Joshua Huddy was born in
8 November 1735 in . In his younger days, he was a troublemaker, being tried for theft and assault among other crimes. He married Mary Borden in 1764, and later moved to Colts Neck ( Salem County, New Jersey ), Monmouth County with their two children. He was married again in 1778 to Catherine Hart, a widow who had two children. New Jersey
(6) The War at the Shore 2007.
In 1779, Huddy joined the Monmouth County Militia, where he served as Captain from March to December. He led many raids and captured Loyalists. He was also accused of executing some of these Loyalists.
In September, 1780, an attempt was made by a party of Refugees (the term Refugee was used by Loyalists who operated independently of the British Army, but still claimed British protection) to capture Huddy at his home in Colts Neck. A party of six Refugees, under the command of an audacious mulatto slave named Colonel Tye, (1) made their way to Huddy's home. When they arrived, Huddy was in the house with a servant girl, named Lucretia Emmons. Huddy would attempt to defend himself against the band of Refugees. The servant girl loaded the muskets in the house and handed them to Huddy. Huddy moved from window to window, firing at the Refugees to make it appear to them that a number of men were defending the house. He was able to wound several of the Refugees, including Colonel Tye, who was shot through the wrist. (2) The Refugees had enough and set fire to the house. Huddy, seeing his predicament, called out that he would surrender if the Refugees would help him extinguish the fire, to which they agreed. Angered that one man had caused so much trouble, the Refugees took Huddy off as a captive, closely followed by the roused neighboring militia. The Refugees, with Huddy, reached Black Point (between the
and Shrewsbury on the Rumson peninsula) slightly ahead of the militia, and embarked on boats which they had hidden earlier. When the militiamen reached the riverbank, they fired upon the Refugee boats. In the ensuing confusion, Huddy escaped, jumping off the boat. As he swam for the shore, he was shot from the riverbank in the thigh. Huddy raised his hand and shouted: ‘I am Huddy! I am Huddy!’ by which his compatriots brought him safely to shore. (3) Navesink Rivers
Two years later, on
1 February 1782 Huddy, then a 47 year-old artillery company officer, arrived in Toms River, New Jersey to defend the Blockhouse there. (4) The Tory newspaper, Rivington’s Royal Gazette, of New York, wrote that on 20 March 1782, “Lieutenant Blanchard, of the armed whale boats, and about eighty men belonging to them, with Captain Thomas and Lieutenant Roberts, both of the late Bucks County Volunteers, and between thirty and forty other Refugee loyalists, the whole under the command of Lieutenant Blanchard, proceeded to Sandy Hook under the convoy of Captain Stewart Ross, in the armed brig ‘Arrogant,’where they were detained by unfavorable winds until the 23d.” (5) About of the 23rd this party landed near the mouth of (probably near present-day Toms River ). Garret Irons, who was on patrol, ran seven miles to the Blockhouse to alert the twenty-five or twenty-six defenders. (6) By daylight of the 24th , the Loyalist force reached the Blockhouse. Lieutenant Blanchard demanded the surrender of the Blockhouse and those inside, which was refused. The Loyalist force then stormed the Blockhouse. In the ensuing action, the Patriots had nine men killed, and twelve captured; the rest made their escape. Rivington’s Royal Gazette reported that the Rebels had killed a Major of the militia, two Captains and one Lieutenant. On the Loyalist side, Rivington’s reported two killed – Lieutenant Iredell, of the armed boatmen, and Lieutenant Inslee, of the Loyalists – and Lieutenant Roberts and five others wounded. (7) The Loyalists burned all of the dozen or so houses in the village except for two. They also burned the Blockhouse, the tavern, the blacksmith shop, and the salt warehouses together with a saw-mill and grist-mill. Huddy had escaped into the countryside, but was found later that day with two other Patriots hiding in a nearby mill. Huddy and the two other Patriots, Daniel Randolph and Jacob Fleming, were taken prisoner aboard the Arrogant, and brought back to Ortley Beach . New York
Huddy was housed in the infamous Sugar House Prison in New York until
8 April 1782. (8) At that time, Huddy, and Fleming were removed to a sloop (a small sailing boat) and placed in irons. On the 9th, they were transferred to the British man-of-war Britannia, under a Captain Morris. (9) On the 12th, Captain Richard Lippencott, a Loyalist, came aboard the ship claiming he had orders from the Board of Associated Loyalists of New York to hang Huddy. Lippencott took a rope from Captain Morris and proceeded with his captive to the Randolph Highlands. At Gravelly Point, a gallows was erected and a barrel placed under it. Huddy made out his will on the barrel before stepping upon it. A label was attached to his breast, which read: “We, the refugees, having long held with grief the cruel murders of our brethren, and finding nothing but such measures daily carrying into execution; we therefore determine not to suffer without taking vengeance for the numerous cruelties, and thus begin, having made use of Captain Huddy as the first object to present to your view, and determine to hang man for man while there is a refugee existing. UP GOES HUDDY FOR PHIL. WHITE.” (10) Huddy’s body was left hanging on the shore until the afternoon, when it was taken to the house of Captain James Greene of Freehold. Huddy was buried at the with military honors. Old Tennent Church
Huddy’s murder led to what is known as the Asgill Affair, which will be explained in the following post.
(1) Titus was a slave of John Corlies of
, Shrewsbury . He escaped in November, 1775, and changed his name to Tye. Tye fought in the Battle of Monmouth, Monmouth County, New Jersey 28 June 1778, and afterwards launched raids, mostly in , against Patriots. Monmouth County
(2) Tye’s wound later caused lockjaw, which killed him. The
and Pines. By Gustav Kobbé. Gateway Press, Inc., Jersey Coast , 1970, p. 24. Baltimore
(3) Kobbé, 24.
(4) A blockhouse is a small fort, one building, usually in an isolated position. The one Huddy was defending protected the village of
and the salt works near by. “The post into which the rebels had thrown themselves was six or seven feet high, made with large logs, with loop-holes between and a number of brass swivels on the top, which was entirely open, nor was there any way of entering but by climbing over. They had, besides swivels, muskets with bayonets and long pikes for their defence.” The date of his arrival is cited from The War at the Shore 2007: Commemorating the 225th Anniversary of the Revolutionary War in Toms River 1776 – 1783. [pamphlet] Ocean Ocean County of County Board Chosen Freeholders, 2007. The description of the Blockhouse is from A History of Monmouth and . By Edwin Salter. Ocean Counties E. Gardner & Son, , 1890, p. 205. Bayonne, NJ
(5) Salter, 205.
(6) The War at the Shore 2007.
(7) Salter, 206. Of those casualties, the following have so far been identified by the author: Major John Cook, killed; Captain Ephraim Jenkins, killed; Daniel Randolph, captured; Jacob Fleming, captured; Moses Robbins, wounded. George, John and Joseph Parker were all with Huddy at the Blockhouse; their fate is thus far unknown.
contained many sugar houses. During the British occupation, the sugar houses were used as prisons. Many men died from the squalid conditions in these prisons, as well as the prison ships stationed off of New York City . The Sugar House Prison was the most infamous prison in New York. New York City
(9) Randolph and Fleming were soon exchanged for two Tories: Captain Clayton Tilton and Aaron White.
(10) Phillip White was a Tory who met his death attempting to escape the Patriots about a week after Huddy’s capture. Lippencott claimed White was murdered by the Patriots, and in return, Huddy would be killed. The quote was taken from Salter, 185-186.