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Colonel Henry Ludington A Memoir

Colonel Henry Ludington
A Memoir
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Title: Colonel Henry Ludington A Memoir
Release Date: 2018-10-17
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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Transcriber’s Note: Period documents are given with their original—andimperfect—spelling, punctuation and grammar.

[i]

Grist mill at Fredericksburgh, now Kent, built by ColonelHenry Ludington about the time of the Revolution


[ii]

COLONEL HENRY LUDINGTON
A Memoir

BY
WILLIS FLETCHER JOHNSON
A.M., L.H.D.

WITH PORTRAITS, VIEWS,
FACSIMILES, ETC.

(decorative leaf image)

PRINTED BY HIS GRANDCHILDREN
LAVINIA ELIZABETH LUDINGTON AND
CHARLES HENRY LUDINGTON
NEW YORK
1907

[iii]

Copyright, 1907, by
Lavinia Elizabeth Ludington and
Charles Henry Ludington


[iv]

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE
PREFACE vii
I GENEALOGICAL 3
II BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 24
III THE BEGINNING OF THE REVOLUTION 47
IV THE REVOLUTION 77
V SECRET SERVICE 114
VI BETWEEN THE LINES 133
VII AFTER THE WAR 191
VIII SOME LATER GENERATIONS 215
INDEX 230

[v]

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Grist mill at Fredericksburgh, now Kent (Ludingtonville post-office), built by Col. Henry Ludington about the time of the Revolution Frontispiece
Old gun used by Henry Ludington in the French and Indian War 29
FACING PAGE
Henry Ludington’s commission, from Governor Tryon, as captain in Col. Beverly Robinson’s regiment 30
Old Phillipse Manor House at Carmel, N. Y., in 1846 36
View of Carmel, N. Y. 38
Map of Quaker Hill and vicinity, 1778-80, showing location of Colonel Ludington’s place at Fredericksburgh 50
Letter from Committee on Conspiracies to Colonel Ludington 56
Order of arrest from Committee on Conspiracies to Colonel Ludington 58
Maps of Phillipse patent, showing original divisions and territory covered by Colonel Ludington’s regiment 60
Henry Ludington’s commission as colonel from Provincial Congress, 1776 70
Henry Ludington’s commission as colonel from State of New York, 1778 72
Letter from Abraham B. Bancker to Colonel Ludington about militia 74
View of highroad and plains from site of Colonel Ludington’s house 90
Fac-simile of Colonel Ludington’s signature 102
Letter from Col. Nathaniel Sackett to Colonel Ludington on secret service 114
[vi]Home of the late George Ludington on site of Colonel Ludington’s house 132
Home of the late Frederick Ludington, son of Colonel Ludington, at Kent 134
Mahogany table used by Colonel Ludington, at which, according to family tradition, Washington and Rochambeau dined 165
Letter from Governor Clinton to Colonel Ludington about militia 170
Pay certificate of a member of Colonel Ludington’s regiment 188
Colonel Ludington’s tombstone at Patterson, formerly part of Fredericksburgh, N. Y. 208
Portrait of Frederick Ludington, son of Colonel Ludington 216
Portrait of Gov. Harrison Ludington, grandson of Col. Ludington 218
Old store at Kent, built by Frederick and Lewis Ludington about 1808 220
Home of the late Lewis Ludington, son of Colonel Ludington, at Carmel 222
Portrait of Lewis Ludington, son of Colonel Ludington 224
Portrait of Charles Henry Ludington, grandson of Colonel Ludington 226

[vii]

PREFACE

The part performed by the militia and militia officersin the War of the Revolution does not seem alwaysto have received the historical recognition whichit deserves. It was really of great importance, especiallyin southern New England and the MiddleStates, at times actually rivaling and often indispensablysupplementing that of the regular ContinentalArmy. It will not be invidious to say that ofall the militia none was of more importance or renderedmore valuable services than those regimentswhich occupied the disputed border country betweenthe American and British lines, and which guardedthe bases of supplies and the routes of communication.There was probably no region in which borderlandfriction was more severe and intrigues moresinister than that which lay between the British inNew York City and the Americans at the Highlandsof the Hudson, nor was there a highway oftravel and communication more important than thatwhich led from Hartford in Connecticut to Fishkilland West Point in New York.

It is the purpose of the present volume to presentthe salient features of the public career of a militiacolonel who was perhaps most of all concerned inholding that troublous territory for the American[viii]cause, in guarding that route of travel and supply,and in serving the government of the State of NewYork, to whose seat his territorial command was soimmediately adjacent. It is intended to be merely amemoir of Henry Ludington, together with such ahistorical setting as may seem desirable for a justunderstanding of the circumstances of his life and itsvaried activities. It makes no pretense of giving acomplete genealogy of the Ludington family inAmerica, either before or after his time, but confinesitself to his own direct descent and a few of hisimmediate descendants. The facts of his life, neverbefore compiled, have been gleaned from manysources, including Colonial, Revolutionary andState records, newspaper files, histories and diaries,correspondence, various miscellaneous manuscriptcollections, and some oral traditions of whose authenticitythere is substantial evidence. The most copiousand important data have been secured from themanuscript collections of two of Henry Ludington’sdescendants, Mr. Lewis S. Patrick, of Marinette,Wisconsin, who has devoted much time and painstakinglabor to the work of searching for and securingauthentic information of his distinguished ancestor,and Mr. Charles Henry Ludington, of NewYork, who has received many valuable papers andoriginal documents and records from a descendantof Sibyl Ludington Ogden, Henry Ludington’sfirst-born child. It is much regretted that amongall these data, no portrait of Henry Ludington[ix]is in existence, and that therefore none canbe given in this book. In addition, the oldrecords of Charlestown and Malden, Massachusetts,and of Branford, East Haven and NewHaven, Connecticut, the collections of the ConnecticutHistorical Society, the early annals of NewYork, especially in the French and Indian and theRevolutionary wars, and the publications of the NewEngland Genealogical Society, have also been utilized,together with the Papers of Governor GeorgeClinton, Lossing’s “Field Book of the Revolution,”Blake’s and Pelletreau’s histories of Putnam County,Smith’s “History of Dutchess County,” Bolton’s“History of Westchester County,” and other works,credit to which is given in the text of this volume. Itis hoped that this brief and simple setting forth ofthe public services of Henry Ludington during theformative period of our country’s history will proveof sufficient interest to the members of his family andto others to justify the printing of this memoir.


[1]

HENRY LUDINGTON
A Memoir

[2]


[3]

CHAPTER I
GENEALOGICAL

“This family of the Ludingtons,” says Gray inhis genealogical work on the nobility andgentry of England, “were of a great estate, of whomthere was one took a large travail to the seeing ofmany countries where Our Saviour wrought Hismiracles, as is declared by his monument in the Collegeof Worcester, where he is interred.” The immediatereference of the quaint old chronicler was tothe Ludingtons of Shrawley and Worcester, and theone member of that family whom he singled out forspecial mention was Robert Ludington, gentleman,a merchant in the Levantine trade. In the pursuit ofbusiness, and also probably for curiosity and pleasure,he traveled extensively in Italy, Greece, Turkey,Egypt and Syria, at a time when such journeyingswere more arduous and even perilous than those ofto-day in equatorial or polar wildernesses. In accordwith the pious custom of the age he also made a pilgrimageto Palestine, and visited the chief placesmade memorable in Holy Writ. He died at Worcesterat the age of 76 years, in 1625, a few years beforethe first colonists of his name appeared in NorthAmerica. The exact degree of relationship between[4]him and them is not now ascertainable, but it is supposablethat it was close, while there is no reasonwhatever for doubting that the American Ludingtonswere members of that same family “of a greatestate,” whether or not they came from the particularbranch of it which was identified with Shrawley andWorcester.

For the Ludington family in England antedatedRobert Ludington of Worcester by many generations,and was established elsewhere in the Midlandsthan in Worcestershire. Its chief seat seems to havebeen in the Eastern Midlands, though its name haslong been implanted on all the shires from Lincolnto Worcester, including Rutland, Leicester, Huntingdon,Northampton, and Warwick. There is acredible tradition that in the Third Crusade a Ludingtonwas among the followers of Richard Cœur deLion, and that afterward, when that adventurousmonarch was a prisoner in Austria, he sought to visithim in the guise of a holy palmer, in order to devisewith him some plan for his escape. Because of theseloyal exploits, we are told, he was invested with apatent of nobility, and with the coat of arms thereafterborne by the Ludington family, to wit (accordingto Burke’s Heraldry): Pale of six argent andazure on a chief, gules a lion passant and gardant.Crest, a palmer’s staff, erect. Motto, Probum nonpenitet.

Authentic mention of other Ludingtons, honorableand often distinguished, may be found from[5]time to

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