Huldah (Patchen) HULL

From “Military History of Yates County”

By Walter Wolcott, published 1895

Pg152 – 153






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In the first chapter of this volume mention has been made of Eliphalet HULL, Seth HULL and Cyrus BUELL as being among the soldiers 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 for Independence.  Her maiden was Huldah PATCHEN.  She was born in Connecticut and was there married to Mr. HULL. They moved in 1771 to the country between Ballston and Fort Edward in the then 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 and children sometimes fled to the woods for safety from the marauding bands of Indians and Tories.  Mrs. HULL had one particular retreat at the root of an overturned tree, where, in a hollow filled with leaves, she, with her children’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, with his Hessian and Indian allies, she loaded a card with some goods and her youngest children, herself and the older ones walking, and driving the only remaining cow, and returned to the old home in Connecticut, stopping nights with hospitable farms on the way.  She and her children found homes with her own and her husband’s parents until the close of the campaign.

Mrs. HULL was one of the heroines of the Revolution and her exploits were many.  On one occasion, when all the women and children were in Fort Edward and the Captain needed to send for additional troops, none but old men and boys being in the fort, she volunteered to go.  Taking the Captain’s horse and saddle, and in man’s overcoat and hat, she rode out in 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 and Indians, but was ransomed from the latter by a British officer, who kept him 3 years at Quebec and Montreal, and wished to adopt him and take him to England, and only gave him up when peace was declared, when he returned to his family, who had long mourned him as dead.  When he was first taken prisoner the long line of captives was counted off, half to the British and half to the Indians, the dividing point falling between himself and a young friend, from whom he parted, as he supposed, forever. Years afterwards, he found that friend living on a farm beyond Seneca Lake. 

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 the family, 8 living to be old men and women.  One of the sons, Eliphalet HULL Jr., was a soldier in the War of 1812 and married a daughter of the celebrated frontiersman, General Moses VAN CAMPEN. Mrs. HULL was a distinguished looking woman in her younger days, having at all, stately form with brilliant black eyes. Her brother, Captain Daniel PATCHEN, commanded in the troop known as ‘Washington’s Body Guard.’  Her cousin, General Freegift PATCHEN, was once taken prisoner by the Indians under BRANT, 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 a HULL. She had a remarkable memory, and of her life and experiences during the Revolution, she never wearied in telling.  The last 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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