CAPT. CHRISTIAN HUCK: A BIOGRAPHY
Christian Huck, commander of the
Loyalist forces at the Battle of Huck’s Defeat, was born in one of the German
states of Europe around the year 1748 and emigrated to
Huck studied law under Isaac
living in Second-street, Philadelphia, has for private sale, Two Thousand Three
Hundred Acres of LAND, situate in the county of Berks, and province of
Pennsylvania, about 70 miles from the city of Philadelphia, 2 from the river
Schuylkill, and about 28 from the town of Reading. The land is in general well timbered, and so
exceedingly well watered with a great number of springs and creeks, so that it
is thought by all that have viewed it, that near ½ of it is fit for meadow; the
said creeks all collect themselves on the premises, so as to form a very large
stream of water (which is constant throughout the whole year) sufficient to
supply several mills; nature has so well calculated the place for all kinds of
mills, that she herself has almost made the dams, and it will require very
little assistance from art to compleat them….Said Christian Huck will
sell all or any parcel of said lands for ready money or short credit, on very
low terms, giving security; he is also willing to exchange all or parcel of
said lands for other lands or houses in or near Philadelphia; the title to the premises
is indisputable, and will be warranted. Whoever desires to view said lands, may be gratified, by applying to John
Fisher or Jacob Lutz, Saw-millers, near the premises. Said Christian Huck will also sell by
public vendue, on Saturday, the 29th inst., at the
Five days after this notice
appeared, British troops fired on American militiamen at
…on the morning
of September 6, 1775…about thirty Associators in
By the summer of 1776, Huck was associating with another well-known group of Philadelphia Loyalists, the four sons of William Allen. The Allens had been early supporters of the Whig cause, but they drew the line at outright rebellion. After the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, they declared their allegiance to the King and took arms with the British. Again, quoting from Anne Ousterhout:
time, it was rumored that some two hundred suspected Tories were to be seized
and sent off to
Although the handwriting was
clearly on the wall, Huck remained in
LANDS TO BE SOLD,
for Houses or Lots in the City of
At a very low price for cash, by CHRISTIAN HOOK, Attorney at Law, dwelling in Front-street, near the City Vendue House, in Philadelphia, one tract of land, consisting of about 2000 acres, lying in the county of Berks, within two miles of the river Schuylkill, and 30 miles from the town of Reading, the soil whereof is middling rich, and the tract in general well timbered; it is most plentifully watered, so that much meadow may be made on the premises, and there is a sufficient stream thereon for a grist or saw-mill; John Myer, or Joseph Fisher, saw millers, living near the premises, will shew them to any body who inclines to see them. Also a tract lying in the county of Northampton, consisting of 3600 acres, is of a very rich soil, plentifully timbered, and about one third thereof with very little pains may be made meadow, and is in the neighbourhood of a very extensive fine country, and distant about ten miles from the river Delaware, which is navigable at least sixty miles above the premises. Also one tract of 300 acres, equal in quality to the last described tract, having a mill seat upon it, and distant but two miles from the aforesaid river.
Also seven lots of ground, lying in the Northern Liberties of Philadelphia. 
On September 26, 1777, the
British Army occupied
By the SUPREME EXECUTIVE COUNCIL of the Common Wealth of
WHEREAS the following named persons, late and heretofore inhabitants of this State—That is to say—Enoch Story, late merchant; Samuel Garrigues, the elder, late clerk of the market and trader; James Stevenson, late baker; Abraham Carlisle, house carpenter; Peter Deshong, miller; Alexander Bartram, trader; Christian Hook, attorney at law; Peter Miller, scrivener; Lodewick Kerker, butcher; Philip Marchinton, trader; Edward Hanlon, cooper and vintner; Alfred Cliffton, gentleman; and Arthur Thomas, breeches maker; all now, or late of the city of Philadelphia: And Thomas Livezley, late of the township of Rosborough, miller; John Roberts, late of the township of Lower Merion, miller; Robert Iredale, the Younger, and Thomas Iredale, both late of the township of Horsham, labourers; Joshua Knight, late of the township of Abingdon, blacksmith; John Knight, tanner; Isaac Knight, husbandman; Albinson Walton, late of the township of Biberry, husbandman; John Smith, late gauger of the port of Philadelphia; and Henry Hugh Ferguson, commissary of prisoners for General Howe, all late of the county of Philadelphia: And Samuel Biles, Esquire, late sheriff of the county of Bucks; Walter Willet, late of the township of Southampton, husbandman; Richard Hovenden, late of the township of Newtown, trader; and William Moland, late of the township of Warminster, husbandman; all late of the county of Bucks: And Henry Skyles, Thomas Bulla, and David Dawson, husbandman; Jacob James, late of the township of Goshen, inn keeper; Joseph Thomas, (heretofore sub sheriff) yeoman; Nathaniel Vernon, junior, labourer; and John Swanwick, late of the custom-house, Philadelphia; all late of the county of Chester: And John Rankin, and Evan Griffith, husbandmen; William Love, late of the township of York; John Wilson, late of the township of Huntingdon; and James Brakin, late of the township of Tyrone; all late of the county of York: And William Thomas, James Pugh, Samuel Koster, John Koster, Joshua Thomas, Hugh Pugh, and Joseph Sutton, husbandman; John Holder, miller; Henry Oswalt, house carpenter; Jacob Holder and George Holder, labourers; and Owen Roberts, saw-mill-man; all late of the county of Northampton: And Michael Witman, inn-keeper; Matthew McHugh, of Lebanon, inn-keeper; George Reine, of Earle township, miller; John Reine, and Inglebolt Holtzinger, husbandmen; all late of the county of Lancaster: And Francis Sanderson, heretofore of the Borough of Lancaster, and late of Baltimore, in the State of Maryland, copper-smith, have severally adhered to, and knowingly and willingly aided and assisted the enemies of this State, and of the United States of America, by having joined their armies at Philadelphia, in the County of Philadelphia, within this State; WE the Supreme Executive Council aforesaid, by virtue of certain powers and authorities to us given by an Act of General Assembly, entitled, “An Act for the attainder of divers Traitors, if they render not themselves by a certain day, and for vesting their estates in this Common-Wealth and for more effectually discovering the same; and for ascertaining and satisfying the lawful debts and claims thereupon,” do hereby strictly charge and require the said Enoch Story, Samuel Garrigues, James Stevenson, Abraham Carlisle, Peter Deshong, Alexander Bartram, Christian Hook, Peter Miller, Lodewick Kerker, Philip Marchinton, Edward Hanlon, Alfred Cliffton, Arthur Thomas, Thomas Livezley, John Roberts, Robert Iredale, Thomas Iredale, Joshua Knight, John Knight, Isaac Knight, Albinson Walton, John Smith, Henry Hugh Ferguson, Samuel Biles, Walter Willet, Richard Hovendon, William Moland, Henry Skyles, Thomas Bulla, David Dawson, Jacob James, Joseph Thomas, Nathaniel Vernon, junior, John Swanwick, John Rankin, Evan Griffith, William Love, John Wilson, James Brakin, William Thomas, James Pugh, Samuel Koster, John Koster, Joshua Thomas, Hugh Pugh, Joseph Sutton, John Holder, Henry Oswalt, Jacob Holder, George Holder, Owen Roberts, Michael Witman, Matthew McHugh, George Reine, John Reine, Ingleholt Holtzinger, and Francis Sanderson, not tendering himself as aforesaid, and abiding the trial aforesaid, shall, from and after the said twenty fifth day of June next, stand and be attainted of High Treason to all intents and purposes, and shall suffer such pains and penalties, and undergo all such pains and penalties, and undergo all such forfeitures as persons attainted of High Treason ought to do. And all the faithful subjects of this State are to take notice of this Proclamation, and govern themselves accordingly.
order of the Council, under the Hand of His Excellency the President and the
Seal of the State at
THOMAS WHARTON, Junior, President.
GOD SAVE THE COMMONWEALTH,
Attested by order of the Council,
T. MATLACK, Secretary. 
By the time the British withdrew
The corps distinguished itself during the
Hudson Highland Campaign under
The corps in 1778 went from one rifle
company to two troops of light dragoons, one light infantry company, one rifle
company, and three chasseur companies. In April of 1778 Emmerick himself was
promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and the corps settled in on the lines at
Kingsbridge. The majority of the men were from
By 1779 the corps had fallen into a state of civil war. Of the 18 officers, half opposed Emmerick (all American), and the other half (all Europeans) supported him. The corps still participated in many raids, but a good number of the officers were placed under arrest and many of the men deserted. To keep the corps from devolving into mutiny, Sir Henry Clinton ordered it drafted into other regiments….one troop of light dragoons was formed under the command of Captain Christian Huck and given to the British Legion. The rifle company was reconstituted and made a part of the New York Volunteers. Other men made it into the Volunteers of Ireland, Queen's Rangers, and 3rd Battalion, DeLancey's Brigade.
It is interesting to note that Huck had no experience as a
cavalryman prior to receiving the command of this troop of dragoons. Huck’s troop was originally not supposed to
be incorporated into the British Legion, but ended up being drafted into the
The exact circumstances that resulted in
these two unusual occurrences have been lost to us, but it is clear that by the
time the British Legion moved to
Meanwhile, back in
WHEREAS the estates of Andrew Allen, Alexander Stedman, and Christian Huck, late of the count of Berks, having been in due courts of law forfeited and seized to the use of this State, We, the subscribers, agents for the said county, do hereby give notice, that the estates of the said Andrew Allen, Alexander Stedman and Christian Hook; consisting of the following, viz, one of 850 acres, situated in Heidelberg township, generally known by the name of the Big Spring Track, late the property of Andrew Allen; two cut lots near the town of Reading in the said county, late the property of the said Alexander Stedman, containing five acres each; and three tracts of land lying over the Blue Mountains in the said county, two of them containing about 300 acres each, and the other of them containing 280 acres or thereabouts; late the property of the said Christian Hook: All of which will be sold by public vendue, at the Court-House at Reading, on the first day of November. The sales will continue from day to day till the whole be disposed of.
The terms of the sale will be according to the law, as follows, to wit: One fourth part of the purchase money to be paid in ten days after sale, or the premises again to revert to the State, and the bidder liable to forfeit the said one fourth of the purchase money. The remainder thereof to be paid in one month; and on a certificate being produced from the agents, or either of them, of full payment of the purchase money, a deed will be given, as by law directed.
And we the agents do also, pursuant to law, hereby notify all the claimants on the said premises, or any of them, and creditors of the said Andrew Allen, Alexander Stedman and Christian Huck, or either of them, to exhibit their claims and demands to the justices of the Supreme Court, within the time limited by law, or they will be for ever barred from the recovery thereof.
HENRY HALLER, 
Five days after the fall of
WHEREAS the Estates of Joseph Galloway, John Roberts, Holton Jones, Joseph Grieswold, Joel Evans, Peter Campbel, Isaac Allen, Christian Hook, John Butcher, Oswald Eve, Christopher Sower, Jonathan Wright, John Wright, Abijah Wright, John Lusburg, Joseph Comely, John Burk, John Robeson, Joshua Knight, Lawrence Egan, Richard Swanwick, John Parrock, Samuel Shoemaker, Abraham Pastorius, John Tolley, and Willen Roden, all late of the county of Philadelphia, having been in due course of Law forfeited and seized, to the use of this State:
WE the subscribers, Agents for the said county, DO HEREBY GIVE NOTICE, that the Interests and Estates of the said Joseph Galloway, John Roberts, Holton Jones, Joseph Grieswold, Joel Evans, Peter Campbel, Isaac Allen, Christian Hook, John Butcher, Oswald Eve, Christopher Sower, Jonathan Wright, John Wright, Abijah Wright, John Lusburg, Joseph Comely, John Burk, John Robeson, Joshua Knight, Lawrence Egan, Richard Swanwick, John Parrock, Samuel Shoemaker, Abraham Pastorius, John Tolley, and Willen Roden, in the following Tracts or Parcels of Land, viz. No. 1, A Tract of Land on Schuylkill, in the Northern Liberties, containing about 45 acres, with a good house and other valuable improvements thereon; No. 2, A Tract of Land on Hogg Island, being 1/3d part of said Island, containing about 105 acres of banked meadow; No. 3, A Tract of Wood Land in Blockly Township, lying on the two branches of Indian Creek, and Haverford Road, late of Joseph Galloway, Esquire;
1, A Tract of Land in Lower Merion Township, containing 300 acres, with a good
dwelling house, tow grist mills, one saw mill, and one paper mill, and divers
out houses, all in good order; No. 2, A Tract of Land adjoining the above,
containing 78 acres, with a house, &c. No. 3, A Tract of Land on
A Lot on Germantown Road, about one and a half miles from the city, about 75 feet front, and 150 feet deep, with the remains of a brick kitchen thereof, late of Christian Hook….
The Sales of which will be according to Law, as follows, to wit, one fourth part of the purchase money to be paid in ten days after Sale, or the premises again to revert to the State, and the Bidder liable to forfeit the said one fourth of the purchase money: The remainder thereof to be paid in one month after Sale, and on a certificate being produced from the Agents or either of them, of full payment of the purchase money, a deed will be given as by Law directed.
And to prevent all difficulties with
respect to payment, the Agents will attend as the Court-House on the tenth day
GEORGE SMITH,} Agents for
WIL. McMULLIN,} P. County.
One is tempted to wonder how
Huck’s lot on
In early June 1780, Huck and one
troop of dragoons were detached from the rest of the British Legion and
transferred to the command of a New York Loyalist, Lt. Col. George Turnbull, at
On June 11, 1780, Huck’s dragoons
and Tory militia were involved in the burning of Rev. John Simpson’s manse and
study. Simpson was the minister of Upper
Fishing Creek Presbyterian Church in
Huck’s final engagement was the
Battle of Williamson’s
It is not certain whether Huck
had a wife or children, but the 1790 census for the city and county of
Philadelphia shows several families who may have been relatives of Huck,
including “John and Elizabeth Hook” of Northern Liberties Town in Philadelphia
County; “John Hauck” of the Northern District of Philadelphia County; “William
Hauck” of Spruce Street, Philadelphia, and, ironically enough, one “Christian
Hock” of Tenth Street, Philadelphia.
Huck’s memory is preserved today chiefly
among the descendants of his enemies, who annually celebrate his defeat and
death at Historic Brattonsville in
Baskin, Margaret. “Christian Huck (c. 1748-1780).” Banastre Tarleton and the British
Legion: Oatmeal for the Foxhounds, June 26, 2002. http://www.banastretarleton.org.
Boatner, Mark M., III. Encyclopedia of the American
Stackpole Books, 1994.
Braisted, Todd. “A History of Emmerick's Chasseurs.” The Online Institute for
Advanced Loyalist Studies, Dec. 15, 1999.
-----. E-mail correspondence to Michael C. Scoggins, York County Historical
Center, April 25, 2001.
-----. “Muster Roll of Captain Christian Huck’s Company of Chasseurs in his Majesty’s
Corps of Chasseurs
commanded by Lieut. Colonel Emmerick.” National Archives of
Chappell, Buford. The Winns of
Clark, Murtie June. Loyalists in the Southern Campaigns of the Revolutionary War (3
Cornwallis Papers, British Public Record Officer, Kew,
at South Carolina Department of
Archives and History,
Craig, John. “The War
Draper, Lyman C. Draper
Manuscript Collection. State
Historical Society of
Thomas Sumter Papers, Series VV . Microfilm copy at Dacus Library, Winthrop
Ellet, Elizabeth F. The Women of the American Revolution (3 vols.). Fifth Ed. New
“Incident at Hill’s Iron Works.”
Quarterly. 9.3 (December 1997): 24.
Lambert, Robert Stansbury.
Moore, Maurice A. The Life of General Edward Lacey, with a List of Battles and
Moss, Bobby Gilmer. The
Patriots at the Cowpens. Rev.
Scotia-Hibernia Press, 1985.
North, S. N. D., Director, Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of the Census.
Heads of Families at the First Census of the
Ousterhout, Anne M. A
State Divided: Opposition in
Revolution. Contributions in American History, Number
1779, 17 May 1780. Bound volumes, reprinted
1968. Dacus Library,
obtained by Dacus
Sabine, Lorenzo. Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution with an
Historical Essay (2
Salley, A. S., ed. Col.
William Hill’s Memoirs of the Revolution.
State Company, 1921.
Archives, Colonial Records Series, Vol. 3.
Tarleton, Banastre. A History of the Campaigns of 1780 and 1781 in the Southern
Ousterhout, A State Divided: Opposition in
 Dr. John Kearsley was a Philadelphia Tory, one of the “disaffected” (Ousterhout, 117).
 Ousterhout, 117.
 Ousterhout, 158.
 Mark M. Boatner III, Encyclopedia of the American Revolution, 856.
 Boatner, 856; Lorenzo Sabine, Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution with an Historical Essay, 1: 553.
 Todd Braisted, “Muster Roll of Captain Christian Huck’s Company of Chasseurs in his Majesty’s Corps of Chasseurs commanded by Lieut. Colonel Emmerick,” National Archives of Canada, RG8, “C” Series, Vol. 1891. The On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies, www.royalprovincials.com.
 Todd Braisted, e-mail correspondence to M. C. Scoggins, April 25, 2001.
 Murtie June Clark, Loyalists in the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War, 2:202-10.
 Richard Winn, “General Winn’s Notes, Campaign 1780,” in Buford Chappell, The Winns of Fairfield County, 76.
 Sabine, ibid.
 Elizabeth F. Ellet, The Women of the American Revolution, 3: 216-20, 225-8.
 Cornwallis Papers, PRO 3/11/2/162-3, 171-2; Robert Lansbury Lambert, South Carolina Loyalists in the American Revolution, 127; A. S. Salley, ed., Col. William Hill’s Memoirs of the Revolution, 8; Maurice Moore, The Life of Gen. Edward Lacey, 6.
 “Incident at Hill’s Iron Works,” York County Genealogical and Historical Society Quarterly (December 1997), 24.
 Letter from J. W. Moore to Lyman C. Draper, August 31, 1874. Draper Manuscripts, 4VV120.
 Cornwallis Papers, PRO 3/11/2/285-6; Banastre Tarleton, A History of the Campaigns of 1780 and 1781 in the Southern Provinces of North America, 92-3; Lambert, 128; Boatner, 1211.
11n; John Craig, “The War in
 Lyman C. Draper interview with Dr. James Rufus Bratton, grandson of Col. William Bratton. Draper Manuscripts, Thomas Sumter Papers, 11VV333-6.
D. North, Heads of Families at the First Census of the
 Sabine, ibid.