Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

A Bold Streak of Independence... Fitting For This Day

I am the descendent of 13 people who in some way, participated in the Revolutionary War. These are all the folks that came from The Great Omnipotent One’s side; we haven’t even started with my Mom’s side yet. I am a very active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). We do a lot of philanthropic work with the Veterans, children, and schools. To be a member, you need proof of your lineage and the ‘Patriot’ needs to have done anything to help the cause, from fighting as a soldier to having made a donation.

There is one ancestor in particular I have always found fascinating. Letitia Hutchison gave a horse to the American side, and because of this, she is considered a Patriot. This isn’t anything that was uncommon; giving horses or food, but what I think was uncommon was that her husband, John, was a Loyalist, a sympathizer to the other side. We really don’t know as much about her story, other than after the side receiving her donation was declared the Victors, her husband was exiled from America to Barbados and then on to England and was never to return. She lived with her father and raised her children on her own, probably with the assistance of her father.

So we have had many theories running through this house. One of my first thoughts was, “Damn. Wonder what dinnertime conversation was like in that household.” Can you imagine? A Loyalist and a Colonialist living under the same roof, breaking bread at the same table, sleeping in the same bed? Wow. Talk about political discourse.

We have given thought to the fact that maybe they were just trying to play it safe. Her husband ended up fighting for the Redcoats, although his wife donated the horse. Maybe they thought that if someone did something for each side, than no matter which way the War turned out, they would be fine.

But when you look at the full story of John, and there is much written, and think harder about it, things become more evident, which leads me to the conclusion with which I am the most comfortable. He truly was a Loyalist, but probably an asshole too, so Letitia had no problems letting him go and staying in America, raising her kids in this brand new world, with her father.

John was forced to sign the Association adopted by the Provincial Congress in June 1775. Signers pledged to sacrifice land and fortune in defense of liberty etc. However, to avoid having to fight for a cause in which he did not believe, he bought a mill, as millers were exempt from Military service. When Cornwallis moved into SC, he authorized the formation of four regiments of loyalists, and John became a member of one. He eventually fought for “Bloody” Tarleton, which it is speculated is the real reason he was never granted amnesty and allowed to stay with his family in America.

Whether Letitia gave the horse or whether it was taken from her, is probably irrelevant. What small documentation we have of her shows her to have been perfectly capable of taking care of her own, exercising her right to sue for debt and exacting many financial transactions. However, I like to think she donated it, despite her husband, a bold streak of independence and her small part of a grand cause.


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