. 1763,” and runs as follows:
“James Livingston Sheriff Dr to Serving county writs (seven in number)
the price for serving each writ being from 11s. 9d. to £1—10—9.” There
follow, under dates of October, 1763, and May, 1764, entries for serving
other writs. Among the names of attorneys in the suits appear those of
Cromwell, Livingston, Jones, Snedeker, Ludlow, Snook, and Kent; and
among those of parties to suits, etc., are those of Joseph Weeks, Jacob
Ellis, Uriah Hill, Jacob Griffen, George Hughson, Ebenezer Bennett, and
Joseph Crane. In 1764 first appears the name of Beverly Robinson, as the
plaintiff in a suit against one Nathan Birdsall. There is also mention of
a suit brought in the name of the “Earl of Starling” as plaintiff before
the Supreme Court of the colony—probably William Alexander, or Lord
Stirling, the patriot soldier of the Revolution.

At this home in Frederickstown the children of Henry and Abigail
Ludington, or all of them but the eldest, were born. These children,
with the dates of their births, were as follows, as recorded by Henry
Ludington in his Family Register, which was inscribed on a fly-leaf of
the ledger already quoted:

    Sibyl, April 5, 1761.
    Rebecca, January 24, 1763.
    Mary, July 31, 1765.
    Archibald, July 5, 1767.
    Henry, March 28, 1769.
    Derick, February 17, 1771.
    Tertullus, Monday night, April 19, 1773.
    Abigail, Monday morning, February 26, 1776.
    Anne, at sunset, March 14, 1778.
    Frederick, June 10, 1782.
    Sophia, May 16, 1784.
    Lewis, June 25, 1786.

Of these it is further recorded in the same register that Sibyl was
married to Edward Ogden (the name is elsewhere given as Edmund or Henry
Ogden) on October 21, 1784; that Mary was married to David Travis
on September 12, 1785; that Archibald was married to Elizabeth ⸺ on
September 23, 1790; and that Rebecca was married to Harry Pratt on May 7,



In order justly to appreciate the circumstances in which Henry Ludington
and his young family found themselves about fifteen years after his
return from the French and Indian war, it will be desirable to recall
briefly the political and social conditions generally prevailing
throughout the Colonies at that time, which were nowhere more marked
than in New York City and the rural counties lying just north of it.
During the two or three years before the actual declaration of American
independence, or secession from England, the people of the Colonies were
divided into two parties, the Patriots and the Loyalists or Tories.
The latter maintained the right of England to govern the Colonies as
she pleased, and regarded even a protest against the maladministration
of George III’s ministers as little short of sacrilege. The former
were by no means as yet committed to the idea of American separation
from the mother country, but they were most resolute in their demand
for local self-government, and for government according to the needs
of the Colonies rather than the caprices of English ministers. When
they first placed the legend “Liberty and Union” upon their colonial
flag, and called it the “Grand Union Flag,” they had in mind liberty
under the British constitution and continued union with England.
Nevertheless, antagonism between the two parties became as bitter as
ever it was between Roundhead and Cavalier in Stuart days; and while in
some respects Boston and Philadelphia figured more conspicuously in the
pre-revolutionary agitation and operations than did New York, there was
probably no place in all the Colonies where the people were more evenly
and generally divided between the two parties, or where passions rose
higher or were more strongly maintained, than in and about the last-named
city. No ties of neighborliness, friendship, or even family relationship
sufficed to prevent or to quell the animosities which arose over the
political interests of the Colonies. Nowhere had the Patriots a more
ardent or persuasive leader than young Alexander Hamilton, or the Tories
a more uncompromising champion than Rivington, the printer, whose office
was at last sacked and gutted by wrathful Patriots. An illuminating
side-light is thrown upon the New York state of mind by an item in the
New York “Journal” of February 9, 1775, as follows:

    A company of gentlemen were dining at a house in New York. One
    of them used the word Tory several times. His host asked him,
    “Pray, Mr. ⸺, what is a Tory?” He replied, “A Tory is a thing
    whose head is in England, and its body in America, and its neck
    ought to be stretched!”

Nor were these passions by any means confined to the urban but not
always urbane community on Manhattan Island. They prevailed with equal
force in the rural regions of Westchester and Dutchess counties. During
the Revolutionary War that border region, between the British garrison
on Manhattan Island and the American strongholds in the Highlands of
the Hudson, was the fighting ground of the belligerents, and was also
unmercifully harried and ravaged by the irregular succors of both sides,
the “Cow Boys” and “Skinners,” and others, celebrated in the unhappy
André’s whimsical ballad of “The Cow Chase.” Patriots from Westchester
County were foremost among those who wrecked Rivington’s Tory printing
shop, and an aggravated sequel to the item just cited from the New York
“Journal” is provided in the annals of Dutchess County a little later in
the same year. At that time a County Committee, or Committee of Safety—of
which we shall presently hear much more—had been formed in that county,
for the purpose of holding the Tories in check, and it had forcibly
deprived some men of their arms and ammunition. The despoiled Tories
made appeal to the Court of Common Pleas for redress, and James Smith, a
justice of that court, according to a contemporary narrative, “undertook
to sue for and recover the arms taken from the Tories by order of said
committee, and actually committed one of the committee who assisted at
disarming the Tories; which enraged the people so much that they rose and
rescued the prisoner, and poured out their resentment on this villanous
retailer of the law.” The “resentment” seems to have been poured out of
buckets and pillows, for we are told that Justice Smith and his relative,
Coen Smith, were “very handsomely tarred and feathered, for acting in
open contempt of the resolves of the County Committee!”

In or near that part of Dutchess County in which Henry Ludington lived
a third small but not insignificant factor was involved in the problem.
This was provided by the members of the Society of Friends, who were
settled at Quaker Hill, near Pawling, in The Oblong. This was the
first community in America to abolish negro slavery, in 1775, and on
that account it was probably regarded with some suspicion. But worse
still was the regard given to it in the strife between Patriots and
Tories. There can be little doubt that the sentiments and wishes of the
Quakers were largely with the Patriots. Yet their religious principle
of non-resistance forbade them to take up arms or to engage in forcible
conflict of any kind. They were therefore generally looked upon by
the Patriots as Tories, and were on that account sometimes fined and
otherwise punished, while on the other hand, the Tories made themselves
free to quarter troops upon them and to demand aid of them at will. On
the whole, however, they appear to have commanded the respect of the
Patriots, for their sincerity, and thus to have been far more leniently
dealt with than were the more militant Tories outside the Society of

[Illustration: Map of Quaker Hill and Vicinity, 1778-80, showing location
of Colonel Ludington’s place at Fredericksburgh]

The earliest organization of the Patriots in and about New York was a
Committee of Vigilance, the chief functions of which were to watch for
oppressive acts of the British Government and incite colonial protests
against them. This was in 1774 superseded by a Committee of Fifty-One,
and it in turn in the same year gave place to a Committee of Inspection,
of sixty members. In both of these latter John Jay, who was a neighbor
and friend of Henry Ludington, was conspicuous, and it is to be presumed
that Henry Ludington himself was either a member of the committees or
at least was in active sympathy with their work. In April, 1775, came a
crisis and the turning point in the movement for independence. The old
Colonial Assembly of New York went out of existence on April 3. Then came
the news of the first clash of arms at Lexington and Concord, acting as a
spark in a powder-magazine. “Astonished by accounts of acts of hostility
in the moment of expectation of terms of reconciliation,” said the
lieutenant-governor of New York in his account of the occurrence, “and
now filled with distrust, the inhabitants of the city burst through all
restraint on the arrival of the intelligence from Boston, and instantly
emptied the vessels laden with provisions for that place, and then seized
the city arms and in the course of a few days distributed them among the
multitude, formed themselves into companies and trained openly in the
streets; increased the number and power of the committee before appointed
to execute the association of the Continental Congress, convened
themselves by beat of the drum for popular resolutions, have taken the
keys of the custom house by military force; shut up the port, drawn a
small number of cannon into the country; called all parts of the country
to a Provincial Convention; chosen twenty delegates for this city,
formed an association now signing by all ranks, engaging submission to
committees and congresses, in firm union with the rest of the continent,
and openly avow a resolution not only to resist the acts of Parliament
complained as grievances, but to withhold succors of all kinds from the
troops and to repel every species of force, wherever it may be exerted,
for enforcing the taxing claims of Parliament at the risk of their lives
and fortunes.” This only half coherent but wholly intelligible and
graphic narrative tells admirably how the Patriot sentiment of New York
startled into life and action. A year later it was forcibly repressed
by the British garrison on Manhattan Island, but in the counties at the
north it continued dominant and triumphant.

The “association now signing by all ranks” was promptly entered into by
Henry Ludington and his neighbors in Dutchess County, as the following
transcript, from the MS. collection of Mr. Patrick, shows, the date of
the original being April 29, 1775:

    A General Association agreed to and subscribed by the
    Freeholders and Inhabitants of the County of Dutchess:

    Persuaded: That the Salvation of the Rights & Liberties
    of America depends, under God, on the firm Union of its
    Inhabitants in a Vigorous Prosecution of the Measures necessary
    for its Safety; and Convinced of the Necessity of preventing
    the Anarchy & Confusion which attend the Dissolution of the
    Powers of Government, We, the Freeholders and Inhabitants of
    the County of Dutchess, being greatly alarmed at the avowed
    Design of the Ministry to raise a Revenue in America, and
    shocked by the bloody Scene now acting in the Massachusetts
    Bay, Do, in the most solemn Manner, Resolve, never to become
    Slaves; and do associate under all the Ties of Religion,
    Honour and Love to our Country, to adopt and endeavor to
    carry into execution, whatever Measures may be recommended by
    the Continental Congress, or resolved upon by our Provincial
    Conventions, for the Purpose of preserving our Constitution and
    opposing the execution of the several arbitrary and oppressive
    Acts of the British Parliament, until a Reconciliation between
    Great Britain and America, on Constitutional Principles (which
    we most ardently desire) can be obtained: And that we will
    in all things, follow the Advice of our General Committee,
    respecting the Purposes aforesaid: the Preservation of peace
    and good Order and the Safety of Individuals, and private

        Mathew Paterson
        Joseph Chandler
        Comfort Ludinton
        Ruben Miers
        James Dickinson Junr.
        Isaiah Bennett
        Malcolm Morison
        Alexr. Kidd
        Henry Ludinton
        Elijah Oakley
        William Alkin.
        David Atkins
        Stephen Baxter.

One other signature is illegible. Those of the two Ludingtons are clear
and firm.

The new Provincial Congress of New York met in the New York City Hall on
May 22, 1775, and remained in session until May 29, its most important
act being the adoption of the following resolution:

    Resolved, That it be and hereby is recommended to all counties
    in this colony (who have not already done it) to appoint
    County Committees and also sub-committees for their respective
    townships and districts without delay, in order to carry
    into execution the resolutions of the Continental and this
    Provincial Congress; And that it is also recommended to every
    inhabitant of this colony who has neglected to sign the general
    association to do it with all convenient speed, and for this
    purpose that the committees in the respective counties do
    tender the said association to every inhabitant within the
    several districts in each county; And that the said committees
    and persons respectfully do return the said associations and
    the names of those who shall refuse to sign the same to this
    Congress by the 15th day of June next, or sooner if possible.

This obviously “meant business.” It compelled every inhabitant of the
colony to align himself, either with the Patriots or with the Loyalists;
with a certainty that if he chose the former, he would be held as a
traitor by the British Government, and if he chose the latter, he would
be subject to whatever pains and penalties his incensed Patriot neighbors
might see fit to impose upon him. Into the work thus recommended by the
Congress, Henry Ludington entered with zeal and ardor. He was at the head
of the local committee, in Fredericksburgh Precinct, and also a member
of the Dutchess County Committee, among his colleagues being John Jay,
William Duer, Jacobus Swartwout, and other eminent Patriots.

How vigorously and unsparingly these committees went to work will appear
if we anticipate for a moment the chronological record by a year. On a
motion offered by John Jay on June 16, 1776, the Provincial Congress
of New York declared guilty of treason, with the penalty of death, all
persons inhabiting or passing through the colony, or state, as it then
began to be called, who should give aid or comfort to the enemy. A week
later the Continental Congress adopted a similar resolution. It does not
appear that this penalty was ever actually imposed, but the terror of
it was held as a powerful measure of restraint over the Tories. Again,
at Conner’s tavern, at Fishkill, Dutchess County, on October 8, 1776,
there was organized a secret committee “for inquiring into, detecting and
defeating conspiracies … against the liberties of America,” with full
power to send for persons and papers, call out the militia, and arrest or
expel persons regarded as dangerous to the state, apparently without any
judicial process. Thereafter numerous parties of suspects were sent in
by the various local committees, including men, women, and children. All
who consented to sign an oath of allegiance to Congress were dismissed.
The others were variously dealt with. Some were exiled from the State,
some were imprisoned, and some released on parole, to remain near
Fishkill within call and surveillance of the committee. The chairman of
this committee was William Duer, and if Henry Ludington was not actually
among its members he was certainly one of its most trusted and efficient
agents. It continued in existence and action until February 27, 1777,
when it was dissolved by the State Convention and was replaced by a Board
of Commissioners. Two minutes of the proceedings of this committee will
serve the double purpose of showing the character of its activities and
the part which Henry Ludington played in executing its decrees. The first
is dated only four days after the organization of the committee:

    In Committee appointed by a Resolution of the Convention of the
    State of New York for enquiring into, detecting and defeating
    all Conspiracies which may be form’d in the said State against
    the Liberties of America. Fish Kill Octr. 12. 1776.

    This Committee taking into Consideration Coll. Ludington’s
    Letter respecting Thomas Menzes Esqr. received yesterday—

    Ordered that Coll. Ludington carry into Execution the former
    Orders of this Committee respecting Thomas Menzes Esqr. in such
    manner as to him shall appear most prudent.—

    Ordered that the Secretary transmit to Coll. Ludington by
    Express a Copy of the above Order.

    Extract from the Minutes,

                                          A. W. D. PEYSTER _Secry_.

[Illustration: Reduced Fac-simile of Letter, from Committee on
Conspiracies, to Col. Henry Ludington.

(Original in possession of Charles H. Ludington, New York City)]

The second is dated eight days later:

    warrant from commite to aprhend sundry persons

    In Committee of the Convention of the State of New York
    appointed for enquiring into, detecting and defeating all
    Conspiracies which may be form’d in the said State against the
    Liberties of America. Fish Kill Octr. 20, 1776.

    Whereas this Committee did on the 17th inst. resolve that the
    following persons, Inhabitants of South East and Frederick
    Precincts in the County of Dutchess, should forthwith be
    disarm’d apprehended and secured, to witt, Uriah Townsend,
    Ebenezer Rider, Charles Cullen*, Barns Hatfield, Uriah Wright,
    Joseph Hitchcock, Eli Crosby, Dr. Daniel Bull*, Charles Theal,
    and Gilbert Dickeson—⦿

    Ordered that Coll. Luddington do forthwith apprehend and bring
    before this Committee the above mentioned Persons and that
    he secure the Papers of such whose Names are mark’d with an
    Asterisk in order that the same be examined by this Committee.—

    Ordered that Capt. Clarke detach Leut. Haight with a Party of
    15 Men, to repair to Coll. Luddington and to follow such orders
    as they may receive from him.

    Signed by Order of the Committee,

                                               WM. DUER _Chairman_.

In the margin of this warrant, which is here copied from the original in
the possession of Charles H. Ludington, are these additional names:

    ⦿ Daniel Babbit Jeremiah Birch Junr. David Nash Samuel Towner
    William Merrit Thomas Carl* Daniel Brundage Moses Fowler.

The Charles Cullen mentioned in the warrant was a brother-in-law of the
distinguished jurist, Chancellor Kent.

[Illustration: Reduced Fac-simile of Order of arrest issued, by Wm. Duer,
Chairman of Committee on Conspiracies, of the “Provincial Congress of the
State of New York” to Col. Henry Ludington.

(Original paper in possession of Charles H. Ludington, New York City.)]

In order to understand clearly the geographical scope of the operations
already and hereafter credited to Henry Ludington, the division of that
part of Dutchess County into precincts should here be explained, with
the aid of a map. The reference is to that southern part of Dutchess
County which was afterward set off, as at present, into Putnam County.
From 1737 down to March 24, 1772, it was known as the South Precinct.
On the latter date it was divided into three longitudinal strips, that
along the Hudson being called Phillipse, or Philipsburgh Precinct;
that in the central and east central part being called Fredericksburgh
Precinct; and the smallest strip at the extreme east, consisting of part
of The Oblong hitherto mentioned, being known as South East Precinct. It
may be added, in anticipation of the narrative, that on March 17, 1788,
these names were changed to Philipstown, Frederickstown, and South East,
respectively; that on March 17, 1795, the towns of Carmel and Franklin
were formed from Frederickstown, and the remainder of the last named
was called Fredericks; that on April 6, 1808, Franklin was changed to
Patterson, and on April 15, 1817, Fredericks was changed to Kent. It
may further be explained that the Philipsburgh Precinct was subdivided
into two nearly equal longitudinal strips, and the one along the Hudson
River was again divided laterally into three parts, making four lots in
all, which were numbered from 1 to 4, and which in the partition of the
original Phillipse Patent were apportioned as follows: No. 1, at the
extreme southwest, Susannah Robinson; No. 2, next at the west center,
Philip Phillipse; No. 3, at the northwest, Mary Phillipse; and No. 4, the
long strip inland from the river, Susannah Robinson. The Fredericksburgh
Precinct was likewise divided into three longitudinal strips, and the
easternmost of them into three laterally, making five lots in all,
numbered from 5 to 9, and these were apportioned as follows: No. 5,
the long strip next to No. 4 of Philipsburg, to Mary Phillipse; No. 6,
a long strip next to No. 5, to Philip Phillipse; No. 7, a “short lot”
at the northeast, to Susannah Robinson; No. 8, a short lot at the east
center, to Philip Phillipse; and No. 9, a short lot at the southeast, to
Mary Phillipse. When, as we shall presently see, Henry Ludington became
colonel commanding a militia regiment, his territorial command included
all of these nine lots excepting Nos. 7 and 8. He was thus of all the
militia commanders nearest to the seat of government when it was at
Fishkill, and was brought much into contact with state officials there.

[Illustration: Map of Philipse patent, showing original divisions]

[Illustration: Map showing territory (shaded portion) covered by Colonel
Ludington’s regiment]

Appreciating the important part which the militia would play in the
conflict which was then seen to be impending and inevitable, the
Provincial Congress of New York, in session at New York City on August
22, 1775, adopted an elaborate measure for the enlistment, organization
and equipment of such troops. Every county, city, manor, town, precinct,
and district within the colony was to be divided by a local committee
into districts or beats, in such a manner that in each beat might be
formed one military company, ordinarily to consist of eighty-three
able-bodied men and officers, between the ages of sixteen and
fifty—afterward sixty—years. Not less than five nor more than ten such
companies were to form a regiment, and the regiments were to be organized
into brigades. One brigade was to be formed of the militia of Dutchess
and Westchester counties, commanded by a brigadier-general. It was also

    That every man between the ages of 16 and 50 do with all
    convenient speed furnish himself with a good Musket or firelock
    & Bayonet Sword or Tomahawk, a Steel Ramrod, Worm, Priming
    Wire and Brush fitted thereto, a Cartouch Box to contain 23
    rounds of cartridges, 12 flints and a knapsack agreeable to
    the directions of the Continental Congress under forfeiture
    of five shillings for the want of a musket or firelock and
    of one shilling for want of a bayonet, sword or tomahawk,
    cartridgebox, cartridge or bullet. That every man shall at
    his place of abode be also provided with one pound of powder
    and three pounds of bullets of proper size to his musket or

There were numerous additional prescriptions, concerning discipline and
drill, the duties and responsibilities of officers, and the penalties
to be imposed for non-compliance. In case of any alarm, invasion or
insurrection, every man thus enrolled was immediately to repair to
headquarters, to wit, the home of his captain, and the captain was to
march the company straight to the scene of invasion or insurrection “to
oppose the enemy,” at the same time sending word to the regimental or
brigade commander. A little later, to wit, on December 20, the Provincial
Congress ordered that the militia of Dutchess and Westchester counties
should form two separate brigades; whence we may assume that a larger
enrolment of militia men was secured in those counties than had at first
been expected.

The militia were called out whenever needed, and were kept out as long
as they were needed, but they could be taken outside of the colony or
state for no more than three months at a time. Sometimes, as Mr. James
A. Roberts explains in his work on “New York in the Revolution,” a
regiment or half of a regiment would be called out half a dozen times
in the course of a year, perhaps for half a dozen days at a time; and
again might not be called out once for a whole year. The regiments
were commonly designated first by their colonels’ names and next by
their counties. Officers and men seem to have served, says Mr. Roberts,
in different organizations almost indiscriminately. At one call they
were in one and at another they were in another regiment or company.
Each colonel had almost unlimited powers in the district to which his
regiment belonged, and he was specially required to see that every
able-bodied male inhabitant between the ages of sixteen and sixty years
was enrolled. Moreover, every such person must serve whenever called upon
to do so, under penalty of fine and imprisonment; and if incapacitated,
he must contribute toward the cost of securing and equipping another
man. Among the rations served to all were tobacco, sugar, and tea, and
in addition the colonels and chaplains received liberal allowances of
rum. A colonel’s pay was $75 a month, and a private soldier’s pay $6.66
a month; not always in money, but sometimes in state scrip and sometimes
in authority to “impress” cattle and goods; for all which things taken
receipts were to be given to the owners in the name of the state, so that
payment could afterward be made.

This enactment by New York was made in pursuance of an act of the
Continental Congress, on July 18, 1775, which “recommended to the
inhabitants of all the united English Colonies in North America that all
able-bodied, effective men between sixteen and fifty years of age, in
each Colony, might form themselves into regular companies of Militia,
to consist of one captain, two lieutenants, one ensign, four sergeants,
four corporals, one clerk, one drummer, one fifer, and about sixty-eight

Each company was permitted to elect its own officers; the companies were
to be formed into regiments or battalions, officered with a colonel,
lieutenant-colonel, two majors, an adjutant or quartermaster. All
officers above the rank of captain were to be appointed by the respective
Provincial Assemblies, or Conventions, or by the Committees of Safety.

One fourth part of the militia in every county was to consist of minute
men, who were ordered “to be ready on the shortest Notice to march to any
Place where their Assistance may be required for the Defence of their own
or a neighboring Colony.” As the minute men were expected to be called
into action before the body of the militia were sufficiently trained, it
was recommended “that a more particular and diligent attention be paid to
their instruction in military discipline.”

The equipment of these militia companies was at first painfully meager,
and their muster-rolls, “spelled by the unlettered Muse,” were such as
would drive the modern officer to despair. As an example, the muster-roll
of Captain Nathaniel Scribner’s company may be cited, copied _verbatim
et literatim_ from an original MS. in the possession of Mr. Charles H.

    Capt. Scribner’s muster role.

        Capt Nathaniel Scribner gun         sword  o
        Ltn Daniel martine      o           o      catrig box
        In David merrick        o           sword  o
        St. Thomas grigrory     o           o      o
        St. Caleb hazen         o           o      o
        St makis Brundige       o           o      o
        Cl Thomas willson       gun         o      catrig box
        Cl Isaac Evritt         gun         sword  o
        Benianan hamblon        fiffer
        Stephen Hyatt           Drummer
        Joshua grigrory         o           o      o
        gilbirt ganung          gun         o      o
        Samuel Pears            o           o      o
        Caleb Pears             gun         o      o
        Rusel grigrory          gun         sword  o
        freman hopkins          o           o      o
        Samuel horton           o           o      o
        Joseph hopkins          o           o      o
        alexander pears         o           o      o
        henery Bolding          gun         sword  o
        John ferguson           gun         o      o
        Noah robinson           o           o      o
        Joseph ganung           gun         o      o
        Jesse ganung            gun         o      o
        Elezur hazen            gun         o      o
        william haighson        o           o      o
        Lewis Furguson          o           o      o
        abiiag Barker           o           o      o
        Samuel Jinkins          gun         o      o
        Jacob mead              gun         o      o
        John mcLean             gun         o      o
        John Lounsbury          o           o      o
        John thrustin           o           o      o
        Nathanel finch          o           o      o
        Jona Carle              o           o      o
        Thomas Furguson         o           o      o
        Richard p e grigrory    o           o      o
        James Carle             o           o      o
        Nathaniel Jinkins       o           o      o
        David Storms            gun         sword  o
        John Sloot              o           o      o
        John frost              o           o      o
        gorge Evritt            gun         sword  o
        Edward Vermilyea        o           o      o
        John Stedel             o           o      o
        Jonathan hustice        gun         o      o
        Thomas Hall             gun         sword  o
        James Barker            o           o      o
        John wright             o           o      o
        Thadeus Ramond          gun         o      o
        robint wright           o           o      o
        Beniaman Birdsel        o           o      o
        Isaac ganung            gun         o      o
        Job Veail               o           o      o
        Isaac Sloot             o           o      o
        adonija carle           o           o      o
        Samuel Conkling         o           o      o
        Elisha Bolding          o           o      o
        Jeremiah hughson        o           o      o
        Jerediah davis          gun         o      o
        alaxander Brown         o           o      o
        gedien Simkins          o           o      o
        David Fowler            o           o      o
        Daniel worden           o           o      o
        abraham Furguson        o           o      o
        Jones Semans            o           o      o
        Nathanel Robinson       o           o      o
        John Sloot              o           o      o

Annexed to the muster roll was the following addendum:

    These air men What is gon into the servis

        Leftenant John munrow
        St. Josiah grigrory
        Jacob birdsel
        Jacob ganung
        john Shaw
        Solomon hustice
        parce bolding
        John Vermilya
        Richard Barker
        Daniel grigrory
        Zebulon wright
        Isaac merick
        Eli hopkins
        James mcfarling
        Rhubin finch
        Timothy wood
        Jonathan Semans
        william Virmilya
        Thomas hagson
        Jonathan hopkins
        moses hazen
        Samuel bouton
        Isaac Lounsbury.

In the work of enlisting and organizing these militia levies the
most efficient men were naturally those who had already had military
experience and command as officers in some of the colonial wars. Henry
Ludington was among these. He had had such experience in a noteworthy
degree, and to it he added both physical and temperamental aptitude
for military labors, and an ardent spirit of patriotism. Leaving the
service in 1759 as a lieutenant, he had, as already related, resigned
his commission in indignation at the Stamp Act. On February 13, 1773,
however, he accepted a commission as captain in Colonel Beverly
Robinson’s Dutchess County regiment, and this commission, which was
signed by William Tryon, the last British governor of New York, he
held until 1775, or possibly 1776, when he cast it aside and entered
the “Rebel” or Patriotic service. The militia of Dutchess County was
organized, under the law already cited, in the fall of 1775, and on
October 17 Petrus Ten Broeck, the colonel of the First or Rhinebeck and
Northwest regiment, was commissioned brigadier-general commanding. Of
the Second regiment of Dutchess County, Jacobus Swartwout was colonel,
and when in time the militia of the county was so increased as to form
two brigades, he was, on March 3, 1780, appointed brigadier-general
commanding one of them. Swartwout’s commission as colonel was also
issued on October 17, 1775, and at the same time Malcolm Morrison was
commissioned first major and Henry Ludington was commissioned second
major of his regiment. Ludington seems also to have served as captain
of the company raised in his home district, and to have been prompt and
energetic in his service; for on February 20, 1776, we find Colonel
Swartwout in a letter to the Provincial Congress reporting that he was
in hourly expectation of Captain Ludington’s appearance at regimental
headquarters, together with Captains Woodford from Pawling’s, Clearck
from Beekman’s, and Durling from Rombout Precinct. The Congress the next
day ordered that all the men thus reported should serve until May 1 of
that year, unless sooner discharged.

Soon afterward came Ludington’s first promotion. On March 8, 1776,
Malcolm Morrison, the first major of Swartwout’s regiment, addressed to
the Provincial Congress of New York this letter:

    Gentlemen: Whereas the gentlemen of the Provincial Congress has
    been pleased to appoint me First Major in Colo. Swartwout’s
    regiment, and as my situation and business is such, that it is
    not within my power to serve without doing injustice to myself
    and creditors, having a considerable interest in my hands to
    settle, and having a large family to take care of without any
    person to assist me in settling my affairs, and whereas Major
    Henry Ludington, appointed in the militia, is prevailed upon
    to accept the commission sent me, and if agreeable to you, do
    resign in his favor. He can be recommended by Colo. Swartwout
    or the Committee of Dutchess County, and I hope you will be
    prevailed upon to appoint him in my stead, he being a person
    that has served in the last war and well acquainted in the
    military service, and, Gentlemen, your compliance will greatly

    Your Very Humble Servant,

                                                  MALCOLM MORRISON.

    Mr. Ludington waits for an answer.

    N.B. Gentlemen, enclosed you have the commission.

This extraordinarily naïve and unconventional letter was received on
March 9, apparently being borne by Major Ludington himself as messenger.
It was favorably acted upon, and the next day, March 10, Ludington was
made first major of the regiment in Morrison’s place. At this time the
companies were not yet filled, and the regiment was small. But recruiting
went on rapidly, so that by the first of May, 1776, the regiment was
actually too large. Accordingly on May 6 the Committee of Dutchess County
took action for the formation of another regiment in that part of the
county, as reported in the following letter to the Provincial Congress:

    Sir:—It having been represented to the General Committee of
    this County, that the Southern Regiment of Militia was too
    large and extensive, containing 12 companies and covering
    a space of country upwards of 30 miles in length, we have,
    therefore, not only because in other respects it was expedient,
    but also in compliance with the Resolution of Congress
    prohibiting a Regiment to consist of more than 10 Companies,
    divided it, and instead of one have formed the Militia in that
    quarter into 2 regiments, together with a list of persons
    nominated for Field Officers. As this part of our Militia
    will remain unregimented till the Officers receive their
    Commissions, we must request that the Commissions be made out
    as soon as possible and sent to the Committee in Rombout’s
    Precinct with directions to forward them to the Officers

    I remain, by order of the Committee,

                     Your very humble servant,

                                          EGBERT BENSON _Chairman_.

[Illustration: Reduced Fac-simile of the Commission of Henry Ludington as

From the “Provincial Congress for the Colony of New York,” June 1778.]

The new regiment, as described in an enclosure in Mr. Benson’s letter,
was to consist of all the militia in Phillipse Precinct, and in all
of Fredericksburgh Precinct “except the Northern and Middle Short
Lots”—at the northeast, as hitherto explained. The field officers
nominated were as follows: Colonel, Moses Dusenbury; lieutenant-colonel,
Henry Ludington; first major, Reuben Ferris; second major, Joshua
Nelson; adjutant, Joshua Myrick; quartermaster, Solomon Hopkins. These
nominations were promptly confirmed. A little later Henry Ludington was
commissioned colonel of this regiment, to succeed Colonel Dusenbury.
The exact date is not now ascertainable, but according to the mutilated
remains of the commission, a facsimile of which is given in this volume,
it was some time in June, 1776. The commission—his first as colonel—was
issued by the Provincial Congress of the Colony of New York, and was
one of the last acts of that body, which in that month of June, 1776,
went out of existence, and on July 9 following was succeeded by a new
Provincial Congress, meeting at White Plains, which the next day, July
10, changed its name to the Convention of the Representatives of the
State of New York. With this change of government new commissions were
issued to officers, Henry Ludington receiving one as colonel, which
is now in the possession of his grandson, Charles H. Ludington. His
regiment, the seventh of the Dutchess County militia, was thereafter
popularly known and indeed often officially designated as Colonel
Ludington’s regiment. Unfortunately its earliest muster-rolls and record
of organization have not been preserved, or cannot now be found, but it
is known to have consisted of six companies. The minutes of the Council
of Appointment do not mention it until May 28, 1778, when it is called
Colonel Henry Ludington’s regiment. At this latter date Stephen Ludington
was a second lieutenant in Captain Joel Mead’s (1st) company. We may here
add that in various rosters of New York troops the following names of
members of the Ludington family appear, in addition to Colonel Ludington:

Stephen Ludington, and also Stephen Ludenton (doubtless the same person),
private, in Brinckerhoff’s company of Brinckerhoff’s regiment—the second
regiment of Dutchess County, Rombout Precinct.

Elisha Luddington, private, of Livingston’s company of Malcolm’s
regiment—the first regiment of New York levies in the United States
Army. Also, Elisha Luddington, private, in Barnum’s company of Hopkins’s
regiment—the sixth regiment of Dutchess County.

William Luddington, private, in Westfall’s company of Wessenfels’s

Comfort Ludington, private, in Hecock’s company of Field’s regiment—the
third regiment of Dutchess County. Also, Comfort Ludington, private, in
Mead’s company of Ludington’s regiment—the seventh regiment of Dutchess
County. Also, Comfort Luddington, captain of a company of the second
regiment of minute men of Dutchess County, commissioned on February 26,

Early in June, 1776, probably at about the time of Colonel Ludington’s
appointment, and a month before the formal declaration of American
independence, the Continental Congress called for 13,800 militia from
the Colonies, to reënforce the army at New York, in addition to other
levies for the army which was to invade Canada. New York’s share of this
levy was 3,750, of whom 3,000 were for service at New York and 750 for
the expedition to Canada. The latter were naturally selected from the
northern counties, while the 3,000 for local service were taken from
the counties along the Hudson and around the city of New York. Among
the latter were 335 men from Dutchess County, a larger number than was
contributed by any other county excepting New York and Albany. The
Dutchess County contingent was ordered to be ready to march on June 21.

[Illustration: Reduced Fac-simile of the Commission of Henry Ludington as

From the State of New York. May 28, 1778.

(Original in possession of Charles H. Ludington, New York City.)]

The local needs of Dutchess County were not, however, to be overlooked.
A committee of the New York Congress on June 20 reported that there
were many disaffected and dangerous persons in Dutchess and Westchester
counties, who greatly disturbed the peace, and who would probably take up
arms whenever the enemy should make a descent upon that region, and that
the requisitions of troops made by the Continental Congress had left the
militia incapable of keeping peace and order “without great inconvenience
to themselves and much injury to and neglect of their private property.”
It was therefore recommended, and ordered, that 100 men and officers in
Dutchess County and 50 in Westchester County be taken into the service of
the Provincial Congress “and confined to the Service of those Counties.”
The 100 men in Dutchess County were organized in two companies. On July
16 the Provincial Congress, or Convention, was in session at White
Plains, and it there ordered that one fourth of the militia of those two
counties should be summoned into active service, until the end of the
year; each man receiving $20 bounty, and the same pay and subsistence as
the Continental soldiers. Among those thus drawn into the service was
Colonel Ludington.

The first care of Colonel Ludington on assuming command of his regiment
was to fill up its ranks and organize a complete staff of officers.
In reporting to the Convention—or Provincial Congress, as he still
called it—upon this work, he wrote under date of July 19, 1776, from
Fredericksburgh, as follows, this letter being transformed into modern
and corrected orthography, and others which follow being thus edited
only enough to insure intelligibility:

    These may inform Your Honors that I meet with some difficulty
    in furnishing my quota of men for the present emergency, for
    want of commissions in the regiment which I have the honor
    to command. We have a number of officers chosen already that
    have no commissions, and several more must be chosen in order
    to have the regiment properly officered. And whereas I have
    applied to the County Committee for blanks to be filled up,
    and there are none to be had, therefore I, in conjunction with
    the committee of this Precinct, would desire that there might
    be about twenty blank commissions sent up by Mr. Myrick, the
    bearer hereof. I would further acquaint Your Honors that the
    regiment is destitute of Majors, and would be glad if Your
    Honors would appoint two gentlemen to that office and fill
    up commissions for them. There are two gentlemen that I do,
    with the advice of the Committee, nominate, viz., Mr. Gee—his
    Christian name I am not able to tell—of Phillipse Precinct, and
    Captain Ebenezer Robinson of this Precinct. These gentlemen
    are doubtless known by several of the members of the honorable

    From Your Humble Servant,

                                         HENRY LUDENTON, _Colonel_.

    To the Honorable Provincial Congress.

[Illustration: Reduced Fac-simile of Letter from Abraham Bancker to Col.
Henry Ludington.

(Original in possession of Charles H. Luddington, New York City.)]

The annals of the New York Convention, under date of July 20, 1776,
relate that this letter was received, read, and filed, and that—

    On reading the said letter from Colonel Ludenton, of Dutchess
    County, and considering the state of his Regiment at this
    critical time,

    Resolved, That Commissions be issued to the two gentlemen
    therein named in said letter, and that 20 other Commissions
    be signed by the President and countersigned by one of the
    Secretaries and transmitted to Colonel Ludenton, to be
    filled up for the Captains and Subalterns of his Regiment
    when necessary, by the Precinct Committee and himself; that
    said Precinct Committee and Colonel Ludenton return to this
    Convention an exact list of the names, rank and dates of the
    Officers commissioned, which they shall fill up and deliver.

    And Resolved, That the sending blank commissions to a Precinct
    Committee shall not from this instance be drawn into precedent.

In this fashion Colonel Ludington prepared for the stern activities
before him. The “critical time” referred to in the resolutions of the
Convention was indeed critical. New York was in imminent danger of
being occupied by the British, and British warships were likely soon to
ascend the Hudson River. John Jay was intrusted with the making of plans
for the defense of the Hudson Highlands. On August 1, Jay, Duer, and
others, were made a committee to draft a plan for a new government for
the State of New York. The battle of Long Island was fought on August
27, and a little later the British were in full possession of New York
and its environs. The Convention was driven to Harlem, to Kingsbridge,
to Odell’s in Phillipse Manor, to Fishkill, to Poughkeepsie, and to
Kingston. On October 20 the battle of Chatterton Hill was fought, at
White Plains, in which Colonel Ludington’s regiment was engaged, and in
which he himself served as one of Washington’s aides, and thus began
his acquaintance with the commander-in-chief. When Washington’s army
crossed the Hudson River, however, for the “devil’s dance across the
Jerseys,” and the superb turning at bay at Trenton, the New York militia
levies remained at home, where indeed they were sorely needed. The Tory
element in Westchester and Dutchess counties had from the first been
ominously strong. With the British victories in and around New York,
and with the American Army in apparently hopeless rout and flight, they
were emboldened to open hostility to the Patriot cause. A report to the
Convention, or to the Committee of Safety, on September 4, made it appear
that in the four counties of Dutchess, Westchester, Orange and Ulster
there were only 3,100 armed and trustworthy militia, while there were
2,300 disaffected Tories and 2,300 slaves to be held in order. A month
later the situation was much worse, and it was then that there was formed
the committee already mentioned, “for inquiring into, detecting and
defeating conspiracies against the liberties of America.” The war was now
on, in earnest, and “malice domestic, foreign levy,” were both at once to
be grappled with by the Patriot soldiers.



The public services of Henry Ludington during the war for independence
were threefold in character. Each of the three parts was of much
importance, each was marked with arduous toil and frequent perils,
and each was performed to the full extent of his ability. Nor was the
sacrifice of personal welfare inconsiderable. We have seen that he
was the father of a large family, eight children having been born to
him prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and was
the leasehold occupant of extensive lands. It was no light thing to
absent himself from these. There was before him, moreover, the example
of another and senior officer, who, because of family interests and
engagements, had resigned his commission. That same commission had been
passed on to Henry Ludington, who might with equal grace and reason have
declined it or presently resigned it. There is, however, no indication
that he ever contemplated such a step. Leaving his lands and home in the
charge of his wife and children, the eldest of whom in 1776 was only
fifteen, while the youngest was a babe in arms, he gave himself with
whole-hearted devotion to whatever tasks his country might require of

The distinctively military services of Henry Ludington began at an early
date. The first clash of arms after the Declaration of Independence
occurred on the shores of New York Bay. The retirement of the American
Army, after unsuccessful engagements, from Long Island, and then from
Manhattan Island, brought the theater of war closer and closer to
Dutchess County, and made the active participation of the militia more
imminent. Indeed, even before those operations, the militia was called
out to assist in securing the passes of the Hudson Highlands, and thus
preventing any communication between the British at New York and those
in Canada and the North Woods. The Convention or Legislature of the
State, in session at Harlem, on August 8, 1776, adopted the following war

    RESOLVED unanimously that Brigadier General Clinton be, and he
    hereby is, appointed to the Command of all the Levies raised,
    and to be raised in the Counties of Ulster, Orange and West
    Chester, agreeable to the Resolutions of this Convention of the
    sixteenth day of July last.

    RESOLVED that General Clinton be informed of this Appointment
    and directed immediately to send Expresses to the Counties of
    Ulster, Dutchess, Orange and West Chester, and order them to
    hasten their Levies and to march them down to the Fort now
    erected on the North side of Kings Bridge, leaving two hundred
    men under the Command of a Brave & alert Officer to take
    possession of and throw up works at the pass of Anthonys Nose.

    RESOLVED that General Clinton be requested to order the Troops
    of Horse belonging to the Counties of Ulster, Orange and West
    Chester immediately to march to such posts as he may think
    proper that they should Occupy, in order to watch the motions
    of the Enemies Ships of war now in Hudsons River.

    Extracts from the Minutes.

                                             JOHN MCKESSON _Secry._

When the ships of war had landed an army, and this was moving
irresistibly northward, a committee of the Convention, meeting at
Fishkill as a Committee of Safety, on October 10, further ordered:

    RESOLVED, that the Commanding officer of the militia of Ulster
    County, do immediately send down 300 men of the Militia of the
    County of Ulster, to Peekskill well armed and accoutred with
    three days provisions.

    RESOLVED, that the Commanding Officer on the south side of the
    Mountains or High-Lands in the County of Orange, be directed
    to order such a number of the militia from that part of the
    said County which lays on the south side of the High Lands as
    will be sufficient to Guard their shores, and to appoint a
    commissioner to supply them with provisions.

    And that the Commanding Officer on the north side of the
    Highlands, in the said County, Order one hundred of the Militia
    from the north side of the High Lands of the said County to
    march without Delay to Peekskill taking with them three days

    RESOLVED that Benjamin Haight and Mathew Harper be
    commissioners to supply them with provisions, and that this
    Convention will provide means for defraying the Expense.

    ORDERED, that the Brigadier Generals of the Counties of Albany,
    Dutchess, Ulster and Orange, give orders to the several
    Colonels in their Brigades to hold the one half of their
    several Regiments in Readiness to march at an hour’s notice
    with five days provisions.

    RESOLVED, that all Ranges raised in the County of Ulster repair
    immediately to Fishkill and be subject to the direction of the
    Committee for enquiring into, detecting, and defeating all
    conspiracies formed in this State against the Liberties of

    Extract from the Minutes of this Afternoon.

                                           JOHN MCKESSON, _Secr’y_.

The turning-point in the campaign which began at Brooklyn occurred on
October 28, at White Plains. There, at Chatterton Hill, Washington once
more engaged the British, and once more was compelled to retire before
them. With the masterly strategy in which he was unrivaled by any soldier
of his time, however, instead of falling back upon the defenses of the
Hudson Highlands and thus inviting a conflict which might have cost him
the possession of that crucial point, he retreated in another direction,
south and west, thus drawing the British away from the Highlands and
leaving the latter secure. Had the British, instead of pursuing him in
that fruitless chase across the Jerseys, only to meet with disaster at
Trenton, hurled themselves against the forts at West Point and elsewhere
along the Hudson, they might easily have gained control of the Hudson,
and thus have effected a junction with their northern forces and have
altered the whole story of the war. We may suppose that that is what
Washington would have done had he been in Clinton’s place. The British
did not do so, but fell into the trap which the wily American had set
for them. In the battle at White Plains, however,—which is more to our
purpose than the subsequent campaign,—the militia was largely used, and
acquitted itself with credit. In an application for a pension made by
Joshua Baker of Dutchess County, it was set forth that “On or about the
1st day of August, 1776, he enlisted at a place called Fredericksburgh
in the County of Dutchess and State of New York at which place he was
residing. That he entered the company commanded by Captain Luddenton
in the regiment commanded by Col. Swartwout. That from Fredericksburgh
aforesaid he marched with the said company to Peekskill and after a
short time from thence to Kingsbridge in the county of Westchester, that
he remained at Kingsbridge until the month of October, when they were
ordered to White Plains, where he was in the engagement generally known
as the battle of White Plains. In this engagement one of the Chaplains
named Van Wyck was killed. Soon after the battle of White Plains he
marched with the said regiment to New Windsor where he was discharged.”
The “Captain Luddenton” mentioned was presumably Comfort Ludington, who,
as we have already seen, was an officer of the Dutchess County militia,
and the statement of Baker is clear indication that that militia was
engaged in the battle of White Plains.

Further evidence to the same effect, directly connecting Henry Ludington
with that battle, is found in the affidavit of Elisha Turner, who
declared “That in the fall of 1776 he was drafted for three months in
Captain Joel Mead’s Company, Lieut. Porter, and Seargents Fisher and
Brewsters in Colonel Ludington’s Reg’t New York State troops. That he
joined his company and marched to White Plains and then joined his
regiment and the Army, that he was present at the battle of White Plains
and afterward retired with the army up the river. That he remained with
his Regiment and company until his term of three months expired, when he
received a verbal discharge from his Colonel and Captain and returned
home.” Much other evidence to the same effect might be cited, were it
needed, which it is not. There can be no doubt that Henry Ludington with
his regiment was engaged at White Plains, and that he, himself, as a
representative officer of the Dutchess County levies, was chosen to serve
as an aide on the staff of Washington. The commander-in-chief appears
to have recognized in Colonel Ludington a man upon whose brain and arm
he might with confidence depend. It is a credible tradition that during
that battle Washington complimented him upon his soldier-like bearing,
and indirectly paid a tribute to his vigilance. A family tradition tells
that as the two stood side by side, with the rest of the staff about
them, Colonel Ludington noticed the British taking up a new position and
placing their artillery, screened behind shrubs and trees, and directed
Washington’s attention to the fact, which had been entirely unperceived
by the others. “Yes,” said Washington, approvingly, “I have been watching
them this long time.”

On November 6, the British began their fatuous movement toward New
Jersey, imagining that the American Congress at Philadelphia, rather than
the American Army and fortresses along the Hudson, was the strategical
objective. The American Council of War unanimously agreed that
Washington’s army should thereupon cross into New Jersey, anticipating
the British advance, while three thousand troops, including Colonel
Ludington’s Dutchess County militia, should be sent to reinforce the
defenses of the Highlands. Washington left White Plains on the morning
of November 10, and reached Peekskill at sunset of the same day, Colonel
Ludington’s regiment presumably accompanying him. After a careful
inspection of the works as far up the river as West Point, and after
giving directions for the disposition of the troops, on November 12 he
passed over into New Jersey, and went his way to the disaster of Fort
Washington, and the more than redeeming victory of Trenton. Meanwhile,
Colonel Ludington remained at Peekskill, where there presently was a
prospect of strenuous work. For having, as they imagined, put Washington
to hopeless flight in New Jersey, the British turned a part of their
attention to the very thing to which their chief attention should at
the outset have been given. Plans were made for an advance up the
Hudson, by land and water. West Point was to be avoided by marching up
the east shore, where the defenses were not so strong. Such a movement
must, of course, be resisted at all hazards. Washington, from his camp
on the Delaware, in what Thomas Paine described as “the times that try
men’s souls,” was able to spare enough attention from his own pressing
extremities to write words of warning and exhortation to Governor
Clinton, and in pursuance of his wise counsels the New York Convention,
at Fishkill, on December 21, adopted the following resolutions:

    WHEREAS, from various Intelligence received of the motions and
    Designs of the Enemy’s Army, it appears highly probable that
    they meditate an attack upon the Passes in the Highlands on the
    East side of Hudson’s River,

    AND WHEREAS, the Term of the Enlistment of the militia under
    the command of Brigadier General George Clinton which is at
    present stationed to defend the Pass at Peeks Kill expires on
    the last of this month, and that a great part of the Division
    commanded by Major General Spencer, which is stationed at North
    Castle on the 29th inst.

    AND WHEREAS, his Excellency Genl. Washington by his Letter of
    the 15th instant has warmly recommended to this state to exert
    themselves in procuring temporary supplies of militia ’till
    the new Levies of the continental army can be brought into the

    RESOLVED, that the whole militia of the Counties of
    Westchester, Dutchess and that part of the County of Albany
    which lies to the southward of Beeren Island be forthwith
    marched to North Castle in Westchester County, well equipped
    with arms and ammunition and furnished with Blankets & six days
    Provisions & a Pot or Camp Kettle to every six men, except
    such Persons as the field Officers of the Respective Regiments
    shall judge cannot be called into service without greatly
    distressing their families, or who may be actually engaged in
    the manufacturing of salt Petre, or of shoes and Cloathing for
    the use of the army.

    RESOLVED, that the said militia be allowed continental Pay and
    Rations, and that such men as cannot furnish themselves with
    arms shall be supplied from the continental store.

Colonel Ludington and his regiment therefore remained on duty at
North Castle until word came of the rout of the British at Trenton
and Princeton, and Washington’s triumphant return to the hills of
Morristown for the winter. All imminent danger of a British attack upon
the Highlands was then past, and the militia was permitted to return
home for a time. The respite was brief, however. On January 3, 1777,
Nathaniel Sackett was authorized by the Committee of Safety “to employ
such detachments of the militia of Dutchess County as are not in actual
service, as he may deem expedient, for inquiring into, detecting and
defeating all conspiracies which may be found against the liberties
of America.” Also, on March 25, the Convention took further action,
resulting in the issuance of this order by Governor Clinton:

    To Colonel Morris Graham,

    Pursuant to a Resolve of the Honorable the Convention of the
    State of New York, dated the 25th day of March last, impowering
    & requiring me until the first of August next to call into
    actual Service all or any Part or proportion of the Militia as
    well Horse as Foot of the Counties of Ulster, West Chester,
    Dutchess and Orange, for the Defence of the Posts and Passes
    of the Highlands, & frustrating the Attempts of the Enemy to
    make Incursions into this State you are for these Purposes
    forthwith, to draft by Ballot or other equitable Manner, one
    hundred & thirty three Men of your Regiment & them compleatly
    armed & equiped, cause to march, properly Officered, to Fort
    Independence near Peek’s Kill there to join the Field Officers
    who shall be appointed to command them. The Companies to
    consist as nearly as may be of Sixty two Privates & to have a
    Captain & two Lieutenants.

    Given under my Hand at Poughkeepsie this 3d Day of April 1777.

                                            GEO. CLINTON, _B. Gen._

Colonel Ludington appears at this time not to have been among those
called to duty at Peekskill, but to have been left for a few weeks among
those “not in actual service” who were to act under Nathaniel Sackett,
as already related, for the suppression of conspiracies. The call to
duty was not very well responded to by the other officers and men. The
militia had been in the field in the early part of the winter longer than
they had expected to be, and now, in the spring, they were desirous of
remaining at home as much as possible to attend to the season’s work on
their farms. This reluctance to respond to the call provoked this action
of the Convention, taken at Kingston on April 24:

    WHEREAS it appears that a great Part of the militia of Dutchess
    County have neglected to obey the orders of General Clinton
    issued in consequence of a resolve of this House, for calling
    out a part of the militia of the Counties of Ulster, Orange
    and Dutchess to Garrison the forts and Guard the passes in the

    RESOLVED that Major Lawrence and Mr. Zephaniah Platt be &
    they are hereby appointed a Committee to repair forthwith to
    Dutchess County to enquire into the reasons of such neglect,
    that they use their utmost endeavours to convince the People
    of the necessity of exerting themselves at this critical
    Juncture, and that they make report to this Convention with all
    convenient Dispatch in order that the most effectual measures
    may be taken to induce a compliance with the aforesaid Resolve.

    RESOLVED that General Clinton be & he hereby is empowered to
    make such disposition with respect to the officers of the
    militia under his Command as he shall judge most advansive of
    the Public Service and where any extra expense shall accrue in
    consequence of this Resolve which cannot be considered as a
    Continental Charge this Convention will pay the same.

    Extract from the Minutes.

                                             ROBT. BENSON, _Secry._

There was, however, no question concerning the activity and zeal of
Colonel Ludington at this time. On April 25, the very day after the
adoption of the foregoing resolution by the Convention, a force of two
thousand British troops landed at Compo, near Fairfield, Connecticut,
under command of General Tryon, the former British governor of New
York, under whom Henry Ludington had once held a commission. It marched
hastily inland, and on the afternoon of the next day reached Danbury,
Connecticut, where there were large stores of provisions, tents, etc.,
for the American Army, many of which had been sent thither from Peekskill
for—as was supposed—greater security. Not only these, but also most
of the private houses in the town, were at once set afire, while the
soldiers made themselves drunk with looted spirits, and gave themselves
up to an unrestrained orgy. It was one of the most brutal and disgraceful
performances of British arms in all the war, and was unhesitatingly
denounced as such by self-respecting British officers. It does not appear
that the raid had any other object than the destruction of Danbury,
or the stores at that place, for as soon as the soldiers could be
sufficiently sobered up thereafter, a retreat toward the British shipping
on the Sound was begun. But on the American side the incident gave
occasion for one of the most thrilling and gallant exploits of the war.

It was on Friday afternoon that the landing was made at Compo, and it was
on Saturday afternoon that Danbury was burned. Patriot messengers rode at
top speed in three directions—toward New Haven to hasten Generals Arnold
and Wooster, who were already on their way; to meet General Silliman, to
expedite his juncture with the others; and to Fredericksburgh to tell
the news to Colonel Ludington, that he might furnish the troops which
the generals would need. Railroads, telegraphs and other annihilators
of time and space were unknown in those days. But the personal factor,
which after all dominates all the problems of this world, was active and
effective. At four o’clock Danbury was fired. At eight or nine o’clock
that evening a jaded horseman reached Colonel Ludington’s home with the
news. We may imagine the fire that flashed through the veteran’s veins
at the report of the dastardly act of his former chief. But what to do?
His regiment was disbanded, its members scattered at their homes, many at
considerable distances. He must stay there, to muster all who came in.
The messenger from Danbury could ride no more, and there was no neighbor
within call. In this emergency he turned to his daughter Sibyl, who, a
few days before, had passed her sixteenth birthday, and bade her to take
a horse, ride for the men, and tell them to be at his house by daybreak.
One who even now rides from Carmel to Cold Spring will find rugged and
dangerous roads, with lonely stretches. Imagination only can picture what
it was a century and a quarter ago, on a dark night, with reckless bands
of “Cowboys” and “Skinners” abroad in the land. But the child performed
her task, clinging to a man’s saddle, and guiding her steed with only a
hempen halter, as she rode through the night, bearing the news of the
sack of Danbury. There is no extravagance in comparing her ride with
that of Paul Revere and its midnight message. Nor was her errand less
efficient than his. By daybreak, thanks to her daring, nearly the whole
regiment was mustered before her father’s house at Fredericksburgh, and
an hour or two later was on the march for vengeance on the raiders.
They were a motley company, some without arms, some half dressed,
but all filled with a certain berserk rage. That night they reached
Redding, and joined Arnold, Wooster and Silliman. The next morning they
encountered the British at Ridgefield. They were short of ammunition and
were outnumbered by the British three to one. But they practised the
same tactics that Paul Revere’s levies at Lexington and Concord found
so effective. Their scattering sharpshooter fire from behind trees and
fences and stone walls, harassed the British sorely, and made their
retreat to their ships at Compo resemble a rout. Nor were instances of
individual heroism in conflict lacking. Arnold had his horse shot under
him as, almost alone, he furiously charged the enemy, and the gallant
Wooster received a wound from which he died a few days later. There were
far greater operations in the war than this, but there was scarcely one
more expeditious, intrepid and successful. Writing of it to Gouverneur
Morris, Alexander Hamilton said: “I congratulate you on the Danbury
expedition. The stores destroyed there have been purchased at a pretty
high price to the enemy. The spirit of the people on the occasion does
them great honor—is a pleasing proof that they have lost nothing of that
primitive zeal with which they began the contest, and will be a galling
discouragement to the enemy from repeating attempts of the kind.… The
people of New York considered the affair in the light of a defeat to the
British troops.”

[Illustration: View of highroad and plains from site of Colonel
Ludington’s house]

It was not long before there was a still more serious menace than the
Danbury raid. In June, 1777, there were indications that the British were
planning anew to gain possession of the Hudson River, and thus unite
their own northern and southern forces while dividing the eastern from
the middle and southern colonies. Colonel Ludington and his regiment
were therefore summoned to Peekskill, to strengthen the defenses of the
Highlands, and it was not without some difficulty that he was enabled to
respond to the call. Some of his men had become half mutinous. They had
been willing enough to rush to Danbury, but now, in the busy time of
the early summer, they objected to leaving their farms when there was no
enemy actually in sight. The same trouble was experienced by the other
militia commanders. On this occasion the period of service at Peekskill
was short. But on July 1, Washington wrote to Clinton that the British
were believed to be operating against Ticonderoga and its dependencies;
that Howe was preparing to evacuate the Jerseys to coöperate with the
northern army, and that there was danger of a sudden attack upon the
Highlands and the passes of the Hudson. He urged therefore, in the
strongest manner, that all available militia should be called out to
strengthen the garrisons at Peekskill and other places on the river.
The next day Governor Clinton reported the gist of this letter to the
Committee of Safety, adding that in consequence thereof he had “issued
Orders to Colonels Brinckerhoff, Ludington, Umphrey & Freeze of Dutchess
County to march their Regiments to Peek’s Kill.” But the result was not
altogether satisfactory. The men were ready enough for active service;
but they demurred at waiting idly in the camp while their farms at home
were suffering. On July 9, Clinton, in a quandary, wrote from Fort
Montgomery to the president of the Convention:

    The Militia which I ordered to this Post & who came in with
    great Expedition almost to a Man according to Custom begin
    to be extreamly uneasy. They want to go Home, their Corn is
    suffering, their Harvest coming on, and they cant see that it
    is likely there will be any Thing for them to do here suddenly.
    They have been frequently on the Dunderbergh to look down the
    River & cant see a single Vessel in it; What shall I do with

    If I consent to their going Home they will Return when ordered
    again with great Chearfulness. If I dont, they will go (many
    of them at least) without Leave. I dont know what to do with
    them &, therefore, shall not do any Thing, without your Honor’s
    Directions which I should be glad to have this afternoon.

As a result of this appeal, General Putnam on July 11 issued an order
to the effect that, “considering the Busy Season of the Year, & how
important it is to the public as well as to themselves that the Militia
be at home in their Business at this Time, and not being wanted,
Altho’ he cannot say how soon they may be,” the three regiments which
first responded to the call, to wit, Ludington’s, Humphrey’s and
Brinckerhoff’s, were “dismissed with the General’s thanks for their
Alertness and for their good Services, relying upon it that the Zeal &
Ardor they have shewn in the great Cause we are engaged in will prompt
them to turn out without (_sic_) the utmost Alacrity on all future

Another occasion was quickly supplied by the British, with their
activities at the north and their renewed menace against the Highlands.
On June 30, General Howe evacuated New Jersey, moved into Staten
Island, and prepared to advance up the Hudson. On July 1, Burgoyne with
his army appeared before Ticonderoga, and on July 6, the Americans
evacuated that fortress. Washington, then at Morristown, wrote on July
10 to the president of the Continental Congress: “In consequence of the
probability that General Howe will push against the Highland passes to
cooperate with General Burgoyne, I shall, by the advice of my officers,
move the army from hence to-morrow morning towards the North River.”
Though delayed somewhat by bad weather, he proceeded to Sufferns, and
thence to Galloway’s, in Orange County, New York, where he remained until
he ascertained that Howe was not going up the river, but was really
making a feint to cover a swift dash upon Philadelphia. Accordingly,
on July 23, Washington’s army was set in motion toward the Delaware,
leaving the Highlands to their local defenders. The inefficient and
half treacherous Gates presently superseded Schuyler in command of the
American Army at the north after the disastrous affair at Ticonderoga,
and it is probable that Washington doubted his ability to cope with
Burgoyne. At any rate, despite what he regarded as Howe’s “unaccountable
abandonment” of Burgoyne, Washington regarded the latter’s movements
with much apprehension, and frequently warned Clinton at the Highlands
to be on his guard against him. On July 31, he urged Clinton to call out
the militia to reinforce the garrisons, and Clinton wrote as follows
to the Committee of Safety, a letter which throws much light upon the
embarrassments from which he suffered:

    The Proportion to be furnished by this State is 500 and it
    shall be my first Business to issue the necessary Orders for
    march’g them to the respective stations for which they are

    I am nevertheless apprehensive that I shall find it extremely
    difficult to compleat even this small Number. The Continental
    Pay and Rations being far below the wages given for ordinary
    Labor the Difference becomes a Tax rendered by personal Service
    and as the Train Band List from the Exemptions arising from Age
    Office & other Causes consists chiefly of the Middling & lower
    Class of People this extraordinary Tax is altogether paid by

    Add to this that unless a proportionate Number is called out
    of each County which in most Cases is inexpedient the County
    affording the most Men is upon the same Principle charged
    with a Tax to which the other Parts of the Community do not

    These Reasons are so clear as to be generally understood and
    complained of by the Militia and unless those exercising the
    Legislative Power of the State shall in their Wisdom devise
    some Plan in which those Inconveniences will be obviated and
    the Militia Duty become more equal I am extremely apprehensive
    that any Orders for calling Detachments to the Field for a
    limited Time will not hereafter be so duly obeyed as the Nature
    of Military Command and the good of the service absolutely
    requires. It wo’d be needless to observe to you, Gentlemen,
    that tho my Office as Governor gives me the Command of the
    Militia I am not vested with authority to promise even the
    ordinary Continental Pay and subsistance to any greater
    Number of Men than those required of me by his Excellency
    the Commander in Chief, whose Requisition entitles those who
    are called into actual Service in Consequence thereof to a
    Compensation from the Continent at large.

In consequence of this letter of Clinton’s the Committee of Safety the
same day ordered that “Continental pay and rations be advanced on behalf
of the Continent, to all such Militia as his Excellency the Governor
shall think proper to call out.” Colonel Ludington was not included in
the summons to the Highlands, but was selected by Clinton for other
and, as it proved, actually more active service, in the borderland of
Westchester County. Clinton wrote to him as follows, from Kingston, on
August 1, 1777:

    The Operations of the Enemy ag’t the State to the Northward as
    well as the exposed Situation of some of the Southern Counties
    to the Incursions of the Enemy from that Quarter, render it
    expedient to call into actual Service, a very considerable
    Proportion of the Militia in the Classing of the different
    Regiments for these Services your Regiment & Colo. Fields’ with
    the other Regiments of W. Chester County are to furnish 310
    Men, including Non Commissioned Officers & Privates properly
    officered armed & accoutred, as you’l see by the inclosed
    Order; and, as you are appointed to take the command of this
    Detachment, I desire that you will, immediately upon the
    Receipt hereof, direct and forward to the Commanding Officers
    of the other Regiments who are to furnish Men towards this
    Detachm’t, one of the inclosed Resolutions & Orders, and exert
    yourself in having them raised with all possible Expedition and
    march them to such Stations in W. Chester County as will tend
    most to the Protection of the Inhabitants and best conduce to
    the Public Safety. Taking your Directions occasionally from the
    Command’g Officer at Peeks Kill.

    The Inclosed Resolutions of the Council of Safety subjecting
    Exempts to a Proportion of the Common Burthen will, I hope,
    enable you to carry these Orders into Execution with greater
    Ease, especially as every Other Regt. in the State will furnish
    an equal if not a greater Number of Men for the Service.

                             I am &c.

                                                             (G. C.)

    Colo. Ludington.

    The Troops will be allowed Continental Pay & Rations & a Bounty
    to be raised agreeable to the within Resolve from the Fines
    levied on the Exempts refusing Service.

A few days later another alarm was caused by the uncertainty which
attended the movements of the British fleet, which, after sailing from
New York to the capes of the Delaware as if to attack Philadelphia,
suddenly put to sea again and disappeared for a time. Washington
communicated his observations and suspicions to Clinton, and Clinton, on
August 5, countermanded his orders to Ludington in the following letter:

    By Dispatches just Rec’d from his Excellency Genl. Washington
    dated at Chester in Pensylvania 1st Aug’t, I am informed
    that the Enemy’s Fleet have left the Capes of Delaware & are
    steering Eastward & his Excellency is fully of Opinion they
    intend (proceeding) up Hudson’s River. From this Intelligence
    & the great Preparations making by the Enemy at Kings Bridge
    for an Expedition, I have not the least Doubt but that their
    Designs are against this Quarter & by vigorous Exertion they
    hope to join their two Armies before ours can arrive to
    oppose them. His Excellency is apprehensive of this also &
    has requested me to call out all the Militia of this State to
    oppose the Enemy till he can arrive with his Army. You will,
    therefore, on receipt hereof with the utmost Expedition march
    your Regt. to Fort Montgomery compleatly armed and accoutred,
    leaving the frontier Companies at Home embodied & on Duty to
    guard ag’t any small Parties of Tories or Indians. I mean to
    repair to the Fort with all Expedition & take the Command.

Clinton then notified Putnam at Peekskill that he had ordered Ludington’s
and also Field’s and Brinckerhoff’s regiments to join him forthwith, and
on August 9 reported this action to Washington. But it was one thing
to order and another thing to have the order fulfilled. The militia
exhibited their former reluctance to go into camp unless the enemy
were actually in sight. This applies, however, to the other regiments
rather than to Colonel Ludington’s. No complaint of his inactivity or his
inability to furnish his quota of men appears. But on August 20, Colonel
Humphrey reported that his regiment was unwilling to march northward,
meaning, no doubt, to go up the river beyond the Highlands to the aid
of Gates against Burgoyne, as there was some desperate talk of doing;
and John Jay and Gouverneur Morris reported that Gates’s army could hope
for no militia reinforcements excepting from Albany County, and that
garrisons should be provided for the Highland forts when the terms of
enlistment of the militia should expire. This was the more essential as
the regular garrisons had largely been sent north to aid Gates. A little
later, on September 4, Colonel Dirck Brinckerhoff wrote from Fishkill to
Clinton in answer to some strictures as follows:


    You Blame me in Your Letter for Disobeying the Orders I first
    Receiv’d for all the Militia to go to Peekskill, but it was by
    Consent of General Putnam, that Only part should go, and be
    Reliev’d by the Same number from time to time in Such Manner as
    I thought proper, which has Strictly been done.

    Agreeable to your Last I have Order’d half the Militia out,
    but it is allmost impossible to get them to go, on account of
    the Exempts not going, Aledging this is not a General Alarum;
    therefore, should be Glad of Some further Regulation in that
    Respect, and Possitive Orders from you how to act in that
    affair, I am Sir,

                      Your Ob’t. Hble. Serv’t

                                                DIRCK BRINCKERHOFF.

    To His Excellency George Clinton Esq.

Colonel Ludington, meanwhile, was busy elsewhere, in another department
of his public duties, of which we shall speak hereafter. At first
commissioned to serve in Westchester County, then ordered to the
Highlands, he seems to have been permitted to remain in Westchester and
lower Dutchess counties, where some strong hand was sorely needed. But
on September 15 came news of the battle of the Brandywine, in which
the Stars and Stripes was first unfurled in battle, but in which the
Americans were defeated. The news was ominous of the fall of Philadelphia
and of the martyrdom of Valley Forge, and it caused some consternation
along the Hudson. Clinton at once ordered eleven New York militia
regiments to reinforce the Highlands, among them Colonel Ludington’s,
which was to proceed at once to Peekskill to serve under General Putnam.
For the first time Ludington seems to have had some difficulty in
complying with orders, for, on September 29, we find Clinton writing to
him, as well as to the other colonels of militia, expressing surprise at
the circumstance that, although he had ordered the whole of the regiments
to reinforce the garrisons, not more than 300 men of six regiments had
responded; and adding a peremptory command that one half of each regiment
should go into service immediately for one month, and then be relieved by
the other half.

There was indeed cause for these preparations, for the British were
at last actually beginning their advance up the Hudson in aid of the
hard-pressed Burgoyne, though all too late to save him. At the beginning
of October the British fleet appeared in the Hudson, and on October 4
a landing was made at Tarrytown. Of what occurred there, we have two
contemporary accounts. One was given in the New York “Journal” of May
11, 1778, by one of the garrison of Fort Montgomery, which, as we shall
see, was presently captured by the British. “On Saturday night,” says
that narrator, “we had advice that a large number of ships, brigs,
armed vessels, &c., had arrived at Tarrytown, where they had landed a
considerable body of men, supposed to be about one thousand, and had
advanced toward the plains. Colonel Lutlington being posted there with
about five hundred militia, they sent in a flag to him requiring him to
lay down his arms and surrender himself and men prisoners of war. Whilst
he was parleying with the flag they endeavored to surround him, which he
perceiving ordered his men to retreat. The British then returned to their
shipping, and the next morning we had advice of their being under sail,
and coming up as far as King’s Ferry.” The “Colonel Lutlington” referred
to was, of course, Henry Ludington. By “the plains” it is to be supposed
White Plains was meant, that village being distant from Tarrytown about
seven miles.

The second account, much more circumstantial and authoritative, is that
of Colonel Ludington himself in his report to General Putnam. He was
at that time stationed at Wright’s Mills, between Tarrytown and White
Plains, guarding the inhabitants from the depredations of Tory and Indian
marauders. He wrote to General Putnam as follows:

    Sir. I must acquaint you of my yousage in this place. I find
    the militia was to join and I have not had the assistance of
    one man. you must well Remember you ordered Capt Dean and Capt
    Stephens. Stephens I never have seen. Dean I showed your order
    and Rote a few days ago Begging him to assist me scouting. I
    have inclosed his answer to me. You must not depend too much
    upon my little party, if I am to gard the inhabitants I must be
    Reinforced speadily or shall be obliged to post my men in some
    Better place of Security

              and am Sir Your obedient Humble Servant

                                                    HENRY LUDINGTON

    3 oclock october 4th 1777
    at Rites mills

    P. S. I beleive the inhabitants are entirely stript where they

    Honoured Sir: in haste I am to acquaint you that they came up
    Last night with 2 frigets and five or six Royale and tenders
    and about 40 flat Bottommed boats and landed about 3 thousand
    men under the command of governor Tryon. They immediately took
    the heights above Tarrytown and from thence kept the Heights
    until they thought they had got above our party. But Luckily we
    had got above them and paused at mr Youngses where we thought
    Best to move towards them where we were in open view of them
    and found them vastly superior to us in numbers and moved off
    to Rights mills, Having no asistance more than our Little party
    belonging to our Regiment. I found on our Retreat before we
    got back to Youngses they had sent forward a flag, But found
    that was in view of trapping us as they had flanking parties
    who we discovered in order to surround us. But after clearing
    the Regiment I rode Back and met the flag within a quarter
    of a mile of their main body. The purport of his errand was
    that governor Tryon Had sent him to acquaint me that if we
    would give up our arms and submit they would show us mersy or
    otherways they were determined to take us and strip the contre
    (country). Sent in answer that as Long as we had a man alive I
    was determined to oppose them and they might come on as soon as
    they pleased. We have not lost a man and the last move of the
    enemy was from Youngses towards the plains.

    N. B. the maj. is Gone home on furlow

                                                    HENRY LUDINTON.

[Illustration: Fac-simile of Col. Henry Ludington’s signature.]

This report is unquestionably authentic, although the “P. S.” has no
address, date nor signature, and is on a separate sheet of paper from
the letter and the “N. B.” But it is in Henry Ludington’s handwriting,
precisely the same as the signed letter, and is on precisely the same
kind of paper. Doubtless, then, the “P. S.” was hurriedly written after
the letter, the British attack having occurred between the two writings,
and was enclosed with the letter without taking time to sign it in any
way. The MSS. were in the possession of the late Douglas Putnam, of
Harmar, Ohio, a great-grandson of General Putnam, and were left by him to
his daughter, Mrs. Francke H. Bosworth, of New York. It is interesting
to observe that it was with his old chief, Tryon, that Ludington had
on this occasion to deal again. He estimates the number of the British
three times as high as does the other and less authoritative chronicler,
and is probably more nearly correct. It may be assumed that the former
statement that he had “about five hundred militia” was much exaggerated.
His own official report of the day before shows his entire force at
Wright’s Mills to have comprised “One Colonel, 1 Lt. Colonel, 5 Captains,
10 Leutennants, no Ensign, no Chaplain, 1 Adjutant, 1 Quartermaster,
1 Surgeon, no Surgeons mate, 19 Sergeants, 9 Drummers and Fifers, 182
present fit for duty, 19 sick present, 3 Sick Absent, 19 on command, 10
on Furlough, Total 233.” With such a mere handful, he certainly acquitted
himself most creditably against the vastly superior force of Tryon.

Putnam was at Peekskill for the express purpose of guarding the passage
up the river. He had there about 600 regulars and a much larger number of
militia. Governor George Clinton was at Fort Montgomery, and his brother
James Clinton at Fort Clinton, with combined forces variously reported
at from 600 to 1200 men, mostly militia. Putnam had scout boats along
the river, and an elaborate system of scouts on land. Yet, says General
De Peyster, “the British Clinton … took advantage of a fog, transferred
his troops over to the western side of the river, to Stony Point, made
a wonderful march across or rather around the Dunderberg Mountain, and
carried Forts Clinton and Montgomery by assault, performing the most
brilliant British operation during the seven years’ war.” George Clinton
suffered heavy losses in troops, and narrowly escaped capture; the State
capital, Kingston, was exposed to the enemy’s advance; and Putnam retired
to the mountains, sending word to Gates that he must prepare for the
worst as he could not prevent the enemy from advancing up the river to
the aid of Burgoyne. “The enemy can go to Albany with great expedition
and without any opposition.” In the presence of this disaster two things
were uncommonly fortunate for the American cause. One was that Gates was
not alone in the north, but had Arnold, Schuyler, and Morgan with him
to brace him up. The other was that the British did not attempt to go
on up to Albany. After garrisoning Fort Montgomery, Sir Henry Clinton
returned to New York. On October 15, he sent an expedition, under General
Vaughan, up to Kingston, and the next day burned that village, the State
government having previously fled to Poughkeepsie. Other ravages, of
looting and burning, were committed along the river, to the disgrace of
the British arms. But there was some consolation to the stricken patriots
in the news that the very day after the burning of Kingston, Burgoyne,
beaten by Arnold, Schuyler, and Morgan, surrendered to Gates with all his

During the winter of 1777-78 Colonel Ludington was chiefly busied with
other features of his public duties, and appeared little in the field.
He was a valuable adviser to the State government on military affairs,
and, realizing from experience the great difficulty of maintaining
a satisfactory militia service in time of actual warfare, urged the
formation of another regiment of regulars. On December 18, Governor
Clinton referred to this project in a letter to General Putnam. He urged
the necessity of strengthening the defenses of the Hudson River, and
said that he expected the Committee of Safety at Poughkeepsie in a few
days. He would then lay before them the proposal for a new regiment of
regulars and added, “I should be glad to have Colo. Ludington’s Plan.”
That winter, the winter of Valley Forge, was a hard one in which to raise
recruits of any kind, especially in view of the fact that the troops
had received no pay for their services for a long time past. Colonel
Ludington felt this keenly, and on being asked by Clinton to furnish a
certain number of men from his regiment for the new regiment of regulars,
he wrote very frankly on the subject:

    Honoured Sir, I am under the Disagrable Nesesity of acqainting
    you, that I find it to Be out of my power to Comply with your
    Orders in Regard of Raising the Coto (Quota) of men aloted me
    to Raise out of my Regiment, and that for Sundry Reasons. In
    the first place, the money Raised in the other Regments By
    their asesments amounts to one Hundread pounds Bounty to Each
    Soldier By Reason of the Exempts Being able and among whom are
    a number of Quakers. But it is not the Case in my Regment, For,
    By the Best Computation we Can make, we Cannot Raise more than
    30 Dolars a man, though I would not Be understood that we have
    gone through with the asesments and that for this Reason: the
    act for asesing the Exempts Expresly says that the officers
    who aseses the Exempts Shall Be Freeholders, and I have not
    Such an officer in my Regiment. We have met Sundry times in
    order to try to Raise the men and I yoused my Best Endevours
    that they Should Be Raised, But I have not an officer that will
    asist the Exempts. The officers tell me they posatively will
    not Call their Companies out until they get pay for their Past
    Servises in order to avoid Service; on that account I have had
    their pay roles maid up in time and Signed By the general,
    and Have weighted on the pay master for the money Everry few
    Days, and yesterday for the Last time, and He then told He had
    no prospect in geting the money in Sum months. That Being the
    Case I am Sory I must Tell your Honour that I know not what
    further measures to take until I have Sum further instructions
    in Regard of the matter. It is my opinion that we Shall never
    Raise the men, unles the State asists us in Raising a part of
    the Bounty and the Soldiers gets their wages for their past
    Servises. Sir, a few lines from your Honour in Regard of the
    above, By way of instructions, will mutch oblige your Humble

                                                    HENRY LUDINTON.

    Fredricksburgh February 20th 1778.

    To His Excelency George Clinton Esqr. Governor.

    P. S. Sir, if there Be a late act past in Regard of Raising the
    men and a Bounty for them, please to Convey the Same as I have
    Had no opportunity of acquainting my Self with it. The Returns
    of the Regment you Shall Have next week, which Should Have
    Had Before now, Had it not Been for the neglect of sum of the
    Captains not sending in their Returns.

Colonel Ludington had, however, rather better success in holding his
own regiment together than did some other colonels of militia, as the
following return shows:

Return of the Regiment of Militia of the County of Dutchess and State of
New York. Command’d by Collonel Henry Ludinton.

Fredricksburgh Precinct March 23rd 1778.

                     |      Field Officers.     |     Comm’d Officers.
                     |         | Lieut’t|       |        |        |
 COMPANIES           |Collonel.| Coll’l.| Major.|Capt’ns.|Lieut’s.|Ensigns.
 John Crane’s        |         |        |       |    1   |    2   |   --
 David Waterbury’s   |         |        |       |    1   |    2   |    1
 John Haight’s       |         |        |       |    1   |    2   |    1
 Hezekiah Meed’s     |         |        |       |    1   |    2   |    1
 George Lane’s       |         |        |       |    1   |   --   |    1
 Nathaniel Scribner’s|         |        |       |    1   |    2   |    1
 Joel Meed’s         |         |        |       |    1   |    2   |    1
   Total Strength    +---------+--------+-------+--------+--------+--------
     of the Regiment |         |        |       |    7   |   12   |    6

                     |      Staff Officers.     |        Non Comm’d.
                     |         |        |Quart’r|        |        |Rank and
 COMPANIES           |Adjutant.|Surgeon.|Master.|Serg’ts.|Drum’rs.|  File.
 John Crane’s        |         |        |       |    4   |    1   |   60
 David Waterbury’s   |         |        |       |    4   |    1   |   57
 John Haight’s       |         |        |       |    4   |    0   |   51
 Hezekiah Meed’s     |         |        |       |    4   |    1   |   74
 George Lane’s       |         |        |       |    4   |    0   |   49
 Nathaniel Scribner’s|         |        |       |    4   |    2   |   58
 Joel Meed’s         |         |        |       |    3   |    1   |   72
   Total Strength    +---------+--------+-------+--------+--------+--------
     of the Regiment |         |        |       |   26   |    6   |  421

Colonel Ludington and his regiment were again called to the defense
of the Hudson at Fishkill in June, 1779, on the alarm caused by the
British seizure of Verplanck’s Point, and a few days later returned to
the vicinity of Crom Pond to resume the local police work which formed
so large a part of their duties. There, before daylight of June 24,
they were surprised by an attack of about two hundred British cavalry,
which had made a dash all the way up from New York. Nearly thirty of the
militia were killed and wounded in the sharp skirmish which ensued. At
the same time 130 British light infantry came across from Verplanck’s
Point and made a demonstration in aid of the cavalry. On another occasion
a similar attack was made while the Americans were at breakfast, close by
the church, which at the time was used as an arsenal.

After these services the regiment was marched home to Fredericksburgh and
for a time disbanded. On this occasion Colonel Ludington wrote to Clinton
as follows:

    Honoured Sir, I embrace this opportunity of acquainting you
    that according to Colo. Swartwout’s orders to me of Yesterday
    I thought Proper to discharge my Regt who I must beg leave to
    acquaint you have acted with the greatest Spirrit since they
    have been hear and have gon home with a full determination to
    turn out at a minute’s warning. In my last I wrote you to know
    the mode adopted for Punishing those who have not turned out
    according to their being Warned, for I am highly sensible that
    if they are not brought to a sevear Punishment it will give
    offence to those Who have dun their Dutey. I must allso Return
    your Excellency thanks for Recommending to me Mr. McClennen
    who has truley answered the Character I have had of him as I
    have Experienced his services in Spiriting the Militia in these
    Parts and my Regt in Particular. I remain in the mean time

    with Respect your Excellencys most obedient Humble Servt

                                                    HENRY LUDINTON.

    Fredh Burgh Juley 11, 1779.

    To Governor Clinton.

Later in the same year a radical reorganization of the militia forces was
effected under the following orders:

                                      Poughkeepsie Oct. 11th, 1779.

    Brigade Orders.

    Agreeable to General Orders of the 10th Instant issued by his
    Excellency the Govr., 1078 Men, including Non Commissioned
    Officers, drums and fifes, are to be Detached out of Colo.
    Comdt. Swartwout’s Brigade of Militia to Continue in Service
    for the term of three Months unless the particular service for
    which they are drawn out shall be sooner Completed.

    The Detachments from the several Regiments in this Brigade to
    be as follows, viz.—

    From Colo. Graham’s Regt          196 Men
         Colo. Frear’s   do           156
         Colo. Hopkins   do           192
         Colo. Field’s   do           117
         Colo. Luddenton’s do         144
         Colo. Van Der Burgh’s do     118
         Colo. Brinckerhoff’s do      155
                Total                1078

    The above Detachment to be formed into Two Regiments under
    Command of Colos. Graham and Hopkins, in the following manner,

    The Detachments of Colos. Graham’s, Frear’s, Van Der Burgh’s
    and 69 Men of Colo. Field’s Regiments to be formed into one
    Regiment under Command of Colo. Graham.

    The Detachments of Colos. Hopkins, Luddenton’s, Brinckerhoff’s,
    and 48 Men of Colo. Field’s Regts. to be formed into another
    Regiment under Command of Colo. Hopkins.

    Colo. Graham’s Field Officers to be Lieut. Colo. Birdsall and
    Majr. Hill,

      Captains.                                         Subalterns.

    Andw. Heermans       Colo. Graham’s Regt.         John Seton
    James Wilson                                      Andw. Heermans Junr.
          Hustid                                      John Wilson
                                                      Jonathan Darling
                                                      and ⸺

    Lemuel Conklin       Colo. Frear’s Regt.          Montgomery
    Hugh Van Kleeck                                   Weeks
                                                      Van Der Bogart

    Israel Vail          Colo. Van Der Burgh’s Regt.  Tredwell

    Pierce               Colo. Field’s Regt.          Elliot

    Colo. Hopkins Field Officers are Lieut. Colo. Griffen and Majr. Paine.

        Captains.                                       Subalterns.

    Wheeler              Colo. Hopkins Regt.          Wm. Chamberlain
    Waters                                            Elijah Parks
    Talmadge                                                 Elliot
                                                      Jonas  Parks

    Geo. Brinckerhoff    Colo. Brinckerhoff’s Regt.   Christian Dubois
    Jno. Van Bunschoten                               Abraham Shults
                                                      William Swartwout
                                                      Abraham Hoogland

    Barnum               Colo. Field’s Regt.          Chandler

    Colo. Luddenton and his officers being absent, he will with
    advice of his field officers nominate and furnish one Captain
    and Three Subalterns, to join Colo. Hopkins’ Regt.

    The above Detachments to be Compleated and at the place of
    Rendevous without Delay, Compleatly Equipped, Agreeable to
    Genl. Orders, to which the most strictest attention is to be

    By Order of Colo. Comdr. Jac. Swartwout

                                                   HEND. WYCKOFF MB

Thereafter Colonel Ludington and his regiment were frequently engaged in
important work, especially during the time of doubt and dread caused by
the treason of Arnold, and in the operations preliminary to Washington’s
epoch-making march from the Hudson to the Chesapeake. But those services
belonged to the other phases of public duty to which reference has been
made and of which fuller consideration must be reserved for another



Another part of Henry Ludington’s services to his country during the
Revolution was intimately connected with that little known underworld
of the Secret Service—the men who take their lives in their hands
perhaps more perilously than the soldier in the open field, who have no
stimulus of martial glory, who receive no public recognition, and whose
very names are doomed to obscurity. A recent work of fiction, one of
the best “historical novels” of our day—“The Reckoning,” by Mr. Robert
W. Chambers—gives a singularly dramatic and convincing picture of the
work of a Patriot spy in New York City in the Revolution, doing work
which was hateful to him and yet which was of the highest importance
to Washington himself. It is a picture as true as it is graphic. An
earlier work dealing with the same phase of Patriot service, “The Spy,”
of Fenimore Cooper, has long been familiar to the American public, and
it has generally been assumed that its hero, “Harvey Birch,” was an
actual character, drawn from life; even more closely than the genius
of “The Pilot” was drawn from the illustrious Paul Jones. Such indeed
was the case, and with the original of “Harvey Birch,” Enoch Crosby,
Colonel Ludington was intimately associated. Indeed, because of his
familiarity with the borderland between the British and American lines,
and also because of his knowledge and judgment of men, his discretion,
and his known trustworthiness, Colonel Ludington was selected, by
Washington’s instructions, to choose the man or men who should do the
secret service of the Patriot cause within the British lines at New York,
and to make the needed arrangements for his dispatch and for maintaining
communication with him.

[Illustration: Reduced Fac-simile of Letter from Nath’l Sackett, a
Delegate to the “Provincial Congress of the State of New York,” from
Dutchess County and member of the Committee on Conspiracies.

(Original paper in possession of Charles H. Ludington, New York City.)]

Accordingly we find Nathaniel Sackett, of whom mention has already been
made, addressing to Colonel Ludington this significant letter:


    you will proceed on inquiring for a proper person to Remove
    into the City of New York. in your enquiry you are not to make
    any use of my name to any Person, but let it appear to be an
    act of your own unless you find one that in your opinion and
    skill is possessed of abilitys to carry a secret matter into
    Execution. upon your finding such a Person and his consenting
    to Remove into the city you will then desire him to come with
    you immediately to me, and you will enjoin secrecy upon and
    direct him not to mention either his business or my name to any
    Person. any Person that you may converse with in a confidential
    manner, you will Lay them under the strongest Bonds of secrecy
    in your Power. and lastly you will conduct the whole Business
    with the utmost secrecy in your Power and disclose only such
    parts as you may find absolutely necessary for procuring a
    proper Person to be imployed for Secret Purposes and will
    actually Remove to the City of New York.

                    I am Sir your humble Servt.

                                                    NATHL. SACKETT.

    Frederick Burgh Precinct, Feby. 14th, 1777.

    To Colonel Henry Ludington Esqr.

The purport of this was unmistakable. Colonel Ludington was to find
some one to serve as a spy in New York, and he was to do it with such
prudence and tact that nobody but himself would seem responsible for the
negotiations until they had proceeded far enough to give assurance of the
fitness and trustworthiness of the man selected for the work. Colonel
Ludington proceeded promptly with the undertaking, and with commendable
caution, as the following document shows:

    I do most solemnly swear by Almighty God Who Liveth forever and
    ever that I will well and Truly keep every matter and thing
    Committed to my Charge by Henry Ludington Esqr a profound
    secret, and that I will not Directly or indirectly either by
    words or actions signs or Tokens or by any other ways or means
    whatever disclose or divulge the same to any manner of Person
    or Persons whatever.

                                                     Benajah Tubbs.

    Sworn before me Feb. 23, 1777.

Benajah Tubbs was a well-approved military comrade of Colonel
Ludington’s, as appears from the records. In the Correspondence of the
Provincial Congress of New York there appears a communication from the
Dutchess County Committee of Safety, under date of January 3, 1776,
recommending Benajah Tubbs to be adjutant of “the regiment of militia
lately commanded by Beverly Robinson, Esq.,” together with Henry
Ludington as 2nd major and John Kaine as colonel. The extent of Tubbs’s
services as a secret agent of the Revolutionary government does not
appear, nor is it at this time possible to ascertain how many and what
other men were selected by Colonel Ludington for such perilous errands.
The career of Enoch Crosby is, however, a matter of specific and exact
record. It is to be found related not only in the fascinating pages
of Cooper, but also in various affidavits made by Crosby himself, and
others who knew him, at the time of his application for a pension for his
services. These papers, which have been transcribed from the originals by
Mr. Patrick, are in chief as follows:

    State of N. Y. |
    Co. Putnam.    |ss.

    On this 15th day of October in the year 1832 personally
    appeared before the Court of Oyer and Terminer and General Jail
    Delivery of the said County of Putnam, Enoch Crosby, of the
    town of South East in the Co. of Putnam and State of New York,
    aged 82 years, who being duly sworn according to law doth on
    his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the
    benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832:

    That he entered the service of the U. S. under the following
    named officers and served as herein stated:

    That in the month of April or the fore part of May, 1775, he
    enlisted in the town of Danbury in the State of Connecticut
    into Captain Noble Benedict’s Co. in Col. Waterbury’s Regt. of
    troops to defend the country for 8 mos service. The regiment
    met at Greenwich in Ct., staid there two or three months, then
    went to N. Y. under Genl. Wooster. Staid in N. Y. a few weeks.
    The Regt. was then carried to Albany in sloops & went directly
    to Half Moon, was there a few days. Went thence to Ticonderoga,
    where the batteauxs furnished which were to convey them
    further. Genl. Schuyler had the command of the Isle aux Nois,
    when Genl. S. being unwell, Genl. Montgomery had the command.
    The declarant went off to St. John which being by us at time
    besieged by the Americans in about 5 weeks surrendered and the
    fort was taken. The decl. then went to Montreal, that he came
    from there with Col. Waterbury’s regt to Albany, and having
    served the eight mos. was at that place (Albany) permitted to
    leave the regt. and return home, and that he had no written
    discharge. And this dec. further says that in the latter part
    of the mo. of Aug., 1776, he enlisted into the regt. commanded
    by Col. Swartwout in Fredericksburgh, now Kent, in the County
    of Putnam and started to join the army at Kingsbridge. The co.
    had left F. before declarant started & he started alone after
    his said enlistment & on his way at a place in Westchester Co.
    about 2 miles from Pine’s Bridge he fell in company with a
    stranger who accosted him & asked him if he was going _down_.
    Decl. replied he was. The stranger then asked if decl. was
    not afraid to venture alone, and said there were many rebels
    below and he would meet with difficulty in getting down. The
    decl. perceived from the observation of the stranger that he
    supposed the decl. intended to go to the British, and willing
    to encourage that misapprehension and turn it to the best
    advantage he asked if there was any mode which he the stranger
    could point out by which the decl. could get through safely.
    The stranger being satisfied the decl. was willing to join the
    British Army told him that there was a company raising in that
    county to join the British Army, that was nearly completed
    and in a few days would be ready to go down and that dec.
    had better join that co. and go down with them. The stranger
    finally gave to decl. his name, it was Bunker, and told the
    decl. where and shewed the house in which he lived and also
    told him that ⸺ Fowler was to be the Captain of the Co. then
    raising, and ⸺ Kipp Lieut. After having learned this much from
    Bunker the Decl. told him he was unwilling to wait until the
    Co. could be ready to march and would try and get through, and
    parted from him on his way down and continued until night, when
    he stopped at the house of a man who was called Esy Young, and
    put up there for the night. In the course of conversation with
    Esy Young in the evening decl. learned that he was a member
    of the Com. of Safety for the County of Westchester, and then
    communicated to him the information he had obtained from Mr.
    Bunker. Esy Young requested the decl. to accompany him the next
    morning to the White Plains in Westchester Co. as the Com. of
    Safety for the Co. were on that day to meet at the Court House
    in that place. The next morning the decl. in company with
    Esy Young went to the White Plains and found the Com. there
    sitting. After Esy Young had had an interview with the Com. the
    decl. was sent for and went before the Com. then sitting in
    the Court Room and there communicated the information he had
    obtained from Bunker. The Com. after learning the situation
    of decl. that he was a soldier enlisted in Col. Swartwout’s
    regiment and on his way to join it engaged to write to the
    Col. and explain why he did not join it, if he would consent
    to aid in the apprehension of the company then raising. It was
    by all thought best that he should not join the regiment but
    should act in a different character, as he could thus be more
    useful to his country. He was accordingly announced to Capt.
    Townsend, who was then at the White Plains commanding a company
    of Rangers, as a prisoner and the Captain was directed to keep
    him until further orders.

    In the evening after he was placed as a prisoner by Capt.
    Townsend he made an excuse to go out and was accompanied by
    a soldier, over a fence into a piece of corn then nearly or
    quite full grown. As soon as he was out of sight of the soldier
    he made the best of his way from the soldier and when the
    soldier hailed him to return he was almost beyond hearing.
    An alarm gun was fired but decl. was far from danger. In the
    course of the night the decl. reached the house of the said
    Bunker, who got up and let him in. Decl. then related to Bunker
    the circumstances of his having been taken prisoner, of his
    going before the Com. at the Court House, of being put under
    the charge of Capt. Townsend, and of his escape; that he had
    concluded to avail himself of the protection of the Co. raising
    in his neighborhood to get down. The next morning Bunker went
    with decl. and introduced him as a good loyalist to several of
    the Co. Decl. remained some days with different individuals
    of the Co. and until it was about to go down, when the decl.
    went one night to the house of Esy Young to give information
    of the state and progress of the Co. The distance was four or
    five miles from Bunker’s. At the house of Esy Young decl. found
    Capt. Townsend with a great part of his Co., and after giving
    the information he returned to the neighborhood of Bunker,
    and that night decl. with a great part of the Co. which was
    proposing to go down were made prisoners. The next day all of
    them, about 30 in numbers, were marched to the White Plains
    and remained there several days, a part of the time locked
    up in jail with the other prisoners. The residue of the time
    he was with the Com. The prisoners were finally ordered to
    Fishkill in the Co. of Dutchess, where the State Convention
    was then sitting. The decl. went as a prisoner to Fishkill.
    Capt. Townsend with his Co. of Rangers took charge of the Co.
    at Fishkill. A Com. for Detecting Conspiracies was sitting,
    composed of John Jay, afterwards Gov. of N. Y., Zephaniah
    Platt, afterwards first Judge of Dutchess Co., Col. Duer of the
    Co. of Albany, and a Mr. Sackett. The decl. was called before
    that Com., who understood the character of the decl. and the
    nature of his services. This the Com. must have learned either
    from Capt. Townsend or from the Com. at White Plains. The decl.
    was examined under oath and his examination reduced to writing.
    The prisoners with decl. were kept whilst decl. remained at
    Fishkill in a building which had been occupied as a Hatter’s
    shop, and they were guarded by a Co. of Rangers commanded by
    Capt. Clark. The decl. remained about a week at Fishkill, when
    he was bailed by Jonathan Hopkins. This was done to cover
    the character in which the decl. acted. Before the decl. was
    bailed the Fishkill Com. had requested him to continue in
    this service, and on decl. mentioning the fact of his having
    enlisted in Col. Swartwout’s company and the necessity there
    was of his joining it, he was informed that he should be
    indemnified from that enlistment, that they would write to the
    Col. and inform him that decl. was in their service.

    The Com. then wished decl. to undertake a secret service over
    the river. He was furnished with a secret pass which was
    accordingly signed by the Com., which is now lost, and directed
    to go to the house of Nicholas Brauns, near the mouth of the
    Wappinger’s Creek, who would take him across the river, and
    there to proceed to the house of John Russell, about ten miles
    from the river, and make such inquiries and discoveries as he
    could. He proceeded according to directions to said Brauns and
    from thence to John Russell, and there hired himself to said
    Russell to work for him, but for no definite time. This was a
    neighborhood of Loyalists and it was expected that a company
    was there raising but was not completed. Before decl. left
    Russell on this service a time was fixed for him to recross
    the river and give information to some one of the Com. who was
    to meet him. This time having arrived and the Co. not being
    completed the decl. recrossed the river and met Zephaniah
    Platt, one of the Com., and gave him all the information he
    had obtained. Decl. was directed to recross the river to the
    neighborhood of Russell and on a time fixed again to meet the
    Com. on the east side of the river. Decl. returned to Russell’s
    neighborhood, soon became intimate with the Loyalists, was
    introduced to Capt. Robinson, said to be an English officer
    and who was to command the Co. then raising. Capt. Robinson
    occupied a cave in the mountains, and decl. having agreed to
    go with the Co. was invited and accepted of the invitation to
    lodge with Robinson in the cave. They slept together nearly
    a week in the cave, and the time for the Co. to start having
    been fixed and the route designated to pass Severn’s to Bush
    Carrick’s, where they were to stop the first night. The time
    for starting having arrived before the appointed time to
    meet the Com. on the east side of the river, the decl. in
    order to get an opportunity to convey information to Fishkill
    recommended that each man should the night before they started
    sleep where he chose, and that each should be by himself, for
    if they should be discovered that night together all would be
    taken, which would be avoided if they were separated. The
    proposition was acceded to, and when they separated decl.
    not having time to go to Fishkill, and as the only and as it
    appeared the best means of giving information was to go to Mr.
    Purdy, who was a stranger to decl. and all he knew of him was
    that the Tories called him a wicked rebel and said he ought
    to die. Decl. went and found said Purdy and informed him of
    the situation of affairs, of the time the Co. was to start,
    and the place which they were to stop the first night, and
    requested him to go to Fishkill and give the information to
    the Com. Purdy assured the decl. that the information should
    be given. Decl. returned to Russell’s and lodged in his house.
    The following evening the Co. assembled, consisting about 30
    men, and started from Russell’s house, which was in the town
    of Marlborough, County of Ulster, for N. Y., and in the course
    of the night arrived at Bush Carrick’s, and went into the barn
    to lodge after taking refreshments. Before morning the barn
    was surrounded by American troops, and the whole company,
    including Capt. Robinson, were made prisoners. The troops who
    took the company prisoners were commanded by Capt. Melancthon
    Smith, who commanded a company of Rangers at Fishkill. His Co.
    crossed the river to perform this service. Col. Duer was with
    Capt. Smith’s Co. on this expedition. The prisoners including
    decl. were marched to Fishkill & confined in the stone church,
    in which there was near two hundred prisoners. After remaining
    one night in the church the Com. sent for decl. and told him
    it was unsafe for him to remain with the prisoners as the
    least suspicion of the course he had pursued would be fatal
    to him, and advised him to leave the village of Fishkill and
    to remain where they could call on him if his services should
    be wanted. Decl. went to the house of a Dutchman, a farmer,
    whose name is forgotten, about five miles from the village of
    Fishkill, and there went to work making shoes. After decl.
    had made arrangements for working at shoes, he informed Mr.
    Sackett, one of the Com., where he could be found if he should
    be wanted. In about a week decl. recd. a letter from the Com.,
    requesting him to meet one of the Com. at the house of Dr.
    Osborn, about one mile from Fishkill. Decl. according to the
    request went to the house of Dr. Osborn, and soon after John
    Jay came there, enquired for the Dr., who was absent, enquired
    for medicine, but found none he wanted. He came out of the
    house and went to his horse, near which decl. stood, and as
    he passed he said in a low voice “It won’t do, there are too
    many around. Return to your work.” Decl. went back and went to
    work at shoes, but within a day or two was again notified and a
    horse sent to him, requiring him to go to Bennington in Vt. and
    from there westerly to a place called Maloonscock, and there
    call on Hazard Wilcox, a Tory of much notoriety, and ascertain
    if anything was going on there injurious to the common cause.
    Decl. followed his instructions, found Wilcox, but could not
    learn that any secret measure was then projected against the
    interest of the country. At that place learned from Wilcox a
    list of persons friendly to the British cause, who could be
    safely trusted, from that place quite down to the south part
    of Dutchess County. Decl. followed directions of said Wilcox
    and called on different individuals by him mentioned, but
    could discover nothing of importance, until he reached the
    town of Pawlings in Dutchess County, where he called upon a
    Dr. whose name he thinks was Prosser, and informed him that he
    wished to go below but was fearful of some trouble. The Dr.
    informed him there was a Co. raising in that vicinity to go to
    N. Y. to join the British army, that the Captain’s name was
    Sheldon, that he had been down and got a commission, that he,
    Prosser, was doctoring the Lieut., whose name was Chase, that
    if decl. would wait a few days he could safely go down with
    that Co., that he could stay about the neighborhood and should
    be informed when the Co. was ready, that decl. remained in that
    vicinity, became acquainted with several of the persons who
    were going with that Co., was acquainted with Lieut. Chase,
    but never saw the Capt. to form any acquaintance with him.
    The season had got so far advanced that the Co. was about to
    start to join the enemy to be ready for an early campaign
    in 1777. It was about the last of Feb. of that year when a
    plan was fixed and also a time for meeting. It was situated
    half a mile from the road and about 3 miles from a house then
    occupied by Col. Morehouse, a militia Col. After the time was
    fixed for the meeting of Capt. Sheldon’s Co., the deponent
    went in the night to Col. Morehouse & informed him of the
    situation, of the Co., of the time appointed for meeting, of
    the place, etc., and Morehouse informed decl. that they should
    be attended to. The decl. remained almost one month in this
    neighborhood, and once in the time met Mr. Sackett, one of the
    Com., at Col. Ludington’s, and apprised him what was going
    on, and was to have given the Com. intelligence when the Co.
    was to march, but the shortness of the time between the final
    arrangement and the time of starting was such that decl. was
    obliged to give the information to Col. Morehouse. The Co.,
    consisting of about 30, met at the time and place appointed,
    and after they had been there an hour or two two young men of
    the Co. came in & said there was a gathering under arms at Old
    Morehouse’s. The inquiry became general, What could it mean?
    Was there any traitor in the Company? The Captain soon called
    one or two of the Company out of the door for the purpose of
    private conversation about the situation, & very soon decl.
    heard the cry “Stand! Stand!” Those out the door ran, but were
    soon met by a Co. coming from a different direction, they were
    taken, the house surrounded & the Co. all made prisoners. The
    Col. then ordered them to be tied together two by two. They
    came to decl. and he urged to be excused from going as he was
    lame and could not travel. The Col. replied “You shall go,
    dead or alive, & if no other way you shall be carried on the
    horse with me.” The rest were marched off & decl. put onto the
    horse with Col. Morehouse and when the prisoners were marched
    into the house the decl. with the permission of Morehouse left
    them and made the best of his way to Col. Ludington’s and
    there informed him about daylight in the morning. From thence
    he went to Fishkill to the house of Dr. Van Wyck where John
    Jay boarded, and there informed him of all the occurrences on
    that northern expedition. Said Jay requested decl. to come
    before the Com. the next night, when they would be ready to
    receive him. He accordingly went before the Com., where he
    declared under oath all that had occurred since he had seen
    them. The Com. then directed him to go to the house of Col. Van
    Ness in Albany County, and there take directions from him. He
    went to Van Ness’s house and was directed by him to go north,
    but decl. cannot tell the place. The duty was performed, but
    nothing material discovered further than that the confiscation
    of the personal property of the Tories and leasing of their
    lands had a great tendency to discourage them from joining
    the British army. Decl. then returned to Po’keepsie, where
    Egbert Benson and Melancthon Smith entered in the room of the
    Fishkill Com. There was no more business in that town in which
    they wished to employ decl., and he being apprehensive that a
    longer continuance in that employment would be dangerous & the
    time for which he enlisted in Col. Swartwout’s regiment having
    expired, he came home with the approbation of the Com.

    This was about the last of May, 1777, and in the course of the
    fall, after decl. saw Col. Swartwout at his house in Fishkill
    & then talked over the subject of this employment of the decl.
    by the Com. & the Col. told decl. that he had drawn his pay the
    same as if he had been with the Reg’t, that the Paymaster of
    the Reg’t lived in the town of Hurley in Ulster Co. Decl. went
    to the Paymaster and rec’d his pay for nine months’ service or
    for the term for which the regiment was raised. The decl. was
    employed in the secret service for a period of full 9 months.

    This decl. further says that in the year 1779 in the month of
    May he enlisted in a company commanded by Captain Jonah Hallett
    for six months. Decl. enlisted as a Sergeant in said Hallett’s
    Co. The term of enlistment was performed on the lines in the
    Co. of Westchester, moving from place to place to guard the
    country and to detect Tories; that the Co. continued in this
    service until after Stony Point was taken by Genl. Wayne &
    abandoned & also reoccupied & abandoned by the English troops,
    when the Co. was ordered over the river & joined the regiment
    at Stony Point and continued there in making preparations for
    building a block house until the time of the expiration of the
    service, when the Co. was ordered to march to Po’keepsie to be
    discharged by the Governor. When they arrived the Governor was
    absent, the Co. was billetted out & decl. was billetted upon
    the family of Dr. Tappen. After remaining a day or two and
    the Governor not arriving they were discharged. During this
    service in Westchester Co. the following occurrence took place:
    A British vessel lay at anchor near Tiller’s Point & a party
    of sailors & marines came on shore & marched a short distance
    from the water, where a party of our men got between them &
    the water & made them prisoners. They were marched to the
    place where the Co. lay a little east of Tiller’s Point. The
    number of prisoners decl. thinks was 12 and the captors 6. The
    prisoners were afterward sent to Po’keepsie.

    The decl. further says that in the month of May in the year
    1780 he again enlisted for 6 months in a Co. commanded by
    Capt. Ludington in Col. Benschoten’s Regt. He entered as a
    Sergeant in the town of Fredericksburgh, now the town of Kent,
    Putnam Co. The Regt. assembled at Fishkill & marched to West
    Point & remained there a few days, some 10 or 15. A call was
    made for troops to fill up the Brigade or Brigades under the
    command of General De La Fayette and they were to be raised
    by drafts or volunteers. A call was made for volunteers and
    decl. with others volunteered & made a Co. which was put under
    Capt. Daniel Delavan. The decl. continued to be a Sergeant in
    Delavan’s Co. Col. Philip Van Courtland commanded the Regt. to
    which Capt. Delavan’s Co. was attached. Soon after the Co. was
    formed they crossed the river from West Point and marched to
    Peekskill, where they remained one night, the next day marched
    to Verplanck’s Point and crossed over to Stony Point, & from
    thence made the best of their way to New Jersey where they
    remained until late in the fall, when the time of enlistment
    having expired they were discharged, after having fully and
    faithfully performed the service of 6 months for which he
    enlisted. During the campaign in New Jersey Major André was
    arrested, condemned & executed. Several of the soldiers of
    Capt. Delavan’s Co. went to see him executed. The decl. was
    Sergeant of the guard that day & could not go to see the

    The decl. further says that he has no documentary evidence of
    his service and that he knows of no person who can testify to
    his services other than those whose depositions are hereto
    annexed. The decl. hereby relinquishes every claim to a pension
    or annuity except the present & declares that his name is not
    on the pension roll agency of any State. The decl. was born in
    a place called Harwich in the County of Barnstable and State of
    Mass. in the year 1750. The decl. has a record of his age. The
    decl. was living in the town of Danbury in the State of Conn
    when he enlisted in the service, that service the Revolutionary
    War. The decl. has resided in the State of New York in what is
    now the Co. of Putnam, formerly Co. of Dutchess, & now lives in
    the same Co. & on the same farm where he has lived for the last
    50 years. The decl. always volunteered in every enlistment & to
    perform all the service which he performed as detailed in this
    declaration. That the decl. was acquainted with the following
    officers who were with the troops where he served: Genl.
    Schuyler, Gen. Montgomery, Gen. Wooster, Col. Waterbury, Col.
    Holmes, Gen. De La Fayette, Gen. Poor, Col. Van Courtland, Col.
    Benschoten, Col. Ludington. The decl. never rec’d. any written
    discharge & if he ever received a Sergeant’s warrant it is
    through time or accident lost or destroyed. This decl. is known
    to Samuel Washburn, a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of the
    Co. of Putnam; Beneah Y. Morse, a clergyman in his neighborhood
    and who he believes can testify to his character for veracity &
    good behavior & thus belief of his services as a Soldier of the

                                                      ENOCH CROSBY.

    Sworn to & Subscribed this day and year aforesaid;

                                 I. Morehouse, Clerk of said Court.

Appended to this declaration were affidavits of Judge Washburn and
the Rev. Mr. Morse, confirming so far as their knowledge extended the
statements of Enoch Crosby. There were also similar affidavits of Timothy
Wood, Jabez Berry, and Daniel Crawford, who had been fellow soldiers with
Crosby in the war.

Enough has been said already to indicate the intimate relations which
existed between Crosby and Colonel Ludington. While the spy was on
service in Dutchess County, in connection with Prosser and his company,
he was a frequent visitor at Ludington’s house, and often lay hidden
securely there while Tories were searching for him. (Between Prosser and
Colonel Ludington, by the way, as we shall presently see, a peculiarly
bitter personal feud existed.) Colonel Ludington’s daughters, Sibyl and
Rebecca, were also privy to Crosby’s doings, and had a code of signals,
by means of which they frequently admitted him in secrecy and safety
to the house, where he was fed and lodged. In addition to Crosby and
to Benajah Tubbs, who was mentioned at the beginning of this chapter,
Colonel Ludington furnished numerous other members of the Secret Service
from the ranks of his own regiment, and was himself the recipient of
their clandestine reports, some of which were transmitted by him to the
Committee of Safety and some to the headquarters of General Washington.

[Illustration: Home of the late George Ludington, on site of Colonel
Ludington’s house]



“Between the lines” is always a place of peculiar difficulty and danger.
The Border States in our Civil War were the deadliest battle-grounds,
not only the meeting-places of the contending armies but also the scene
of innumerable local feuds and conflicts between the inhabitants, half
of whom inclined to one side and half to the other. A similar position
was held in the Revolution by Westchester and Dutchess counties, lying
between the British at the south and the Americans at the north. As this
was the most fertile and productive agricultural region easily accessible
from New York, it was frequently invaded by British foraging parties,
seeking the supplies which were needed by the army in the city and which
were not easily to be got elsewhere. Nor did the region altogether escape
similar attentions from the American Army. More than once, indeed,
organized raids were made by the latter southward into the part of the
debatable ground lying nearest to the British lines, not only to secure
forage and other supplies for American use but also to prevent them from
falling into the hands of the British. Himself a resident of that region,
Colonel Ludington was well fitted to deal with such local conditions,
and accordingly a large third part of his public services were thus
rendered. Entries in his ledger indicate that he was a member of the
Dutchess County Committee of Safety on June 11, 1776, and for some time
thereafter. This was the committee which was constituted for the purpose
of “inquiring into, detecting and defeating all conspiracies formed in
this State against the liberties of America.” When he was no longer
a member of the committee he was one of its most efficient executive
agents, and much of the services of himself and his regiment were given
in pursuance of the plans of that committee.

[Illustration: Home of the late Frederick Ludington, son of Colonel
Ludington, at Kent]

In the records of the Committee of Safety under date of October 14, 1776,
we find that “Col. Ludington informed a member that he has 20 or more
Arms, taken from disaffected persons, now in his possession, and requests
to know how they shall be disposed of. Ordered, That Col. Ludington send
all arms in his possession, taken from disaffected persons, to this
Committee without delay, and that he sends his account for repairing to
the Auditor-General.” The “account for repairing” refers to the work done
by Colonel Ludington on the captured weapons to make them serviceable for
use in the American Army; many of the Tories deliberately breaking their
muskets or depriving them of essential parts, before surrendering them. A
little later William Duer, one of the foremost members of the Committee,
reported that “large quantities of hay and corn were purchased by the
Quarter Master General for use of the Continental Army in the eastern
part of this (Dutchess) County and the western part of Connecticut, that
it would be hardly practicable to convey the same to the army unless
the roads leading from the Oblong and Fredericksburgh towards Pine’s
Bridge and North Castle were better repaired. He therefore in behalf of
General Mifflin, Quarter Master General of the Continental Army, prayed
that this House would devise ways and means of facilitating the above
mentioned communication, not doubting but so necessary an expenditure
would be cheerfully reimbursed from the Continental Treasury. On taking
the application of Mr. Duer into consideration, Resolved, That it will
be necessary to repair the following Roads in order to facilitate the
cartage of forage to the Continental Army, from the house of Col. Henry
Ludington thence to Samuel Washburn’s, being 8 miles; the road which
runs east from Col. Harry Ludington’s to the Store of Malcolm Morrison’s
and thence south to the Mills of Samuel Washburn, being 12 miles.
Resolved That Col. Ludington detach from his Regiment 100 men for the
purpose of repairing that part of the road which is first mentioned,
being in distance 8 Miles.… Ordered, that copies of these Resolutions
be immediately transmitted to the Supts. above mentioned, who are
directed to communicate them without loss of time to Cols. Fields and
Luddington.” For this road-mending work the Committee fixed the price
of labor at ten shillings a day, exclusive of subsistence, for the
superintendents, and four shillings a day for the men, the latter to
provide their own sustenance. They had power to impress teams and carts,
and to pay for each ox-cart and two yoke of cattle sixteen shillings,
and for each wagon twelve shillings. Those who remember the common
condition of roads in that part of the State a score of years ago, will
appreciate what need there must have been a century before of repairs and

The varied character of Colonel Ludington’s services in the first years
of the Revolution is indicated by the entries in his ledger. Thus in
November, 1776, we find him charging the Committee for inquiring into
and detecting conspiracies against the State of New York with “4 days
service riding with Nathaniel Sackett in order to collect evidence, at
21 shillings, 4 days, £4—5—4.” On November 21, 1776: “Then began the
service of buying hay and grain for the use of the Continental Army
by an agreement with Wm. Duer.” On January 1, 1777: “Then stopped the
service of buying hay, being in all 41 days at 20 shillings per day.” In
November, 1777: “Then engaged in the Commissary Department under Deputy
Commissary General and continued on the service until the 8th of January,
48 days in all at 32 shillings per day, 58 £ 16 s.”

A number of persons were arrested and taken before the Committee at
Fishkill in December, 1776, and on December 20 one of them, David
Aikins, made affidavit: “That on or about the 29th day of November
last, he set out from home with a pass from Colonel Henry Ludington to
go to Horse Neck to buy rum; and further stated he was disappointed in
getting it. He then proceeded to find one Barnes Hatfield who owed him
a considerable sum of money, but not finding him he went to see Isaac
Williams who had married his cousin, and while there he was captured by
Rogers’s Rangers (British) and afterwards was taken before a Major near
King’s Bridge. The Major asked him how he could clear himself from the
rebel pass found upon him. He said he came down upon a particular errand
from Captain Alexander Grant’s wife to him and if he would send him to
Capt. Grant or Capt. Archbd. Campbell he would prove his character. Upon
his arrival to Capt. Campbell said he was a prisoner and it was in his
power to discharge him. Campbell said he would discharge him if he would
carry some papers and errands to certain persons in his neighborhood and
be secret about it. He promised and Captain Campbell gave him two printed
papers and protections from General Howe for Malcolm Morrison, John Kain,
Alexander Kidd, Matthew Patterson, Charles Collins and one for himself.”
In an affidavit two days later the Patterson mentioned declared: “That he
told Akins that he did not chuse to have anything to do with such things,
and further saith that there was a Man in the room, meaning Colo.
Luddinton, who if he knew what Aikins said would immediately send him to
Congress, but did not deem it expedient to mention to Col. Ludington.”

Malcolm Morrison appears to have been apprehended on suspicion and to
have been held for a time at Kingston jail, whence he sent, on February
19, 1777, a petition in which he said: “Your petitioner has always been
ready in assisting both officers and soldiers in their publick business
of the States and in a most generous manner has advanced them Cash for
their Different Reliefs, and is at present a very considerable sum out of
pocket on that account and has received no part of such sum except six
pounds lent to Colo. Luddleton and Wm. Griffin to enable them to find out
that pernicious plot of John Miller and Constant Nickerson, Reference
being had to these gentlemen for the truth of his advice & assistance
in bringing that plot to light.” Morrison took the oath of allegiance
and was released. The Nickerson referred to was doubtless Captain “Josh”
Nickerson, of the Swamp, near Fredericksburgh, a notorious Tory. He
enlisted and drilled a large number of men, with the design of taking
them to join General Howe’s army in New York. Their plans and meetings
were all supposed to be kept a profound secret, but Colonel Ludington
learned of them and made counter plans for the capture of the whole
party. To that end he sent one of his tenants as a spy to ascertain the
number, place of meeting, etc., of the Tories. This spy, after some
difficulty, fell in with one of the party and pretended to him that he
was desirous of enlisting in the British Army. He was thereupon taken
to Nickerson and enrolled. He ascertained that a certain night had been
appointed for their setting out for New York, and also that the roster of
the company was kept concealed in a hollow walking-stick which Nickerson
always had by him. This information was promptly conveyed to Colonel
Ludington, who forthwith assembled his regiment, surrounded Nickerson and
his company on the night set for their departure for New York, and took
them all prisoners. The documentary evidence of their guilt was found
on the written roll, and Nickerson was vastly chagrined when Colonel
Ludington bade him give up the cane and then opened it and took out the
hidden paper.

The southern part of Dutchess County, now Putnam County, was, in fact,
one of the most critical danger spots in the whole country, as a passage
in the Journal of the Convention of the State of New York shows, under
date of Sunday morning, May 4, 1777:

    Capt. Delavan, who being called before the Convention,
    after giving information upon the subject contained in the
    letters brought by him, further informed the House, That the
    disaffected persons are very numerous in the southern parts of
    Dutchess County, and that without doubt they will fall upon
    the Whigs whenever the enemy attack our army at Peekskill
    or at the forts in the Highlands; they therefore request the
    Convention to take some measure in the premises. Thereupon
    Resolved, That Mr. Jay, Colo. Thomas, Colo. Ludington be
    Commissioners to prevent, quell and subdue all insurrections
    and disaffections in the Counties of Dutchess and Westchester,
    and to take every measure for that purpose which they shall
    deem necessary; and that they cooperate with Messrs. Robert R.
    Livingston, Zephaniah Platt and Matthew Cantine, a committee
    appointed yesterday, for the like purpose in the Manor of
    Livingston and Rhinebeck Precinct. Resolved, That the said
    Commissioners immediately collect with the assistance of
    General McDougall, or General George Clinton, or from the
    militia of the County of Dutchess, whichever shall appear to
    them most expeditious, a force sufficient for the purpose
    and also to comply with the following instructions, to wit:
    Gentlemen: You are to begin in the southern part of the County
    of Dutchess and proceed to the northward, and in your progress
    secure the disaffected, call out the whole militia, and destroy
    all such as shall be found in arms to oppose you. When you
    shall meet with the Committee above mentioned you are to act
    in concert with them, to secure the prisoners you shall have
    respectively made, to dismiss such of the militia as you may
    think proper, and with the remainder march into the County of
    Westchester by different ways, concerting at the same time such
    measures with General McDougall or other commanding officer at
    Peekskill as will effectually clear said county of Westchester
    of all dangerous and disaffected persons. You are on every
    occasion, by every means in your power (torture excepted) to
    compel the discovery and delivery of spies or other emissaries
    of the enemy, who you may have reason to believe are concealed
    in any part of the country through which you may make progress
    and upon due proof immediately execute them _in terrorem_.

A copy of the resolutions was sent to Livingston, Platt, and Cantine,
with additional instructions to conform with the resolutions sent them,
and after having cleared the manor of Livingston and the precinct of
Rhinebeck of all dangerous and disaffected inhabitants, to proceed
southward until they met with Jay, Thomas, and Ludington, conducting
themselves in accordance with the resolutions; and when they had met with
them, immediately to form a proper plan and endeavor to carry the plan
into immediate execution. Discretion was given to vary from instructions
as the circumstances might require. Copies of the intelligence received
by the Convention were sent to the commissioners. A few days later, under
date of May 8, Livingston, Platt and Cantine reported that the number of
conspirators was far greater than they had imagined, almost everybody in
the upper manor, particularly the eastern part of it, being disaffected,
and they urged that courts martial were absolutely necessary for dealing
with the chief offenders. As for Jay, Thomas, and Ludington, they entered
upon their part of the work with zeal, but found themselves somewhat
hampered by other demands made upon them and by the unwillingness of some
of the militia to engage in the service of the Continental Army. On June
25 this matter was brought before the Convention, and it was—

    Resolved, That whereas information hath been given to this
    Congress that certain Captains in Col. Luddington’s regiment of
    militia in Dutchess County have refused to draft out of their
    respective companies for the purpose of brigade of militia
    to be raised in this county for the Continental service as
    recommended by this Congress in pursuance of the resolves
    of the Continental Congress of the 1st, 3rd and 4th inst.
    Resolved, That the general committee of the said county be
    requested to make inquiry into the premises, and upon due proof
    of the charge against the said captains, to send them under
    proper guard to this Congress to be dealt with according to
    their deserts.

During that summer Colonel Ludington seems to have been much engaged with
duties in Westchester County. Thus in General Putnam’s general orders we
find, under date of White Plains, September 19, 1777, the following:

    Colo. Ludington to furnish guards and patroles from the camp to
    the North River. Majr. Gray to Send a guard and patrole on the
    road between Stephen Woods and the North River.

Two days later, on September 21, the order ran:

    Officer of the Day to-morrow Colo Ludenton the same No to go on
    Piquit to-night as Last night & on the same roads great care
    to be taken not to put any on this Piquit but such in whose
    Fidelity the greatest Confidence may be Placed. Colo Ludington
    & Major Gray will guard the same Roads as yesterday. Patroleing
    Partys are Constantly to be kept up.

Again, the next day, the order ran: “The guards and Piquits are to be
kept up also Majr. Gray & Colo Ludington as has been kept before.”

The work of detecting and arresting traitors within the American lines
occupied much of Colonel Ludington’s attention, and in it he seems to
have been particularly energetic and effective. His wide knowledge of men
and affairs in Westchester and Dutchess counties caused frequent appeal
to be made to him for information concerning suspicious persons. Thus
Lieutenant-Colonel Dimon in September, 1777, wrote to General Putnam as

                              Harrison’s Purchase Sept’r 12th 1777.

    Hon’d Sir,

    Enclosed I have sent a Return of the Regt. Also have sent for
    your Honor’s Examination, three Prisoners (viz) John Crabb, an
    Inhabitant of Fredericsburg, taken up at White-plains, who said
    he was going to Horseneck to buy Salt, but on being searched,
    it appeared that 2/6 in paper & 4/6 or 5/ in hard Mony was all
    the Mony he had in Possession, & what renders his Conduct
    still more suspicious, was that, James Knox, another of the
    Prisoners, was in Company with him, when first discovered by
    our Men, but made his Escape from them, & was next Day taken up
    near New Rochelle, & who confesses he was going to the Enemy:
    s’d Crabb desiring a Man might be sent to Col. Luddington,
    to obtain his Character, to whom he said he was known; I
    acordingly desired Col. Luddington (to) send his Character,
    which he did, & which I have sent enclosed. But the third, as I
    imagine the greatest Villian of three, named Hachaliah Merrit
    was taken in East Chester early in the Morning after being
    out all Night with his Great Coat & Blanket, & armed with a
    loaded Pistoll, & who does not pretend to say any thing in his
    own Justification. I am with great Esteem, your Honour’s most
    humble Servant.

                                            DAVID DIMON, _Lt. Col._

    Major Genl. Putman.

Accompanying this was Colonel Ludington’s reply to the appeal for a
“character” for the prisoner Crabb, which could have given that worthy
little comfort:

    Dear Sir,

    I have Inquired into the Character of the Said Jno. Crabb and
    find him to be an Enemy to his Country therefore shall Expect
    he will be Treated as Such and am Sir

                      Your Very humble Serv’t

                                            HENRY LUDINTON, _Colo._

    Sept’r 10: 1777.

    To Colo. David Demmon.

A few days later Colonel Ludington himself wrote to Putnam:

                                   Philipse Burgh Sept’r 12th 1777.


    I have sent you one Elijah Taylor; his Crime is as Follows: he
    pretends he came from below our Lines because he was Suspected
    to be a friend to us; a few days after he came to me with his
    Brother in Law from Milesquare pretending he had lost a Horse
    and applied to me for Orders to take him where he could find
    him. I gave him permission to search for his Horse any where
    he pleased above our Lines but not to Return home without
    calling on me, but Instead of Calling, Returned home and soon
    after came up again. I found by his Conduct that was not his
    Arrent (errand) for at the Same time he and the said Taylor was
    Laying a Plan to steal our horses. The way I got Information
    was that one Dudely Bailey, a Sutler to our Regiment, was in
    Conversation with the said Taylor concerning their Losing
    Horses, whereupon the said Taylor told him they had Lost Horses
    and knew where to find them but did not care about them for he
    could take them off in the Night; then he ask’d Bailey where
    the Horses belonging to the Regiment were kept, and where our
    Centenals were posted, in order that he might Carry his plan in
    Execution; and he further told him it would not be Long before
    we should be Routed, for a few men might do it, as we were
    Obliged to post ourselves in Houses. He further agread with
    Baily for him to go down as far as Milesquare to one Benjamin
    Taylor’s and there stay until the s’d Taylor could go to the
    Hessian Generals and when he Return’d he would put him in good
    Business where he might Earn a Dollar pr day. he further said
    that When he makes his Report to the General that he might live
    like a Gentleman without doing any work. He further Acquainted
    him he had been through your Camps at Peekskill as far up as
    Poughkeepsy and there were Several Spies out among whom was an
    Hessian Officer, and upon them Circumstances I have sent you
    the Said Taylor. For further Information Refer you to the said
    Bailey as an Evidence to the truth of the Matter who shall be
    sent up to you whenever I Receive your Order for that purpose.

    I have Likewise sent up three other prisoners, Jacob Read,
    Abraham Aston & Joseph Brown, the two former were taken up on
    Suspicion of Carrying on a dangerous Correspondence with the
    Enemy and the Latter is a deserter from Colo. Willis’s Regt.
    and Capt. Champion’s Comp’y of the Continental Troops. I am
    your honour’s Humble Serv’t

                                             HENRY LUDINTON, _Col._

    P.S. Should be Oblig’d to your Honour to give the Bearer some
    direction where he may draw some Cordage for the use of the
    Teams. I am as above

                                                              H. L.

    To Genl. Putnam at Head Quarters Peekskill.

Jacob Read, or Rhead, promptly wrote to Clinton, protesting that he had
always been a true friend of his country and had repeatedly been employed
in its service, and that therefore he conceived himself to have been
most unjustly treated in being arrested as a traitor. He begged to be
examined immediately and to be set at liberty on proof of his innocence.

In the fall of 1777 there was a scarcity of provisions in Westchester
and Dutchess counties, and the Tories sought further to embarrass the
American cause by shipping all provisions they could secure to the
British Army. On this account the following letter was addressed by
Colonel Ludington and others to the Council of Safety for the State of
New York:

                                                       Dutchess Co.
                                                3rd December, 1777.


    Nothing but the strongest necessity could induce us to trouble
    you with an application of so extraordinary a nature, but
    if we are esteemed worthy of your confidence as friends to
    our struggling country our sincerity will atone for what in
    common cases might appear indecent. Our invaded State has
    not only been an object of the special designs of our common
    enemy, but obnoxious to the wicked, mercenary intrigues of a
    number of engrossing Jockies who have drained this part of the
    State of the article of bread to such a degree that we have
    reason to fear there is not enough left for the support of the
    inhabitants. We have for some months past heard of one Holmes
    who has been purchasing wheat and flour in these parts with
    which the well affected are universally ill-provided. This man
    with us is of doubtful character, his conversations are of the
    disaffected sort entirely. He has now moving from Fishkill
    toward Newark we think not less than one hundred barrels of
    flour, for which he says he has your permit, the which we have
    not seen. However we have, at the universal call of the people,
    concluded to stop the flour and Holmes himself until this
    express may return. We ourselves think from the conduct of this
    man that his designs are bad.

    We have the honor to be your humble servants,

                                                  HENRY LUDINGTON,
                                                  JOSEPH CRANE JR.,
                                                  JONATHAN PADDOCK,
                                                  ELIJAH TOWNSEND.

    To the Honorable the Council of Safety for the State of N. Y.

More than two months later Crane and Ludington wrote to Governor Clinton
on the same matter:

                           Southeast Precinct, 16th February, 1778.

    May it Please Your Excellency,

    We about Two Months ago presumed to stop a parcel of Flour said
    to be the property of one Helmes made immediate Report thereof
    to the Council of Safety in answer we were favoured with a
    coppy of the Licence Granted by the Council to the said Helms,
    with a Coppy of the Oath on which said Licence was Granted &
    with Directions from the Council that in Case the Conduct of
    sd Helms was not Correspondant with the Tennor of sd Oath and
    Licence to apprehend and committ him for Tryal and Detain the
    Flour. Previous to the Return of the Express Dispatched with
    our Report to the Council Helms made his Escape and has not
    appeared here since. The Flour was Hurried up some in old
    Cyder Hogsheads the Rest in Barrels not well secured has been
    exposed to wett and is in Danger of Spoiling. Your Excellencies
    Directions Respecting this matter will be Esteemed as a favour
    done to your most Obedient and Humble Servants

                                                  JOSEPH CRANE JUNR
                                                  HENRY LUDINTON

    His Excellency Governor Clinton.

The man Holmes mentioned was Colonel John Holmes, one of the most
wary and energetic Tories in that part of the country. He was famed
as a breeder and racer of horses, and had a stock farm near Colonel
Ludington’s. Indeed, he and Ludington were neighbors and friends before
the outbreak of the war, but in the animosities engendered by that
conflict they were involved as bitter foes. Holmes had a commission
from the British authorizing him to enlist men for their service, and
for this purpose he had a recruiting station on Fishkill Plains in an
out-of-the-way place—a field covered with scrub oak. There he gathered
Tories and drilled them for the British service. He often boasted
privately that his friend Ludington would one day accompany him on a
visit to General Howe at New York—meaning, of course, as a prisoner.
Colonel Ludington, however, completely turned the tables upon his old
neighbor and would-be captor. Learning from his secret agents that
Holmes was collecting a company of Tories on the Fishkill Plains, he
quietly gathered his own regiment for what he warned them was to be
an undertaking of much activity and danger. After several days of
preparation, he led his men at night to the Tory rendezvous. Dividing
them into companies, he caused them completely to encircle the scrub oak
field and close in upon it from all sides. So quietly and effectively was
the work done that Holmes and every one of his followers were captured,
without the loss of a life or the firing of a single shot. There were,
however, several severe hand-to-hand struggles, in one of which Colonel
Ludington himself had a brand new suit of clothes almost entirely torn
from his back. Holmes was furious at being thus trapped, and the more so
when he found that Ludington was his captor. He was compelled to give up
as spoils of war his watch and purse, and a large sum of British money
which had been given to him for the conduct of his recruiting operations.
Colonel Ludington then marched the whole party off to Poughkeepsie and
deposited them in jail. He appears to have had no personal grudge against
Holmes, however, and on a subsequent occasion saved his life at much
danger to himself.

The ardent patriots of the border counties were not content with merely
these acts of forcible suppression of traitorous conduct, but desired
to strike still more strongly and effectively at the foes of their
own neighborhood. An act of the Convention had already authorized
the occupation and leasing at moderate rentals of all lands owned by
those who had entered the British service. At first there was little
disposition to enforce the measure, but as the Revolution proceeded, and
the “pernicious activity” of the Tories became more marked, the people
of Dutchess County moved for the execution of the law. The following
letter was accordingly addressed to Governor Clinton by the Board of
Sequestration of that county:

    To his Excellency George Clinton, Esq.

    Governor of the State of New York, General of the Militia, and
    Admiral of the Navy of the same.

    The Memorial of Theodorus Van Wyck and Henry Livingston Jun.
    Commissioners of Sequestration for the County of Dutchess.

    Sheweth, That, whereas, on the 13th day of May, 1777, The
    honorable the Convention of the Representatives of the State
    of New York came to the following resolution “Resolved that
    the Commissioners of sequestration be directed & impowered to
    lease out the lands & Tenements of all such persons as already
    have gone, or hereafter shall go, unto & Join the Enemies of
    this State, under Moderate rent, from year to year, to persons
    friendly to the cause of America & who will Covenant to keep
    the same in repair & to suffer no waste to be done thereon”—And
    again “Resolved, that in all such leases the Inhabitants of
    this State who have been driven from their Habitations by the
    Enemy should be preferred by the Commissioners to others who
    have not that claim to the favor of the public.”

    Agreeable to the above resolutions your Memorialists have put
    numbers of well affected Refugees Inhabitants of this State
    into the possession of lands and tenements deserted by the
    former disaffected proprietors. As yet your Memorialists have
    stipulated with but very few of the Refugees aforesaid, what
    rent they shall pay for the lands & tenements they Occupy. Your
    Memorialists wish to have pointed out to them, what proportion
    of the highest rent they could obtain from others, for lands
    and tenements above described, the said Refugees should pay.

    Your Memorialists would also beg leave to represent to your
    Excellency, that numbers of persons now with our Enemies own
    large tracts of land in this County; Many of the tenants on
    which are desirous of discharging their rents, and have in many
    instances applyed to your Memorialists for direction. By virtue
    of any Resolutions made by the Legislature your Memorialists do
    not think themselves authorized to receive the Same.

    If the Legislature see fit to direct to have the above
    rents collected your Memorialists wish the Estates may be

    Your Memorialists would also inform your Excellency that
    they have in their possession a quantity of plate late the
    property of Mess. John Livingston, Peter Stuyvesant and Stephen
    Crossfield, and be given direction in the disposition of it.

    And your Memorialists will &c.

                                            THEODORUS VAN WYCK,
                                            HENRY LIVINGSTON JUN’R.

    March 16th 1778.

The governor’s reply to this appeal was not altogether satisfactory
to the more ardent patriots, who were suffering much in their private
estates from the ravages of British irregulars and their Tory allies,
and accordingly a memorial was soon presented to the Convention asking
for further legislation of a particularly stringent kind. Made by the
freeholders and citizens of Dutchess County, this memorial was doubtless
signed by Colonel Ludington together with many others, and expressed his
vigorous opinions. It ran as follows:

    To the Honorable the Senate and Assembly of the State of New

    The respectful address and petition of the Freeholders and
    Others, Inhabitants of the County of Dutchess, Friends to the
    freedom and Independence of the United States of America,

    Humbly Sheweth:

    That the nefarious and most cruel Designs of the King and
    parliament of Great Britain, to reduce our Country to Vasalage,
    have been and still continue to be executed with a degree of
    Malice and Rancour, altogether inconsistent with the character
    of a Nation professing Christianity, or even a regard to common
    Justice and humanity; that while your petitioners in defence
    of their Rights and freedom have opposed the devices inspired
    by Tyranny, and have suffered severely, many of them in their
    own proper persons, and effects, and all in those of their
    friends and fellow citizens; they have always had, as they
    hope, a well grounded confidence in the Wisdom and Justice of
    an honest, impartial Legislature, by whom they trust such an
    adequate adjustment of forfeited property will be effected as
    may duly punish the authors of the publick Calamities, relieve
    the distressed and be the most conducive to the General good of
    the State.

    That as you are now entering upon the Business of the second
    year of the Legislature of this State, we Doubt not but a
    Variety of important matters presents themselves to your
    consideration, among which, in our opinion, one of the greatest
    is the confiscation and sale of the property of the Traitorous
    Enemies of this State; that our Debts contracted in prosecuting
    this necessary War, are become enormous; that the whole of this
    Burden will be as intolerable for us and our children to bear,
    as it will be cruel to exact it of us; That the only expedient
    for our relief will be the appropriation of the property within
    this State, of those unnatural Enemies, (whether now within
    or out of it) by whose wicked practices the War, with all its
    horrors, Calamities and consequent charges, was brought upon
    us and is continued to this present period in the American
    States by them devoted to destruction. To this end have they
    not exerted every faculty, cancelled every social and sacred
    Obligation, and to the utmost assisted the Enemies of their
    Country, irritated them against it, and urged them to compleat
    its distruction? Have not many of them embodied with the
    British Troops, assisted in their councils, aided and abetted
    them in contriving and executing all their infernal measures?

    Lenity to such atrocious offenders, we conceive to be cruelty
    to the State in General, and to mankind, unwarrantable either
    by the Laws of God or Man.

    These are, therefore, with all due deference and respect, to
    desire and request you, as the representative body of this
    State, forthwith to proceed upon, and before the close of the
    present Session, effectually form and accomplish a Law for the
    confiscation and sale of the Real and personal property of
    the Enemies of this State, in such way and manner as may be
    for the good of the people at Large, and we Doubt not, in the
    Completion of so important an Act, but you will readily forego
    every private Conveniency to yourselves and particular families.

    We have with surprise and concern understood that several
    members of your honorable Houses are impatient to close the
    Session, on account of their Domestic concerns. We would humbly
    beg leave to remind such gentlemen that, however pressing their
    private affairs may be, the publick Demands ought to be first
    attended to, as in them the Interest of every Individual is
    devolved; and in particular this Act ought by no means to be
    postponed. The publick Debts, the alarming Depreciation of
    our paper money, are pressing, and will admit of no delay.
    The present and not the future is in your power, and were it
    necessary to use arguments on this subject to patriots, it
    would be easy to show that the delay of this Act to another
    Session is big with uncertainty of its passing at all, and
    therefore of the most dangerous consequences to this State.
    Especially as it will occasion universal uneasiness and in all
    probability produce Tumults and insurrections, and tend to a
    Domestic Tyranny and confusion as much to be dreaded as the
    evils brought upon us by our connections with Great Britain,
    the Effects of which we thus wofully experience. Tho’ thro’ the
    smiles of Heaven upon our past endeavors, we are now arrived
    within view of our native inheritance, the promised Land of
    peace and freedom, to which we look with longing Eyes. But our
    unremited exertions are still necessary to bring us to the
    Haven of rest. Else all our past Labors may still prove in
    vain, all our fair prospects be darkened by Intervening Clouds,
    that may drive us again upon a tempestuous sea of trouble till
    we are overwhelmed and Lost. To prevent this we and all your
    Constituents look up with Anxious Expectations to you, on whom
    is devolved the care of the State Vessel, and on whom we depend
    to pilot it into a port of safety; and we trust your vigilance
    and unwearied application to the important Duties of your
    Station will be continued till the great End is Obtained, for
    which as in Duty bound we shall ever pray, &c.

    Poughkeepsie, October 22nd, 1778.

It was inevitable that his activity and zeal in promoting and executing
such measures should make Colonel Ludington an object of especial
antipathy to the local Tories and also to the British authorities in
New York. He was regarded by them as one of the chief obstacles to the
raising of troops and the securing of supplies for the British Army in
the border region. Accordingly the strongest efforts were made to get
rid of him, either by death or capture. On more than one occasion he was
shot at by hidden marksmen by the wayside and narrowly escaped being
killed. The British authorities offered a reward of three hundred guineas
for his person, and more than one of his disaffected neighbors sought to
win that prize. Much of the time his house was guarded by a detachment of
his regiment, but often for days and weeks when he was at home his only
sentinels were his two older daughters, Sibyl and Rebecca. These children
would sit for hours, armed with heavy muskets, at the upper windows,
behind casks on the piazza, or in a neighboring cornfield, watching for
the approach of suspicious or openly hostile characters and ready to give
their father warning. One night they espied a number of moving figures,
lurking behind trees and fences, and at once waked their father with
the warning that Tories were surrounding the house. Colonel Ludington,
having no aid at hand sufficient to offer defense, resorted to a ruse. He
hurriedly aroused the inmates and distributed them through all the rooms,
each with a musket and a lighted candle. The general illumination of the
building, the signs of commotion, and the shadows of moving and armed
figures on every window blind, persuaded the Tories that a company of
soldiers was in the house. They therefore feared to make the attack which
they had intended, but contented themselves with yelling and hooting in
the adjoining woods until day began to break, when they retired down the
road to the southward, through the little settlement which then occupied
the present site of the village of Carmel.

The next day Colonel Ludington ascertained that his nocturnal visitors
were Tories from Quaker Hill and Pawling, under the leadership of Dr.
Prosser, who has already been mentioned in this narrative, and were
about forty in number. Prosser was a neighbor of Colonel Ludington’s,
but was also his bitter enemy, and was one of the most virulent Tories
in all that region. He was that night leading his company down to New
York to join the British Army, and had planned to kill or capture Colonel
Ludington and thus secure the reward of three hundred guineas which
General Howe had offered. After the war Prosser returned to Dutchess
County to live, thinking his Toryism would be forgotten or condoned. But
Colonel Ludington had not forgotten nor forgiven his midnight attempt at
murder or capture. One day the two men met on the highway at Patterson,
both being on horseback. As soon as Prosser caught sight of the man whom
he had tried to “remove,” he turned and attempted to avoid him. But
Colonel Ludington and his horse were too quick for him. Overtaking him
the Colonel belabored him with a heavy rawhide whip and gave him a most
thorough flogging, which of course Prosser could not venture to resent by
legal means.

On another occasion during the war two gentlemen and their servants,
strangers, stopped at Colonel Ludington’s house and asked for
entertainment for the night. They were received with some misgivings as
to their loyalty. Some time after they had retired the watching members
of the family perceived that the house was surrounded by armed men.
Suspecting that the strangers were in league with the besiegers, they
went to their room, roused them, and at the muzzles of muskets demanded
to know who they were and what was their business. The strangers managed
to assure them that they were friends, and thereupon joined the family in
lighting up the house and giving it the appearance of a well-garrisoned
stronghold. As on the former occasion the ruse was effective and the
attacking party withdrew.

Colonel Ludington’s activities and also his difficulties in raising
troops for various purposes are suggested in some of his correspondence
with Governor Clinton:

    I would inform your Excelency that I have proceeded to Raise
    the Companey aloted me to Raise as my Quota and Expect them
    to march on Munday next; in Regard of officering the Companey
    I have Been obliged to Borow a point, and thought it my Duty
    to acquaint his Excelency in that manner; the man apointed
    as Capt. Did not Belong to the militia—who is Capt. Elijah
    Tounsand the Barer—But has Been the most of the time in
    Service Since the war Began and has Been Captain with me in
    the 3 months Service at the Plains and I Conceive him to Be
    more Suitable to Command a companey than one of the militia
    Captains; would therefore take it as a favour if you would
    give him his Comision; the 1 Lieut. is John Berrey, a militia
    officer; the 2 Lieut. is Mr. William McTine a young man who
    formerly Lived at the White Plains and now has moved among us,
    has never Born a commision in the militia, But is Lookt upon to
    Be a proper person for it, as he is a man well acquainted with
    the part of the Country where he is going and very Capable of
    performing the office. Sir I hope it will Be agreable to his
    Excelency to grant Commisions to the above mentioned persons
    and in So doing you will mutch oblige your Humble Servant

                                                    HENRY LUDINTON.

    Fredricksburgh May 1d 1778.

    To his Excelency George Clinton Esqr. Governor.

To this Clinton promptly replied:

                                         Poughkeepsie 1st May 1778.

    Sir, I have rec’d your Letter of equal Date. By the Law for
    raising the 700 Men for the Defence of the State the Officers
    are to be taken from the Militia. If, therefore, Capt. Townsend
    is to Command the Company you must have him appointed a Capt.
    in your Regt. & the other Gentleman a Lieut., otherwise it
    will be impossible to give them the Command tho’ I wish to do
    it. I have convened the Council of Appointment to meet at this
    Place this Day to compleat the Military Appointments. I must,
    therefore, again call upon you for the proper Returns of your
    Regiment, agreable to former Orders to enable us to perfect
    the Appointments therein. I think it would be best for you to
    attend here in Person on Monday next at farthest. I am your
    Most Obed’t Serv’t

                                                      GEO. CLINTON.

    Colo. Ludington.

The British raid up the Hudson, with the burning of Kingston, already
mentioned, provoked much activity throughout the border region, and
resulted in added suffering to the unfortunate inhabitants. Immediately
after the burning of Kingston the Committee of Safety, meeting at
Marbletown, adopted the following:

    Whereas, The late destruction of the town of Kingston, and a
    vast number of dwelling houses, improvements, grain and fodder
    on either side of Hudson’s River, by a cruel, inhuman and
    merciless enemy, has deprived many persons and families, the
    good subjects of the State, of shelter and subsistence for
    themselves and their cattle—calamities which by the blessing of
    God on the fruits of this land those who have not shared in so
    uncommon a misfortune are enabled in a great measure to relieve;

    Resolved, Therefore, that it be, and it is hereby most
    earnestly recommended to the several and respective general and
    district committees of the counties of Ulster, Dutchess, Orange
    and Westchester, to make, or cause to be made, a proper and
    proportionate distribution of the aforesaid distressed persons
    and families, and their cattle, to the end that they may all be
    provided for as the circumstances of the country will permit;
    and it is hereby most strenuously urged on all those who may
    not have shared with them in their afflictions to receive the
    aforesaid persons, families and cattle, and furnish them with
    shelter and subsistence at a moderate rate.

To this humane appeal the patriotic part of the population cordially
responded, but of course the British sympathizers were reluctant to
do so. Their reluctance and refusal brought upon them, however, the
increased wrath of the patriots, and incited to increased zeal the
committees whose province it was to deal with the disaffected. Among
these, Colonel Ludington was prominent, though he exercised his powers
with a certain humane discretion and was not inclined to be cruelly
vindictive even toward the most malignant Tories. A letter of his to the
Commissioners of Sequestration, now in the possession of Mr. William
E. Dean, of Fishkill, runs as follows, its reference being to the “Red
Mills,” near Lake Mahopac:


    Mr. Cox has been with me this day and informed me that the
    Mills are likely to be taken from him and to Be put into the
    Hands of Mrs. Cammels and 2 other persons. the two Mrs Camels I
    am well acquainted with and would do Everything in my power to
    serve them But when you come to consider upon this matter You
    may find they may Be Settled at preasent in such a manner that
    they may Remain where they are for a while and be Less Damidge
    to them than it will be to Mr. Cox to turn out at this season
    of the year and so sudden as he is Required to Do. it will Be
    easy for you to Judg what a bad plight it will naturally put
    him to. therefore should take it as a favour if you would Let
    Him Remain until he can have an oportunity of settling Himself
    in Some other place. this far can be said of Mr. Cox it is
    generally Believed that He Has done Justice to the publick
    while He has occupyed the mills and in the Commisary Department
    which he has been in since Last fall. But However gentlemen
    I would not Be understood that I am to dictate you in those
    affairs and am and remain your Real Friend

                        and Humble Servant

                                                    HENRY LUDINTON.

    Fredericksburgh January 29th, 1779

    Mr Henery Livingston & Theds Van Wick

    The Comitioners Sequestration Dutchess County.

Another letter, also in the possession of Mr. Dean, runs as follows:

    Dear Sir

    I have just had an information of a score of Sheep in the hands
    of one Josiah Swift Rented to him By a person who Hath Been
    Sundry years with the Enemy and Likewise Sum Cattell in the
    Hands of Henry Charlick which Belonged to one Ellston which
    the Bearer can inform you of, and the Bearer is the person who
    moved Ellston’s wife and family and John Millars and wishes
    that the Discovery he had maid of those Cattel might be an
    inducement to the Commisoners to give him Sum Satisfaction for
    moving the 2 families Down to the Lines

                  am Sir your very humble Servant

                                                     HENRY LUDINTON

    To Theodorus Van wayk Esqs

    P S I believe I am on track of a very Considerable deal of
    property conseald Belonging to Kain and Morison

This letter was addressed to “Theodorus Vanwayk Esqs pr Mr. Daniel
Haselton For want of wafer this is not seald”.

The sternness of the dealings of the State with British sympathizers was
strikingly shown in the law which was made by the State Convention on
October 22, 1779, which ran in part:

    Whereas during the present war … divers persons holding or
    claiming property within this State have voluntarily been
    adherent to the King, his fleets and armies, enemies of this
    State … whereof the said persons have severally and justly
    forfeited all right to the protection of the State and the
    benefit of laws under which property is held or claimed …
    Be it enacted that the said several persons hereinbefore
    particularly named shall be and are hereby declared forever
    banished from this State, and each and every one of them who
    shall at any time hereafter be found in any part of this State
    shall be and are hereby declared guilty of felony, and shall
    suffer death as in cases of felony, without benefit of clergy.

[Illustration: A mahogany table belonging to Colonel Ludington, at which,
according to family tradition, Washington and Rochambeau dined.

(Now in the possession of Charles Henry Ludington)]

Fredericksburgh and the neighborhood were frequently traversed by
officers and bodies of troops, especially in making the journey from
Hartford and New Haven to Fishkill. Washington himself often made that
journey, and was a familiar guest at Colonel Ludington’s house. On
one occasion Washington and Rochambeau, on their way from Hartford to
Fishkill, called there for dinner.

In the journal of Captain William Beatty, of the Maryland Line, the
following entry occurs under date of Sunday, September 20, 1778:

“We marched about four miles past Fredericksburgh, where we lay until the
22nd, on which day our division marched about 12 miles towards Fishkill.
At this place we lay until the 28th, when we marched to Fishkills.” It
seems probable that on this march the troops, presumably under Baron De
Kalb, passed by Colonel Ludington’s house, and were halted there for the
two days mentioned. If so, their stopping there and paying in scrip for
the food supplied by the Ludingtons form the basis of the tradition in
the Ludington family, that at one time Colonel Ludington received so much
depreciated currency from the soldiers that he scarcely knew what to do
with it, and finally stored it under the floor boards of his house for
safe keeping. Mrs. Ludington collected it from the soldiers in her apron,
and got her apron running over full. Long afterward Colonel Ludington
burned a trunkful of the stuff, as worthless litter.

The Ludington house, standing, as before mentioned, on the great highway
from Hartford to the Hudson, was often resorted to by travelers as
an inn, and while the British held New York City, the greater part
of all travel between New England and the other colonies passed that
way. William Ellery, of Massachusetts, a signer of the Declaration of
Independence, traveled that road and stopped at Colonel Ludington’s in
the fall of 1777, on his way from his home at Dighton, Massachusetts,
to York, Pennsylvania, to attend the session of the First Continental
Congress. He was accompanied by the Hon. Francis Dana and his servant,
whom he calls, in his whimsical diary, respectively Don Quixote and
Sancho Panza, while to himself he gives the title of Pill Garlick. Under
date of “Road to Danbury, Nov. 5th,” he records:

    We intended when we reached Litchfield to have gone to
    Peekskill, and there crossed the North River, but when we got
    to Danbury we were dissuaded from it by the Person at whose
    house we breakfasted, who told us that there were Tories and
    Horse stealers on that road. This account occasioned us to
    take the Fishkill road. Accordingly we set off, baited at the
    foot of Quaker Hill, about 7 miles from Danbury, and reached
    Colonel Ludington’s 8 miles from the foregoing stage at night.
    Here _mens meminisse horret_! We were told by our landlady the
    Col. was gone to New Windsor, that there was a guard on the
    road between Fishkill and Peekskill, that one of the guard had
    been killed, about 6 miles off, and that a man not long before
    had been shot at on the road to Fishkill not more than three
    miles from their house and that a guard had been placed there
    for some time past, and had been dismissed only three days.
    We were now in a doleful pickle, not a male in the house but
    Don Quixote and his man Sancho and poor Pill Garlick, and no
    lodging for the first and last but in a lower room without any
    shutters to the windows or locks to the doors. What was to be
    done? What could be done? In the first place we fortified our
    Stomachs with Beefsteak and Grogg and then went to work to
    fortify ourselves against an attack. The Knight of the woeful
    countenance asked whether there were any guns in the house.
    Two were produced, one of them in good order. Nails were fixed
    over the windows, the Guns placed in a corner of the room, a
    pistol under each of our pillows, and the Hanger against the
    bedpost, thus accoutered and prepared at all points our heroes
    went to bed. Whether the valiant Knight slept a wink or not,
    Pill Garlick cannot say, for he was so overcome with fatigue,
    and his animal spirits were so solaced with the beef and the
    grogg, that every trace of fear was utterly erased from his
    imagination and he slept soundly from evening till morning,
    save that at midnight, as he fancieth, he was waked by his
    companion, with this interesting Question, delivered with a
    tremulous voice, “What noise is that?” He listened and soon
    discovered that the noise was occasioned by some rats gnawing
    the head of a bread cask. After satisfying the Knight about the
    noise, he took his second and finishing nap.

Again, in Colonel Israel Angell’s diary, cited by Mr. Patrick, we find:

    29th Nov, 1779. This morning after breakfast I got my horses
    Shodd, Crost the North River over to fishkill. Went on
    for Danbury, Col Greene and Mr. Griffen. Greene went for
    Springfield so we parted about six miles from fishkill, but
    Still could get nothing for our horses, till riding ten or
    twelve miles, there Dind and fed our horses, then went to Colo
    Luttentons Tavern among the Mountains 21 miles from fishkills
    there put up for the night. One of Col. Livingston’s Officers
    came to this Tavern in the Evening on his way home on a

    Nov. 30th, 1779. Left my lodgings this morning after breakfast
    went on for Danbury.

It is probable, indeed, that for a time Washington himself made Colonel
Ludington’s house his headquarters. In the late summer and fall of
1778 he had his army in that region, and made his own headquarters at
Fredericksburgh, as related by Irving and Lossing. He wrote, under date
of Fredericksburgh on September 12 and 23, describing the disposition
of his army, “the second line, with Lord Sterling, in the vicinity
of Fredericksburgh.” He was there with the exception of a week from
September 12 to the end of November. Part of the time his headquarters
were at the house of John Kane—also spelled Kain and Keane. This house
stood on the site since occupied by the house of Mr. Charles H. Roberts,
at Pawling, and was a large house, connected by a stone-walled passageway
with another large stone building, the ground floor of which was used as
a store and the upper story for dwelling purposes. The land was a part of
Beverly Robinson’s estate. Kane, of whom mention has already been made
in Colonel Ludington’s correspondence, was a Tory and was particularly
obnoxious to the patriots. Under the law of October, 1779, his estate was
confiscated, and he, a dignified and venerable magistrate, was tied to
the tail of a cart and drummed out of town.

[Illustration: Reduced Fac-simile of Letter, from Governor George
Clinton, to Col. Henry Ludington.

(Original in possession of Charles H. Ludington, New York City)]

We have already quoted correspondence between Governor Clinton and
Colonel Ludington, showing the difficulties which were encountered in
raising troops for various services. As time went on these difficulties
increased rather than diminished, so that now and then the governor was
impatient at the unavoidable delay. Thus he wrote on one occasion as

                                           Pokeepsie 9th June 1779.


    I wrote to you a few Days ago requesting you to expedite the
    raising of the Levies to be furnished by your Regiment but
    as I have not since heard from you I conclude the Letter has
    miscarried. I have now therefore to repeat my Orders that your
    Quota be raised with all Dispatch and marched down under the
    Command of an active subaltern to join the Detachment from
    Major Crane’s and Colo. Drake’s Regimts (stationed at Crompond,
    to cover the Country there from the Depredations of the Enemy)
    until my further Orders.

    I will send an Officer to relieve, as soon as possible, the
    subaltern you shall appoint for this service.

    As I think it more than probable that I shall be under a
    Necessity of employing the Levies from your Regiment, in the
    Quarter to which they are now directed, I expect it will be an
    Inducement to the Officers to exert themselves in raising them
    and that the Men may more easily be obtained. I have only to
    add that I expect also a speedy and effectual Compliance with
    these Orders and that you will make me immediate Report of what
    shall be done in consequence of them.

                  I am


                           Your most obed

                                                      GEO. CLINTON.

    Colo. Ludington.

                                      Public Service, GEO. CLINTON.

    To Colo. Henry Ludington Fredericksburgh. By Express.

Colonel Ludington was, however, more successful in securing recruits than
some other militia commanders in that region. Colonel Roswell Hopkins, at
Amenia, seems to have met with many troubles, which ultimately led to his
resignation of his commission. In the summer of 1780 much trouble arose
over trafficking in certificates of exemption, and this correspondence
took place:

                                           Amenia, July 12th, 1780.

    Sir, In Obedience to Brigade Orders of the 30th ult. I now
    return to your Excellency the number of Classes in my regiment
    for raising the present Levies for three months; the number
    is Sixty-two; the men are to be Delivered the 14th Instant at
    Major Cook’s & the 15th at Capt. Roger Sutherland’s to such
    Officer as your Excellencey shall appoint. I am, Sir, your most
    obedient Hum. Serv’t,

                                           ROSWELL HOPKINS, _Colo._

    His Excellency Gov’r. Clinton.

       *       *       *       *       *

    May it please your Excellency, We, the Subscribers, beg leave
    to inform your Excellency that Difficulties have arose in this
    Regiment respecting Exemption from Militia Drafts Certificates
    which have been transferred for a valuable Consideration by
    the procurer to another Person—that is whether the Purchaser
    of such Certificate is by act of the Legislature, Pass’d the
    25th of March 1778, for Exempting persons from Drafts are as
    much exempted from Militia Duty as the first Procurers would
    be in case he had not transfer’d it. There being several such
    Instances in the Regiments and different Opinions in the Matter
    which is likely to produce uneasiness, and we being Inform’d
    that it has been the Practice in other Regiments to exempt the
    Purchasers of such Certificates. There is James Hildreth &
    Lemuel Brush—under this predicament the men that they purchas’d
    of have done duty in this regiment ever since they transfer’d
    their Certificates to the present Holders. As their appears to
    be no fraud or collusion respecting the said James Hildreth
    and Brush, we pray your Excellency’s advice and Direction
    respecting such purchas’d Certificates which will oblige your
    Excellency’s Most Obedient Humble Servants

                                        ROSWELL HOPKINS, _Colo._
                                        WILLIAM BARKER, _Lt. Colo._
                                        BRINTON PAINE, _Major_.
                                        EBEN. HUSTED, _Maj’r_.

    Amenia, July 12 1780.

    His Excellency Gov’r Clinton.

       *       *       *       *       *

    thes may sartify that I am knoing to the truth of what is in
    the above, as I then Commanded the Ridgment, & am knoing to
    theas 2 men mench’ed dus now due duty in the Ridgment.

                                                  DAVID SUTHERLAND.

       *       *       *       *       *

                                         Poukeepsie 13th July 1780.

    Sir, I am this Moment favoured with your two Letters of equal
    Date. His Excellency Genl. Washington in Consideration of the
    Busy Season of the year & other Reasons has prolonged the Day
    for the Levies to rendevous at Fishkill till 25th Instant. This
    I notified Brig’r Genl. Swartwoudt of by after Orders which I
    concluded he had issued to his Brigade. I will send an Officer
    to receive & take Charge of your men in Season to march them
    to the Place of Rendevous. This Delay I flatter myself will be
    agreable as they may be employed in gathering in the Harvests &
    it will afford them Time fully to prepare & provide themselves
    for the Campaign which is the more necessary as they are not to
    be relieved.

    I wish it was in my Power to relieve Mr. Brush & Hildridge as I
    believe they meant to act honestly & uprightly; but it is not
    as they have not proceeded agreeable to Law and none but such
    are exempted—neither am I vested with any Discretionary Power
    of determining in such Cases. I have explained myself more
    fully to Mr. Brush & am, Sir, your &c.

                                                            (G. C.)

    (to Colonel Hopkins)

A little later Colonel Hopkins had a lively experience with a
press-master from Connecticut, which he reported to the governor—his
letter being of interest for the picture which it gives of the times and
customs in which Colonel Ludington was a participant:

                                            Amenia Aug’t 19th 1780.

    May it please your Excellency, I beg leave to trouble
    your Excellency with a Remonstrance Concerning a certain
    Press-master, one George Tremble, who is a transient person
    that lives in Connecticut, who came to me on the 8th Instant
    and told me he wanted my team to carry forrage to the
    Fishkills. I told him my Circumstances was such that I could
    not let them go, for it would Ruin me for my wheat, about 130
    bushels, all I had was in the field and it would spoil. My
    oats, 200 or 300 busshels all lay in the Swarth, and would be
    lost, for I had no help but one Son, and could not hire any
    man; my flax a fine Crop was all in the field and some hay in
    the meadow, and my grass lodged and rotting, but he said he
    cared not for that, but I should go myself with my team the
    next day. I told him if I could secure my grain I would send my
    son and team the next week, but he said I should go the next
    day. I told him I would not; he showed me a Coppy of a press
    warrent from your Excellency to Colo. Hay with a line from him
    on the back authorizing said Tremble to impress teams & drivers
    in this state.

    I told him that was no legal warrent to him; he rode off saying
    he would get a warrent for me, & then told all about he had
    got a warrent for me; but on the 14th he came again with a
    Sergeant & 8 men & entered my field, Siezed my son & confined
    him under guard, drove out my fatten oxen that I was fattening
    for the army, took my horses & forced my son to drive them
    with a lode of my own oats to the Fishkills, altho I consented
    if they must go they might carry my oats, he told me I was a
    disaffected Person, had done nothing to support the cause, held
    bad Princeples, was a dam’d Lyer and a dam’d Rascal.

    I have fined him for cursing; sued him for trespass & issued a
    warrant against him in order to bind him to his good behaviour
    & recorded a riot against him.

    I think its a pity that there is not a man in this Precinct
    County or state that can be trusted with a press warrant, but
    such an outlandish Irish, malicious, abusive fellow must be
    sent into this Precinct to press all the whiggs teams, & none
    in Charlotte, which is near 3 times as big, and half tories,
    for I cant learn of one being pressed there; after all the
    malicious fellow wrote a letter to Colo. Hay sent by the
    Soldiers that my team Capt. Shepherd’s & Mr. Ingersoll’s teams
    were disaffected teams, and requested they might be kept in
    Service a month; he abused others besides me. I am, Sir, your
    most obedient Hum’e Serv’t

                                                   ROSWELL HOPKINS.

    P. S. One Stack of my wheat is spoiled being wet thro & grown &
    I shall loose about six tons of hay. R. H.

    His Excellency Governour Clinton.

At the beginning of May, 1781, however, Colonel Hopkins gave up the
struggle to maintain his quota of men in the field, and insisted upon
resigning his commission:

                                              Amenia, May 1st 1781.

    Sir, I wrote to your Excellency about a fortnight ago to
    acquaint you that the Classes of my Regiment were to Deliver
    their men yesterday, and requested an officer might be sent to
    recive them agreeable to general orders, but no man or orders
    came. I was greatly non-plushed & knew not what to do, but have
    mustered the men and ordered them to meet at Peleg Tabors near
    Mr. David Johnston, on Saturday this week at 10 O’clock, to
    march immediately off, when and where I hope your Excellency
    will give some one orders to take care of them. I fear they
    will not appear at that time as no one has the care of them. I
    fear they will desert, they have got their bounties.

    Sir, I must still insist on resigning my Military commission
    as I am wore out with the trouble & expence of it. I think it
    unaccountable that the vacancies in my Regt. are not filled up,
    when I have made so many returns and requests, and have had no
    adjutant for near 2 years and orders to send to my Capts. very
    offen indeed. Sir, I desire if any officers are appointed this
    way to go with these Levies, I might be informed by the bearer
    who they be; pray excuse the want of Paper for I have wrote up
    4 quire in a short time lately in orders &c. all gratis, and
    know not where I can get more. I have collected some money from
    the delinquent classes for during the war. I am, Sir, your most
    Obed’t Serv’t

                                           ROSWELL HOPKINS, _Colo._

    His Excellency Gover’r Clinton.

Colonel Ludington also appears to have had many troubles and vexations
at this time, though his “staying qualities” were superior to those
of Colonel Hopkins. He wrote to the governor on the very day on which
Colonel Hopkins resigned, as follows:

                                    Fredericks Burgh, May 1st 1781.

    Honoured Sir, I was yesterday a Coming to wait on your
    Excellency, but hearing of my little Son (who is at School at
    Danbury) lying very dangerous with the plurisy, was obliged
    to turn my Course that way, for which Reason obliges me to
    commit my Errand in writing. Your Excellency no dought has been
    inform’d of our troubles of late in Regard of a large party of
    Robbers being for four weeks past near me in the mountains,
    which has occasioned me in some measure of being behind hand in
    turning out my men for the nine months Service, for the chief
    part of my Regiment has been out ever since the Robbers came
    among us, And, Sir, were you to be fully acquainted with the
    Difficulty I now labour under you would think is impossible
    for me to do it, as I have but one field officer, which is
    Major Robinson who lives so near the lines that he has enough
    to take care of himself, The Circumstances of my wife and
    family renders it inconvenient for me to move immediately if I
    intend to save my life, or anything for my family’s support.
    My Captains seeing the Distresses that is daily comeing upon
    themselves by Reason of haveing their Sergents sued and torn to
    pieces for what Necessity required them to do among the tories,
    while we was under the authority of Committees, and many of
    their best men are beat and robbed by persons who say they are
    Refugees from below. It is only for them to call a man a tory,
    be him ever so good a man, himself, wife and Children get beat
    in such a manner that he’s obliged to turn out his Substance
    to save their lives. And at best the Regiment are verry poor
    when compared with other Regiments and are call’d on to raise
    an eaquil number with the others, when I can affirm that ten
    farmers in Coll. Brinckerhoff’s Regiment is able to purchase
    the whole of mine. In this uneaquil way, I have been obliged to
    turn out my men untill they are so much impoverish’d that they
    almost dispair.

    It seems the power of Earth and Hell was let loose against
    me and my Regiment. Even one of the most abandant Ruffins is
    indulged to hold me up to public view for Cowardice, for
    challenging him to fight a Duel. It is what I never thought
    on, neither did he think I did, but was let loose upon me by
    the Instigation of a set of Ruffins who Conspired together to
    take my life, and I knowing this Kees to be a transient person
    who had neither Connection, Credit, Money or friends, nor no
    place of Residence here, that it was out of my power to get
    Recompence from such a fellow as he, unless it was by giveing
    him a floging, and that he had put out of my power by Secreting
    himself. This being my Situation shall expect from your
    Excellency some Directions and advice by a line what will be
    best for me to doe. I something expect that General Swartwout
    will wait on you this day, who will be able to state some of
    the Difficulties I have mentioned and whether it will not be
    best to anex my Regiment to some other Regiment, or give me
    some field officers, who in time of turning out my men will be
    better able and more willing to assist me.

    Am, Sir, with due Regard your Excellency’s Most Obed’t and
    verry Hum’e Serv’t

                                                    HENRY LUDINTON.

    His Excelency George Clinton, Esqr.

The governor regarded Colonel Ludington’s request for more officers as
reasonable, and promptly complied with it as follows:

    Sir, In Answer to yours of the 1st Instant I have to inform you
    that Lieuts. Johnson, Duel & Becker of your Regt. are appointed
    Officers in the Levies. These will have orders to receive &
    march your Quota to the Place of Rendevouz. The last I received
    from you I answered a Day or two after it came to Hand. My
    Letter was forwarded by Judge Paine. If you apply to the
    Secry. I imagine you will find that the appointments for your
    Regt. agreable to your Return have long since been perfected.
    Agreable to a Notification in the public News Papers the
    Council mett at this Place on the 26th Instant. It would have
    been proper to have applied to them at that Time either to have
    had the vacancies in your Regt. filled up or to have made your
    Resignation as they only have the Power of doing the former or
    of accepting of the latter. I am &c.

                                                            (G. C.)

    There may be some other gentlemen residing within your Regt.
    appointed officers for the Levies but of this I cant be certain
    as I am neither acquainted with its Limits or their Places of
    Residence. (To Colonel Ludinton.)

A fortnight later new orders as to the distribution of levies were
issued. Colonel Ludington was to be retained on duty in Westchester
County, where he was much needed. But a sharp controversy arose over his
alleged dilatoriness in raising his quota of men. These letters indicate
the general trend of affairs at that time:

                                           Fishkeels 13th May 1781.

    D’r Governor, I have just Returnd from three days fortague
    receving Colo. Vanderburgh Levies.

    I beg to no what part of Ulster County I shall derect that part
    of the Levis to purposed for that Quarter. I have proposed
    Capt. Livingston for that Command & beg he may be as ney my
    post as posable. I am your Excel’cy most Obt. Hbl. Serv’t

                                                  E. V. BUNSCHOTEN.

    His Ex’ly G. Clinton.

    N. B. I expose my poverty as to paper.

                                                     May 13th 1781.

    S’r, I have rec’d your Letter by Capt. Livingston. The
    Detachm’t intended for the frontiers of Ulster are to proceed
    to Kingston. Colo. Graham’s Regt. will furnish 50 so that
    no more are to be sent than with them will make up 100. I
    am anxious that those for Albany be dispatched as soon as
    possible, and it is my wish that a Part of those already on
    the ground be sent there as their appearance on the Frontier
    will give Confidence to the Inhabitants. Field’s & Ludington’s
    Levies are intended for West Chester. Call in all the absent
    Officers immediately. Capts. Marshall & Whelp who belong to
    Willet’s Regt. ought to join & take Charge of the Detachm’t
    intended for Albany.

                                                            (G. C.)

    (Major Van Bunschoten.)

                                       Poughkeepsie, May 13th 1781.

    Sir, I am informed by Letter from Colo. Luddenton that he has
    not yet done any Thing towards raising the Levies from his
    Regt., that they are not even formed into Classes. I must,
    therefore, insist that you immediately take the measures
    directed by Law for drawing forth his Proportion of men,
    together with the Deficiencies from all the other Regiments, a
    Return of which will be furnished you by Major Buntschoten on
    your application. The Service will by no means admit of Delay
    in this Business. I, therefore, expect your utmost exertions. I
    am &c.

                                                      GEO. CLINTON.

    Brig’r. Genl. Swartwout.

                                            Fishkill May 16th 1781.

    D’r Sir, Agreable to your Exlancey’s order, I wated on Colo.
    Luddenton to Receive the Levies from his Ridgment; he promisd
    to have them Ready the next week, but hearing he made no stur,
    I sent Lt. Dyckman to know when I might expect them, but he
    could not see him. I then went myself several times before
    I could see him; he at length set a day to Receive them but
    neighther he nor his men mad ther appearance. I cald on him
    the nex day to know the Reason, but he was out of the way. I
    then concluded to report to him but by chance I met him on the
    Road; he then promised to turn them out the twenty first of the
    month. Should I bee disapointed again, I shall wait on your
    exlancey with the perticulars and remain, with the greatest
    esteem, your exlancey’s most obediant and most umble serv’t

                                                     D’NL WILLIAMS.

    His exlancey Governor Clinton.

Colonel Ludington appears to have fulfilled his word and to have
completed his quota in a satisfactory manner, for there is no indication
of any further complaints, and he is known to have continued in the
service in the best of standing. His next correspondence with Governor
Clinton had to do with the petitions of two deserters for clemency, and
with the case of a woman who had become an outlaw. Colonel Ludington’s
letter and the petition, and the governor’s reply, were as follows:

                              Fredericksburgh, September 21d, 1781.

    Honored Sir: Being acquainted with the contents of the petition
    sent you enclosed from Sem’r Arnold and Cowin should esteam
    it as a favour Dun unto them and my Self if it should have
    its Desired efect. But be that as it may an answer from His
    Excelenz Consearning the Same will Mutch oblige your very
    Humble Servant

    To his Excellency George Clinton, Esqr. Governor.

           Petition of Daniel Cowing and Seymour Arnold.

         To his Excellency George Clinton Esquire Governor
                     of the State of New York:

      The Humble Petition of Daniel Cowing & Seymour Arnold.

    Humbly Sheweth—That your Petitioners were by undue influence
    and evil Example unhappily led to desert their Station in
    the levies under Captain Williams on the Lines in the county
    of Westchester and though your Petitioners upon the first
    reflection were sensible of the enormity of their Crime &
    inclined to return to their Duty, the dread of Corporal
    punishment prevented them till pardon could be procured from
    their officers; that many applications for that purpose have
    been made by persons employed by your Petitr. without Effect,
    that your Petitr. are heartily sorry for, and ashamed of their
    conduct, are fully determined and solemnly promise never to
    be guilty of the same Crime again under any Circumstances or
    treatment whatsoever, that your Petrs. hope some indulgence
    from their known attachment to the Public cause as your petrs.
    have been in the service a great part of the time since the
    war Commenced and are now willing to make every amend in their
    power to the state by serving longer than the time limited or
    Otherways as your Excellency or their officers may appoint, if
    by your Excellency’s interposing in their favour your petrs.
    may be exempted from Corporal punishment for this offence
    and at Liberty to return to their duty immediately this your
    Petitrs. implore & hope from your Excellencys known Clemency.

    And your Petrs. as in duty bound will ever Pray.

       *       *       *       *       *

                                    Poughkeepsie, Septr, 21st 1781.

    Sir, I have rec’d your letter of this Date with the Petition of
    the Deserters from Capt. Williams’ Company & the request of
    the Overseers of Poor relative to Mrs. Webb.

    The levies you may remember are by the Law put under the
    Command of the Commander in Chief & made subject to the
    Continental Articles of War. Genl. Heath has now the command of
    the Department & the application in behalf of the Petitioners
    should be to him. I cannot with Propriety interfere in the
    matter. But at any Rate they ought first to deliver themselves
    up & offer to return to their duty before they can expect a
    remission of the Punishment they have incurred.

    With respect to Mrs. Webb—the law makes it the duty of the
    Justices to warn her out of the State and she is to depart
    within twenty Days after Notice given her accordingly, or be
    out of the protection of the law, I am,

                                                            (G. C.)

    Colo. Luddinton Fredericksburgh.

Later in the war, much difficulty was again experienced in raising the
desired levies:

                                 Fredricksburgh, aprill 14th, 1782.

    Honoured Sir, it will be neadles for me to State to your
    Excelency the Difficulties and Disadvantiges my Distresd
    Regment Labours under as in Regard of Raising their quota of
    men, for Sure I am that if it was Consistant his Excelency
    would give us every Asistance in his power. This one Request
    I shall atempt to make that we should Have an offisar or two
    apointed in the Regiment. If that should Be the case I think
    it would Have a tendancy to aleviate us in the pain of Raising
    them and prevent Desartions which hath Been verry preverlent
    2 or 3 of the Last Campains. The men I Raised the Last year
    were as good men as I would Evr wish to Command, were put
    under Capt. Williams And Desarted all to a man. As it is so
    Burthensom to Rase the Money to pay their Bounties pray Let us
    indeavour they shall Do the Service intended. It is my opinion
    that Lt. Charles Stewart that was with Colo. Wesenfell Last
    year will answer well for a capt. and his son for a 2 L’dtant.

            am Sir His Excelencys verry Humble Servant

                                                    HENRY LUDINTON.

    Governor Clinton.

A few days later he wrote again:

                                    Fredricksburgh Aprill 23, 1782.

    Honoured Sir,

    I must Beg Leave to trouble his Excelency this once more with
    my Request that Lt Charles Stuart shall Be indulged with the
    Same offise he held last year under Colo. Wiesenfelt. I should
    not so Strenuously insist upon it only that I am Sensable it
    will have a tendancy to induce the young men of his aquantance
    to inlist and that for a mutch les sum than if they were to go
    with Strangers. Sir for the Reasons above Resited I shall hope
    his Excelency will grant this my Request as well as others. I
    am Sir his Excelencys most obedient and Humble Servant

                                                    HENRY LUDINTON.

    To George Clinton Esqr. Governor.

    P. S. Sir a line By way of answer if it should be agreable.

Thus Colonel Ludington served through the war to its close, in his
various capacities, and at the end was much concerned with securing
settlements of the pay due to himself and his troops. His own rate of pay
is indicated in several entries on the pay-rolls. Thus we find—

Abstract of Pay & Rations due Col. Henry Luddington’s Regt. of Dutchess
County Militia in the Service of the United States at different Periods
between March 1779 & November 1780.

      Names.         Rank    Commencing  Ending      Time
                                                  Months days
                               1779       1780
  Henry Luddington  Colonel    March     Novemr.    1     5
  Dollars pr  -------------  Amount of  Amount of Pay
    Month     Rations Price   Rations.  and Rations.
     75         210   10d     8:15:--.    43:15:--.

Apparently it was long after the war before all these matters were fully
adjusted, as the date of the following affidavit shows:

    I Henry Ludinton do solemnly and sincerely swear that the
    List hereunto annexed contains an Account of all Certificates
    that remained in my Hands of those that were issued by the
    Treasurer and delivered to me for Paying my Regiment; That the
    remainder were to the best of my knowledge and belief delivered
    to the Persons who performed the services or their legal
    representatives and that the names subscribed to the vouchers
    produced were bona fide subscribed by them.

                                                    HENRY LUDENTON.

    Sworn before me this 13th Day of Septr. 1792.

                                             Gerard Bancker Treasr.

Voucher No. 306, of “The United States to the State of New York, Dr. for
payments on Certificates for Military Services performed in the late
War,” presumably covering all payment made to Colonel Ludington for
federal services, shows a total of £1330:19s:2d.

[Illustration: Pay certificate of a member of Colonel Ludington’s

Colonel Ludington appears to have been the purchaser, for cash, of some
of the lands apportioned to soldiers as bounties for their services.
Thus in the “Manuscripts of the Colony and State of New York in the
Revolutionary War,” on file in the controller’s office at Albany, Mr.
Patrick has found this entry:

    We the subscribers members of a class in Capt. William Pierce’s
    Company and Colo. John Field’s Regiment who have Procured a
    man to wit Christian Null to serve in the Levies of this State
    Until the First Day of January Next who has been Delivered
    and a Certificut Taken for Such Delivery According to Law
    whereby the said Class Is Entitled to two hundred acres of
    Unappropriated Land we do therefore in Consideration of the sum
    of five Pounds to us in hand paid By Henry Ludenton Esqr the
    Receipt Whereof we do acknowledge and Do grant and transfer
    unto the said Henry Ludenton Esqr. his heirs and assigns the
    Whole Right of the said two hundred acres of Land which said
    Class is Entitled To In persuance of a Law of this State
    Entitled an act for Raising Troops to Complete the Line of this
    State In the service of the United States And the two Regiments
    to Be Raised on Bounties of Unappropriated Lands and for the
    Further Defence of the frontiers of this State Passed the 25th
    of March 1782 To have and to hold the sd two hundred Acres of
    Land Unto the sd Henry Ludinton His heirs and assigns to his
    and their proper use and Benefit and behoof forever as witness
    our hands and seals this the 3d of March 1783.

    Henry Ludinton

    Assignee and Assignor

        ASA SABIN

    Seald and Delivered in presence of

        Jathro Sherman
        James Ferriss

This document is endorsed as follows:

    Be it remembered that I Henry Ludinton do Assign over this
    within Conveyance unto Benjamin Conklin and to his Heirs and
    Assigns to Reserve and injoy the Land therein mentioned.

                                                    HENRY LUDINTON.

    Dated November 1st 1783 in presence of Eleazar weed.

With such transactions the military service of Colonel Ludington was
concluded, and the remainder of his busy life was reserved for civil
duties and his private affairs.



With the return of peace in the triumph of the cause for which he
had battled, Colonel Ludington by no means lapsed into inactivity or
obscurity, but continued to serve the State in various ways with the
same earnestness which he had shown in war. For some time he was again a
deputy sheriff of Dutchess County, and in the performance of his duties
on one occasion was severely stabbed by a desperado named Brown, whom
he was arresting. For many years he was a justice of the peace, his
long service being ample evidence of the confidence which his fellow
citizens reposed in his probity and of the esteem in which they held
his intelligence. He had not a legal education. Indeed, as has already
been observed and as the composition of his letters clearly shows,
his schooling in even the ordinary branches was slight. His rulings
as justice of the peace were therefore based more upon common sense
and practical, elementary justice than upon technical familiarity with
statute law or with the prescribed forms of judicial procedure. His
shrewd sense and his just disposition, however, guided him so well that
his administration of the office was satisfactory to those who had
occasion to use his court, and it was a rare thing for an appeal to be
taken against any of his decisions, and still more rare for a higher
court to reverse his judgment. After many years of satisfactory service,
one of his friends persuaded him that he should pay more attention to
the technical conventionalities of judicial procedure, and to that
end provided him with a compendium of legal practice. This treatise,
admirably comprehensive yet concise, covering a number of foolscap
pages of manuscript, is among Colonel Ludington’s papers now in the
possession of his grandson, Charles H. Ludington. Colonel Ludington
accepted the advice with some misgivings, but studied the compendium,
and when the next case came before him he conducted court in a more
technically correct way than before. On this occasion an appeal was
made by the defeated party to a higher court, and that court reversed
Colonel Ludington’s judgment and ordered a new trial. That was something
which had never before happened, and was naturally a cause of chagrin to
him. He indignantly declared that it was all because of the new-fangled
methods of procedure which his friend had persuaded him to adopt, and he
thereafter persisted in conducting his court in the old-fashioned way.

Among the records of the Dutchess County justices’ courts, or courts
of special sessions, are many entries of cases tried before him. In
October, 1803, Henry Ludington, Cyrus Benjamin and Stephen Hayt occupied
the bench when “Ruamy Shaw was brought before the court charged with
feloniously stealing, taking and carrying away from the house of Isaac
Russell a pair of shoes and a Tea Kettle Holder, whereupon the said Court
after hearing witnesses for and against the prisoner are of the opinion
that the said Ruamy Shaw is guilty, … that she therefore pay a fine of
five dollars and stand committed until judgement be complied with.” The
fine was promptly paid, in the form of a due bill by William Shaw. In
July, 1806, before the same justices, “Else Lake, Spinster, was convicted
… for feloniously stealing taking & carrying away one Plad Chinz gown
out of the dwelling house of Frances Mead … and that the said court lay
a fine of $5, and that she stand committed until the same is paid. She
refusing to pay the same, Metimas (mittimus) wrought and delivered to
John Griffen const.” That plaid chintz gown was a source of much trouble,
for on that same day before the same court, “Phebe Davis, wife of Solomon
Davis, was … convicted for feloniously stealing one Plad Chinz gown to
the value of $3.50 cents, the property of Frances Mead, and that the said
Court lay a fine on the said Phebe of $6 and that she stand committed
until the same is paid. She refusing to pay the same, Metimas wrought and
delivered to John Griffen const.”

It will be of some quaint, antiquarian interest to recall the phraseology
of the commissions which were in those days issued to justices of the
peace. One of those issued to Henry Ludington, now in the MS. collection
of Mr. Patrick, runs as follows, being practically identical, _mutatis
mutandis_, with others issued to him by later governors.

    THE PEOPLE of the State of New York, by the Grace of GOD, Free
    and Independent.

    To David Brooks, … Henry Ludington, … and Ahab Arnold, in our
    County of Dutchess, Esquires, Greeting:

    Know Ye, that We have appointed and assigned; and by these
    Presents, do appoint and assign, you and every of you, jointly
    and severally, Justices to keep Our Peace, in our County of
    Dutchess, and to keep, and cause to be kept, all Laws and
    Ordinances, made or to be made, for the good of the Peace,
    and for the Conservation of the same, and for the quiet Rule
    and Government of the Citizens and Inhabitants of our said
    State, in all and every the Articles thereof, in our said
    County, as well within Liberties, as without according to the
    Force, Form and Effect of the same Laws and Ordinances; and
    to chastise and punish all Persons offending against the Form
    of those Laws and Ordinances, or any of them, in the County
    aforesaid, in such Manner, as, according to the Form of those
    Laws and Ordinances, shall be fit to be done; and to cause to
    come before you, or any or either of you, all those Persons
    who shall break the Peace, or have used, or shall use Threats,
    to any one or more of the Citizens or Inhabitants of our said
    State, concerning their Bodies, or the firing of their Houses,
    or Barns, to find sufficient Security for the Peace, or their
    good Behaviour towards the People and Inhabitants of our said
    State; and if they refuse to find such Security, then them in
    Prison, until they shall find such Security, to cause to be
    safely kept: And further, We have also appointed and assigned
    you the said Justices, or any three or more of you, to enquire,
    by the Oath of good and lawful Men, of our County aforesaid, by
    whom the Truth may be the better known, of all, and all manner
    of Larcenies, Thefts, Trespasses, Forestallings, Regratings,
    Engrossings and Extortions whatsoever, and of all and singular
    other Crimes and Offences, of which Justices of the Peace may
    or ought lawfully to enquire, by whomsoever, and after what
    Manner soever, in the County aforesaid, done or perpetrated,
    or which shall happen to be there done or attempted: And also,
    of all those who in the said County have gone or rode, or
    hereafter shall presume to go or ride, in Companies with armed
    Force, against the Peace, to the Disturbance of the Citizens
    and Inhabitants of our said State: And also, of all those who
    have there lain in Wait, or hereafter shall presume to lie in
    Wait, to maim, or cut and kill, any Citizen or Inhabitant of
    our said State: And also, of all Victuallers and Innholders,
    and all and singular other Persons, who have offended or
    attempted to offend, or hereafter shall presume or attempt to
    offend in the said County, in the Abuse of Weights or Measures,
    or in the Sale of Victuals, against the Form of the Laws and
    Ordinances of our said State, or any of them, made for the
    common Good of our said State, and the Citizens and Inhabitants
    thereof: And also of all Sheriffs, Bailiffs, Constables,
    Gaolers and other Officers whatsoever, who, in the Execution of
    their Offices about the Premises, or any of them, have unduly
    demeaned themselves, or hereafter shall presume to behave
    themselves unduly, or have been, or hereafter shall happen to
    be careless, remiss or negligent, in the County aforesaid;
    and of all and singular Articles and Circumstances, and all
    other Things whatsoever, that concern the Premises or any of
    them, by whomsoever, and after what Manner soever in the said
    County, done or perpetrated, or which shall hereafter happen
    to be done or attempted, in what Manner soever, and to inspect
    all Indictments whatsoever, so before you or any of you taken,
    or to be taken, or before others late Justices of the Peace
    in the said County, made or taken and not determined; and to
    make and continue Processes thereupon, against all and singular
    the Persons so indicted, or who, before you, shall happen to
    be indicted, until they be taken, surrender themselves, or
    be out-lawed; and to hear and determine all and singular the
    Larcenies, Thefts, Trespasses, Forestallings, Regratings,
    Engrossings, Extortions, unlawful Assemblies, Indictments
    aforesaid, and all and singular other the Premises, according
    to the Laws, Ordinances and Statutes, of our said State; as
    in the like Case it has been accustomed or ought to be done;
    and the same Offenders and every of them, for their Offences,
    by Fines, Ransoms, Amerciaments, Forfeitures and other Means,
    according to the Laws and Customs of our said State, and the
    Form of the Ordinances and Statutes aforesaid, it has been
    accustomed or ought to be done, to chastise and punish. You,
    therefore, and every of you are diligently to attend to the
    keeping of the Peace, Laws and Ordinances, and all and singular
    other the Premises, and at certain Days and Places, which
    you, or any three of you shall, in that behalf, appoint, or
    by Law shall be appointed, you enquire into the Premises, and
    hear and determine all and singular the Premises, and perform
    and fulfil the same in form aforesaid; doing therein what to
    Justice appertaineth, according to the Laws and Ordinances
    aforesaid: Saving to Us our Amerciaments and other Things to Us
    thereof belonging: And the Sheriff of our County of Dutchess
    aforesaid, at certain Days and Places, which you the said
    Justices of the Peace of the said County, or any three or more
    of you shall make known to him, shall cause to come before you,
    the said Justices of the Peace of the said County, so many
    such good and lawful Men of his Bailiwick or County, as well
    within Liberties as without, by whom the Truth of the Matter
    in the Premises shall be the better known and enquired into:
    For all and singular which this shall be your Commission, for
    and during our good Pleasure, to be signified by our Council
    of Appointment. In Testimony whereof, We have caused these our
    Letters to be made Patent, and the Great Seal of our said State
    to be hereunto affixed: Witness, our trusty and well-beloved
    George Clinton, Esquire, Governor of our said State, General
    and Commander in Chief of all the Militia, and Admiral of
    the Navy of the same; by and with the Advice and Consent of
    our said Council of Appointment, at our City of Albany, the
    fifteenth day of August, in the Year of Our Lord one thousand
    eight hundred and one, and in the twenty-sixth year of our

                                                      GEO. CLINTON.

Colonel Ludington also served with some distinction as a member of
Assembly in the State Legislature, for Dutchess County, some of such
service being during the Revolutionary War. He thus served in the Third
Session, which met at Kingston from August 18, 1777, to October 25,
1779, at Albany from January 27 to March 14, 1780, and at Kingston
again from April 22 to July 2, 1780; in the Fourth Session, which met
at Poughkeepsie from September 7 to October 10, 1780, at Albany from
January 17 to March 31, 1781, and at Poughkeepsie from June 15 to July
1, 1781; in the Ninth Session, which met in New York City from January
12 to May 5, 1786; and in the Tenth Session, which met in New York City
from January 12 to April 21, 1787. He appears to have been a prominent
and influential member. At the meeting of January, 1786, he was made a
member of the Ways and Means Committee, and of a special committee to
prepare a bill for the regulation of the militia and the establishment
of magazines. The records of that meeting show that Colonel Ludington
was in constant attendance and was an active participant in the business
of the House. He is recorded as voting at almost every division, and
generally appears to have been a member of the majority. On March 1 it
was represented to the Legislature that a number of prisoners confined
in the jail of New York for debt were reduced to great extremity for want
of wood and firewood, and were in danger of perishing for want of such
necessaries; wherefore a committee of three, Colonel Ludington being one,
was appointed to inquire into the matter—one of the first steps toward
the abolition of imprisonment for debt. On March 6, 1787, the Legislature
proceeded to the nomination and appointment of “delegates to meet with
delegates as may be appointed from other States, for the sole purpose
of revising the Articles of Confederation”—to wit, the Constitutional
Convention of the United States. Colonel Ludington, who was a staunch
Federalist, voted for the appointment of Alexander Hamilton, Robert
Yates, and John Lansing, Jr.

Soon after there arose a remarkable illustration of the dilatory
disposition of governments of that day in dealing with some matters of
real importance in which honor and good faith were involved. Away back
in April, 1784, Colonel Ludington had submitted to the Legislature a
petition relative to certain certificates for depreciation of soldiers’
pay, which he had lost or which had been stolen from him. Mr. Pell, of
the committee to which the petition was referred, had reported that the
facts were as stated in the petition, and that the petition for relief
ought to be granted. Leave was granted for the introduction of a bill
to that effect, and the bill was introduced and passed by the Assembly.
Either it was not concurred in by the Senate, however, or for some
reason it was not put into effect. For now, on April 14, 1787, we find
Colonel Ludington again presenting to the Assembly, of which he was a
member, a petition setting forth that certain depreciation certificates,
amounting in all to 407 pounds 4 shillings, had been stolen from him, and
that after passing through divers hands were paid to the Commissioners
of Forfeitures for the purchase of a forfeited estate, and were then in
the treasury of the State, wherefore he prayed for a law directing the
treasurer to return them to him. Mr. Hamilton, from the committee to
which the petition was referred, reported that the facts were found to
be as stated, that the petitioner’s case would be very unfortunate if he
were to be finally deprived of the benefit of the certificates which had
been stolen from him, and that it would be a proper act of generosity in
the State to direct the treasurer to return them to him. The committee
recommended that a clause to that effect be inserted in some bill then
before the House. The House, however, voted not to concur in the report
of the committee, and it does not appear that any further step toward
doing him justice was taken at that time. Finally, however, on March 12,
1792, the Legislature adopted the following act:

    Whereas certain certificates issued by the auditors appointed
    to liquidate and to settle the accounts of the troops of this
    State in the service of the United States have been received by
    the Commissioners of Forfeitures, and are now in the treasury
    of this State, which it appears to this Legislature were lost
    by Henry Ludenton, and which certificates at the time they
    were lost were not transferable, otherwise than by assignment;
    And whereas the said Henry Ludenton has prayed relief in the
    premises; Therefore, Be it enacted by the people of the State
    of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, That whenever
    the United States shall direct that the residue of the twelve
    hundred thousand dollars may be subscribed, which by the act
    of the United States entitled “An act for making provision for
    the debt of the United States,” passed the 4th day of January,
    1790, had not been subscribed before the last day of September
    last, then the Treasurer of this State is hereby authorized
    and directed to deliver unto Henry Ludenton the aforesaid
    certificates … being the certificates lost by the said Henry

Thus nearly eight years after the original appeal for relief, which was
acknowledged to be valid and worthy, the Legislature voted to grant
such relief at some indefinite time in the future, conditioned upon the
fulfilment of obligations by the federal government, which had already
shown itself dilatory in the matter!

One of the most important divisions in which Colonel Ludington voted
in the minority was that concerning the independence of the State of
Vermont, a matter over which there had been danger of a civil war.
Said the “County Journal and Poughkeepsie Advertiser” for April 4,
1787: “Last Wednesday morning the important question for declaring the
Independence of Vermont was debated in the House of the Assembly. It
was carried in the affirmative, as follows:” The poll of the House as
given shows 32 votes in the affirmative, and 21 in the negative, Colonel
Ludington’s name being among the latter, although his friends Hamilton
and Lansing voted in the affirmative.

In the “New York Packet and American Advertiser” of February 27, 1783,
appeared this notice:

    “Notice is hereby given to the Debtors and Creditors of Stephen
    Ludinton, deceased, who was by a jury of inquest said to
    have been murdered by John Akins, to meet me at the House of
    Alexander Mills in Fredericksburgh on Monday the 10th day of
    March next, at 10 o’clock in the morning, in order to discharge
    the debts due the said estate, and receive payment as far as
    the estate will go as it is supposed he died insolvent.

                                      “HENRY LUDINGTON _Executor_.”

An act of the Legislature on March 9, 1810, made Colonel Ludington one
of the incorporators of “a body corporate and politic” for the purpose
of “making a good and sufficient turnpike road to begin at the Highland
turnpike road near the house of Joseph C. Voight in the town of Cortlandt
and County of Westchester, and from thence to or near the house of James
Mandeville and to or near the house of Samuel Owens, in the town and
county aforesaid; from thence to or near the house of Jonathan Ferris,
and to or near the house of Edward Bugby and Solomon Avery in Philipstown
in the county of Dutchess; from thence running up Peekskill Hollow, to
or near the house of Rowland Bailey, and to or near the house of Henry
Ludington in the town of Frederick; from thence running to the great road
west of Quaker Hill, to or near the house of Thomas Howard.”

It should be added, to complete the record, that Colonel Ludington was in
1771 an overseer of the poor for South Precinct; in 1772 he was assessor
of Fredericksburgh; and in 1776, 1777, and 1778 he was supervisor of the
town of Fredericksburgh.

Colonel Ludington was commonly known by his military title to the end
of his life. As a matter of fact, however, he ceased to exercise the
functions of a colonel on September 27, 1786. An act of the Legislature
of New York of April 4, 1782, provided that “in case of the death,
resignation or other inability to serve, of any Colonel now commanding
a regiment (of militia), no Colonel shall thereafter be appointed
thereto; that such regiment and all others not now commanded by a Colonel
shall henceforth be commanded by a Lieutenant-Colonel.” This act was
doubtless largely the outcome of the deliberations of the committee on
reorganization of the militia of which Colonel Ludington was a member. At
the date named in 1786, accordingly, he retired from the command of the
regiment with which he had so long been identified, and was succeeded by
Lieutenant-Colonel Drake. In this regiment Archibald Ludington and Henry
Ludington, Jr., sons of Colonel Ludington, were, respectively, paymaster
and ensign. Henry Ludington, Jr., became lieutenant in the regiment
commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Elias Van Benschoten, and on June 7,
1793, when John Drake moved away from Dutchess County and was succeeded
in command of Ludington’s old regiment by Lieutenant-Colonel Elijah
Townsend, Henry Ludington, Jr., became a captain and Archibald Ludington
paymaster in it. Henry Ludington, Jr., filled that place until March
16, 1797, when, owing to his removal from Dutchess County, he resigned
and was succeeded by Samuel Smith. Archibald Ludington was succeeded by
Stephen Waring on March 23, 1803. The commission of Henry Ludington, Jr.,
as lieutenant, is preserved in the possession of Charles H. Ludington,
and reads as follows:

    THE PEOPLE of the State of NEW-YORK, By the Grace of GOD, free
    and independent;

    To Henry Ludinton, Junior, Gentleman, Greeting:

    We, reposing especial Trust and Confidence, as well in your
    Patriotism, Conduct and Loyalty, as is your Valour and
    Readiness to do us good and faithful Service; HAVE appointed
    and constituted, and by these Presents, DO appoint and
    constitute you, the said Henry Ludinton, Junior, Lieutenant of
    a Company in the Regiment of Militia in the County of Dutchess,
    whereof John Drake, Esquire, is Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant.

    You are therefore, to take the said Company into your Charge
    and Care, as Lieutenant thereof, and duly to exercise the
    Officers and Soldiers of that Company in Arms, who are hereby
    commanded to obey you as you shall from Time to Time receive
    from our General and Commander in Chief of the Militia of our
    said State, or any other your superior Officer, according
    to the Rules and Discipline of War, in Persuance of the
    Trust reposed in you; and for so doing, this shall be Your
    Commission, for and during our good Pleasure, to be signified
    by our Council of Appointment. IN TESTIMONY whereof, We have
    caused Our Seal for Military Commissions to be hereunto
    affixed. WITNESS our Trusty and Well-beloved GEORGE CLINTON,
    Esquire, our Governor of our State of New-York, General and
    Commander in Chief of all the Militia, and Admiral of the
    Navy of the same, by and with the Advice and Consent of our
    said Council of Appointment, at our City of New-York, the
    twenty-seventh Day of March, in the Year of our LORD, One
    Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-seven, and in the eleventh
    Year of our Independence.

    Passed the Secretary’s Office, 7th April, 1787. Robt. Harpur,
    D., Secretary.

                                                      GEO. CLINTON.

    (Governor’s signature in margin, under seal.)

Colonel Ludington, as has already been stated, at first occupied his
estate at Fredericksburgh under a lease, and did not actually buy the
land until July 15, 1812, when Samuel Gouverneur and wife made to him a
deed for 229 acres. Long before the latter date, however, he had acquired
other lands in Dutchess County, at least as early as 1781, when he was
the owner of a large tract in the eastern part of the county several
miles from his home. It was one of the perilous duties of his daughters
Sibyl and Rebecca frequently to ride thither on horseback, through the
Great Swamp, to see that all was well on the property. After the war he
disposed of that land, as the following notice, in the “County Journal
and Dutchess and Ulster Farmer’s Register,” of March 24, 1789, shows:

    To Be Sold By The Subscriber:

    A Farm of about 104 acres of land in Frederickstown in the
    County of Dutchess lying on the east side of the Great Swamp
    near the place where David Akins formerly lived. There are
    about 30 tons of the best kind of English hay cut yearly on
    such place, and considerable more meadow hay may be made, a
    sufficient quantity of plough and timber land, a good bearing
    orchard of the best of fruit, a large convenient new dwelling
    house and a stream of water running by the door. The place is
    well situated for a merchant or tavern keeper. Whoever should
    incline to purchase said place may have possession by the first
    of May next; the payments made as easy as possible and an
    indisputable title given for the same. For further particulars
    inquire of the subscriber or Mr. Edmund Ogden who keeps a
    public house on the Premises.

                                                    HENRY LUDINTON.

    March 9th, 1789.

The result of this advertisement was the sale of the farm in question
to a man from the former home of the Ludingtons in Connecticut. This
appears from a document in the possession of Mr. Patrick, the original
of an agreement made on November 5, 1790, between Colonel Ludington and
James Linsley, of Branford, Connecticut, by which the former covenanted
and agreed with the latter “to sell a certain farm situate, lying and
being in Fredericksburgh butted and bounded as follows adjoining Croton
River on the west side and on the south by Abijah Starr & Ebenezer
Palmer and on the north by P. Starr & Samuel Huggins, Containing about
one hundred and five acres.” The price to be paid at various times and
in various sums was “414 pounds, New York currency.” “And furthermore
the said Ludinton doth further agree with the said Linsley to Enter on
the Farm of him the said Ludinton where he now Dwells to Cut and Carry
away a sufficiency of timber for the framing of a Barn of the following
Dimentions forty feet in Length and thirty feet in Breadth and the said
Linsley hath further Liberty to enter upon the home farm of the said
Ludinton and Cutt sufficient quantity of sawmill logs for to cover said
Barn and after the said Linsley has drawn said logs to the saw mill of
the sd Ludinton he the said Ludinton will saw sd Logs without delay free
from all cost and charges of said Linsley.”

Colonel Ludington was much interested in the Presbyterian church at
Frederickstown, now Patterson, and was one of its trustees. On May 22,
1793, he and his fellow trustees purchased for the church from Stiles
Peet and his wife Lydia a plot of about a quarter of an acre of land for
a burying ground for the church, the price being at the rate of forty
shillings an acre. He also personally gave most of the lumber required
for building the first academy at Patterson, an edifice which was in
later years destroyed by fire.

[Illustration: Colonel Ludington’s tombstone at Patterson (formerly part
of Fredericksburgh), N. Y.]

In person Colonel Ludington was of more than ordinary stature, and
of robust frame and dignified and commanding presence. He was of an
eminently social disposition, and in the later years of his life he
and John Jay and Colonel Crane were accustomed often to meet at their
neighbor Townsend’s, for social evenings over their pipes and mugs, to
exchange memories of the stirring days of the Revolution. Throughout his
entire life he commanded in a high degree the respect and confidence
of all who knew him, and when he died at the goodly age of 78 he was
universally mourned. He died of consumption, after a prolonged illness,
on January 24, 1817. His remains were buried in the churchyard of the
Presbyterian church at Patterson, of which he had been a trustee, and
his grave was marked with a simple stone bearing only this inscription:

                               H. L.
                           In Memory of
                         HENRY LUDINGTON.
                          Jany. 24, 1817.
                          Aged 78 years.

So simple was the epitaph of one of whom Blake, the historian of
Putnam County, truly says: “Col. Ludington was one of the most active,
energetic and unflinching patriots found in this part of the country
during the Revolution, and much do we regret our inability to do justice
to the character and sterling virtues of this Revolutionary patriot.
The Government records, however, show him to have been one of the bold
defenders of our country’s rights.”

Colonel Ludington’s wife, Abigail, survived him eight years, and then on
August 3, 1825, was laid beside him, at the age of more than 80 years.

The will of Colonel Ludington, now on file in the surrogate’s office of
Putnam County, reads as follows:

    In the Name of God, Amen!

    I, Henry Ludenton of the Town of Fredericks County of Putnam
    and State of New York, being feeble in body but of perfect
    mind and memory, thanks be given unto God, calling into mind
    the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for
    all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and
    testiment, that is to say principly and first of all I give and
    recommend my Soul unto the hands of Almighty God That gave it,
    and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in a decent
    Christian burial at the discretion of my executors, nothing
    doubting that I shall receive the same again at the general
    Resurrection by the mighty power of God. And as touching such
    worldly property wherewith it has pleased God to bless me with
    in this life, I do give, demise and dispose of in the following
    manner. And farm first of all, I do order my executors to sell
    and dispose of so much land off the north end of my farm with
    the grist mill theron that will be sufficient to pay the debt
    that is owing from me to Samuel Governier’s the landlord, the
    line beginning at the east side of my farm on the line betwixt
    me and the aforesaid Governier and running westwardly to the
    north of my barn and dwelling house and all other buildings
    except the aforesaid mill until it crosses the Mill Brook, and
    line then to run more to the south in course (case) a straight
    line will not make land enough to discharge said debt, but to
    run no further west than the east fence of the old lot known by
    the name of the Old Ridge Lot, and secondly all the remainder
    and residue of my said farm dwelling house and buildings and
    all and singular the appurtenances thereunto belonging to
    remain in the hands of my executors for the use and benefit
    of Abigail Ludenton my wife and Abigail Ludenton my daughter
    and Derie Ludenton my son and Cornelia Ludenton my Grand
    Daughter so long as Abigail Ludenton remains my widow or in
    case she should not marry, until her decease, unless the said
    Abigail Ludenton my daughter or said Derrick Ludenton my son or
    Cornelia Ludenton should marry or either of them should marry
    the said farm to remain only for the use and benefit of those
    who are unmarried untill my widdow should marry or untill her
    disceas as is above expressed; and in case my daughter Abigail
    should not marry before the disceas of my widow she then at
    the deceas of my widow to take her choice of the Rooms in the
    Dwelling house wherein I live or when my widdow should marry
    which room she is to have and to hold as long as she remains
    single. All the remainder of my farm that is not set off for my
    executors to sell to discharge the debt of Samuel Governier,
    which land lying and being in the town of Frederick county
    aforesaid, I do give and bequeath unto my four sons Archibald
    Ludenton, Derrick Ludenton, Frederick Ludenton, Lewis Ludenton,
    to be equally divided amongst them in which case the said
    Ludinton and Ludenton is to pass unto Derrick Ludenton at the
    division thereof one hundred dollars wich farm of land they the
    said Archibald, Derrick, Frederick and Lewis Ludenton and their
    heirs is to have and to hold forever with all the appertinances
    thereunto belonging; but it is my will that Derrick Ludenton
    my son’s proportion of the farm to remain in the hands of my
    executors and for them to do as they shall judge best for him
    with it. And I do will and bequeath Tartulus Ludenton my son
    Fifteen Dollars to be paid out of removable property, and
    after said fifteen dollars is paid and all my debts that my
    land is not sold to pay is paid and discharged, to pay which
    debts is my will that my executors should sell such and so
    much of the movable property they shall judge will least
    discommode the heirs which the residue is left to and share who
    is to have the property, and it is my will that all movable
    property should remain in the hands of my widdow for her use
    and the use of Derrick Ludenton my son, Abigail my daughter, to
    remain as the use of the farm is above discribed to remain in
    the hands of my executors for the use and benefit of Abigail
    Ludenton my wife and Abigail Ludenton my daughter and Derrick
    Ludenton my son and Cornelia Ludenton my grand daughter untill
    my wife marries or untill her disceas, unless Abigail, Derrick
    or Cornelia or one of them should marry, and the one that
    marries is to have use and benefit no longer of said property
    until disposed of as is hereafter directed. And I do will and
    bequeath unto my six daughters at the deceas or marriage of my
    widow all my movable property to be equally divided amongst
    them, that is to say Sibyl Ogden, Rebecca Pratt, May Ferris,
    Anna Colwell, Abigail Ludenton and Sophiah Caverly my daughters.

    And for the further surety of this my last will and testament
    I nominate and appoint John Hopkins of the town of Fishkill,
    County of Dutchess and State of New York, and Elijah Wixon of
    the town of Fredericks and County of Putnam and State aforesaid
    my sole executors of this my last will and testiment and I
    do hereby disallow, revoke and annull all and singular every
    other former will testament and bequeath and executors by me
    in any wise before mentioned willed and bequeath, ratifying and
    allowing this and no other to be my last will and testiment.
    In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this
    seventh day of April in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight
    hundred and thirteen.

                                              HENRY LUDENTON. L. S.

    Signed sealed and pronounced in presence of us

                                                    Stephen Merritt
                                                    John Burtch.

An interesting side-light is cast upon one feature of this will, as
well as upon the later years of Colonel Ludington’s life and the years
following his death, by a letter written in April, 1881, to Mr. Patrick
by Mrs. Julia L. Comfort, of Catskill, New York, a daughter of Colonel
Ludington’s son, Tertullus Ludington. Speaking of the old homestead at
Frederickstown, and the members of the family there, Mrs. Comfort said:

    I was so young when last there, and consequently do not
    remember much about them. It was the winter before Grandma
    Luddington died. She gave my Mother Grandfather’s gun and
    sword, and I think the powder horn to my brother Henry because
    he was named after him. They were all mounted with silver. The
    first time we were there was in the fall when chestnuts were
    ripe. There was a very large tree in the rear of the house, and
    Uncle Fred’s children, my sister and myself wished to get the
    chestnuts but could not. Grandma wanted Uncle Derrick to cut
    the tree down for us, but he said it would take two weeks to do
    it, it was so large.

    My Father was with us, and Grandfather said to him, (he always
    called him Tarty,) “I am going to make a will, and I owe you
    for five barrels of pork, but as I have not got the money just
    now I will remember it in my will.” (It was in war time (War
    of 1812) and pork was selling for thirty dollars a barrel.)
    Father told him he might give it to Archie, as he was very poor
    and Father was doing a good business and did not need it, but
    Archie said he never rec’d a cent of it.

    The last time Aunt Ogden was here, she was telling us how
    she and Aunt Sophia (probably a slip of the pen for Rebecca)
    were alone in the house in war time (Revolutionary War). They
    had had a fence built around the house, and they each had a
    gun, and once in a while they would fire one off to make the
    soldiers think there were men in the house.



It has already been observed that the earlier generations of the
Ludington family, in colonial days, were prolific; as, indeed, the
Ludingtons of the Old Country are said to have been. In revolutionary
days, Comfort, Elisha, Stephen, and other collateral relatives of his
were the comrades of Henry Ludington in the war and his neighbors
in Dutchess and the adjoining counties. Their descendants, and the
descendants of those of Colonel Ludington’s twelve children who married
and had issue, have been numerous, and many of them have made their
mark in contemporary affairs in various parts of the land. It is not
the purpose of this work, nor would its compass permit it, to give
any detailed chronicle of all the ramifications of the family. Brief
notices of a few of its members follow. Let us first deal with some of a
collateral line.

Colonel Henry Ludington married, as already noted, his cousin Abigail
Ludington. Her brother, Comfort Ludington, who has been mentioned as a
soldier in the Revolution, had a son named Zalmon, who in turn had a
son also named Zalmon. The last named was a soldier in the War of 1812;
in 1818 he went to Virginia, and four years later married Lovina Hagan,
of Preston County. Three of his children are still living, namely: Mrs.
M. L. Patrick, of Louisville, Kentucky; Dr. Horace Ludington, of Omaha,
Nebraska; and General Marshall I. Ludington, U. S. A. Another, Colonel
Elisha H. Ludington, U. S. A., died in 1891. Zalmon Ludington himself
lived to be more than ninety years of age, and at the age of eighty-eight
was able to make an important public address in the city of Philadelphia.

One of the sons of Zalmon Ludington, Elisha H. Ludington, entered the
United States Army as a captain in 1861, did important field service
with the Army of the Potomac in 1863, being engaged in the battles
of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and for “gallant and meritorious
service” in the latter conflict was brevetted a major on July 2, 1863.
On March 13, 1865, he was brevetted lieutenant-colonel “for meritorious
services during the war,” and also colonel on the same date “for faithful
and meritorious services in his department.” He served at Washington
and elsewhere as assistant inspector-general until his retirement for
disability on March 27, 1879, and died on January 21, 1891.

[Illustration: FREDERICK LUDINGTON, Son of Col. Henry Ludington.]

Marshall I. Ludington was born in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, on
July 4, 1839, and entered the army as captain of volunteers and acting
quartermaster-general on October 20, 1862. Like his brother he served in
the Chancellorsville and Gettysburg campaigns, in the Wilderness, and
at Petersburg, and then became chief quartermaster at Washington. In
January, 1867, he became major and quartermaster in the regular army,
and served in various places and was successively promoted until in 1898
he was made brigadier-general and quartermaster-general of the United
States Army, with headquarters at Washington. For several years he had
been acting quartermaster-general, but had not enjoyed full authority to
organize the department according to his own ideas. Consequently, when he
became quartermaster-general, only four days before the declaration of
war with Spain, he was confronted with a task of peculiar difficulty, for
which he had not been able to make satisfactory preparations such as had
been made in other branches of the service. Before he retired from the
office, however, he had so perfected the organization and equipment as to
make the department a model which military experts from Europe were glad
to study. He served until July 4, 1903, when he was retired under the law
for age, with the rank of major-general, U. S. A. Since his retirement he
has lived at Skaneateles, N. Y.

Mention has been made of Frederick Ludington, son of Colonel Henry
Ludington, who with his brother Lewis engaged for a time in general
merchandising at Frederickstown, or Kent, N. Y. He married Susannah
Griffith, and among their children was a son to whom they gave the
name of Harrison, in honor of the general who was just then winning
distinction in the United States Army and who afterward became President.
Harrison Ludington was born at Kent, New York, on July 31, 1812, and
served for a time as a clerk in his father’s and uncle’s store. In 1838
he removed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in company with his uncle, Lewis
Ludington, and there engaged in general merchandising, in partnership
with his uncle Lewis and later with his younger brother, Nelson. They
also had extensive interests in the lumber trade. Withdrawing from
their firm, he formed a partnership with Messrs. D. Wells and A. G. Van
Schaick, in the same business, with extensive lumber mills on Green Bay.
He was for many years conspicuously identified with the development of
the city of Milwaukee, and as the proprietor of a “general store” is
said to have purchased the first bag of wheat ever brought to market at
that place. He served for two terms as an alderman of Milwaukee, and in
1872-75 was mayor of that city. His admirable administration of municipal
affairs fixed the attention of the whole State upon him, and as a result
he was elected governor for the two years 1876 and 1877. He filled that
office with distinguished success, but at the end of his single term
retired from public life and resumed his manufacturing pursuits, in which
he continued until his death, which occurred at Milwaukee on June 17,

[Illustration: HON. HARRISON LUDINGTON, Governor of Wisconsin, 1876-1878.

Grandson of Col. Henry Ludington.]

George Ludington, second son of Frederick Ludington, and grandson of
Colonel Henry Ludington, was born in Putnam County and spent his life
there. He married Emeline C. Travis. For some years he occupied and
conducted the store which had formerly been managed by his father and
uncle, as already related, and afterward became cashier of the Bank of
Kent, later known as the Putnam County National Bank, a place which he
filled until his death.

A great-grandson of Colonel Henry Ludington, through his son Frederick
and the latter’s daughter Caroline, is Lewis S. Patrick, formerly in
government service at Washington but now and for many years living at
Marinette, Wisconsin. To his painstaking and untiring labors must be
credited the collection of a large share of the data upon which this
memoir of his ancestor is founded.

[Illustration: Old store at Kent, built by Frederick and Lewis Ludington
about 1808]

Sibyl Ludington, Colonel Ludington’s oldest daughter, who married Henry
Ogden, a lawyer of Catskill, N. Y., (elsewhere called Edward and Edmund,)
went to live at Unadilla, N. Y., and bore four sons and two daughters.
The distinguished career of one of these sons may well be told in a
quotation from the “New York Observer” of October 18, 1855, as follows:

    Major Edmund A. Ogden, of the United States army, who recently
    died of cholera at Fort Riley, Kansas Territory, was born at
    Catskill, N. Y., Feb. 20th, 1810. Soon after, he removed to
    Unadilla, N. Y., where he remained until he entered the United
    States Military Academy. On graduating, he was attached as
    brevet Second Lieutenant to the First Regiment of Infantry,
    then stationed at Prairie du Chien. He was subsequently
    appointed a First Lieutenant in the Eighth Infantry, where
    he served until appointed a Captain in the Quartermaster’s
    Department, in which corps he remained until his death. He
    served with credit and distinction through the Black Hawk,
    Florida and Mexican wars, and was created a Major by brevet,
    for meritorious conduct in the last named of these wars.

    His services, ever faithfully performed, have been arduous
    and responsible. He has disbursed for the government millions
    of the public money; he has labored hard, and always to the
    purpose, and after giving to his country five and twenty years
    of hard and useful service, he has died poor.

    For the last six years previous to last spring, Major Ogden was
    stationed at Fort Leavenworth, where he has rendered important
    service to the army in his capacity of Quartermaster. From this
    post he was ordered to California, and he removed with his
    family to New York with the expectation of embarking on the
    20th of April last, when his orders were suddenly suspended,
    and he was sent back to assist in outfitting the expedition
    against the Sioux Indians. He was afterwards charged with
    the arduous duty of erecting, within three months, barracks,
    quarters and stables for a regiment of troops at Fort Riley—a
    point about 150 miles west of Leavenworth, and which he
    had himself selected as a suitable place for a government
    post, when stationed at Fort Leavenworth. This place was
    not settled, and was an almost perfect wilderness. He took
    with him about five hundred mechanics and laborers, with
    tools and provisions, and commenced his labors. In a new and
    unsettled country, so destitute of resources, many obstacles
    were encountered, but just as they were being overcome, and
    the buildings were progressing, cholera in its most fatal and
    frightful form made its appearance among the men, from two
    to four of them dying every day. Far removed from homes and
    kindred, and accustomed to depend upon Major Ogden for the
    supply of their daily wants, they turned to him in despair for
    relief from the pestilence. He labored among them night and
    day, nursing the sick and offering consolation to the dying. At
    last the heavy hand of death was laid upon him, and worn out
    with care, watching and untiring labors, he fell a victim to
    the disease whose ravages he had in vain attempted to stay.

    In the death of this officer the army has lost one who was an
    ornament to its list; his own corps has lost one of its most
    efficient members—one whom they appreciated, and whom they
    delighted to praise. Among his associates in the army there is
    but one sentiment—that of regret for his loss and admiration
    for his professional and private character, and love for his
    estimable qualities. His associates in the army are not the
    only sufferers; but many and many in various parts of the land
    have lost a warm and true friend, and the country has lost an
    honest man and a Christian soldier.…

    In the hour of death, far from all he most loved on earth, he
    was cheered by his Christian hope. His faith was unshaken and
    enduring, and proved capable of supporting him in that last
    sad hour. Although weak and exhausted, he repeated the Lord’s
    Prayer audibly, and said to his friend the chaplain, who was by
    his side, “Tell my dear wife and children to try and meet me in
    heaven,” and then sank sweetly and quietly to rest.

    So died the Christian soldier, in the vigor of manhood, and
    at the post of duty. Bound as he was by so many tender ties
    to this earth, not a murmur escaped his lips, but he met his
    summons with a cheerful resignation to that Providence whose
    dealings he had recognized through life, and in whom he trusted
    in death.…

    It is interesting to note the evidences of the estimation in
    which Major Ogden was held at Fort Riley by the residents and
    the men in his employ. The following is an extract from _The
    Kansas Herald_ of the 10th:

    “The death of Major Ogden left a deep gloom upon the spirits
    of all the men, which time does not obliterate. His tender
    solicitude for the spiritual and bodily welfare of those under
    him; his unceasing labors with the sick, and his forgetfulness
    of self in attendance upon others, until he was laid low, have
    endeared his memory to every one there. And, as a token of
    affection, they are now engaged in erecting a fine monument
    which shall mark their appreciation of the departed. The
    monument, which will be of the native stone of the locality, is
    to be placed on one of the high promontories at Fort Riley, and
    can be seen from many a distant point by those approaching the
    place. It will bear the following inscription:

                     “Erected to the memory of
                     BREVET MAJOR E. A. OGDEN,
                    the founder of Fort Riley;
          a disinterested patriot and a generous friend;
              a refined gentleman; a devoted husband
                            and father,
                    and an exemplary Christian.

    Few men were more respected in their lives, or more lamented
    in their deaths. As much the victim of duty as of disease, he
    calmly closed a life, in the public service, distinguished for
    integrity and faithfulness.

       *       *       *       *       *


    Assistant Quartermaster, United States Army, departed this
    life, at Fort Riley, August 3d, 1855, in the forty-fourth year
    of his age.

       *       *       *       *       *

    ‘And I heard a voice saying unto me, write, blessed are the
    dead which die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the
    spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works
    do follow them.’”

[Illustration: Home of the late Lewis Ludington, son of Colonel
Ludington, at Carmel, N. Y., built in 1855]

A younger brother of Major Edmund Ogden was Richard Ludington Ogden, who
became a captain in the United States Army, and was an extensive and
adventurous traveler.

[Illustration: LEWIS LUDINGTON, Son of Col. Henry Ludington.

(From portrait by Frank B. Carpenter.)]

The sixth son and youngest child of Colonel Henry Ludington was Lewis
Ludington, who was born in Fredericksburgh on June 25, 1786. At the age
of twenty he engaged with his elder brother Frederick in conducting
a general store near their home. A few years later he married Polly
Townsend, the daughter and oldest child of Samuel Townsend and his
wife Keturah Crosby. The Townsends had come to Dutchess County many
years before from Long Island, and Polly Townsend’s great-grandfather,
Elihu Townsend, settled on a farm in South East Precinct, close to the
Westchester County line. He died about 1804, at the age of 102 years, and
was able to walk about the yard six weeks before his death. For several
years after their marriage Lewis and Polly Townsend Ludington lived in
a cottage near the Ludington homestead at Fredericksburgh, or Kent, as
it was then renamed. Then, in the spring of 1816, they removed to the
village of Carmel, where soon after Lewis Ludington bought property
which is still owned by members of the family. In the fall of 1855 he
completed and occupied the house which is still the family homestead.
The wood of which this house was built was cut on lands owned by Mr.
Ludington in Wisconsin, was sawed in his mills at Oconto in that State,
and was shipped from Green Bay to Buffalo in the lake schooner _Lewis
Ludington_. This circumstance suggests the fact that Lewis Ludington
was strongly identified with business interests in Wisconsin. He went
West in the fall of 1838, in company with his nephew, Harrison Ludington,
already mentioned, and Harvey Burchard, of Carmel, N. Y. They visited
Milwaukee, which was then a mere village, and during that winter made
several long trips on horseback through the interior of Wisconsin, for
the purpose of selecting government lands. They purchased extensive
tracts, largely with a view to the lumber trade, and in 1839 they formed
at Milwaukee the general mercantile firm of Ludington, Burchard & Co.,
of which Lewis Ludington was the eldest and Harrison Ludington the
youngest member. A year or two later Burchard retired and the firm became
Ludington & Co., Harrison’s younger brother Nelson being taken into
it. Nelson Ludington, by the way, was afterward president of the Fifth
National Bank of Chicago, and for many years was at the head of large and
successful lumbering and manufacturing interests and was prominent in
commercial life in Chicago. For nearly twenty years Lewis Ludington was
the head of the firm of Ludington & Co., which was one of the foremost
in Milwaukee, and which conducted what was for those days a business
of great magnitude. The firm also had lumber mills at Oconto and docks
at Milwaukee. About 1843, Lewis Ludington bought a tract of land in
Columbia County, Wisconsin, and in July of the following year laid out
thereon the city of Columbus. For many years he personally directed and
encouraged the development of the new community, which grew to be a city
of considerable population and wealth.

Thus for almost a quarter of a century Mr. Ludington conducted a
number of enterprises in Wisconsin, enjoying at all times the respect
and confidence of those who knew him and ranking among the best
representative citizens of the two States with which he was identified.
He was a Whig in politics, and exerted much influence in party councils,
especially opposing the extension of slavery, but would never accept
public office, though frequently urged to do so. He died on September 3,
1857, at Kenosha, Wisconsin, and his remains were interred in the family
lot in Raymond Hill Cemetery, at Carmel, N. Y.

[Illustration: CHARLES HENRY LUDINGTON, Grandson of Col. Henry

The fifth child of Lewis Ludington is Charles Henry Ludington, who was
born at Carmel, N. Y., on February 1, 1825. Among the schools which
he attended in boyhood was one conducted in the former home of “Peter
Parley” at Ridgefield, Conn. In 1842 he became a clerk in a wholesale
dry-goods store in New York, and later was for many years a member of a
leading firm in that same business—the firm of Lathrop, Ludington & Co.,
at first on Cortlandt Street, and afterward on Park Row. A considerable
portion of the business of this firm was with the southern States, but a
few years before the Civil War its name was published in the notorious
“black-list” of the pro-slavery Secessionists, as an “Abolitionist”
concern, and as a result all trade with that section of the country
was ended. The “black-list” at first comprised only the names of Bowen,
Holmes & Co., Lathrop, Ludington & Co., and a few others, but in time
was increased until it embraced about forty of the leading houses in
wholesale lines in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, and was widely
published throughout the South, to injure if possible the business of
those who, like Bowen, Holmes & Co., “sold their goods but not their
principles.” Of course the outbreak of the war ended what little trade
remained for these houses in the South, but Lathrop, Ludington & Co. more
than recouped elsewhere the losses of their southern trade, and before
the end of the war had become the third leading firm in that line in New
York. Mr. Ludington was an ardent upholder of the Union. Unable himself
to go to the war as a soldier, he employed and sent a substitute, and his
firm contributed large sums for the recruiting and equipping of troops in
New York City and in Putnam County. Retiring in 1868, he has since that
time been engaged in various personal enterprises in New York and in the

James Ludington, the sixth child of Lewis Ludington, was born at
Carmel, on April 18, 1827, went to Milwaukee in 1843, worked in the
establishment of Ludington & Co., aided his father in founding the town
of Columbus, and was for a time his father’s resident agent there. Later,
at Milwaukee, he was treasurer of a railroad company and vice-president
of the Bank of the West at Madison, Wisconsin. In 1859 he acquired
extensive saw-mills at the mouth of the Père Marquette River, in
Michigan, and there founded the city of Ludington. He died on April 1,

In addition to the impress thus widely made upon the military, political,
business and other history of the United States by members of the family,
the name of Ludington, in memory of the influence and achievements of
those who have borne it, is honorably inscribed upon the maps of no
fewer than four of the States. A village of Putnam County, at the site
of the old homestead of colonial and revolutionary times, bears, as we
have seen, the name of Ludingtonville—at once a tribute to the Ludington
family and an unfortunate example of the unhappy American habit, now less
prevalent than formerly, of adding “ville” to local names. Far better
was the bestowal of the simple and sufficient name of Ludington upon
the lake port in Michigan, referred to in the preceding notice of James
Ludington’s life. The same name is borne by a village in the parish of
Calcasieu, in southwestern Louisiana, while the part the Ludington family
played in the settlement and upbuilding of the State of Wisconsin is
commemorated in the name of a village in Eau Claire County, which retains
an old and familiar variant of spelling, Luddington.

The quoted tribute to the English Ludingtons of former centuries, with
which this volume was begun, might well, _mutatis mutandis_, be recalled
at its close for application to the Ludingtons of America. The boast of
being of “great estate” is worthily matched with the record of having
contributed something of substantial value to the common wealth of the
Great Republic, and travels in Eastern lands are rivalled with travels
and labors in the greater regions of the West; while even wars against
the Paynim and loyalty to the King did not surpass in merit the war for
liberty and independence and loyalty to the intrinsic rights of man. In
this view of the case, it is confidently hoped that not only for the sake
of family affection, but also for its historical interest, it will be
deemed worth the while to have told thus briefly and simply the story of
Henry Ludington.


  Aikins, David, affidavit of, 137

  Angell, Col. Israel, quoted, 168

  Arnold, Seymour, petition of, 183

  Beatty, Col. W., 166

  “Birch, Harvey,” 114

  Border Warfare in Revolution, 133

  Branford, Conn., 24

  Brinckerhoff, Col. Dirck, replies to Clinton, 99

  Burgoyne’s surrender, 106

  Burke’s Heraldry, quoted, 4

  Byington, John, affidavit of, 34

  Chatterton Hill, see White Plains

  Clinton, Fort, capture of, 105

  Clinton, George, commander of militia, 178;
    order to Colonel Graham, 86;
    troubled by disaffection of militia, 92;
    difficulties in raising levies, 94;
    orders to Colonel Ludington, 96;
    orders countermanded, 97;
    meets disaster at Fort Montgomery, 105;
    urges defense of Hudson, 106;
    letters to Colonel Ludington, 160, 170, 179, 185;
    to Colonel Hopkins, 173;
    to Colonel Van Bunschoten, 181;
    to General Swartwout, 181

  Clinton, Sir Henry, 105

  Clinton, James, 105

  Colony Record of Deeds, of Connecticut, quoted, 20

  Comfort, Mrs. Julia L., letter to Mr. Patrick, 213

  Cooper, James Fenimore, quoted, 114

  Cowing, Daniel, petition of, 183

  Crabb, John, arrest of, 143

  Crosby, Enoch, original of “Harvey Birch,” 115;
    narrative of his services as American spy, 118

  Dana, Francis, at Colonel Ludington’s, 167

  Danbury, Conn., raiding of, 88

  Dates, uncertainties of, 10

  De Kalb, Baron, 166

  De Peyster, General, quoted, 105

  Dieskau, Baron, 27, 28, 29

  Dimon, Lieutenant Colonel, arrests traitors, 143

  Dodd’s “East Haven Register,” quoted, 19, 22, 26

  Domesday Book, Ludington mentioned in, 6

  Duer, William, 55, 56, 57, 75, 134

  Dutchess County, N. Y., divisions of, 36, 58;
    population of, 40;
    officers of and their oaths, 41;
    revolutionary passions in, 49;
    Committee of Safety of, 49;
    text of patriotic compact in, 52;
    militia organizations of, 61, 70;
    services of militia of, 72;
    militia urged to service in, 87;
    scene of border warfare and raids, 133;
    a danger spot, 139;
    freeholders’ address to the Legislature, 153

  East Haven, Conn., 13

  Ellery, William, whimsical account of a night at Colonel Ludington’s, 166

  Farmer’s List of Ancient Names, quoted, 7

  Foote’s company, 2nd Connecticut Regiment, 26

  Fredericksburgh, town of, 37;
    much visited by troops, 165

  Frederickstown, 36, 58, 59

  Goodrich, Col. Elizur, 26

  Gray’s genealogical work, quoted, 3

  Hamilton, Alexander, on burning of Danbury, 91;
    voted for by Colonel Ludington, 199;
    report in behalf of Colonel Ludington, 200

  Hendrick, Mohawk chieftain, 27, 28

  Hoadly’s New Haven Colonial Records, quoted, 15

  Holmes, Col. John, Tory agent, 147;
    Colonel Ludington’s letter about, 148;
    captured by Colonel Ludington, 150

  _Hopewell_, ship, 7

  Hopkins, Col. Roswell, letter to Clinton, 171;
    experience with a press master, 174;
    resigns commission, 176

  Iron works at East Haven, Conn., 13

  Irving, Washington, quoted, 169

  Jay, John, 51, 55, 75, 125, 141, 208

  Johnson, Major General Sir William, 27

  Kane, Kain, or Keane, John, treated as a Tory, 169

  “Kansas Herald,” quoted, 222

  Kent, N. Y., town of, 37

  Kingston, N. Y., state capital, menaced by the British, 105;
    burned, 106, 161

  Lake George, Battle of, 27

  Lossing, Benson J., quoted, 169

  Loyalists, or Tories, 47, 73

  Luddington, Wisconsin, 228

  Ludington, Louisiana, 228

  Ludington, Michigan, 228

  Ludingtonville, N. Y., origin of, 38;
    name of, 228

  Ludington family, 3, 4, 5

  Ludington Hospital, 6

  Ludington, various forms of the name, 5

  Ludington, Abigail, 22, 35, 209

  Ludington, Archibald, 45, 204

  Ludington, Charles Henry, MS. collections quoted, 192, 204;
    career of, 226

  Ludington, Christian, 7

  Ludington, Christopher, 8

  Ludington, Comfort, Revolutionary soldier, 72, 82, 215

  Ludington, Elisha, Revolutionary soldier, 71

  Ludington, Col. Elisha H., 216

  Ludington, Ellen, 8;
    remarriage, 17

  Ludington, Frederick, birth, 45;
    career, 217

  Ludington, George, 218

  Ludington, Harrison, Governor, 218

  Ludington, Henry 1st, son of William 2nd, 20, 21;
    his children—
      Daniel, 21;
      Ezra, 21;
      Collins, 21;
      William, 21;
      Sarah, 21;
      Dinah, 21;
      Lydia, 21;
      Nathaniel, 22;
      Moses, 22;
      Aaron, 22;
      Elisha, 22;
      Sarah, 22;
      Thomas, 22

  Ludington, Col. Henry, birth of, 22;
    at Branford, Conn., 24;
    boyhood and schooling, 25;
    enlists in French and Indian War, 25;
    at Battle of Lake George, 27;
    dates of reënlistments, 30;
    at Quebec, 30;
    winter march to Boston, 30;
    commissioned lieutenant, 31;
    captain in Beverly Robinson’s regiment, 31;
    recorded as “Deserted,” 31;
    affidavits concerning his service, 33;
    marriage and settlement in New York, 35;
    house and mills, 39;
    important location of his home, 40;
    oaths as sub-sheriff, 41;
    service as sub-sheriff, 44;
    his children, 45;
    enters revolutionary movement, 52;
    under orders of Committee of Safety, 56;
    territorial command as militia colonel, 59;
    work in organizing militia, 66;
    various commissions in army, 67;
    succeeds Colonel Morrison, 68;
    formation of his regiment, 70;
    organization, 73;
    letter to Provincial Congress of New York 74;
    enters Revolutionary War, 77;
    at Battle of White Plains, 81;
    intercourse with Washington, 82;
    stationed at North Castle, 85;
    avenges burning of Danbury, 89;
    summoned to defend the Highlands of the Hudson, 91;
    sent to Westchester County, 96;
    recalled to Peekskill, 98;
    difficulty in complying with orders, 100;
    foils British at Tarrytown, 101;
    plans defense of Highlands, 106;
    letter to Clinton about difficulty of raising troops, 107;
    returns of his regiment, 109;
    action at Crom Pond, 109;
    temporary disbandment of regiment, 110;
    secret service, 114;
    relations with “the spy, Harvey Birch,” otherwise Enoch Crosby, 115;
    instructions from Colonel Sackett, 115;
    engagement of Benajah Tubbs, 116;
    gives letter to Enoch Crosby, 132;
    services in border warfare, 134;
    road-building for forage parties, 135;
    captures Nickerson’s party, 138;
    in Westchester County, 142;
    gives “character” to a Tory, 144;
    arrests Elijah Taylor, 145;
    address to Council of Safety, 147;
    letter to Clinton about Col. John Holmes, 148;
    captures Holmes, 150;
    hated by the Tories, 156;
    prize offered for his capture, 157;
    feud with Dr. Prosser, 158;
    letter to Clinton, 159;
    humanity toward Tories, 162;
    embarrassed with depreciated currency, 166;
    William Ellery and Francis Dana at his house, 166;
    letter to Clinton about militia, 177;
    challenged to fight a duel, 179;
    retained on duty in Westchester County, 180;
    letter to Clinton with petition of deserters, 183;
    letters to Clinton on burdens of militia, 185, 186;
    abstract of pay-roll, 187;
    affidavit on accounts, 188;
    purchase of bounty lands, 189;
    end of military service, 190;
    deputy sheriff and justice of the peace, 191;
    text of commission as justice of the peace, 194;
    service in New York Legislature, 198;
    Federalist and friend of Hamilton, 199;
    petition for relief in case of missing certificates, 199;
    votes against independence of Vermont, 202;
    builder of improved road, 202;
    retires from colonelcy, 203;
    buys and sells land at Frederickstown, 206;
    interest in church and school, 208;
    personal traits, 208;
    death and burial, 208;
    simple epitaph, 209;
    Blake’s tribute, 209;
    text of his will, 209

  Ludington, Henry, Jr., 45, 204

  Ludington, Horace, M.D., 216

  Ludington, James, 227

  Ludington, Lewis, 45, 217, 218;
    his career, 224;
    death, 226

  Ludington, Gen. Marshall I., 216

  Ludington, Nelson, 218, 225

  Ludington, Rebecca, birth, 45;
    marriage, 45;
    service as sentry, 157

  Ludington, Robert, 3;
    Sir John, 5;
    Thomas, 5;
    Stephen, 5;
    Elizabeth, 5

  Ludington, Sibyl, birth, 45;
    marriage, 45;
    ride to summon troops to avenge burning of Danbury, 90;
    aids Enoch Crosby the spy, 132;
    service as sentry, 157;
    her children, 219

  Ludington, Stephen, Revolutionary soldier, 71

  Ludington, Tertullus, 45, 213

  Ludington, Thomas, of Newark, N. J., 18;
    John, 19;
    James, 19;
    John, of Vermont, 19;
    Mary, 19;
    Henry, 19;
    Hannah, 19;
    Matthew, 20

  Ludington, William 1st, at Charlestown and Malden, 8;
    deed of land from Ralph Hall, 11;
    creditor of Henry Sandyes, 12;
    removal to East Haven, 12;
    death, 13;
    inventory of estate, 15;
    children, 18

  Ludington, William 2nd, 19;
    Henry, 20;
    Eleanor, 20;
    William 3rd, 20;
    Samuel, 20;
    Timothy, 21;
    Mercy, 21;
    Mary, 21;
    Hannah, 21;
    John, 21;
    Jude, 21;
    Eliphalet, 21;
    Amos, 21;
    Elizabeth, 21;
    Dorothy, 21;
    Dorcas, 21

  Ludington, William, son of Henry, 21, 22;
    Submit, 22;
    Mary, 22;
    Henry, 22;
    Lydia, 22;
    Samuel, 22;
    Rebecca, 22;
    Anne, 22;
    Stephen, 22

  Ludington, William, Revolutionary soldier, 72

  Ludington, Zalmon, 215

  Ludington, Zalmon, Jr., 216

  Lyman, General, 28

  Militia, organization of, in New York, 60;
    in Dutchess and Westchester counties, 61;
    pay of, 62;
    a sample muster-roll, 63;
    Colonel Ludington’s regiment formed, 70;
    called out by Congress, 72;
    commanded by George Clinton, 78;
    ordered to Highlands of Hudson, 79;
    at White Plains, 81;
    defending the Hudson, 84;
    restless when waiting, 92;
    difficulties in raising levies, 95;
    reluctance to serve, 98;
    radical reorganization, 111;
    abolition of office of colonel, 203

  Montgomery, Fort, capture of, 105

  Morrison, Malcolm, resigns commission, 68;
    arrested on suspicion of treason, 138

  New Haven Probate Records, quoted, 19

  New York, counties of, 36;
    boundary dispute with Connecticut, 37;
    sentiment at beginning of Revolution, 47;
    patriotic organizations, 51;
    action of Provincial Congress, 54;
    vigilance committees against Tories, 55;
    organization of militia, 60;
    changes of government, 70;
    militia called out, 72

  Nickerson, “Josh,” 138

  Oblong, The, 37

  “Observer, The New York,” quoted, 219

  Ogden, Major Edmund A., 219

  Ogden, Edward, Edmund, or Henry, 45

  Ogden, Richard Ludington, 223

  Patrick, Lewis S., MS. collections and researches, quoted, 8, 13, 19,
      30, 52, 168, 189, 194, 207, 213;
    ancestry and genealogical work, 219

  Patrick, Mrs. M. L., 216

  Pawling, N. Y., town of, 36

  Pope’s Pioneers of Massachusetts, quoted, 14

  Prosser, Dr., Tory conspirator, 126, 132;
    tries to capture Colonel Ludington, 157;
    their feud, 158

  Putnam County, N. Y., origin of, 36

  Putnam, Gen. Israel, order to militia, 93;
    abandons Peekskill, 105;
    orders to Colonel Ludington, 142

  Quaker Hill, 37, 50

  Quakers, attitude of, in Revolution, 50

  Read, Jacob, arrest of, 146

  Records of the Proprietors of New Haven, quoted, 17, 18

  Revolution, The, beginning of, 47;
    Henry Ludington’s services in, 77

  Robinson, Beverly, 31, 45, 169

  Rochambeau, Count, guest at Colonel Ludington’s, 166

  Rose, John, 18

  Sackett, Col. Nathaniel, commissioned to suppress conspiracies, 85, 87;
    secret service instructions to Colonel Ludington, 115

  Savage’s Genealogical Register, quoted, 8

  Scribner, Col. Nathaniel, muster-roll, 63

  Secret service in the Revolution, 114;
    Benajah Tubbs, 116;
    Enoch Crosby’s narrative, 117

  Sequestration of lands, 150;
    commissioners of, 151

  Shrawley, Ludingtons of, 3

  “Spy, The,” 114

  Stirling, Lord, 45

  Sutherland, David, 173

  Swartwout, Jacobus, General, 67

  Tarrytown, British landing at, 101

  Taylor, Elijah, arrest of, 145

  Tories, definition of, 48;
    their hatred of Colonel Ludington, 156;
    his humanity toward them, 162;
    severe decree against them, 164

  Tryon, William, last British governor of New York, 31;
    raids Danbury, 88;
    lands at Tarrytown, 103

  Tubbs, Benajah, employed as a spy, 116

  Van Bunschoten, Col. E., letter to Clinton, 180

  Vaughan, General, burns Kingston, 106

  Washington, George, has Colonel Ludington for aide at White Plains, 82;
    marches across New Jersey, 83;
    urges defense of Highlands, 92;
    gives warning of Howe’s designs, 94;
    guest at Colonel Ludington’s, 165;
    headquarters at Colonel Ludington’s, 169

  Westchester County, N. Y., militia in, 76;
    Colonel Ludington’s services in, 96, 142

  Wheaton, Jehoidah, affidavit of, 33

  White Plains, Battle of, 76, 80;
    Colonel Ludington at, 81

  Whiting, Col. Nathan, 26, 28

  Williams, Daniel, letter to Clinton, 182

  Williams, Col. Ephraim, 28

  Worcester, Ludington memorial at, 3

  Wyman’s Records of Charlestown and Malden, 14

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