Huldah(Patchen) HULL

From“Military History of Yates County”

ByWalter Wolcott, published 1895

Pg152 – 153






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In the first chapter of this volume mentionhas been made of Eliphalet HULL, Seth HULL and Cyrus BUELL as being among thesoldiers of the Revolution who settled in Yates County. The wife of Eliphalet HULL, who was also the mother in law of Cyrus BUELL,is worthy of a somewhat extended notice for the part she took in the War forIndependence.  Her maiden was HuldahPATCHEN.  She was born inConnecticut and was there married to Mr. HULL. They moved in 1771 to the country between Ballston and Fort Edward in thethen colony of New York, where they lived till after the Revolutionary War. Mr. HULL was largely engaged in that war, and in his absence his wife andchildren sometimes fled to the woods for safety from the marauding bands ofIndians and Tories.  Mrs. HULL had one particular retreat at the root of anoverturned tree, where, in a hollow filled with leaves, she, with herchildren’s heads in her lap, slept many a night in the summer of 1777.  In the fall of that year, on the approach of Burgoyne, withhis Hessian and Indian allies, she loaded a card with some goods and heryoungest children, herself and the older ones walking, and driving the onlyremaining cow, and returned to the old home in Connecticut, stopping nights withhospitable farms on the way.  Sheand her children found homes with her own and her husband’s parents until theclose of the campaign.

Mrs. HULL was one of the heroines of theRevolution and her exploits were many.  Onone occasion, when all the women and children were in Fort Edward and theCaptain needed to send for additional troops, none but old men and boys being inthe fort, she volunteered to go.  Takingthe Captain’s horse and saddle, and in man’s overcoat and hat, she rode outin the dark night, through wind and rain, for the needed help.  Cyrus BUELL, then a lad of 14, but a soldier in the ranks,saw his future mother in law for the first time, as she rode in at daybreak. Cyrus BUELL was shortly afterwards taken prisoner by the British andIndians, but was ransomed from the latter by a British officer, who kept him 3years at Quebec and Montreal, and wished to adopt him and take him to England,and only gave him up where peace was declared, when he returned to his familywho had long mourned him as dead.  Whenhe was first taken prisoner the long line of captives was counted off, half tothe British and half to the Indians, the dividing point falling between himselfand a young friend, from whom he parted, as he supposed, forever. Years afterwards, he found that friend living on a farm beyond SenecaLake. 

Eliphalet HULL, with his wife and family,moved from their home near Ballston (Saratoga Co.) and settled in Benton in1792.  There were 9 children in thefamily, 8 living to be old men and women.  Oneof the sons, Eliphalet HULL Jr., was a soldier in the War of 1812 and married adaughter of the celebrated frontiersman, General Moses VAN CAMPEN. Mrs. HULL was a distinguished looking woman in her younger days, having atall, stately form with brilliant black eyes. Her brother, Captain Daniel PATCHEN, commanded in the troop known as‘Washington’s Body Guard.’  Hercousin, General Freegift PATCHEN, was once taken prisoner by the Indians underBRANT, but was afterwards released.  Mrs.HULL’s wit was proverbial, and she was guilty of a pun upon her wedding day. She said she had been a PATCHEN all her life, but at last, she was HULL. She had a remarkable memory, and of her life and experiences during theRevolution, she never wearied in telling.  Thelast 25 years of her life were spent at the home of her grandson, David H. BUELL,at Benton Center, where she died, September 3, 1839, at the age of 90 years. 


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