Search just our sites by using our customised site search engine

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Click here to learn more about MyHeritage and get free genealogy resources

The United Empire Loyalist Settlement at Long Point, Lake Erie
Chapter LVII. Hutchison

The trouble between loyalists and revolutionists began in many cases long before the war. The radicals were intolerant of opposition, and to attempt to be neutral was, in their language, to be a “traitor.”

Such was the case with William Hutchison, of New Jersey. At the opening of the war he was urged to join the rebel army, but persistently refused. Henceforward he was followed by the open and avowed hatred of the American patriots. Their dislike in this case was unremitting and implacable. His cattle were mutilated, his barns burned, and, finally, his estate was confiscated, and orders were given to bring him “dead or alive” before the executive officers of the State Legislature! Nothing remained, therefore, for himself and friends (for there were eleven to whom this order had reference), but an attempt to escape to the King s troops. His wife and eight children had to be left behind. The small body of eleven men were followed, and, being brought to bay by a detachment of American cavalry, bravely defended themselves for some minutes, but seeing the contest useless, took refuge in an old barn. Their hiding-place was soon discovered, and ten of them were caught and afterwards hanged. It happened that William Hutchison did not enter the barn as did the others, but threw himself among some furze bushes a little distance from it. But his hiding place was none too safe, for one of the sentries peered into the bush, remarking that “it would be a d- fine place for a ‘rebel’ to hide himself.”

But being hidden in the deep shade he was not discovered. So he crawled along the borders of the field to get to the road, lying motionless when the moon shone brightly, and again moving when it was hidden by a cloud. On every side he could hear the calls of the American troopers to each other as they prowled round in search of him.

Finally, however, he made his escape to the British army, and, burning for vengeance, he asked to be appointed to the command of a small body of troops. His request was willingly granted, for, before the war he had been granted a captain’s commission, and he was made a captain of one of the regiments of New Jersey volunteers. His company did remarkably daring service for the Motherland during that bitter war.

But his wife and little children did not survive the hardships to which they were subjected, and at the conclusion of peace he and his two remaining sons went to New Brunswick. There he married again and settled on the St. John River. There he remained for about fourteen years, when he removed to the township of Walsingham, Norfolk County (1798). He was an added member of the first commission of magistrates for the London District.

In the war of 1812, true to his loyal spirit, he took his three eldest sons, of whom two had been born in New Brunswick, and went to the front. At the battle of Moravian town, Alexander, the eldest, was killed.

Captain Hutchison was a justice of the peace, and for one term of 1809, chairman of the Court of Quarter Sessions at Turkey Point. He was also an associate justice of the Court of Requests for Walsingham.

The descendants of the Captain live yet in Walsingham, and are connected with the Beard, Sovereign, Backhouse, Fairchild, and McKinna families of Norfolk county.

Return to Book Index Page

This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.