Revolutionary War New Jersey Militia Officer. This is a cenotaph for Captain Huddy, who was executed by Loyalists in 1782, and his final resting place is in an unknown location on the grounds of the Old Tennent Church. He had been a Captain in the Monmouth County Militia, and led raids against both British forces and the strong Loyalist movement that existed in parts of New Jersey. Captured by the British in 1780, he was sent to a Prison boat off of New York City, but escaped with a bullet in his arm before the boat carrying him left New Jersey. In March 1782 he was in command of 25 militia men protecting a block house in Toms River when a Loyalist raid captured him (after which they proceeded to burn the town). Turned over to British military authorities, he was placed in the hands of the Associated Loyalists, who were led by the former Loyalist Governor of New Jersey William Franklin (the embittered son of patriot Benjamin Franklin). In retaliation for the killing of Loyalist Philip White, who was shot while escaping from Patriot hands four days after Captain Huddy was captured, Franklin approved of the plan to execute Captain Huddy, which was carried out in April 1782. From a tree in Middletown, New Jersey, his body hung for six hours. His remains were recovered with this message pinned to it - "We the Refugees, having long with grief beheld the cruel murders of our brethren, and finding nothing but such measures daily carried into execution, therefore determined not to suffer without taking vengeance for the numerous cruelties; and thus begin, having made use of Captain Huddy as the fist object to present to your view; and we further determine to hang man for man while there is a Refugee existing". The leader of the Loyalists who carried out the execution, Captain Richard Lippincott of Shrewsbury, New Jersey, was court-martialed by British authorities, who found him not guilty. This caused a wave of protest amongst the local populace, who then petitioned to General George Washington to execute a British officer. British Captain Charles Asgill, who had been at the surrender at Yorktown, was selected by lot to be executed, and his impending execution was used to pressure British authorities to hand over the Loyalists responsible for Captain Huddy's death. The British authorities, meanwhile, shipped over a number of Loyalists to England during the delay. Although Congress approved of Captain Asgill's execution, pressure mounted from the Colonies and Europe to spare his life. In the end, it was saved by a letter of appeal from his mother, who was French, who begged for her son's life through the Continental's French allies. Captain Huddy was interred in several places, finally ending up in the Tennent Churchyard, where the location of his grave has been lost to time. A number of monuments for Captain Huddy exist. The location of the Tom's River Block House is now in a place called Joshua Huddy Park on East Rover Street, and a replica stands near where it once was. A monument stands in Rumson, New Jersey along the Shrewsbury River, marking where Captain Huddy escaped his captors in 1782. Monuments for also stand at the Colts Neck, New Jersey Town Hall (a town where he once owned an inn) and at the spot where he was executed (which is now in the town of Highlands at Waterwitch Avenue and Bayside Drive).
Martha Huddy (Perry) Piatt