Christian Huck Biography

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Michael C. Scoggins, York County Historical Center, July 2002

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 America some time prior to the American Revolution. His surname is variously spelled as Hauk, Hock, Hook, Houk, Houck, Huck, and Huyck, but the most common spellings are Hook and Huck. His direct ancestry is unknown, but the passenger lists for ships arriving in Philadelphia during the colonial period give us the names of several individuals who may be Huck’s parents or relatives. Among the more likely candidates are a man named “Christian Hook” who arrived in Philadelphia on the brigantine Pennsylvania Merchant on September 13, 1733, along with 186 other “Palatines” (immigrants from the Palatinate region of Germany ). The same ship carried another passenger named “Hans Georg Hauk,” quite possibly a relative of this Christian Hook. [1]

Huck studied law under Isaac Hunt, a Philadelphia pamphleteer, satirist and lawyer. By 1775 he was comfortably settled in a house on Second Street in Philadelphia and was earning a living as an attorney-at-law. [2] He apparently engaged in buying and selling real estate, with generous terms of payment and credit, as evidenced by the following notice from the Pennsylvania Gazette of April 12, 1775, probably written by Huck himself:

CHRISTIAN HUCK, 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 Bath tavern, in the Northern Liberties of Philadelphia, the following lots of ground, situate near the said Bath tavern, viz. Four lots of ground, containing in front on the Old Germantown road 20 feet, and in depth 140 feet, one of which has built upon it a small brick tenement, that leases for Six or Seven pounds per annum; also ten other lots joining the aforesaid lots on the east, and fronting on Rose-street, containing each in front 20 feet, and in depth 141 feet; the title to these lots is indisputably clear, and the premises now free from every incumbrance, as will be clearly shewn to any person, who chuses to call at the house of said Christian Huck. The purchase-money is not to be paid until the expiration of one month after sale (perhaps longer credit may be given) in which time he purchaser may make any enquiry into the title, and on his being able to make any legal objection, the same shall be removed, otherwise the sale shall be null and void. [3]

Five days after this notice appeared, British troops fired on American militiamen at Lexington , Massachusetts , and the American War for Independence began. Huck seems to have been a Loyalist from the beginning. He was a member of the wealthy upper society of Philadelphia that included prominent Quakers, Anglicans and Germans, many of whom supported the royal cause and opposed independence; they were referred to during those early days of the rebellion as the “disaffected.” Huck’s friend and fellow attorney Isaac Hunt aroused Whig anger by defending Philadelphia merchants violating Pennsylvania ’s boycott on British goods. In September 1776, Hunt was seized by a group of Philadelphia Whigs or “Associators” and publicly humiliated, as Anne Ousterhout describes in A State Divided:

…on the morning of September 6, 1775…about thirty Associators in Philadelphia picked up Isaac Hunt, a pamphleteer, satirist, and lawyer. Hunt himself had violated no laws or extralegal regulations, but in his professional capacity he was representing a merchant accused of importing goods contrary to the boycott. Hunt’s case had been before the Philadelphia Committee since July 19, and one suspects that the Associators were acting as agents of the committee. Hunt was taken from his home to the Coffee House, where the Associators placed him in a cart, in which position they led him with drum beating and fife playing ‘The Rogue’s March’ through the principal streets, Hunt being forced in different places to acknowledge his misbehavior. When they reached Kearsley’s [4] corner, they stopped so that Hunt could make his declaration. Hearing the noise and thinking the crowd had come for him, Kearsley threw open his window and threatened the crowd with a pistol. They seized him, taking his gun, and in the scuffle, cut his hand with a bayonet. Hunt was taken out of the cart, conducted safely back home, and Kearsley, now in Hunt’s place in the cart, was carried to the Coffee House. After efforts were unsuccessful to make him admit the error of his beliefs, the crowd carted Kearsley through the streets, with drums beating, proclaiming him an enemy of the people and their liberties. Eventually, they took him back home and left him. The people had been prevented from tarring and feathering him by the Associators who guarded him, but after they were gone, the crowd broke his windows and ‘abused the house.’ [5]

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:

Around this time, it was rumored that some two hundred suspected Tories were to be seized and sent off to North Carolina . Christian Huck (or Hook), a Philadelphia attorney who had read law with Isaac Hunt, told the four sons of William Allen that all of their names were on the list. Under this threat, the brothers left Philadelphia and went to the Union Iron Works in Hunterdon County , New Jersey , where their family had business interests. Shortly thereafter, Andrew, William, Jr., and John went to Trenton , then under the control of [British General William] Howe’s forces, and from there to New York . When Howe landed at Head of Elk, Andrew and William, Jr., were with him, as was also Joseph Galloway, and on the evacuation of Philadelphia in June 1778, Andrew went to England . William, however, took up arms with the English, raising a troop of cavalry called the Pennsylvania Loyalists, which he commanded during the war. [6]

Although the handwriting was clearly on the wall, Huck remained in Philadelphia and continued his real estate ventures. By the fall of 1776, he was living on Front Street near the city vendue house, evidently buying real estate at public auction and reselling it. Huck’s interest in city lots might indicate that he functioned as a landlord and derived income from rental properties. He had evidently been unable to sell most of his previously advertised 2300 acres in Berks County , and in the meantime had picked up some other tracts as well. The references to saw millers living near this tract, who were apparently working with Huck, might also indicate that he was selling timber off his property. In November 1776 he ran another advertisement in the Pennsylvania Gazette:

LANDS TO BE SOLD,

(Or Exchanged for Houses or Lots in the City of Philadelphia )

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. [7]

On September 26, 1777, the British Army occupied Philadelphia , [8] and Huck probably used the opportunity to assist the British cause in whatever way he could. Whether this involved taking arms against his fellow Pennsylvanians is unclear, but on May 13, 1778, Huck’s name appeared on a list of Loyalists who were “attainted of High Treason” and whose property was to be forfeited to the state. This list was printed in the Pennsylvania Packet and is reprinted here in its entirety:

A PROCLAMATION, By the SUPREME EXECUTIVE COUNCIL of the Common Wealth of PENNSYLVANIA .

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.

GIVEN, by order of the Council, under the Hand of His Excellency the President and the Seal of the State at Lancaster , this eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight. By order of Council,

THOMAS WHARTON, Junior, President.

GOD SAVE THE COMMONWEALTH,

Attested by order of the Council,

T. MATLACK, Secretary. [9]

By the time the British withdrew from Philadelphia on June 18, 1778, Huck had “abandoned that city and went within the British lines at New York ,” as Lorenzo Sabine puts it. [10] On June 7, 1778, Huck enlisted in Emmerick’s Chasseurs, a British Provincial corps organized in New York and commanded by Andreas Emmerick, who like Huck was a German emigrant. It was on this muster roll that Huck provided the meager biographical data that he was born in Germany circa 1748. [11] Todd Braisted, in his On-Line Institute of Loyalist Studies, summarizes the early history of Emmerick’s Chasseurs:

The corps distinguished itself during the Hudson Highland Campaign under Clinton , and figured prominently in the attack on Forts Clinton and Montgomery. After 1 January 1778 the complexion of the corps changed when Emmerick was granted permission to recruit at large and expand the unit. Those Provincials who wished leave to return to their former regiments were allowed to do so.

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 Westchester County , New York , and adjacent parts of Connecticut . One of the troops of light dragoons apparently was raised on Long Island . The corps took part in numerous skirmishes along the lines, and twice entered New Jersey . Some recruits were raised at Philadelphia , and one of them was killed at the Battle of Monmouth….

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 Legion anyway. [12] 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 South Carolina in the spring of 1780, Huck was a captain and a company commander under Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton. Furthermore, several of Huck’s fellow Loyalists, whose names appeared on the May 1778 list printed in the Pennsylvania Packet, also became officers in the British Legion. These men were Capt. Richard Hovenden, Capt. Jacob James, Capt. Nathaniel Vernon Jr., and Lt. Walter Willet. [13] No specific information is available as to what military actions Huck may have been involved in during the siege and surrender of Charleston , but Col. Richard Winn of Fairfield County , South Carolina , later stated in his reminiscences, “This same Huck was one of those that cut Buford to pieces.” [14] This is a reference to Tarleton’s victory over Col. Abraham Buford of Virginia in the infamous Battle of the Waxhaws, also known as Buford’s Massacre, in Lancaster County , South Carolina on May 29, 1780.

Meanwhile, back in Philadelphia , Huck had been branded a traitor and all of his property confiscated by the state. Once again, the Pennsylvania Gazette provides the details. In the October 6, 1779, issue, we read the following:

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.

DAVID MORGAN,

Reading , Sept. 27, 1779 THOMAS PARRY,} Agents

HENRY HALLER, [15]

Five days after the fall of Charleston , the Pennsylvania Gazette ran another notice:

Philadelphia , May 13th, 1780

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;

No. 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 Schuylkill , containing 300 acres, adjoining Frederick Bicking’s land, with three dwelling houses, a powder mill, an oil mill, and a saw mill thereon, with other improvements, late of John Roberts….

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 after Sale , to receive the first payment, after which no purchase money will be received, but the premises again sold for the benefit of the Commonwealth.

GEORGE SMITH,} Agents for

WIL. McMULLIN,} P. County.

The SALE to begin at Ten o’clock. [16]

One is tempted to wonder how Huck’s lot on Germantown Road ended up with nothing but the “remains of a brick kitchen” on it.

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 Rocky Mount , a British outpost on the Catawba River in northeastern Fairfield County , South Carolina . Working in conjunction with Turnbull’s own New York Volunteers and the local Tory militia, Huck made several excursions against the rebels in present-day Chester and York Counties during June and early July 1780. Here in the backcountry of South Carolina , Huck quickly became notorious for his profanity and brutality (ironic in light of his name), which earned him the sobriquet “the swearing captain”; he was especially noted for his dislike of Scotch-Irish Presbyterians. [17] This last character trait may perhaps be traceable to his experiences at the beginning of the American Revolution: in Huck’s home state of Pennsylvania , as in South Carolina , the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians generally favored the Whig Party and independence, and they often employed violence against their Tory neighbors. Certainly Huck had no love for the party that had branded him a traitor, confiscated his property and sold it at public auction.

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 Chester County and a prominent Whig; Huck’s men not only burned Simpson’s home and library but also killed a young neighbor named William Strong. [18] A few days later, Turnbull sent Huck out to destroy the iron works of Col. William Hill, commander of the New Acquisition militia in what is now York County , South Carolina . Hill’s Iron Works was, at the time, the headquarters of the rebel militia in the New Acquisition, and on June 18 Huck’s men dispersed the troops guarding the iron works, burned Hill’s home and all of his outbuildings, destroyed the forge and carried off all of Hill’s slaves. [19] One of the rebels, an Irishman named Calhoun, was captured and interrogated; when he refused to reveal Col. Hill’s whereabouts, he was hung. After Huck’s troops left, Calhoun was cut down, still alive, by one of Hill’s faithful slaves and “restored to life.” [20] Huck also reportedly made an excursion into the Bullock’s Creek neighborhood of western York County and killed several people, including “good old Mr. Fleming, a man of 70.” [21]

Huck’s final engagement was the Battle of Williamson’s Plantation , also known as Huck’s Defeat, on the South Fork of Fishing Creek in York County on July 12, 1780. Huck set out from Rocky Mount on July 10 with a detachment of Legion dragoons, New York Volunteers and Tory militia, probably about 120 men in all. He had orders to apprehend several local rebel militia officers, including Capt. John McClure of Chester County and Col. William Bratton of York County . On the evening of July 11, Huck camped near Bratton’s home at the nearby plantation of James Williamson, and early on the morning of July 12, about 133 rebel militia under the command of McClure, Bratton, Hill, Edward Lacey, and others, surprised Huck’s men. In a very one-sided battle, the local Whigs decimated Huck’s command, and Huck himself was shot from his horse while trying to rally his men. [22] There is debate to this day about exactly who fired the shot that killed Huck, but most of the men who were in the battle gave the credit to John Carroll. Carroll reportedly loaded two balls in his rifle before firing at Huck, and after Huck fell he said, “If you find two rifle balls passed into his head close together, then I killed him, for I loaded with two balls.” Two such holes were found, just as Carroll described, but several other men present that day also claimed to have fired the killing rounds, including John Carroll’s brother Thomas, Capt. Charles Miles and James Stephenson. [23] Huck was buried near the Williamson home, but years later his body was dug up by Col. Bratton’s son-in-law Dr. James Simpson (who, not coincidentally, was also the son of Rev. John Simpson), and Huck’s skeleton was put on display in Dr. Simpson’s office, with the two rifle ball holes still visible in the skull. One can imagine the old Whigs in the Fishing Creek neighborhood raising their cups and toasting Huck’s skeleton as they reminisced about the Battle of Huck’s Defeat. The skeleton of Capt. Huck later traveled with the Simpson family when they moved to Alabama and then California . [24]

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. [25] Huck’s memory is preserved today chiefly among the descendants of his enemies, who annually celebrate his defeat and death at Historic Brattonsville in York County , South Carolina . In this part of the country, Christian Huck is still remembered as “a miscreant who excited universal abhorrence for his cruelty and profanity.” [26] As Mark Anthony says in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” So it is with Christian Huck.

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State of Pennsylvania . Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania . Pennsylvania

Archives, Colonial Records Series, Vol. 3. Philadelphia : Jo. Severns, 1852.

Tarleton, Banastre. A History of the Campaigns of 1780 and 1781 in the Southern

Provinces of North America . London : T. Cadell, 1787. Reprinted North Stanford , NH : Ayer Company Publishers Inc., 1999.

[1] State of Pennsylvania , Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania , 3:518-9.

[2] Anne M. Ousterhout, A State Divided: Opposition in Pennsylvania to the American Revolution, 117, 158.

[3] Pennsylvania Gazette, 12 April 1775, 3.

[4] Dr. John Kearsley was a Philadelphia Tory, one of the “disaffected” (Ousterhout, 117).

[5] Ousterhout, 117.

[6] Ousterhout, 158.

[7] Pennsylvania Gazette, 27 November 1776, 1.

[8] Mark M. Boatner III, Encyclopedia of the American Revolution, 856.

[9] Pennsylvania Packet, 13 May 1778, 4.

[10] Boatner, 856; Lorenzo Sabine, Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution with an Historical Essay, 1: 553.

[11] 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.

[12] Todd Braisted, e-mail correspondence to M. C. Scoggins, April 25, 2001.

[13] Murtie June Clark, Loyalists in the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War, 2:202-10.

[14] Richard Winn, “General Winn’s Notes, Campaign 1780,” in Buford Chappell, The Winns of Fairfield County, 76.

[15] Pennsylvania Gazette, 6 October 1779, 3.

[16] Pennsylvania Gazette, 17 May 1780, 3.

[17] Sabine, ibid.

[18] Elizabeth F. Ellet, The Women of the American Revolution, 3: 216-20, 225-8.

[19] 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.

[20] “Incident at Hill’s Iron Works,” York County Genealogical and Historical Society Quarterly (December 1997), 24.

[21] Letter from J. W. Moore to Lyman C. Draper, August 31, 1874. Draper Manuscripts, 4VV120.

[22] 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.

[23] Moore, 11n; John Craig, “The War in York and Chester ,” Chester Standard, 16 March 1854, 1; Bobby G. Moss, The Patriots at the Cowpens, 273.

[24] Lyman C. Draper interview with Dr. James Rufus Bratton, grandson of Col. William Bratton. Draper Manuscripts, Thomas Sumter Papers, 11VV333-6.

[25] S. N. D. North, Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790: South Carolina , 200, 216, 230, 240.

[26] Sabine, ibid.

 

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